Rostov R7: Hou Yifan continues her stratospheric flight

8/10/2011 – The 17-year-old Chinese women's world champion is doing something extraordinary: after seven rounds of the Grand Prix, after beating Ekatrina Kovalevskaya with black, she has chalked up 6½ points with a 2966 performance. Anna Muzychuk and Antoaneta Stefanova also won their games, against Alisa Galliamova and Elina Danielian respectively. Illustrated 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 seven report

Round seven: Tuesday August 09
Kosteniuk Alexandra
½-½
Ruan Lufei
Muzychuk Anna
1-0
Galliamova Alisa
Kosintseva Nadezhda
½-½
Koneru Humpy
Danielian Elina
0-1
Stefanova Antoaneta
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
0-1
Hou Yifan
Kosintseva Tatiana
½-½
Lahno Kateryna

Alexandra Kosteniuk-Ruan Lufei (½-½)
This was a Berlin Defence in the Ruy Lopez, with White avoiding the main lines by playing 4.d3. Black completed her development without any serious problems, but at move 19 she was a pawn down. However, this was not enough in the ensuing rook and bishop ending, especially since the bishops were of opposite colour. The Chinese player defended confidently and the game was drawn after 47 moves.

Anna Muzychuk-Alisa Galliamova (1-0)
In a Sicilian Scheveningen White launched a thematic attack on the weakened queenside, with a black counterattack using the b-pawn. By move 30 Alisa Galliamova was doing fine, with the advantage of a pair of bishops, but a mistake in time trouble cost her two pawns and ultimately the game.

[Event "Rostov Women GP"] [Site "Rostov-on-Don RUS"] [Date "2011.08.09"] [Round "7"] [White "Muzychuk, A."] [Black "Galliamova, A."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B66"] [WhiteElo "2538"] [BlackElo "2492"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2011.08.02"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8. O-O-O Be7 9. f4 Nxd4 10. Qxd4 b5 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. f5 Bd7 13. Be2 Qa5 14. a3 Rb8 15. Bh5 O-O 16. Rd3 b4 17. Ne2 Qb6 ({Instead of exchanging queens} 17... exf5 {would have given Black the initiative.}) 18. Qxb6 Rxb6 19. Rg3+ Kh8 20. Rb3 exf5 21. exf5 Bxf5 22. Rxb4 Rxb4 23. axb4 d5 24. c3 Be4 25. Bf3 f5 26. Ng3 Bg5+ 27. Kd1 Rd8 28. Ke2 Bc2 29. Kf2 d4 30. Bd1 {Black is doing fine with her pair of bishops, but now she blunders.} d3 ({Instead of simply} 30... Be4 $15) 31. Nxf5 Re8 32. Kf3 h5 33. Nd4 Bxd1+ 34. Rxd1 Re3+ 35. Kf2 h4 36. Nf3 Bh6 37. Re1 Rxe1 38. Kxe1 Kg7 39. Ne5 d2+ 40. Ke2 Bf4 41. Nf3 Kf6 42. h3 Bg3 43. Nxd2 { White is two pawns up and easily winning.} Ke5 44. Kf3 Kd5 45. Ke3 Bc7 46. Nf3 Bd8 47. Kd3 Bf6 48. Nd2 Be7 49. Ne4 f5 50. Nd2 Ke5 51. Ke3 Bg5+ 52. Ke2 Kf4 53. Nf3 Bf6 54. Nd4 Kg3 55. Kf1 Kf4 56. Ne6+ Kg3 57. Nc5 Bg5 58. Nxa6 Bc1 59. c4 1-0


Anna Muzychuk in the press conference after her game


Nadezhda – the older and slightly less famous of the Kosintseva sisters

Nadezhda Kosintseva-Humpy Koneru (½-½)
In a Closed Ruy Lopez (Borisenko Variation) both opponents placed their pieces in the center and after massive exchanges the rook, bishop and knight endgame with equal pawns on the kingside was clearly drawn.

Elina Danielian-Antoanetta Stefanova (0-1)
Black played a Slav Tchebanenko and White in its turn chose the system with her bishop developed on g2. Elina Danielian gained an advantage in development and broke in the center by playing 14.e4, to which Black replied strongly with 14...d4. White sacrificed two pawns for piece activity, but blundered in time-trouble, allowing her opponent to grind out a 83-move win.

[Event "Rostov Women GP"] [Site "Rostov-on-Don RUS"] [Date "2011.08.09"] [Round "7"] [White "Danielian, E."] [Black "Stefanova, A."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D15"] [WhiteElo "2521"] [BlackElo "2524"] [PlyCount "166"] [EventDate "2011.08.02"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 a6 5. a4 e6 6. g3 Bb4 7. Bg2 Nbd7 8. O-O O-O 9. Qc2 a5 10. Rd1 b6 11. Ne5 Nxe5 12. dxe5 Nd7 13. cxd5 exd5 14. e4 d4 15. Rxd4 Qe7 16. Rd1 Nxe5 17. h3 Bc5 18. Ne2 Qf6 19. Bf4 Ba6 20. Nc1 Ng6 21. e5 Nxe5 22. Nb3 Bb4 23. Nd4 Rac8 24. Qf5 Qxf5 25. Nxf5 Nd3 26. Bf1 Nxf4 27. Bxa6 Nxh3+ 28. Kg2 Ra8 29. Bb7 Ra7 30. Rd7 Ng5 31. Nd4 $4 {This simply loses material.} Rb8 32. Nxc6 Raxb7 33. Nxb8 Rxb8 {Black has two pieces and a pawn for the rool.} 34. f4 Ne6 35. f5 Nc5 36. Rc7 g6 37. g4 gxf5 38. gxf5 Kg7 39. Kf3 Kf6 40. Rh1 Kxf5 41. Rxf7+ Ke6 42. Rfxh7 Rf8+ 43. Ke3 Nxa4 44. b3 Nc3 45. R7h6+ Kd7 46. Kd4 Nb5+ 47. Kd5 Nc7+ 48. Kc4 Rf4+ 49. Kd3 Bd6 50. Rg6 Nb5 51. Rh5 Rb4 52. Kc2 Nd4+ 53. Kc3 Ne2+ 54. Kc2 Nf4 55. Rh7+ Kc6 56. Rf6 Nd5 57. Re6 Rd4 58. Rh3 Nb4+ 59. Kc3 Rd5 60. Kb2 Kb5 61. Rhe3 Bc5 62. Rh3 Rd1 63. Rh5 Rd2+ 64. Kc1 Rd3 65. Kb2 Nc6 66. Kc2 Rg3 67. Re4 Ka6 68. Rhh4 Be7 69. Rhg4 Rh3 70. Rg6 Nb4+ 71. Kb2 Nd5 72. Ree6 Rh2+ 73. Kc1 Ba3+ 74. Kd1 Rh3 75. Kc2 Rc3+ 76. Kb1 Rxb3+ 77. Ka2 Rd3 78. Kb1 Rd2 79. Rg3 Bb4 80. Kc1 Rf2 81. Rgg6 a4 82. Rg8 a3 83. Re5 Bd2+ 0-1


Her opponent Ekaterina Kovalevskaya hardly seem brimming with confidence

Ekaterina Kovalevskaya-Yifan Hou (0-1)
The Women's World Champion surprised her opponent with the French Defence (Steinitz Variation), a line that has rarely been seen at high levels recently. White got a pleasant position from the opening, but allowed her opponent to get dangerous passed pawn on the d-file. Hou Yifan picked up a pawn on move 47 and skillfully used it to bring home yet another full point.

[Event "Rostov Women GP"] [Site "Rostov-on-Don RUS"] [Date "2011.08.09"] [Round "7"] [White "Kovalevskaya, E."] [Black "Hou Yifan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C14"] [WhiteElo "2427"] [BlackElo "2575"] [PlyCount "132"] [EventDate "2011.08.02"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. Bxe7 Qxe7 7. f4 a6 8. Nf3 c5 9. dxc5 Nc6 10. Bd3 Nxc5 11. O-O Bd7 12. Ne2 f5 13. exf6 gxf6 14. Ned4 Nxd4 15. Nxd4 O-O-O 16. Qe1 Rhe8 17. Qe3 Qd6 18. Rae1 e5 19. fxe5 fxe5 20. Nf5 Qc7 21. b4 Nxd3 22. cxd3 Kb8 23. Rc1 Bc6 24. d4 $6 {Allows Black to create a dangerous passed pawn.} exd4 25. Qxd4 Re4 26. Qf2 d4 27. Ng3 Re7 28. Rcd1 d3 29. Rd2 Ka8 30. Qc5 Re5 31. Qf2 Bb5 32. Qf4 Qc3 33. h3 Bc6 34. Kh2 Red5 35. Rff2 h5 36. Qh4 Re8 37. Qf4 Bb5 38. Qh4 Qc7 39. Qf4 Qxf4 40. Rxf4 Re2 41. Nf1 Rde5 42. Kg1 Ka7 43. Rf2 R2e4 44. a3 Re1 45. a4 Bxa4 46. Rxd3 R5e4 47. Kh2 Rxb4 48. Ng3 Re5 49. Nf5 a5 50. Nd6 Bc6 51. Nf7 Rd5 52. Re3 a4 53. Ne5 Bb5 54. g4 hxg4 55. hxg4 Rb3 56. Rxb3 axb3 57. Nf3 Bd3 58. Ne1 Bg6 59. Rb2 Rd1 60. Ng2 Rb1 61. Rxb1 Bxb1 62. Ne3 Bc2 63. Nc4 Ka6 64. Kg3 Kb5 65. Nb2 Kb4 66. Kf4 b5 0-1


Hou Yifan, now with 6.5/7 points and a 2966 performance

Tatiana Kosintseva-Kateryna Lahno (½-½)
A Berlin Defence in the Ruy Lopez where, as in Kosteniuk-Ruan Lufei, White used the unambitious move 4.d3 to get an equal battle with the pieces concentrated in the centre. Black would have had promising play after 26...Nf6, but instead Kateryna Lahno swapped queens (and a centre pawn) and the position became very drawish. The games ended without a decision after 40 moves.


Tatiana Kosintseva, now in equal second with Katya Lahno

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

Current standings

On Thursday Hou Yifan faces Tatiana Kosintseva, who is in 2nd-3rd place. Just two weeks ago the two played each other in the Women's Supertournament in Hangzhou: at that time the Russian player managed to defeat the world champion, so this is going to be a grudge match. On Friday Yifan has black against Kateryna Lahno, the other GM in the follow-up berth. These are going to be the must-watch encounters.

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
½-½
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
Kosintseva Tatiana
½-½
Danielian Elina
Lahno Kateryna
1-0
Kosintseva Nadezhda
Hou Yifan
1-0-
Muzychuk Anna
Stefanova Antoaneta
½-½
Kosteniuk Alexandra
Koneru Humpy
½-½
Galliamova Alisa
Round five: Sunday August 07 at 15:00
Galliamova Alisa
1-0
Ruan Lufei
Kosteniuk Alexandra
0-1
Koneru Humpy
Muzychuk Anna
½-½
Stefanova Antoaneta
Kosintseva Nadezhda
½-½
Hou Yifan
Danielian Elina
0-1
Lahno Kateryna
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
0-1
Kosintseva Tatiana
Round six: Monday August 08 at 15:00
Ruan Lufei
0-1
Kosintseva Tatiana
Lahno Kateryna
½-½
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
Hou Yifan
1-0
Danielian Elina
Stefanova Antoaneta
½-½
Kosintseva Nadezhda
Koneru Humpy
½-½
Muzychuk Anna
Galliamova Alisa
½-½
Kosteniuk Alexandra
Round seven: Tuesday August 09 at 15:00
Kosteniuk Alexandra
½-½
Ruan Lufei
Muzychuk Anna
1-0
Galliamova Alisa
Kosintseva Nadezhda
½-½
Koneru Humpy
Danielian Elina
0-1
Stefanova Antoaneta
Kovalevskaya Ekat.
0-1
Hou Yifan
Kosintseva Tatiana
½-½
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
 

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