Nalchik GP: Kosintseva leads with a 2800+ performance

5/4/2010 – After seven rounds of the Third Women's Chess Grand Prix in Nalchik, Russia, GM Tatiana Kosintseva leads with a remarkable 6.0/7 points, one more than her nearest rival, 16-year-old Hou Yifan from China. Top seed Koneru Humpy has scored a disappointing 50%. Grand Prix leader Zhao Xue is doing worse, with just 2.5/7. We bring you games, summaries, pictures and excerpts from interviews.

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Women's Grand Prix in Nalchik

The Third Women's Chess Grand Prix is taking place in Nalchik, Russia, from April 25th (arrival) to May 8th (departure) 2010. Games start at 15:00 Local Time (GMT+3).

Round four

Zhu Chen
0-1
Hou Yifan
Zhao Xue
0-1
Mkrtchian Lilit
Danielian Elina
0-1
Cramling Pia
Munguntuul Batkhuyag
0-1
Kosintseva Tatiana
Dzagnidze Nana
1-0
Yildiz Betul Cemre
Kovanova Baira
½-½
Koneru Humpy

Five decisive games out of six, four with the black pieces, were much to the liking of the audience. Tatyana Kosintseva, who was leading after three rounds, outplayed Munguntuul Batkhuyag from Mongolia on the black side of a Spanish game; Nana Dzagnidze beat Betul Yildiz in an English Opening; Pia Cramling scored her first win in this tournament on the balck side of a Slav Defense against Elina Danielian from Armenia; Lilit Mkrtchian from Armenia also won with the black pieces, in a quite unusual opening variation in Queen's Indian Defense, but mainly due to a horrible oversight by the opponent.

Zhao Xue (2490) - Mkrtchian,L (2503) [E15]
FIDE GP w Nalchik RUS (4), 29.04.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 b5 6.cxb5 Bxb5 7.Bg2 Bb4+ 8.Bd2 a5 9.Bxb4 axb4 10.Qd2 Qe7 11.Qg5 d5 12.Qxg7 Rg8 13.Qh6 c5 14.Qd2 Nc6 15.a4 Ba6 16.Ra2 c4 17.bxc4 Bxc4 18.Rb2 Rxa4 19.0-0 Qd6 20.Rc1 Ke7 21.Ne5 Nxe5 22.dxe5 Qxe5 23.Rxb4 Rxb4 24.Qxb4+ Qd6 25.Qd2 Rb8 26.Nc3 Qe5 27.e3 Rb3 28.Qc2 Qb8 29.e4 Rb2 30.Qa4 Qb6

31.Nd1?? Ra2. Woops, the queen has no square and is lost. 0-1.

A similar tragedy – with a black rook deep on the white queenside – struck former women's world champion Zhu Chen, who lives in Qatar, against the 16-year-old Chinese GM Hou Yifan. Zhu Chen equalised with ease in a Nimzo Indian Defense, and after wasting a lot of time on her clock, blundered in a slightly worse position.

Zhu Chen (2476) - Hou Yifan (2570) [E32]
FIDE GP w Nalchik RUS (4), 29.04.2010
1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 Qe8 7.b4 d6 8.Bb2 b6 9.Qf3 d5 10.Rc1 c6 11.e3 a5 12.bxa5 bxa5 13.Qd1 Ba6 14.Nf3 Nbd7 15.Bd3 Nb6 16.Nd2 Rb8 17.Bc3 Qe7 18.Ra1 Nxc4 19.Nxc4 dxc4 20.Be2 Nd5 21.Bxa5 Rb3 22.0-0 Rxa3 23.Qc2 Ra8

24.e4?? Nf4 25.Bf3 Rxf3! Can't be taken because of ...Qg5 and mate. 26.Bd2 and 0-1. Full report here...

Round five

Koneru Humpy
0-1
Zhu Chen
Yildiz Betul Cemre
0-1
Kovanova Baira
Kosintseva Tatiana
1-0
Dzagnidze Nana
Cramling Pia
½-½
Munguntuul Batkhuyag
Mkrtchian Lilit
½-½
Danielian Elina
Hou Yifan
1-0
Zhao Xue

Tatyana Kosintseva gained the upper hand against Nana Dzagnidze from Georgia and consolidated the gap between herself and her competitors. The Russian chess player stood at 4.5 points out of five and was ahead of her immediate pursuers by 1.5 points. Hou Yifan played a fine game against her compatriot, Grand Prix series leader Zhao Xue. Yifan used a new scheme in the well-known Spanish game and created difficult riddles for her opponent to solve. The rating favorite of the tournament, Humpy Koneru from India, played white against Zhu Chen from Qatar, got into trouble right in the opening and made a serious mistake on the 25th move.

Koneru,H (2622) - Zhu Chen (2476) [D30]
FIDE GP w Nalchik RUS (5), 30.04.2010
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 a6 5.Bg2 dxc4 6.0-0 Nc6 7.e3 Bd7 8.Qe2 b5 9.Rd1 Rb8 10.e4 Be7 11.d5 exd5 12.e5 Ne4 13.Rxd5 Nc5 14.Be3 Nd3 15.Bh3 Bxh3 16.Rxd8+ Rxd8 17.Ng5 Bxg5 18.Bxg5 Rd5 19.Qe4 Ndb4 20.Nd2 Rxe5 21.Qh4 Be6 22.Nf3 Rd5 23.Bd2 Nc2 24.Rd1 N6d4 25.Qe4??

25...f5 and the queen is trapped (26.Qh4 Nxf3+) 0-1. Full report here...

Round six

Zhu Chen
½-½
Zhao Xue
Danielian Elina
0-1
Hou Yifan
Munguntuul Batkhuyag
1-0
Mkrtchian Lilit
Dzagnidze Nana
½-½
Cramling Pia
Kovanova Baira
0-1
Kosintseva Tatiana
Koneru Humpy
1-0
Yildiz Betul Cemre

Tatyana Kosintseva from Russia scored her fifth win, playing with black against her compatriot, Baira Kovanova. Hou Yifan beat Elina Danielian with black to remain in second place, 1.5 points behind Kosintseva. Top seed Humpy Koneru beat Betul Yildiz from Turkey to reach 50% in this disappointing tournament. Full report here...

Round seven

Yildiz Betul Cemre
0-1
Zhu Chen
Kosintseva Tatiana
½-½
Koneru Humpy
Cramling Pia
1-0
Kovanova Baira
Mkrtchian Lilit
½-½
Dzagnidze Nana
Hou Yifan
1-0
Munguntuul Batkhuyag
Zhao Xue
1-0
Danielian Elina

The 7th round started off with a minute of silence in memory of FIDE’s ex-president, Florencio Campomanes. The Grand Prix leader, Zhao Xue, who suffered three discouraging defeats at the start of the tournament, finally scored her first win, against Elina Danielian from Armenia.

Hou Yifan scored her fourth victory in a row, playing with white against Munguntuul Batkhuyag from Mongolia. Having outplayed her opponent in the opening, Yifan only had to make proper use of her palpable advantage, which she eventually did and with much confidence too, crowning the game with an attack on the enemy king.

The leader of the tournament, Tatyana Kosintseva, playing the white side of a Chelyabinsk Variation against the rating favorite, Humpy Koneru, failed to gain material advantage. The Russian player sacrificed an exchange but did not get full compensation in return. At one point the Indian player had an opportunity of ensuring a better endgame for herself but missed it. Tatyana led the game to a forced draw.

Pia Cramling of Sweden, playing white, used a fairly unusual formation in the English Opening, which left her opponent, Baira Kovanova, surprised. White gained solid advantage already by the 16th move and continued to build the pressure. Black’s attempt to risk counterplay only helped speed the game up toward the denouement. The Swedish player scored a win on the 36th move. Full report here...

Standings after seven rounds

Pictures and interviews


Tournament leader Tatiana Kositnseva

Kosintseva: My opponent gave me a big surprise today in the opening by choosing the Tchelyabinsk Variation in the Sicilian Defence. She never played like that before. I opted for a sacrifice variation. She made a strong move, 24...Kh8, and I made a mistake by playing 25.d7. I should have played positionally after 25.f4 f6 26.fxe5 fxe5. My position became worse after 25.d7 but my opponent played wrong as well, and so the game ended in a draw. I’m going to keep playing the same way as I’ve played so far and give all I’ve got to win each game, because the gap isn’t really that large. I’ll try not to think about points and just play.


Indian GM and top seed Humpy Koneru

Humpy: My mother isn’t a professional player. But she knows the moves and currently she is a housewife, she supports and encourages me constantly. The whole of my family is interested in sports activities. My sister also used to play chess: she gained the second category but then gave it up. My mother used to accompany me to tournaments, but now my father does it. The beginning of this event wasn’t good for me, and I was disappointed by the game with Zhu Chen. That’s why I decided not to go anywhere on the free day. But now I hope to be back to the front.


Chinese wondergirl Hou Yifan

Hou Yifan: Both the knockout and the round robin systems are good for me. I gained a wealth of experience at the world championship, but this current tournament demands more responsibility. Anyway, both of the tournaments are important and interesting for me. My mother plays chess, but not professionally, and father can’t accompany me because of work, that’s why usually my mother does it. I don’t like travelling alone. When I am with my coach, he helps me in chess. When I travel with my mother, she helps me in my daily life. I feel comfortable with both of them.

I like Nalchik very much, because the air is fresher than in China, the vegetation is beautiful and very green. People are very kind. It is nice here. The local food is good, but usually I prefer the Chinese. I like swimming and also I am fond of skipping-rope. I like learning something new, now I am studying English. Of course I spend a lot of time with the computer – that’s why I am a person wearing spectacles.


Betul Yildiz from Turkey

Betul: I live in Izmir. It is on the third largest city in our country – Istanbul is on the first one, Ankara is on the second, and then comes Izmir. It is the most modern city in Turkey. I am studying at the University that is why I have not got so much time playing chess. One day before coming here I passed the last exams. I am going to become a lawyer.

The members of my family are chess amateurs and I learnt the game when I was watching them play. My elder brother didn’t want to play with me. Then I went to the chess club at school and I didn’t tell him about it. And now usually I refuse if he asks me to play with him. GM Andrian Mikhalchishin is my trainer since 2006. He is the coach of the Turkish chess women team, and he helps me during tournaments.

Yes, I drive a car. It is Peugeot. I like it very much, the color is grey. I am not a girl who has red or pink colors. Yes, I like shopping – all girls like shopping. But not so much as others. I am a fan of the Turkish cuisine. I like your food too, but in China the dishes are terrible for me. To tell the truth I have a sweet tooth.


Grand Prix leader Zhao Xue

Zhao Xue: I’ll try to forget about the results and simply do all I can to succeed. I was lucky today. The position was unclear, nothing special, but at some point my opponent just sacrificed her queen, and that was the wrong choice. I’m really happy because this is my first win at the tournament. I am very sad at the death of Florencio Campomanes. I met him at the men’s team world cup in Israel in 2005, and I have a photo of him together with our team.

Remaining schedule

04.05.2010 10th day: Round 8
05.05.2010 11th day: Round 9
06.05.2010 12 day Round 10
07.05.2010 13th day: Round 11 & Closing Ceremony
08.05.2010 14th day: Departure

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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