FIDE Grand Prix: Chicken pox strikes, Dzagnidze and Xu lead

10/8/2009 – At two in the morning she summoned the hotel doctor, who diagnosed chicken pox. Chief Arbiter Ignatius Leong decided that WGM Batkhuyag Mungutuul of Mongolia could continue playing, in an isolated room, with a face mask and sergical gloves. In the meantime Marie Sebag lost to Baira Kovanova and handed the lead over back to Nana Dzagnidze and Xu Yuhua. Pictorial report.

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Round nine report

By FM Geoffrey Borg

Munguntuul, Batkhuyag
½-½
Zhao Xue
Dzagnidze, Nana
1-0
Fierro Baquero, Martha
Ju Wenjun
½-½
Mkrtchian, Lilit
Yildiz, Betul Cemre
0-1
Shen Yang
Zhu Chen
0-1
Xu Yuhua
Kovanova, Baira
1-0
Sebag, Marie

A very eventful round! The standings after this round show some norms which have been achieved by some players so far, namely IM norms for WGM Mungutuul and WGM candidate Ju Wenjun.

#

 Title

Name

Rtg

FED

Pts

Ra

Rp

Rtg+/-

1

GM

Dzagnidze Nana

2535

GEO

2431

2597

7.8

2

GM

Xu Yuhua

2485

CHN

2440

2606

14.8

3

GM

Sebag Marie

2519

FRA

6

2425

2550

4.0

4

GM

Zhao Xue

2542

CHN

2419

2499

-4.5

5

IM

Mkrtchian Lilit

2469

ARM

5

2465

2508

4.6

6

WGM

Munguntuul Batkhuyag

2418

MGL

5

2442

2485

8.2

7

WGM

Shen Yang

2453

CHN

2447

2447

-0.6

8

WGM

Kovanova Baira

2408

RUS

2447

2447

4.8

9

Ju Wenjun

2443

CHN

2458

2458

2.1

10

GM

Zhu Chen

2488

QTR

4

2440

2397

-10.4

11

IM

Fierro Baquero Martha

2386

ECU

2

2480

2260

-14.0

12

WIM

Yildiz Betul Cemre

2224

TUR

0

2477

1677

-23.8

Round nine proved to be an eventful and surprising one, with leader GM Marie Sebag from France being outplayed by WGM Kovanova from Russia. White played a position variation in the Sicilian Najdorf (6.g3) which gave Black little chance. GM Sebag faced a difficult position throughout and the game was converted nicely into a win by White. Kovanova is short by four performance rating points off the mark to make an IM norm.


Stopped in round nine: French GM Marie Sebag...


... who was beaten by WGM Baira Kovanova of Elista, Kalmykia (Russia)

As the pack at the top are so close to each other, it let the other top players immediately in. Two former World Champions battled it out, and GM Xu Yuhua had the better of it over GM Zhu Chen. In a Nimzo Indian 4.Qc2 variation Black innovated early and a complex game resulted. Black sacrificed a pawn early on to gain complete piece activity and Black then uncorked a beautiful combination.


Round nine game between GM Xu Yuhua (left) and GM Zhu Chen

Zhu Chen - Xu Yuhua [E36]
FIDE GP w Nanjing CHN (9), 07.10.2009
1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 d5 7.cxd5 Ne4 8.Qc2 exd5 9.Bf4 Bf5 10.Qxc7 Qxc7 11.Bxc7 Rc8 12.Bf4 Nc6 13.f3 Nf6 14.g4 Bc2 15.e3 Na5 16.b4 Nb3 17.Ra2 Nc1 18.Rb2

18...Nxg4! Followed by some other great moves, 19.e4 Nd3+ 20.Bxd3 Bxd3 21.Kd2 Nf2 22.Be3 Bf1! 23.Bxf2 Bg2 24.exd5 Rd8 25.Ke3 Rxd5 26.Ke4 Rh5 27.Bg3 Re8+ 28.Kf4 Bxh1 29.h4 g6 30.Kg4 Rf5 31.Bf2 Rc8 32.Rd2 h5+ 33.Kg3 Bxf3 34.Nxf3 Rc3 35.Kg2 Rfxf3 36.a4 Rfd3 37.Re2 Rc4 38.Rb2 f5 39.a5 Kf7 40.Kh2 Rdc3 0-1.


Don't mess with me – former World Champion Xu Yuhua


She tried and got bitten: former World Champion Zhu Chen

The other critical game to decide one of the leaders was GM Dzagnidze against IM Martha Fierro. White had much the worse of it throughout the game and it was only with resilience that Dazgnidze survived. Eventually the fourth hour approached and, as Martha pointed out, she has been suffering at this time. Once agin, she let the position slip and unfortunately turned a winning position into a losing one.

Today, we also had another novelty, albeit not in a chess game. Unfortunately, at 2.00 a.m. in the morning WGM Mungutuul from Mongolia was not feeling very well and asked for the hotel doctor. She was diagnosed with chicken pox, and immediately Chief Arbiter Ignatius Leong was informed.


With face mask and sergical gloves: chicken pox stricken Batkhuyag Munguntuul

After a long discussion and consultation with organisers, players and arbiters, it was agreed that WGM Munguttul would be isolated in a special room which was set up by the Nanjing organisers at record speed. All remaining players also sportingly agreed that they had no objection with playing her under these conditions. So at 3.05 p.m. the game between Mungutuul and Zaho Xue got underway, with great media attention. For once it seemed the journalists had forgotten everything else!


Quarantine: WGM Batkhuyag Munguntuul vs GM Zhao Xue was played in the separate room

Anyway, back to the game. The players followed a main line of the Spanish and once again Zhao Xue showed that her opening preperation is of the highest standards. Unfortunately she could not gain much more than equality, and despite having the two bishops "advantage", black could not squeeze out more than a draw.

Ju Wenjun and Lilit Mkrtchian squared off in a great fight, and although Black could have had chances to win the game in a Queen's Indian Defence, she did not find them in the game and a draw was the final result.


WGM Shen Yang, who beat WIM Betul Yodiz in round nine

Yildiz-Shen Yang was just another bad day for the player from Turkey. Black took the initiative early on in a Scotch game, and a tactical miscalculation ended up with black getting a winning rook endgame.

During the day there was also a match between four universities Najing, Peking, Tsinghua and South East University – 200 hundred players in total!


FM Geoffrey Borg, who has been providing us with these lovely reports

Current standings

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