Tashkent 01: Favorites prevail

9/19/2013 – The first round games in Tashkent saw many mistakes as the ladies at the Grand Prix in Uzbekistan used way too much time on the clock. This provided very entertaining games, even if the quality was maybe not the best. Ultimately however the rating favorites came ahead as the only "upset" of the round was Dronavalli's win over Khotenashvili. Pictures and report.

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The Tashkent Women's Grand Prix is currently being held in Uzbekistan from September 17th - October 1st. The tournament is part of the Women's World Championship cycle that will determine the next challenger for the world title. The twelve player round robin will feature the standard FIDE time control of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, with 30 minutes being added at that point and an additional 30 seconds per move through the entire game.

Round 1

President Kirsan making the opening move

Round one was marked by a series of mistakes caused by time pressure. The players will have to do better with their clock situations if they are to stabilize their results. After the third hour past the mark when Kirsan Ilyumzhinov played the opening moves in the game Muminova-Zhao Xue, most games were still in the middlegame when they should have been reaching the 40th move mark.

Round 01 – September 18 2013, 14:00h
Danielian, Elina 2470
½-½
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Koneru, Humpy 2607
1-0
Ju Wenjun 2535
Lagno, Kateryna 2532
½-½
Girya, Olga 2439
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
1-0
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Dronavalli, Harika 2475
1-0
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Muminova, Nafisa 2293
0-1
Zhao Xue 2579

Danielian, Elina ½-½ Kosteniuk, Alexandra
Kosteniuk was able to gradually equalize a position that is very slightly favorable to White from the opening. This topical type of position with the isolated queen's pawn is annoying to play for black, but the Russian player managed to do quite well. Near time pressure she commmitted a mistake and Danielian picked up four (!) pawns for a knight. Strangely though she decided to repeat moves and take a draw in a position it would seem only White was playing for a win.

Koneru, Humpy 1-0 Ju Wenjun
The highest rated player in the event won this game mainly due to persistence. The Chinese player was inferior the whole game but eventually managed to reach an opposite colored bishop endgame with rooks that was only symbolically better for Koneru. However this small edge coupled with some mistakes by Ju Wenjun allowed Koneru to convert the endgame.

Persistence! Despite the drawish nature of the endgame, Koneru was able to pull ahead at the end

Lagno, Kateryna ½-½ Girya, Olga
Lagno obtained the smallest of advantages in a strange Caro-Kann. However Girya kept playing well and aggressively and was able to neutralize Lagno's main asset: the pair of bishops. With that gone the game eventually was drawn.

"It was a surprise for me" were the words of the Russian chess player on White's 2.Ne2, despite the fact that it has been played by several strong players including Hou Yifan and Gashimov.

Lagno-Girya was one of the games in which no huge evaluation swings were seen

Stefanova, Antoaneta 1-0 Nahkbayeva, Gulishkan (above)
Stefanova is known for her very unorthodox openings, especially when she is using the white pieces. In this case this opening yielded less than nothing and it was the Kazakh player that quickly seized the upper hand. A beautiful intermezzo on move 14...Nf3+! crippled White's pawns and gave Black the strategical plus. However little by little Nakhbayeva let go of her advantage and in time trouble even blundered, something that the ex-World Champion did not forgive.

The players go to the press conference immediately following the game. To the left is photographer, reporter and translator Maria Emelianova

Dronavalli, Harika 1-0 Khotenashvili, Bela
What could have been an interesting game was marred by tactical mistakes. Black blundered the game away with Qd6, but White, instead of finishing off the job with precision, kept allowing Khotenashvili to find resources. Eventually however the Georgian blundered one last time and it was finally lights out.

Maria seems confused by the series of mistakes

What caused this debacle? Khotenashvili allowed herself to fall under one minute by move 18, in harsh words of Alekhine: "The fact that a player is very short of time is to my mind, as little to be considered as an excuse as, for instance, the statement of the law-breaker that he was drunk at the time he committed the crime."

Muminova, Nafisa 0-1 Zhao Xue
The Chinese player must have hypnotized her opponent in this game. On move 16 White had the devastating resource 16.Nxf7! which would have given her an unstoppable attack which would have at least cost black a heavy amount of material. However White didn't play it - the strange thing is that on the very next move Zhao Xue played 16...h6? encouraging the sacrifice... and it still didn't happen! With the retreat of the knight Black eventually seized the initiative and won due to a blunder by White in an already unpleasant position.

Zhao Xue mentioned that she thought she was better after 15...Bd7? which probably means she completely underestimated the sacrifice on f7.

Zhao Xue underestimated her opponent's resources, but luckily for her Muminova, maybe overestimating her opponent's calculating ability, decided not to go for the kill

Pictures by Maria Emelianova

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Schedule

Round 01 – September 18 2013, 14:00h
Danielian, Elina 2470
½-½
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Koneru, Humpy 2607
1-0
Ju Wenjun 2535
Lagno, Kateryna 2532
½-½
Girya, Olga 2439
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
1-0
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Dronavalli, Harika 2475
1-0
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Muminova, Nafisa 2293
0-1
Zhao Xue 2579
Round 02 – September 19 2013, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495   Zhao Xue 2579
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514   Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307   Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Girya, Olga 2439   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Ju Wenjun 2535   Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Danielian, Elina 2470   Koneru, Humpy 2607
Round 03 – September 20 2013, 14:00h
Koneru, Humpy 2607   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Lagno, Kateryna 2532   Danielian, Elina 2470
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496   Ju Wenjun 2535
Dronavalli, Harika 2475   Girya, Olga 2439
Muminova, Nafisa 2293   Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Zhao Xue 2579   Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Round 04 – September 21 2013, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495   Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307   Zhao Xue 2579
Girya, Olga 2439   Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Ju Wenjun 2535   Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Danielian, Elina 2470   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Koneru, Humpy 2607   Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Round 05 – September 23 2013, 14:00h
Lagno, Kateryna 2532   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496   Koneru, Humpy 2607
Dronavalli, Harika 2475   Danielian, Elina 2470
Muminova, Nafisa 2293   Ju Wenjun 2535
Zhao Xue 2579   Girya, Olga 2439
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514   Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Round 06 – September 24 2013, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495   Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Girya, Olga 2439   Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Ju Wenjun 2535   Zhao Xue 2579
Danielian, Elina 2470   Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Koneru, Humpy 2607   Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Lagno, Kateryna 2532   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Round 07 – September 25 2013, 14:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Dronavalli, Harika 2475   Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Muminova, Nafisa 2293   Koneru, Humpy 2607
Zhao Xue 2579   Danielian, Elina 2470
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514   Ju Wenjun 2535
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307   Girya, Olga 2439
Round 08 – September 26 2013, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495   Girya, Olga 2439
Ju Wenjun 2535   Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Danielian, Elina 2470   Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Koneru, Humpy 2607   Zhao Xue 2579
Lagno, Kateryna 2532   Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496   Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Round 09 – September 28 2013, 14:00h
Dronavalli, Harika 2475   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Muminova, Nafisa 2293   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Zhao Xue 2579   Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514   Koneru, Humpy 2607
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307   Danielian, Elina 2470
Girya, Olga 2439   Ju Wenjun 2535
Round 10 – September 29, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495   Ju Wenjun 2535
Danielian, Elina 2470   Girya, Olga 2439
Koneru, Humpy 2607   Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Lagno, Kateryna 2532   Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496   Zhao Xue 2579
Dronavalli, Harika 2475   Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Round 11 – September 30, 11:00h
Muminova, Nafisa 2293   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Zhao Xue 2579   Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307   Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Girya, Olga 2439   Koneru, Humpy 2607
Ju Wenjun 2535   Danielian, Elina 2470

The games start at 11:00h European time, 13:00h Moscow, 5 a.m. New York. You can find your regional starting time here.

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs


Topics TashkentW
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