FIDE Women Grand Prix: Xu Yuhua leads

10/9/2009 – The penultimate round of this Women's event was the most important. Two of the ladies in the leading group, Xu Yuhua and Zhao Xue, were able to take full points against players in the middle of the table, while Georgian GM Nana Dzagnidze drew her "remote game" against chicken-pox stricken Batkhuyag Mungutuul. Xu is in the lead by half a point. Pictorial report with commentary.

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Round ten report

By FM Geoffrey Borg

In the penultimate round, one of the most important, the two leaders had key games against other players in the middle of the table. Their results in these two games were therefore highly critical.

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

GM Nana Dzagnidze who had been leading for the majority of the tournament repeated her Sicilian Taimanov against Batkhuyag Mungutuul. The latter was suffering from a chicken pox attack, and since Dzagnidze had never been exposed to it before, it was agreed for the two board setup in different rooms. The game was played with each player having an arbiter facing them and a third arbiter relaying the moves. Additionally, Dzagnidze was given an additional time increment as the live clock was kept on her table.


Batkhuyag Munguntuul during her remotre game against Nana Dzagnidze [photo Ye Rongguang]

After a number of exchanges in the early middlegame black had a little pressure against a weak a-pawn but not enough to really win it and White defended accurately to keep the balance throughout.


Former Women's World Champion GM Xu Yuhua, China, rated 2485

In the other game, Xu Yuhua repeated a line normally played by WGM Kovanova and IM Pogonina. In a Spanish Zaitsev variation she came out with the new idea 16.Bh6 and 17.e5 and Black went immediately wrong. White had a winning position very shortly aftewards and Xu Yuhua wrapped up the point.


GM Zhao Xue

Another critical game was Zhao Xue-Marie Sebag. Two of the top seeds were jostling for the final position and a win fo Sebag would have left her in contention. As it turned out, the game transposed from a Semi Slav to a Closed Catalan position and the ultra solid Zhao Xue built up her positional advantage until finally black cracked and resigned just after the time control.


WGM Shen Yang, China, rated 2453


Former Women's World Champion Zhu Chen

The Chinese players have obviously been doing their homework, as another game to finish quickly after some home preparation was Shen Yang-Zhu Chen. The former world champion was surprised with a novelty by White on move 24 of the Rauzer Variation in a QGD. Zhu Chen should have played 23..Rg8 which gives a playable game for black but instead followed a game dreev - Gustafsson whcih went 23...Bc5. After white's 24.Bxf6 Rg8 25. Bxc4 white finished the game splendidly with 28.Nd6! giving mate in all variations.


Martha Fierro of Equador

Martha Fierro had a reasonable opening against Ju Wenjun's Sicilian Scheveningen but then started drifting and black took the point.

The final game was between Mkrtchian and Yildiz where white played very agressively and took the point quite well.


The press conference after round ten, with the players Yidiz, Fierro, Xu Yuhua and Zhao Xue

Standings after ten rounds

Robert A Mundell visits the event


World famous economist Robert Mundell

The tournament had once again a very important visitor these last days. Robert A Mundell had also been a guest of the Nanjing organisers last year, and this year he combined his visit to the tournament with a lecture at Nanjing University. For those who may not know who Robert A Mundell is a professor of economics at Columbia University and the recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1999. Mundell laid the groundwork for the introduction of the Euro through his pioneering work in monetary dynamics and optimum currency areas, for which he won the Nobel. Mundell helped to start the movement known as supply-side economics, and is known for the Mundell-Fleming model and Mundell-Tobin effect. He is also a keen chess player and was the originator of the Pearl Spring tournament. More about this can be read in last year's excellent interview located here.


Final round

As we "go to print" the final round of the Women's Grand Prix has been completed, and we have the results and the standings. We will bring you a final report with pictures and games, but here for the record is the raw data:

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

Final standings

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


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