Atatürk Istanbul: Hou Yifan wins with a round to spare

3/19/2008 – Victory against a potential rival, Ekaterina Atalik, gave Chinese wonder Hou Yifan, who turned 14 three weeks ago, an unsurpassable lead of a full point ahead of her nearest rival. This became possible because Swedish GM Pia Cramling lost her game against Lela Javakhishvili of Georgia. Wednesday is a free day, the final round is on Thursday. 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 eight report

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

14-year-old Chinese super-talent Hou Yifan beat Ekaterina Atalik. Her main other rival, Pia Cramling, lost her game against against Lela Javakhishvili, giving Yifan a full point lead which assures her of at least equal first place in this event. Betül Cemre Yildiz (Turkish: Yýldýz) lost swiftly against the Ukrainian IM Anna Ushenina, to the dismay of local fans. Zhu Chen won her second game in the tournament against Harika Dronavalli. Last but not least, Zhao Xue beat Irina Krush to move to fourth place.


As before most rounds youthful Chinese WGM Hou Yifan takes a quick nap


17-year-old Harika from India does a brief session of ("non-mystical") meditation


Pia Cramling preparing mentally for her game


Irina Krush discusses some final points with her second David Pruess


Wide awake: Hou Yifan prepares to start her game against Ekaterina Atalik


Irina Krush in action against Zhao Xue (the Chinese player won)


For posterity: David Pruess recording the actions of his charge


The key game: Ekaterina Atalik vs Hou Yifan, which ended in an important win for Yifan


In the press room IM David Pruess takes on a local talent

Standings after eight of nine rounds

Pictures by Frederic Friedel in Istanbul

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