Atatürk Istanbul: Ekaterina Atalik leads

3/16/2008 – The local derby between IM Ekaterina Atalik, rated 2408, and 18-year-old WIM Betül Cemre Yildiz, two hundred points her inferior. The younger girl missed a great chance to draw and went down to her more experienced opponent. Former world champion Zhu Chen outplayed her compatriot Zhao Xue to score her first win in this event. Atalik now leads the field by half a point. Illustrated report.

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İş Bankası - Atatürk International Women Masters Chess Tournament

The tournament, announced in December last year, will take place from March 10th (arrival) to March 21 (departure) 2008. The venue is the İş Bankası Towers Complex, which has a total area of 225,000 square meters. It is the largest of its kind on the European continent. Games start at 14:30h local time (= GMT +2h). March 19 is a free day. The games are being broadcast on Playchess.com.

Round six report

Ti. Name Rtg
Res.
Ti. Name Rtg
GM CHEN Zhu 2548
1-0
WGM XUE Zhao 2517
IM DRONAVALLI Harika 2455
½-½
WGM YIFAN Hou 2527
IM KRUSH Irina 2473
½-½
GM CRAMLING Pia 2524
IM ATALIK Ekaterina 2408
1-0
WIM YILDIZ Betul Cemre 2207
IM JAVAKHISHVILI Lela 2470
½-½
IM USHENINA Anna 2484

Irina Krush and Pia Cramling played an increibly intense game, with ups and downs. Towards the end both players were clearly tired, and the Swedish grandmaster missed a win. Irina was able to build a rook and bishop fortress against Pia's queen and the game was drawn.

Krush,Irina - Cramling,Pia
Isbank Ataturk International Women Mast Istanbul (6), 16.03.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.h3 h6 6.c5 Bf5 7.Bf4 Nbd7 8.e3 e6 9.Be2 Be7 10.b4 Ne4 11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.a4 0-0 13.0-0 Bxf3 14.Bxf3 Re8 15.Bh2 Bf6 16.e4 g6 17.e5 Be7 18.Be2 b6 19.Bf4 a5 20.b5 bxc5 21.bxc6 Nb8 22.Bb5 Qc7 23.dxc5 Nxc6 24.Bxh6 Rec8 25.Bf4 Bxc5 26.Rc1 Qb6 27.h4 Bf8 28.h5 Ne7 29.Qg4 Bg7 30.Bg5 gxh5 31.Qxh5 Ng6 32.Rcd1 Nxe5 33.Bh6 Bxh6 34.Qxh6 Ng6 35.Rd3 Qd6 36.Rg3 e5 37.f4 exf4 38.Rxf4 Rc1+ 39.Kh2 Rc3 40.Rfg4 Rac8 41.Kh3 Rxg3+ 42.Rxg3

Here Pia Cramling played a really cool move to defuse all threats against her king. 42...Rc3! 43.Rxc3 Nf4+ 44.Qxf4 Qxf4 45.Rd3 Qe4 46.Kg3 Kf8 47.Kf2 Qf5+ 48.Ke2 Qe4+ 49.Kf2 d4 50.Kf1 Ke7 51.Kf2 Kd6 52.Kf1 Kd5 53.Kf2 Qf4+ 54.Ke2 Qc1 55.Rd1 Qg5 56.Kf2 Qf5+ 57.Ke1 Qc2 58.Rd2 Qc1+ 59.Rd1 Qc3+ 60.Kf1 Ke4 61.Re1+ Kf4 62.Rd1 Ke3 63.Re1+ Kd2 64.Re7

Black is winning and could have taken the full point by simply pushing the d-pawn. 64...d3 65.Rd7 Kc2 66.Bxd3+ Qxd3+ 67.Rxd3 Kxd3 and the king and pawn ending is won for Black. 64...Qg3? 65.Kg1 Qh4? 66.Rxf7 Qe1+ 67.Rf1 Qe3+ 68.Kh2 Qe5+ 69.Kg1 Qc5 70.Rf3 Qe5 71.Kh1 Qe1+ 72.Kh2 Qh4+ 73.Kg1 Qe1+ 74.Kh2 ½-½. [Click to replay]

Atalik,Ekaterina (2408) - Yildiz,Betul Cemre (2207)
Isbank Ataturk International Women Mast Istanbul (6), 16.03.2008
1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.g3 g6 6.Bg2 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Nc3 Ng4 9.e3 d6 10.Nde2 Bd7 11.b3 a6 12.h3 Nf6 13.Bb2 Rb8 14.a4 Ne8 15.Ba3 b6 16.Rc1 Nc7 17.Nf4 Na7 18.b4 b5 19.cxb5 axb5 20.a5 Nc6 21.Ncd5 Nxd5 22.Nxd5 Ne5 23.Nb6 Be6 24.Bb2 Nc4 25.Bxg7 Kxg7 26.Qd4+ f6 27.Nxc4 bxc4 28.a6 Rxb4 29.a7 d5 30.e4 Qd7 31.exd5 Bxh3 32.Bxh3 Qxh3 33.d6

33...Rb7? A missed opportunity for the youngster against her more experienced compatriot. 33...Qd7 would lead to equality after 34.dxe7 Qxe7 35.Rfe1 Qf7. Now the a7 pawn, which is the piece that White's winning chances are pinned on, falls. 34.Rb1 Qd7 35.Rxb7 Qxb7 36.d7 Rd8 37.Ra1 Qa8 38.Qb6 Rxd7 39.Qb8 and White emerges victorious to become the new sole leader of the tournament. 1-0. [Click to replay]

Zhu Chen (2549) - Xue Zhao (2517)
Isbank Ataturk International Women Mast Istanbul
[Notes by Ozgur Akman, based on Zhu Chen's presentation on Playchess]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.Bg2 a6 6.Ne5 c5 [Another possibility here is 6...Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Nd5 8.Bd2 b5] 7.Na3 cxd4 8.Naxc4 Ra7. Black could also have played 8...Bc5 9.Bd2 Nd5 10.Rc1 0-0. 9.Bd2 b6 10.Qb3. Now White has sacrificed a central pawn, but there is a compensation, since White's pieces are better developed. 10...Bb7 11.Bxb7 Rxb7 12.Na5 Re7. 12...Ra7 13.0-0 bxa5 14.Bxa5 Rc7 15.Rac1. 13.Rc1. 13.Nac6 Nxc6 14.Nxc6 Qa8 15.Rc1 Rc7 16.Qxb6 Nd5 was also possible, but Zhu preferred the text move. 13...Rc7 14.0-0 Bc5 15.Nd3 0-0 16.Nxc5 bxc5 17.Bf4 Rc8 18.Nb7 Qd7. 18...Qxd5 would also eventually lose the pawn: 19.Qxd5 Nxd5 20.Nxc5 Nxf4 21.gxf4 Rfd8 22.Nb7 Rxc1 23.Rxc1 Re8 24.Rc4. 19.Nxc5 Qb5. 19...Qa7 20.Qa3 Rfd8 21.Bg5 Qb6 white is still pressing and going to capture the pawn. 20.Qxb5 axb5 21.Be5 Nc6 22.Bxf6 gxf6 23.Nd7 Rfd8 24.Nxf6+ Kg7 25.Ne4 d3 26.exd3 Nb4 27.Rxc8 Rxc8 28.Nd6. [28.Rd1 Nxa2] 28...Rb8 29.Rc1 Rb6 [29...Nxa2 would be worse, since Rc7 is possible.
29...Rd8 would be a better option. 30.Nc8 Rb8. 30...Rb7 would be a better defense: 31.a3 Nxd3 32.Rc2 b4 33.Nd6 bxa3 34.bxa3 Rb1+ 35.Kg2 Ne1+. Now White simply captures another pawn.

31.Rc7 Nxd3 32.Nd6 Ra8 33.Rxf7+ Kg6 34.Re7 Kf6 35.Rxh7 Rxa2 36.Rf7+. 36.Rb7 would be much better. Now White has much work to do in order to grab the full point. 36...Rxb2 37.Rxb5 Rxf2 38.Ne4+.

36...Kg6 37.Rb7. 37.Rf3 fails because of 37...Ra1+ 38.Kg2 Ne1+. 37...Rxb2 38.Rxb5 Rxf2 39.Rb3 Rd2 40.Nc4 Rd1+ 41.Kg2 Nc5 42.Rb5 Nd7 43.h4 Kf6 44.g4 White should still be winning according to Chen, by advancing the connected passed pawns carefully: 44.Ne3 Rd2+ 45.Kf3 Rd3. 44...Rd3. 44...Rd4 would be tougher but white is the side playing for a win after: 45.Ne3 Nf8 46.Kg3 (46.h5 Nh7; 46.g5+ Kg6; 46.Rb8 Ng6 47.h5 Ne5; 46.Kf3 Ng6 47.h5 Ne5+ 48.Kg3 Re4) 46...Rd3 47.Kf3 Nd7 48.h5. 45.Kf2 Rh3. 45...Nf8 46.g5+ Kg7 47.Rb7+ Kh8 48.Ne5 should be winning for White. 46.h5 e5 47.Nd2. 47.Rd5 fails to 47...Kg5 48.Rxd7 Kxg4 49.Nxe5+ Kf5 since Black will capture the h-pawn and secure the draw. 47...Kg5 48.Rb4 Ra3. 48...e4 49.Rxe4 Ne5 50.Rxe5+ Kxg4 51.Ne4 Kf4 52.Kg2 Rh4 53.Ra5 keeps the h-pawn and is winning for White. 49.Nf3+ Kf6 50.Rc4 Ra6 51.Kg3 Ra3 52.h6. Black resigns since the pawns roll. 1-0. [Click to replay]

Standings after six rounds


Picture Gallery


There, on the other side of the water, is Asia. Özgür Akman, press chief of the Turkish Chess Federation, shows IM Anna Ushenina of Ukraine the most important points of the city as viewed from the 41st floor of the İş Bankası Tower.


No, I've never been to Asia (except one time to India). Maybe a trip will be arranged for Anna


A ship navigates the Bosporos, the narrow waterway separating Europe from Asia


The bridge to cross – from the European to the Asian part of Istanbul


Before the round: Ekaterina Atalik with her husband GM Suat, Irina Krush with her second David Pruess


The Ataliks – at 2408 and 2597 one of the strongest chess couples in the world


Turkish summit: Ekaterina Atalik vs Betül Cemre Yildiz (Ekaterina won)


May I adjust your Queen Rook, dear colleague? Irina Krush vs Pia Cramling


Zhu Chen, who on this day scored her first victory in this tournament


Hou Yifan and Harika Dronavalli in their typical working poses.
"Harika" means "wonderful" in Arabic, but of course our Harika is from India...


The glare, professionally delivered by Anna Ushenina to Lela Javakhishvili


The loneliness of a long-distance second? IM David Pruess watches his charge Irina Krush (right) play Pia Cramling


Zhao Xue, 23-year-old Chinese talent, rated comfortably over 2500


Everyone's favourite: 13-year-old GM-strength Chinese talent Hou Yifan


Ekaterina Atalik, leading the event after her win against...


... compatriot Betül Cemre Yildiz, who missed a clear chance to draw the game


Postgame analysis Anna Ushenina and Lela Javakhishvili (their game was drawn)


Chess analysis high above the city of Istanbul


The Chinese ladies Zhao Hue and Zhu Chen analyse their game (Zhu won)


Zhu Chen analyses her game on Playchess, while Zhao Hue follows the broadcast on a second notebook


The former world champion analyses while her opponent tries to find refutations with Fritz 11


Oh the intensity! In the end Zhao did find a way to draw the game

Pictures Özgür Akman and Frederic Friedel in Istanbul

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