Rostov Women Grand Prix: Hou Yifan and Lahno score

8/3/2011 – This FIDE event is taking place in Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia, from August 2nd to 14. It is one of the strongest women tournaments of all times, boasting the current and two former world champions. As chance would have it the two strongest players met in the very first round, with reigning world champion Hou Yifan triumphing over top seed Koneru Humpy. Round one report.

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Rostov-on-Don is port of five seas, industrial, scientific and cultural centre of the south of the country, an important railway junction. The City was founded in 1749 on the right hilly bank of the river Don, in 65 kilometres from its emptying in Azov Sea. First, there were only the custom house, but then in 1760 to protect southern borders began the building of the fortress, which got a name of Rostov and Yaroslav metropolitan-Dmitri. Full description on the tournament site.

A panorama view of Rostov-on-Don (use scroll bar for full view) – source: Вадим Анохин for Wikipedia

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.


Alisa Galliamova, Kateryna Lahno, Tatiana Kosintseva, Nadezhda Kosintseva, Hou Yifan, Koneru Humpy, Anna Muzychuk, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Antoneta Stefanova, Elina Danielian, Ruan Lufei, Ekaterina Kovalevskaya

The Rostov Women's Grand Prix is one of the strongest women tournaments of all times. The participants include current Women World Champion Hou Yifan, two former Women World champions: Alexandra Kosteniuk and Antoaneta Stefanova, as well as challenger in the World Championship Match Humpy Koneru who are all among the highest ranked women players in the world.

Sd Name
Nat.
Title
Rating
  1  Humpy Koneru
IND
 GM
 2614
  2  Hou Yifan
CHN
 GM
 2575
  3  Nadezhda Kosintseva
RUS
 GM
 2560
  4  Tatiana Kosintseva
RUS
 GM
 2557
  5  Anna Muzychuk
SLO
 GM
 2538
  6  Kateryna Lahno
UKR
 GM
 2536
  7  Antoaneta Stefanova
BUL
 GM
2524
  8  Elina Danielian
ARM
 GM
2521
  9  Alexandra Kosteniuk
RUS
 GM
2497
 10  Alisa Galliamova
RUS
 WGM
 2492
 11  Ruan Lufei
CHN
 WGM
2479
 12  Ekaterina Kovalevskaya
RUS
 WGM
2427


Grandmasters Alexandra Kosteniuk, Antoaneta Stefanova and Elina Danielian


GM Kateryna Lahno, Ukraine and WGM Ruan Lufei, China

Ruan Lufei is one of the “newcomers” in FIDE Grand Prix Series. Her appearance in World Chess scene was bright – she reached the final in the 2010 Women's World Championship, having won on tiebreaks in every round (eliminating previous champion Alexandra Kosteniuk in the process), and faced fellow Chinese Hou Yifan in the final.


English language video, provided by Eugene Potemkin, of the press conference
with Nastasia Karlovich interviewing the top players Koneru Humpy and Hou Yifan...


... as well as WGM Ruan Lufei and GM Antoaneta Stefanova


Opening ceremony in the assembly hall of the “Don-Plaza” Hotel on the August 1st


The traditional black-and-white chess theme in the dance recital...


... which took a lively, athletic turn...


... especially in this ballet performance


The drawing of lots, under the watchful eye of chief arbiter Igor Bolotinsky


As fate would have it the two top seed, Hou and Humpy, drew Russian “matryoshka”
(nesting) dolls with the numbers 11 and 2, and thus faced each other in the first round

Round one

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


The Mayor of Rostov-on-Don, M.A. Chernyshov, makes the first symbolic move on the top board. In the background another former Women World champion, Nona Gaprindashvili, who is a technical adviser.

Koneru Humpy-Hou Yifan was a particularly tense game: the two are the tournament favourites, but they will also soon be competing for the world chess title. The game was a Nimzovich Defence/Rubinstein. At the end of the opening, at move 14, the players repeated the position, but the Indian grandmaster was unhappy with the prospect of drawing with white and continued the game. Both of the opponents were trying to keep the maximum pieces on board but closer to the time trouble they started the active exchanges. At the end of the first time control the Indian blundered into a mating attack.

[Event "Rostov Women GP"] [Site "Rostov-on-Don RUS"] [Date "2011.08.02"] [Round "1"] [White "Koneru, Humpy"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E46"] [WhiteElo "2614"] [BlackElo "2575"] [PlyCount "82"] [EventDate "2011.08.01"] 1. d4 e6 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Nge2 d5 6. a3 Be7 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Nf4 c6 9. Bd3 a5 10. O-O Na6 11. Bc2 Nc7 12. f3 c5 13. Na4 Na6 14. Nc3 Nc7 15. Qe2 b5 16. dxc5 Bxc5 17. Rd1 Ba6 18. Qf2 Bb7 19. Bd2 Re8 20. Nce2 Ne6 21. Nd3 Bb6 22. Nd4 Rc8 23. Bc3 Ba6 24. Kh1 Rc4 25. Bb3 Rc7 26. Rac1 b4 27. Nxe6 Rxe6 28. Bxf6 Rxf6 29. Rxc7 Bxc7 30. axb4 axb4 31. f4 Bc4 32. Qc2 Bxb3 33. Qxb3 Rb6 34. Nc5 h6 35. Rxd5 Qh4 {[#]} 36. h3 $4 (36. g3 {provided good play for White.} ) 36... Qe1+ 37. Kh2 Rg6 38. Qc2 Qxe3 39. Nd3 Bb6 40. Nc5 Qxf4+ 41. Kh1 Qf1+ 0-1


An important first-round win for reigning Women's World Champion Hou Yifan

Alisa Galliamova-Kateryna Lahno (above) was a Gruenfeld in which White chose a rare variation with 5.Qa4 and then sacrificed a queen for three pieces. In the complicated piece play that followed White could not solve the problem of the knight on f3 that was out of play. In time trouble White tried to develop an attack on the enemy king, but it turned out that Black's position Black was easy to defend, and in the end the material advantage has ensured her victory.

[Event "Rostov Women GP"] [Site "Rostov-on-Don RUS"] [Date "2011.08.02"] [Round "1"] [White "Galliamova, Alisa"] [Black "Lahno, Kateryna"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D90"] [WhiteElo "2492"] [BlackElo "2536"] [PlyCount "82"] [EventDate "2011.08.01"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qa4+ Bd7 6. Qb3 dxc4 7. Qxc4 O-O 8. Bf4 Na6 9. e4 c5 10. e5 Be6 11. exf6 {White sacrifices a queen for three pieces.} Bxc4 12. fxg7 Kxg7 13. Bxc4 cxd4 14. Be5+ f6 15. Bxd4 e5 16. Be3 Nb4 17. O-O Nc2 18. Rad1 Qc7 19. Bb3 Nxe3 20. fxe3 Rac8 21. Rf2 Qc5 22. Nd5 a5 23. a4 Rfd8 24. Ne1 f5 25. Nf3 b5 26. Nxe5 bxa4 27. Ba2 a3 28. g4 axb2 29. gxf5 Qc1 30. f6+ Kf8 31. Rfd2 Qxd1+ 32. Rxd1 Rc1 33. Kg2 Rxd1 34. Nf4 R1d6 35. Nfxg6+ hxg6 36. Nxg6+ Ke8 37. f7+ Kd7 38. Ne5+ Ke7 39. h4 Rb6 40. h5 b1=Q 41. Bxb1 Rd2+ 0-1

Antoaneta Stefanova-Ruan Lufei was a Slav looked like a draw when the after the queens were exchanged, but Black got herself into some trouble with an errant knight. White gained a winning advantage but then failed to see a forcing continuation in the endgame. The 98-move marathon ended in a draw.

[Event "Rostov Women GP"] [Site "Rostov-on-Don RUS"] [Date "2011.08.02"] [Round "1"] [White "Stefanova, Antoaneta"] [Black "Ruan, Lufei"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D11"] [WhiteElo "2524"] [BlackElo "2479"] [PlyCount "196"] [EventDate "2011.08.01"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nbd2 Bf5 5. Nh4 Bg6 6. Qb3 Qc7 7. Nxg6 hxg6 8. g3 e6 9. Bg2 Nbd7 10. O-O Be7 11. e4 dxe4 12. Nxe4 Nxe4 13. Bxe4 e5 14. Be3 exd4 15. Bxd4 O-O 16. Bg2 Bc5 17. Bc3 Rad8 18. Qa4 Nf6 19. b4 Bd4 20. Bxd4 Rxd4 21. Qxa7 Rxc4 22. Rab1 Qb8 23. Qxb8 Rxb8 24. a4 Ne4 25. a5 Nd2 26. Rfc1 Nxb1 27. Rxc4 Rd8 28. Rc1 Na3 29. a6 bxa6 30. Rxc6 Nb1 31. Bf1 Rb8 32. Bc4 Nd2 33. Bd5 Rxb4 34. Rxa6 Rb8 35. Ra7 Rf8 36. Rb7 {This rook move traps the black knight, which has no flight squares after Rb2.} Rd8 37. Bxf7+ Kh7 38. Rb4 Rd4 { Tactically nice, but maybe not such a great idea to swap rooks.} 39. Rxd4 Nf3+ 40. Kg2 Nxd4 {White must be winning.} 41. h4 Kh6 42. f4 Nf5 43. Kh3 Kh7 44. g4 Nd6 45. Bd5 Kh8 46. Kg3 Nc8 47. Kf3 Ne7 48. Bb3 Kh7 49. Ke4 Nc6 50. Kd5 Nb8 51. Kd6 Na6 52. Bc2 Kh6 53. Be4 Nb4 54. Ke7 Na2 55. Kf7 Kh7 56. Bxg6+ Kh8 57. Bc2 Nc3 58. f5 Nd5 {Fritz tells us that the position is now mate in 35.} 59. g5 Nf4 60. Be4 Nh5 61. Bf3 Nf4 {Mate in 26.} 62. Bg4 Nd3 63. Kf8 $2 Ne5 64. Bf3 $5 Ng6+ $1 (64... Nxf3 65. f6 g6 66. Ke8 {and mate in 14.}) 65. Ke8 Nxh4 66. Be4 Ng6 67. Kf7 Nf4 68. Ke7 (68. Bg2 {was required.}) 68... Nh3 {and now the position is a draw.} 69. g6 Nf4 70. Kf7 Nh5 71. Bd5 Nf6 72. Be6 Ng8 73. Kf8 Nf6 74. Ke7 Ne4 75. Bd5 Nf6 76. Bf3 Ng8+ 77. Ke6 Nf6 78. Bc6 Nh5 79. Be8 Nf6 80. Bf7 Nh5 81. Ke5 Nf6 82. Bb3 Nd7+ 83. Kd6 Nf6 84. Ke5 Nd7+ 85. Ke6 Nf6 86. Bc4 Ng8 87. Bd5 Nf6 88. Bf3 Ng8 89. Bd1 Nf6 90. Kf7 Ng8 91. Ke6 Nf6 92. Bb3 Ng8 93. Bc4 Nf6 94. Kd6 Nh5 95. Ke5 Nf6 96. Kf4 Nd5+ 97. Kg5 Nf6 98. Kf4 Nd5+ 1/2-1/2

Alexandra Kosteniuk-Tatiana Kosintseva was a Ruy Lopez in which Black sacrificed a pawn for an initiative but got a weakened king as a result. Later Black tried to blast open the centre (20...d5) and then sharpen the game with an exchange sacrifice (23...Rxb5). After the exchange of queens White was better but blundered with 33.f4 and the game was drawn.

Anna Muzychuk-Ekaterina Kovalevskaya was keenly anticipated by the spectators, since Kovalevskaya is the "local lady" who is loved and appreciated by chess fans in Rostov-on-Don. She played a very risky variation of Sicilian Defence but came into the ending with a fairly equal position. The draw was agreed after 61 moves.


Nadezhda Kosintseva at the start of round one

Nadezhda Kosintseva-Elina Danielian was a Caro-Kann in which Black won an exchange and had a very promising position, before she blundered in time trouble (32...f4?). White got an endgame with knight and pawn vs two pawns, which was drawn after 76 moves.

Here is something to think about: the average length of the six games of round one was sixty moves!

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

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