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Games Commentary

Round 8. Press conference
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
IMG_7745.jpgHou Yifan - Tatiana Kosintseva

Anastasia: The game is drawn. Yifan, why did you play so quickly today? Are you tired after the previous rounds?

Yifan: No, I am not that tired. That opening I played one time before in the last year's Olympiad and, taking into consideration that in this game there was not any advantage for me, I played it and also I know that some players used this line before.

Anastasia: So you decided to have some rest, right?

Yifan: Yes, I did.

Anastasia: Tatiana, you played with Black today...are you satisfied with the result?

Tatiana: Actually, I did not expect that the game would be over so quickly and certainly this line was played before but not exactly this forced variation: Yifan played it before against Lahno last year, so we repeated it up to one moment, but after e5 it was really a forced line, that was used in several games already before. Thus we have a draw... We got such a short game before the rest day and for these 2 days I can somehow recover and relax before the last rounds.

IMG_7791.jpgAntoanetta Stefanova - Ekaterina Kovalevskaya

Anastasia: the game Stefanova-Kovalevskaya has come to its end. The Bolgarian chess player won with White. Katya, first question to you, tell us how the game was going?

Ekaterina: the position was unpleasant for me. I was in a time trouble and have just blundered at one point. Now it is difficult to say, maybe there should have been more precise move. When you are in time trouble it is not easy to find the correct move.

Antoanetta: it is more pleasant to play this position with White. This is clear. I don't really know if it was that much better for white or not. Frankly speaking Katya was playing very well.  She provoke me to play f4 at one point and after that there were many motives with checks on e3. It depends on when I win a pawn. For sooner or later I would get this pawn. The point is whether Black had enough activity or not. She always wanted to play  to play Na4, to be more active. So, I was trying to be more accurate with my moves, for instance playing Ra1. Well, it worked out well. But if she finds better way to play, I don't know. Well, it was looking better but  "winning" is a too strong word, Frankly speaking my theoretical knowledge what to do after the opening suddenly finished. After Na4 already. I started thinking too long at that point, trying to find out what is the best set up for White. I still don't know if I played correctly or not.

IMG_7767.jpgAlisa Galliamova - Nadezhda Kosintseva

Anastasia: the game Galliamova-Kosintseva was drawn. Please tell us whether you wanted to have a calm game before the free day or you were ready for a serious fight?

Alisa: Something in the middle. Of course I wanted a fight, but from the other hand I am fed up with loosing... Today I was almost following the moves which I played against Tatyana Kosintseva. I was just trying to strengthen the position at one point. I made a new move hoping that I would have a chance to fight. I think I was not playing correctly in the endgame. I let my opponent to make b4, a5. At one point I thought a5-a4 was a sharp variation. I was also afraid to blunder something. That is why I decided to play something secure. When Nadya made a move Bc3 and I took Bc3 and saw Bc5 and it made my blood cold: "Horrible" (laughing). After this we both became red: I was terrified that will lose another game, Nadya probably hoped that she could have some chances to win. Apparently I could defend making the precise moves.

Anastasia: Nadya, was the Rc5 the critical moment and you had the similar emotions?

Nadezhda: yes, indeed there was some hint on some tactics. Maybe I was in a hurry a bit with my move Rc3. Perhaps there might have been some interesting variants. Maybe I should have played  bc крf2 Bв7. But I was in a time trouble, could not properly estimate the position.

Alisa: I was surprised that Nadya was spending too much time in the opening...

Nadya: in comparisson with the game Tanya-Elina Danielian, frankly speaking I forgot how to play there. I knew that I should play accurately but I did not remember what to play exactly. That is why I spent so much time... I don't know whether I was playing correctly.

Humpy Koneru - Elina DanielianIMG_7776.jpg

Anastasia: Which expectations did you have before the game?

Humpy: It was a surprise for me in the opening, she has not played any game with dc4, I made some mistakes in the opening and I think after it I had clearly worse position. I was having weak king and she was having a chance to play long castling and my panws were also weak while going to the endgame. Somehow my opponent misplayed some moves and I managed to make a draw.  

Anastasia: What about g4, do you think it was too optimistic?

Humpy: Well, I did not prepare this line much, so I just played over the board and I think my move Qe2 was already the wrong move.

Anastasia: which expectations did you have before the game?

Elina: Just not to blunder (laughing). Stop blundering was my first consideration and I just wanted to play chess. I said to myself If I don't blunder, it can be interesting. 

Anastasia: So, did you understand that you have surprised your opponent?

Elina: I don't know, probably, because I did not play this pure Slav System before, so I wanted to try.. In my opinion, it was quite an interesting game with a lot of possibilities for White as well as for Black.  

Anastasia: Did you estimate your position as a better one as Humpy has just said?

Elina: I could not give the exact evaluation of the position, so it was with chances for both sides. My opponent had an advantage of two bishops, but also she has some weak points and I could play.

Lufei Ruan - Kateryna LahnoIMG_7804.jpg

Anastasia: the game Ruan-Lahno is finished, the Chinese player won the game. Kateryna, your short comments on this game, it seemed that at one moment you could have forced a draw...

Kateryna: Probably, I could force a draw several times, but I did not manage to do it, it is really pity...

Anastasia: You mean you were playing to win?

Kateryna: Of course not, I mean I certainly realized that queen f4 was a mistake. I simply thought that this endgame was drawish, but I did not expect to solve such difficult problems in a time trouble. Actually, maybe I could have solved them any way, but I think I did everything wrong.  

Anastasia: Thank you. Lufei,  your comments? Were you playing to win this game?

Lufei: No, actually not, although I sacrificed one pawn, and in fact I did not want to do it, but I thought if I did not sacrifice it, my position would be worse, so I had to do so. I thought she was playing really good and I did not consider my position as better one. However later on I think she made some mistakes and the endgame was slightly better for me. later on I put more pressure and she made a mistake in the first time control. Of course, I also made a mistake, but there it seemed like my position was still preferable. As for endgame, I am not sure about the rook 2 pawns against rook and a pawn. I think if she did not make my king go forward then there would have been a draw, but again I am not sure. 

Anastasia: Thank you very much for your comments.

Alexandra Kosteniuk - Anna MuzychukIMG_7835.jpg

Anastasia: The game is drawn, but was a real struggle...

Alexandra: a non-compromising one.

Аnastasia: How would you comment the event on the chess board?

Alexandra: It seemed to me that I had an advantage in the opening. I was going for this endgame. In fact, I thought that this play was only for two results… It is just that I did not realize for which results exactly (laughing). I think that probably I should have played h4 righ away. 28. g4 - h6 29. Bb2 is maybe too long. There was a moment h4, Ng4 it seemed that Black had to play, maybe Be4… , maybe not, I don't know, but I was thinking this way. Then the position is opening and the two bishops start playing and the pawn a is dangerous. Because after I played Bb2, frankly speaking, I don't know… F4, of course, is a terrible move. I wanted to open the bishop, but perhaps I should have made some calm move, let's say Bc1 or g4.

Аnastasia: Weren't you afraid of the Black's center?

Alexandra: Yes, I was (laughing). But I believed in two bishops until the very end. I calculated some cooperative lines. When I played 43.Bc3 I saw that I could mate after 43. …d2 and I am saying to myself that it is so good!  I mean not the mate, but Bd5 – Ke8, Re6 – Kd8, Ba5, but there there is a Nb6 move. At that moment I was going to play Bf3, I gain a d pawn, then I take a knight, then I take all the g,h pawns. I liked this line. After the move 43. …Bb4 I went sad.

I did not expect Black to play 42. … Be7 and we are forcing a draw: exchange for f6 and Bd5. And after 42. … Nd7 I started worrying, I thought that Black mujst have played for a win. If I wanted a draw that much, I should have played 42. Kf2, more precisely. Then maybe Be7, although I cannot guarantee anything now. And there there is this line with exchange on f6.

Anastasia: Anya, what would be your comments of this game? Did you have a thriller going on inside of you too? What did you play for?

Anna: At the end of course I did not play for a win anymore, I simply did not like the move Be7 because of b6 and If I played d2 then there woulf be 42. … Bf4 43. b6 d2 44. Bf4 d1=Q 45. Bxd1 Rxd1 46. b7 Nd7 47. Rc7 Nb8 48. Rc8 Nd7… somewhere there there is a pawn that can still be implemented into more… It became unclear - what to do.

Alexandra: Yes, but Black still have an extra piece. I saw this line but I did not see any way for White to fortify.

Anna: I do not know..we kept on calculating these lines… At the beginning I actually thought that it is not possible to move 43. …Bb4. 44. Bd5+ Ke7 и 45. Ba2 (all together), but there…

Alexandra: And I was calculating further more! 44. Bd5+ Ke7 45. Ba2 d2 46. Bxb1 d1=Q 47. Bxb4+ Kd8 and here if I could stabilize the situation somehow and kept the pawn b5… I see that "wow! Ba2! But then ok the move 45. … d2 is unfortunately there.

Anna: frankly speaking, my opening was... At the beginning I was very happy, for 11. Nd4, 12. a3 are not the moves they normally play. They play 11. b4 right away...

Alexandra: I was scared of Nb4... Not very much... b4 should have been probably played.

Anna: After 12. a3 I think I should have played 12. … Nc5 right away because of these problems with this Knight. But I did not manage to develop it. After 14. Na5 I liked the position. But even the centre which I occupied was still hanging. And plus my opponent had a passed pawn. Also I did not want to play d4. Because the Knight from g2 opens. But from other hand Rook will manage to enter 7th line. I don't know what was going on in a time trouble. I could have taken pawn on e2 on the way. But it was very complicated, my time was finishing. I was taking decisions out of two-move variations. You see that you are loosing - here you are, you make a move!

Anastasia: are you tired after all these rounds?

Alexandra: In fact I am done. I was calculating my moves till the end: 51. b7, fine 53. Kg1… And here I almost fainted, I saw the line: 4... Rb1 55. b8=Q (which I also calculated of course). And then I saw the move Nc3+!! After it 56. Kg2 Rxb8, and I lose a piece! I am shocked: what is this?! It is very strange, I thought. Just few moments ago I was calculating check on Nb2, but I forgot Nc3. Then I found that I have at least 56. Qb1. Ok, I can still fight!

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