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Nalchik GP: Zhao Xue loses final game, wins event by 2½ points

10/22/2011 – It was her first and only loss in this tournament, and cost her an entry as the best performance of all time in chess. But GM Zhao Xue of China easily won the third Women's Grand Prix 2011-2012, gaining 42 rating points in the process! Second was compatriou WGM Ju Wenjun, who defeated Zhao in the final round and will soon bear the IM and GM titles. Closing report.
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The third stage of FIDE Women's Grand Prix cycle 2011-2012 is being staged from 8th to 23rd of October in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, in the Hotel Sindika. The playing days are October 9-12, 14-17, 19-21, the rounds start at 15.00h Moscow time (13:00h CEST, 7 a.m. New York)..

Round eleven report

Friday, October 21, 2011

 Ti. Name Rtng  Ti. Name Rtng
GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2528 IM Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2421
GM Kosintseva Tatiana 2536 GM Kosintseva Nadezhda 2560
WGM Ju Wenjun 2536 GM Zhao Xue 2497
GM Cmilyte Viktorija 2525 GM Zhu Chen 2490
GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2469 GM Lahno Kateryna 2554
IM Galliamova Alisa 2498 IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2467

The third FIDE Women’s Grand Prix in Nalchik finished with a triumph of the Chinese players. Zhao Xue, above, lost her final game to compatriot Ju Wenjun, but easily took the overall tournament victory, leading the field by 2½ points and an incredible performance of 2828. Ju Wenjun finished second with plus three and a performance of 2601. Surely she will soon wear the IM and then GM titles. Zhao Xue will appear 42 points higher on the next rating list. Here is the key final game:

[Event "Nalchik WGP 2011"] [Site "Nalchik RUS"] [Date "2011.10.21"] [Round "11"] [White "Ju Wenjun"] [Black "Zhao Xue"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A28"] [WhiteElo "2536"] [BlackElo "2497"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2011.10.09"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. d4 exd4 5. Nxd4 Bb4 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 Ne5 9. f4 Ng6 10. Bxf6 Qxf6 11. g3 O-O 12. Bg2 a6 13. Qd3 d6 14. O-O Re8 15. Rab1 Rb8 16. Qd2 Ne7 17. Rfe1 Be6 18. Qd3 b6 19. e4 Rbd8 20. Rb2 Kh8 21. a3 Bc8 22. Rd2 Qg6 23. Rde2 Bd7 24. Rd2 Nc6 25. Nc2 Qh5 26. Qd5 Qxd5 27. cxd5 Na5 28. Bf1 Nb3 29. Rf2 Nc5 30. e5 Ba4 31. c4 c6 32. Nb4 cxd5 33. Nxd5 Rb8 34. Rfe2 dxe5 35. Rxe5 Rxe5 36. Rxe5 $6 {What happened? Black gives a pawn for no clear reason.} Kg8 37. Nxb6 Rxb6 38. Rxc5 Kf8 39. Ra5 Bc6 40. c5 Rb1 41. Kf2 Bb5 42. Bxb5 axb5 43. Ke3 b4 44. Rb5 Rb3+ 45. Kd4 Rxa3 46. Rxb4 {and with the extra passed pawn Wenjun is able to effortlessly pick up the full point.} Ke7 47. Kd5 g5 48. Rb7+ Kf6 49. fxg5+ hxg5 50. c6 Rd3+ 51. Kc4 Rd1 52. c7 Ke5 53. Rb3 1-0

Crowned: the winner of Nalchik with a record score: Zhao Xue

The third and the fourth places were shared by Russian IM Ekaterina Kovalevskaya and GM Victoria Cmilyte from Lithuania. Both players drew in the final round: Kovalevskaya with black against Bulgarian GM Antoaneta Stefanova, Cmilyte with white against GM Zhu Chen from Qatar.

At the bottom of the table we find to our surprise former women's world champion GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, who definitely had one of the worst tournaments of her professional career. We know she will bounce back soon. Batkhuyag Munguntuul and Alisa Galliamova will also not be happy with their final results.

Final standings

The Kosentseeva sisters Tatiana and Nadezhda played a stock draw in the final round: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.O-O Bg4 6.h3 h5 7.c3 Qd3 8.hxg4 hxg4 9.Nxe5 Bd6 10.Nxd3 Bh2+ 11.Kh1 Bg3+ 12.Kg1 Bh2+ 13.Kh1 1/2-1/2. Both finished on 5.0/11, losing ten and fourteen rating points respectively.

Tatiana, the younger of the two Russian grandmasters

Rising star WGM Ju Wenjun, picked up ten rating points in Nalchik

Ekaterina Kovalevskaya finished joint 3rd-4th and picked up 19 rating points

Joint 3rd-4th: GM Viktorija Cmilyte gained two rating points

50% for GM Kateryna Lahno, who lost eight rating points

GM Antoaneta Stefanova with 5.0/11 lost nine rating points

Former women's world champion Zhu Chen, 5.0/11, lost two rating points

IM Alisa Galliamova scored minus two and lost nine rating points in Nalchik

Mongolian IM Batkhuyag Munguntuul at minus three and dropped eight rating points

At the bottom of the table: Sasha Kosteniuk, minus four, dropped 14 rating points

That was it, people: closing ceremony of the Women's Grand 2011-2012 in Nalcjik


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