FIDE Women Grand Prix: Xu Yuhua wins

10/11/2009 – In 2006 she won the Women's World Championship in Ekaterinburg, three months pregnant at the time. Now GM Xu Yuhua has won the FIDE Women Grand Prix in Nanjing, with 8.0/11 points and a 2619 performance. The final round leading to this victory was especially dramatic in a tournament that produced a sensationally low 33.3% draw average. Big final pictorial report.

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Round eleven report (final)

By FM Geoffrey Borg

The second leg of the FIDE Women's Grand Prix came to a close with a merited win for former Women's World Champion GM Xu Yuhua from China. Here are the results of the final round:

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 (after eleven rounds)

Prize money and Grand Prix points

Title

Name

Rtg

FED

Pts

Prize

Pts

GM

Xu Yuhua

2485

CHN

8

 € 6,500

160

GM

Dzagnidze Nana

2535

GEO

 € 4,750

130

GM

Zhao Xue

2542

CHN

7

 € 4,000

110

GM

Sebag Marie

2519

FRA

 € 3,500

80

IM

Mkrtchian Lilit

2469

ARM

 € 3,500

80

Ju Wenjun

2443

CHN

 € 3,500

80

WGM

Shen Yang

2453

CHN

6

 € 3,000

60

WGM

Munguntuul Batkhuyag

2418

MGL

 € 2,750

50

WGM

Kovanova Baira

2408

RUS

5

 € 2,500

40

GM

Zhu Chen

2488

QTR

 € 2,250

30

IM

Fierro Baquero Martha

2386

ECU

2

 € 2,000

20

WIM

Yildiz Betul Cemre

2224

TUR

1

 € 1,750

10

In total, there were 44 wins and 22 draws giving a win percentage of 66.7% and a very low draw percentage of 33.3%. This reflects not only the advantage of having a no-draw policy in Grand Prix tournaments but additionally each draw was hard fought and gives the spectators both online and in the tournament hall the best sporting experience. Compared to the first women's Grand Prix in Istanbul there were two more draws in Nanjing.

GM Dzagnindze led for the majority of the tournament as can be seen from the progressive scores table below. However, Xu Yuhua, Zhao Xue and Sebag were always closely behind and dropping any points or half points would cause a change in leadership. The leaders for each round are highlighted.

Name

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

Xu Yuhua

0.5

1.5

2.5

3.5

3.5

3.5

4.5

5.5

6.5

7.5

8

Dzagnidze Nana

1

2

3

4

4

5

5

5.5

6.5

7

7.5

Zhao Xue

0.5

0.5

1.5

2.5

2.5

3.5

4.5

5

5.5

6.5

7

Sebag Marie

0

0.5

1

2

3

4

5

6

6

6

6.5

Mkrtchian Lilit

0.5

1

1

1.5

2.5

3.5

4

4.5

5

6

6.5

Ju Wenjun

0

1

2

2.5

3

3

3

4

4.5

5.5

6.5

Shen Yang

1

1

1

1.5

2

2.5

3.5

3.5

4.5

5.5

6

Munguntuul Batkhuyag  

1

1

1.5

1.5

2.5

3

3.5

4.5

5

5.5

5.5

Kovanova Baira

0.5

1

1.5

1.5

2

3

3

3.5

4.5

4.5

5

Zhu Chen

0.5

1.5

1.5

2

3

3

4

4

4

4

4.5

Fierro Baquero Martha

0.5

1

1.5

1.5

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

Yildiz Betul Cemre

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Coming to the games we could not have had a better pairing for the final round. The top four players were paired against each other and wins would affect not only the final placing but also the important GP ranking points and prize money.

GM Dzagnidze came out rather poorly from a Queen's Indian Defense, but after Zhao Xue did not take her chances with 16...Rxg3!? White pressed on the f-file, eventually winning a pawn on the queen side.

Dzagnidze,N (2535) - Zhao Xue (2542) [E12]
FIDE GP w Nanjing CHN (11), 09.10.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 Bb7 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 d6 9.Nd2 Nc6 10.Bd3 g5 11.Bg3 Qe7 12.0-0 0-0-0 13.f4 Rdg8 14.e4 gxf4 15.Rxf4 e5 16.Rf5

16...Ng4 (16...Rxg3!?) 17.d5 Nb8 18.Qf3 h5 19.Rxf7 Qg5 20.Qf5+ Qxf5 21.Rxf5 h4 22.Bf2 Kd8 23.h3 Nxf2 24.Kxf2 Bc8 25.Rf3 Nd7 26.Rg1 Nf8 27.Rf7 Bd7 28.Be2 Ke8 29.Rf3 Ke7 30.c5 bxc5 31.Rb1 Ng6 32.c4 Nf4 33.Bf1 Rb8 34.Rfb3 Rb6 35.Ra3 Rhb8 36.Rbb3 a6 37.Nf3 Ng6 38.Be2 Ra8 39.Ra5 Bc8 40.Nh2 Bb7 41.Bg4 Rh8 42.Nf3 Rxb3 43.axb3 Nf4 44.Ra2 Ng6 45.Ke3 Ke8 46.Bf5 Ne7 47.Be6 Ng6 48.Bg4 Ne7 49.Ng5 Rg8 50.Ne6 c6 51.Nc7+ Kd8 52.Ne6+ Ke8 53.Nc7+ Kd8 54.Nxa6 cxd5 55.cxd5 Bc8 56.Bf3 Ng6 57.b4 Rg7 58.bxc5 Ra7 59.Nb4 Rxa2 60.Nxa2 dxc5 61.Be2 Ke7 62.Nc1 Bd7 63.Nb3 Kd6 64.Na5 Kc7 65.Nc4 Bc8

In this advantageous minor piece endgame Dzagnidze had a chance to win the game and at least tie for first with 66.d6+! She continued instead with 66.Nd2 Kd6 67.Bf1 Ke7 68.Kf3 Bd7 69.g3. After this second unforced error by White Zhao Xue defended well and the game ended in a draw. 69...hxg3 70.Kxg3 Ba4 71.h4 Nf4 72.Ba6 Kf6 73.Kf3 Bd1+ 74.Kf2 Bc2 75.Be2 Nxe2 76.Kxe2 c4 77.Nxc4 Bxe4 78.Ne3 Bg6 79.Kd2 e4 80.Kc3 Ke5 81.Kc4 Be8 82.Kc5 Kf4 83.Kd4 Bd7 84.d6 Ba4 85.Ng2+ Kf5 86.Kd5 Bb3+ 87.Kc5 Ba4 88.Ne3+ Kf4 89.Kd4 Bb5 90.Ng2+ Kf5 91.Ne3+ Kf4 92.h5 Kg5 93.Kxe4 Kxh5 94.Kf5 Bd7+ 95.Kf6 Kh6 96.Ke7 Ba4 97.Nd5 Kg6 98.Nc3 Bc6 99.Kd8 Bf3 100.Nb5 Kf6 101.Nd4 Bg4 102.Kc7 Bh3 103.d7 Bxd7 draw.

GM Sebag took on GM Xu Yuhua in a French Tarrash in a line where White maintains a very small positional advantage. Black started to drift however...

Sebag,M (2519) - Xu Yuhua (2485) [C07]
FIDE GP w Nanjing CHN (11), 09.10.2009
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.Ngf3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.Nxc6 Bxc6 8.Bxc6+ bxc6 9.c4 Nf6 10.Qa4 Qc7 11.exd5 exd5 12.0-0 Be7 13.cxd5 Nxd5 14.Nc4 0-0 15.Bd2 Bf6 16.Rac1 c5 17.b3 Bd4 18.Na3 a6 19.Nc2 Bb2 20.Rcd1 Nb6 21.Qa5 Rfc8 22.Be3 Nd7 23.Qxc7 Rxc7 24.Bf4 Ne5 25.Ne3 f6 26.Rd5 Rc6 27.Rfd1 Re8 28.Rd8 Rxd8 29.Rxd8+ Kf7 30.Ra8 Nd3 31.Ra7+ Kf8 32.Bg3 Re6 33.h3 Bd4 34.Nf5 Re1+ 35.Kh2 Nxf2 36.Bd6+ Ke8 37.Nxg7+ Kd8

Here White could have posed serious problems after 38.Bc7+ and then 39.Nf5. Instead she played 38.Nf5 immediately and after 38.Nf5 Ne4! the position was equal. 39.Bc7+ Ke8 40.Nd6+ Nxd6 41.Bxd6 h5 42.Rxa6 h4 43.g3 Kd7 44.Bf4 Rf1 45.Rd6+ Ke7 46.Ra6 Rf2+ 47.Kh1 Rf1+ draw.


The winner of the Grand Prix (in spite of this draw): GM Xu Yuhua

Two other games to end in draws were Shen Yang vs Kovanova and both sides exchanged off queens early in the game in a French Defense and then repeated moves in the middlegame.


A disappointing tenth place and €2,250 for GM Zhu Chen


IM Lilit Mkrtchian finished fifth with 6½ and a €3,500 prize

Zhu Chen vs Mkrtchian was a longer affair where Black had some chances. Lilit was playing her seventh Nimzo Indian in the tournament, this time with the black pieces against her own preferred 4.Qc2. Just after the first time control black emerged with an extra pawn. Zhu Chen defended accurately and a draw was agreed on move 85.


Ju Wenjun vs WGM Batkhuyag Munguntuul playing in a hospital mask and gloves

In a Benoni with 5...Bd6, Ju Wenjun as White controlled the middlegame and never let Mungutuul playing black, get any activity. After the exchange of the white squared bishops on move 25, White dominated the position and Black had to wait without any real play. White sacrificed and exchange on move 34 to eliminate Black's only active piece and after this the result was never in doubt.


In spite of chicken pox Batkhuyag Munguntuul finished eighth and won €2,750


Her final round opponent, Ju Wenjun, came sixth and picked up €3,500

Finally, Betul Yildiz won a game, against Martha Fierro. Both players have been off form in this tournament but the game was nevertheless quite interesting with Yildiz squeezing out a win and recovering slightly on her rating performance.

Overall there were three IM norms made by Shen Yang, Jun Wenjun and Mungutuul Batkhuyag. Rating results and performances were as follows:

No.

 Title

Name

FED

IRtg

W

We

W-We

Rtg+/-

Ra

Rp

1

GM

Xu, Yuhua

CHN

2485

8.0

6.08

1.92

19

2444

2619

2

WGM

Shen, Yang

CHN

2453

6.0

5.57

0.43

4

2447

2483

3

IM

Mkrtchian, Lilit

ARM

2469

6.5

5.81

0.69

7

2446

2511

4

IM

Fierro Baquero, Martha

ECU

2386

2.0

4.49

-2.49

-25

2453

2191

5

WGM

Munguntuul, Batkhuyag

MGL

2418

5.5

4.99

0.51

5

2450

2450

6

GM

Dzagnidze, Nana

GEO

2535

7.5

6.87

0.63

6

2440

2573

7

Ju, Wenjun

CHN

2443

6.5

5.40

1.10

11

2448

2513

8

WIM

Yildiz, Betul Cemre

TUR

2224

1.0

2.21

-1.21

-18

2468

2085

9

GM

Zhu, Chen

QTR

2488

4.5

6.12

-1.62

-16

2444

2379

10

WGM

Kovanova, Baira

RUS

2408

5.0

4.85

0.15

2

2451

2415

11

GM

Sebag, Marie

FRA

2519

6.5

6.62

-0.12

-1

2441

2506

12

GM

Zhao, Xue

CHN

2542

7.0

6.99

0.01

0

2439

2541


These reports were brought to you by...

Geoffrey D Borg is a Fide Master who was quite active a number of years ago, winning a silver medal on Board 1 in the Thessaloniki Olympiad in 1984. He still enjoys playing on the Internet, but in the past years has been more active in chess organisation and politics. In 2005 Geoffrey was the Campaign Director for the Dutch-Turkish bid for the FIDE Presidency, which challenged the incumbent President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. After the latter had won the election Borg became one of FIDE's Vice Presidents. Today he is the commercial director of FIDE Commerce and Global Chess.

Ye Feng, the official event photographer, is a member of the Nanjing Photography Association, vice-president and general secretary of Pukou District Photography Association. He took up photography 18 years ago and specializes in scenery photography. His camera is a Canon 5D.

Ye Rongguang, 45, was the first Chinese player to gain the international chess grandmaster title. He has now retired from competitive chess, but has been the coach of women's world chess champion Zhu Chen's for more than ten years. He resides in the Netherlands, and was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Netherlands Chinese Photographic Society. You may want to visit Ye Rongguang's photography blog.

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