Rostov R3: Yifan strikes yet again, leads with 3.0/3

8/5/2011 – We must repeat our headline. The remarkable 17-year-old women's world champion Hou Yifan has struck again, with a third win in succession. But the other ladies showed similar fighting spirit: five of six games were decisive, and we speculate that there may soon be plans to prevent too many wins in women's chess. Anyway, exciting chess, as we demonstrate in our big round three report.

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The Rostov Chess Federation in collaboration with FIDE and Global Chess is organising the first event for the 2011/2012 Women's Grand Prix series. The tournament is being held in the Don-Plaza Hotel and runs from August 1st (arrival, opening) until August 15 (departure). The eleven rounds are between August 2nd and 14, with rest days on the 6th and 11th. The start of the games from of rounds 1-10 is 3:00 p.m. local time, round 11 at starts at noon local time. The winner receives 6,500 Euros out of a total prize fund of 40,000 Euros, and the overall winner of the Women's Grand Prix will win a further 15,000 Euros at the end of the series.

Round three

Thursday August 04 at 15:00
Koneru Humpy
1-0
Ruan Lufei
Galliamova Alisa
1-0
Stefanova Antoaneta
Kosteniuk Alexandra
0-1
Hou Yifan
Muzychuk Anna
1-0
Lahno Kateryna
Kosintseva Nadezhda
½-½
Kosintseva Tatiana
Danielian Elina
1-0
Kovalevskaya Ekat.

There was just one undecided game in round three: the Kosintsev sisters traditionally do not fight against each other – exactly like the Klitschko brothers, who won't fight each other in the boxing ring (but who do so over the chessboard). All the other games brought a result, so that the statistics show that just eight of the 18 games games played so far have been drawn, an extraordinarily low quota. If any top GM has a solution to the problem of what to do about too many decided games in women's chess ("the public can't take the excitement overload and organisers are becoming disillusioned by so many wins") he or she is welcome to send the article in for publication.

Anyway, Nadezhda (2560) and Tatiana (2557) Kosintseva, who seem to actually like each other, played a fifteen-minute game that went 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.0-0 Bg4 6.h3 h5 7.c3 Qd3 8.hxg4 hxg4 9.Nxe5

9...Bd6 10.Nxd3 Bh2+ 11.Kh1 Bg3+ 12.Kg1 Bh2+ 13.Kh1 Bg3+ ½-½. Queen sac and perpetual – at least it was done with humour and charm.

Anna Muzychuk-Kateryna Lahno was promising, with two constant opponents in the Ukrainian Championships (although Anna has been playing for Slovenia for several years) met once again in this event. White played a rare variation in Scotch Defense and overcame the black defences with a nice mating trap.

Muzychuk,Anna (2538) - Lahno,Kateryna (2536) [C45]
Rostov Women GP Rostov-on-Don RUS (3), 04.08.2011
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nb3 Bb6 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Qe2 d6 8.Be3 0-0 9.0-0-0 Bxe3+ 10.Qxe3 a6 11.f3 b5 12.g4 b4 13.Ne2 Re8 14.g5 Nd7 15.Ng3 a5 16.Bb5 Bb7 17.Bxc6 Bxc6 18.Nd4 Bb7 19.Ndf5 g6 20.Nh6+ Kf8 21.f4 Qe7 22.Qd4 Qe6 23.Kb1 Nb6 24.Rhf1 Ke7

25.f5 Qe5 26.Qxe5+ dxe5 27.fxg6 fxg6 28.Rf7+ and 1-0 because of 28....Ke6 29.Rf6+ Ke7 30.Ngf5+ gxf5 31.Nxf5#. Nicely played, Anna.


Anna Muzychuk being interviewed by Anastasiya Karlovich after her game


Former Women's World Champion Antoanetta Stefanova

Alisa Galliamova-Antoanetta Stefanova saw the Russian Women's Champion (Galliamova) play a Slav that gave her opponent three pawns but produced a powerful white attack in the center. On move 23 Stefanova, who was already in time trouble, blundered and basically got mated.

Galliamova,Alisa (2492) - Stefanova,Antoaneta (2524) [D43]
Rostov Women GP Rostov-on-Don RUS (3), 04.08.2011
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.g3 dxc4 6.Bg2 b5 7.Ne5 Nd5 8.e4 Nb4 9.a3 Qxd4 10.axb4 Qxe5 11.Bf4 Qf6 12.e5 Qe7 13.0-0 Qxb4 14.Ne4 Bb7 15.Bd2 Qb3 16.Qg4 Nd7 17.Bc3 0-0-0 18.Nd6+ Bxd6 19.exd6 b4 20.Bd4 a6 21.Rfc1 Qd3 22.Be3 c5 23.Rd1

23...Qb3?? (23...f5 was necessary) 24.Bxb7+ Kxb7 25.Qe4+ Kb6 26.Rxa6+ Kxa6 27.Qc6+ Ka5 28.Ra1+ Qa3 29.Rxa3+ and 1-0 because of the obvious 29...bxa3 30.Bd2+ c3 31.Bxc3#.


Alisa and Antoanetta in the press conference after their game


Indian GM Humpy Koneru, the second strongest female player in chess history

Humpy Koneru-Ruan Lufei was an interesting line of the English Opening which gave White a small but stable advantage, which she skillfully converted into a full point.

Ruan Lufei (above) had been lucky in the first two rounds – in game one she saved a hopeless endgame with two pawns down, and in game two her opponent blundered in an equal position. In game three, however, she was taken to the cleaners by the current world championship challenger and second strongest female player of all time.

Elina Danielian-Ekaterina Kovalevskaya saw a match-up of two players at the bottom of the table, each with just half a point on their account. They played the Tarrasch Defense of the Queen's Gambit Declined, and White chose to go for the isolated pawn on d5, exchanging pieces and reaching an endgame where the weakness of the isolated pawn was supposed to provide a game-winning target. Initially it looked as though the plan was not working, but in time trouble Black played inaccurately and handed the full point to her opponent.

Danielian,Elina (2521) - Kovalevskaya,Ekaterina (2427) [D02]
Rostov Women GP Rostov-on-Don RUS (3), 04.08.2011
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 c5 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.e3 Nf6 6.a3 a6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.b4 Be7 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Bb2 0-0 11.Be2 Be6 12.0-0 Ne4 13.Qc2 Rc8 14.Rac1 Nxc3 15.Qxc3 Bf6 16.Qd2 Qe7 17.Rc5 Bxb2 18.Qxb2 a5 19.Rfc1 axb4 20.axb4 Qd6 21.Nd4 Nxd4 22.Qxd4 Rxc5 23.bxc5 Qc6 24.Qb2 Rc8 25.Bb5 Qc7 26.Bd3 h6 27.h3 Qe7 28.Qd4 Rc6 29.Rc2 Rc7 30.Kh2 Qd7 31.Qe5 Rc8 32.f4 g6 33.Qd4

33...Bf5 34.Bxf5 Qxf5 35.Rb2 Rc7 36.Rb6 Kh7 37.Rd6 Rd7 38.Rxd7 Qxd7 39.e4 1-0.


Ekaterina Kovalevskaya and Elina Danielian in the press conference after their game

Alexandra Kosteniuk-Hou Yifan was the battle of the world champions – the fourteenth (2008-2010) and the fifteenth (2010–). The younger player switched from an King's Indian to QGD Ragozin and got the pair of bishops advantage, a strong pawns chain, space advantage and piece activity. On move 15 the Russian GM castled kingside in spite of an open h-file and her Chinese opponent went into full attack mode.

[Event "Rostov Women GP"] [Site "Rostov-on-Don RUS"] [Date "2011.08.04"] [Round "3"] [White "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2497"] [BlackElo "2575"] [PlyCount "70"] [EventDate "2011.08.01"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 c5 8. e3 c4 9. Nd2 g5 10. Bg3 Bf5 11. Be2 Nc6 12. h4 Rg8 13. hxg5 hxg5 14. Rc1 Qe7 15. O-O {Brave or fool-hardy, considering the open h-file?} Bxc3 16. Rxc3 b5 17. a4 a6 18. Qa1 b4 19. Rcc1 (19. Nxc4 bxc3 20. Nd6+ Kd7 21. Nxf5 {was an interesting tactical trick.}) 19... Ne4 20. Nxe4 Bxe4 21. a5 g4 22. Qa4 Qe6 23. Rfd1 Rc8 24. Bf4 Qf5 25. Kf1 Qh5 {Black is exploiting the open h-file, White is in deep trouble.} 26. Ke1 Bxg2 27. Bd6 Bf3 28. Bxf3 $2 {This basically ends any hope Black might have had of surviving.} gxf3 29. Bxb4 Qh4 30. b3 Rg2 31. Rc2 {The end is quite entertaining:} Rg1+ 32. Kd2 Qxf2+ 33. Kc1 Qxe3+ 34. Bd2 Rxd1+ 35. Kxd1 Qe2+ 0-1


At the end of the game arbiter Zsuzsa Veröci collects the signed scoresheets

Current standings

The 17-year-old Chinese GM appears to be on a fast track, winning back all the rating points she lost in recent tournaments. It is hard not to root for this charming young talent, whom we first spotted six years ago.


Hou Yifan at the 2005 Three Arrows Cup, where she finished 4-5th

At the time Turkish Chess Federation President Ali Nihat Yazici wrote: "I must draw your attention to this young lady, Miss Hou Yifan. Take a good look at her – we are introducing you to a future women's world champion. Hou is just eleven years old, and her official rating is 2158. But her performance in Jinan was 2400. She is a great talent and I predict that she may soon become the youngest GM in the world. Not WGM, but GM!" Indeed, Hou went on to become the youngest female grandmaster in history and win the Women's World Championship title.

Pictures by Anastasiya Karlovich and
Kema Goryaeva with kind permission of FIDE

Schedule and results

Round one: Tuesday August 02 at 15:00
Stefanova Antoaneta
½-½
Ruan Lufei
Koneru Humpy
0-1
Hou Yifan
Galliamova Alisa
0-1
Lahno Kateryna
Kosteniuk Alexandra
½-½
Kosintseva Tatiana
Muzychuk Anna
½-½
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
Kosintseva Nadezhda
½-½
Danielian Elina
Round two: Wednesday August 03 at 15:00
Ruan Lufei
1-0
Danielian Elina
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
0-1
Kosintseva Nadezhda
Kosintseva Tatiana
½-½
Muzychuk Anna
Lahno Kateryna
½-½
Kosteniuk Alexandra
Hou Yifan
1-0
Galliamova Alisa
Stefanova Antoaneta
½-½
Koneru Humpy
Round three: Thursday August 04 at 15:00
Koneru Humpy
1-0
Ruan Lufei
Galliamova Alisa
1-0
Stefanova Antoaneta
Kosteniuk Alexandra
0-1
Hou Yifan
Muzychuk Anna
1-0
Lahno Kateryna
Kosintseva Nadezhda
½-½
Kosintseva Tatiana
Danielian Elina
1-0
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
Round four: Friday August 05 at 15:00
Ruan Lufei
-
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
Kosintseva Tatiana
-
Danielian Elina
Lahno Kateryna
-
Kosintseva Nadezhda
Hou Yifan
-
Muzychuk Anna
Stefanova Antoaneta
-
Kosteniuk Alexandra
Koneru Humpy
-
Galliamova Alisa
Round five: Sunday August 07 at 15:00
Galliamova Alisa
-
Ruan Lufei
Kosteniuk Alexandra
-
Koneru Humpy
Muzychuk Anna
-
Stefanova Antoaneta
Kosintseva Nadezhda
-
Hou Yifan
Danielian Elina
-
Lahno Kateryna
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
-
Kosintseva Tatiana
Round six: Monday August 08 at 15:00
Ruan Lufei
-
Kosintseva Tatiana
Lahno Kateryna
-
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
Hou Yifan
-
Danielian Elina
Stefanova Antoaneta
-
Kosintseva Nadezhda
Koneru Humpy
-
Muzychuk Anna
Galliamova Alisa
-
Kosteniuk Alexandra
Round seven: Tuesday August 09 at 15:00
Kosteniuk Alexandra
-
Ruan Lufei
Muzychuk Anna
-
Galliamova Alisa
Kosintseva Nadezhda
-
Koneru Humpy
Danielian Elina
-
Stefanova Antoaneta
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
-
Hou Yifan
Kosintseva Tatiana
-
Lahno Kateryna
Round eight: Thursday August 11 at 15:00
Ruan Lufei
-
Lahno Kateryna
Hou Yifan
-
Kosintseva Tatiana
Stefanova Antoaneta
-
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
Koneru Humpy
-
Danielian Elina
Galliamova Alisa
-
Kosintseva Nadezhda
Kosteniuk Alexandra
-
Muzychuk Anna
Round nine: Friday August 12 at 15:00
Muzychuk Anna
-
Ruan Lufei
Kosintseva Nadezhda
-
Kosteniuk Alexandra
Danielian Elina
-
Galliamova Alisa
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
-
Koneru Humpy
Kosintseva Tatiana
-
Stefanova Antoaneta
Lahno Kateryna
-
Hou Yifan
Round ten: Saturday August 13 at 15:00
Ruan Lufei
-
Hou Yifan
Stefanova Antoaneta
-
Lahno Kateryna
Koneru Humpy
-
Kosintseva Tatiana
Galliamova Alisa
-
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
Kosteniuk Alexandra
-
Danielian Elina
Muzychuk Anna
-
Kosintseva Nadezhda
Round eleven: Sunday August 14at 12:00
Kosintseva Nadezhda
-
Ruan Lufei
Danielian Elina
-
Muzychuk Anna
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
-
Kosteniuk Alexandra
Kosintseva Tatiana
-
Galliamova Alisa
Lahno Kateryna
-
Koneru Humpy
Hou Yifan
-
Stefanova Antoaneta
 

Links

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