Tashkent 06: Lagno catches the Indians

9/25/2013 – Lagno was definitely the one that can be most satisfied from this round. While the duel of the leaders beteween Humpy and Harika ended in a hard-fought draw, Lagno was able to outplay Stefanova and catch up with them at 4.5/6. This leaves the tournament up for grabs for any of them, although Khotenashvili has also entered the fray as she beat Girya with the black pieces. Report of the 6th round.

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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 6

A light meal before the game to build up energy

Round 06 – September 24 2013, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
1-0
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Girya, Olga 2439
0-1
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Ju Wenjun 2535
1-0
Zhao Xue 2579
Danielian, Elina 2470
½-½
Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Koneru, Humpy 2607
½-½
Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Lagno, Kateryna 2532
1-0
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496

Kosteniuk already knew the pains that Black goes through in this variation,
and did not let Nakhbayeva even survive the opening

Kosteniuk, Alexandra 1-0 Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan
The Kazakh girl repeated a line that had been previously played by... Kosteniuk as Black! It is very unclear why she decided to do this though as Kosteniuk had gotten crushed in her game against Mammadova earlier this year in July. This game didn't go any better for the second player as the Russian found a beautiful move, 13.Nd6+! trapping her opponent's queen in the middle of the board as early as move 14. After that Nakhbayeva put up some resistance, but the material difference was simply too much.

Nakhbayeva must not have expected this variation at all...

Alexandra: "I was a victim in this line at the European Championship, and I was defending even worse than my opponent today. Black has to be very precise here. Actually after 11...0-0 the position would have been unclear for me. After 11...Be6 first I considered not taking a queen but at the end decided that two pieces is not enough compensation for it. Probably Black still could have posed some questions to me, but in the way she played it was quite easy for me to win the game."

Girya was overzealous with her attack and it completely backfired

Girya, Olga 0-1 Khotenashvili, Bela
Khotenashvili chose a very risky opening that allows her to win a pawn but destroys her dark squares and gives White a good chance at an initiative. White started an attack on the kingside that consumed her entire attention, but once Black solidified on that side of the board it became clear that White was defenseless against Black's threats on the queenside. Girya had to resign as her entire army was trapped in the wrong side of the board, all of it easily held back by a single rook on f7.

Olga: "1... g6 was a surprise for me. I had very good compensation for the pawn, and Black should have played 18...0-0 otherwise it is lost"

Bela: "Yes, I didn't like my position at all. My opponent was playing very well, but 25.Bc4 was a mistake. I expected 25.Bd4 Qa5 26.c3"

Of course such a top match must be extensively covered by the media

Ju Wenjun 1-0 Zhao Xue
The Chinese duel saw a strange Catalan in which White obtained a small advantage that quickly dissipated as too many pieces were traded off. However White still held some possibilities due to her space advantage, and it turned into a dangerous position for Black rather quickly when White's king was excellently placed in the center of the board and she pushed f5. Black's position very surprisingly collapsed and Zhao Xue is knocked out of the leaderboard by her compatriot...

Ju Wenjun outplayed Zhao Xue, which might not necessarily have been in the best interest of China if they want to have one of their girls win the tournament

Xue: "I had a good position out of the opening, but made a wrong judgment of the position. I shouldn't exchange queens the way I did. The important move was 24...b4, and after 25.Rxd7 Qxf2+ 26.Kxf2 bxc3 there are more chances to draw for Black."

Old friends and eternal rivals: Zhao Xue and Ju Wenjun have played 12 times in official tournament games

Danielian, Elina ½-½ Muminova, Nafisa
After obtaining nothing from the opening Danielian was able to trick her opponent with some tactics and won a pawn, but the material was very reduced and the 4v3 pawn structure on the kingside was not very conducive for a victory. Muminova defended tenaciously and held the draw.

Muminova had to suffer somewhat, but she got her draw at the end

Nafisa: "I think 22...h6 was not very good move"

Elina: "Definitely you should have played 22...g6 instead. But I liked the idea 24...Rb5. And maybe 28...Rxa3 was not necessary. 
Later I completely missed the opportunity 35.Bb7 with chances for White. Maybe it is still holdable, but Black have to defend well without pawn"

Koneru, Humpy ½-½ Dronavalli, Harika
Harika chose an interesting way of playing the exchange Queen's Gambit Declined. She promptly placed her knight on h5 forcing an exchange of bishops, this also meant that castling short wasn't going to be so easy for White as any time she played Bd3 she would have to face Nf4!? After castling queenside it's unclear if Humpy had any hopes for an advantage, and despite having a minimal edge in the endgame Harika was able to hold the draw without any problems.

Harika: "The game was all the time about equal, maybe with a small advantage for White. But I didn't like my position when she could play 33.Bc4, probably she can play for a win here."

Lagno played a good game, beat Stefanova and is now co-leader with 4.5/6

Lagno, Kateryna 1-0 Stefanova, Antoaneta
Stefanova is known for her strange openings, but this time it's possible she just didn't know what she was doing as she played the strange move 7...Qf6?! instead of the normal 7...g6 or 7...Bxe3. White's superior pawn structure gave her a rather lasting advantage. Even though she was down a pawn Stefanova might have had some drawing chances in the resulting rook endgame, but Lagno played well and is now tied with the other two leaders, Harika and Humpy.

Kateryna: "In this opening Black usually play 7...g6, I am not sure Qf6 was good."

Antoaneta: "13...Ne5 was wrong, she even could have taken on a7"

Kateryna: "I even didn't consider this, but maybe it is possible. Anyway Black were ok after 13...Re8, maybe I am just slightly better"

Harika checks out Stefanova's opening, which was less than stellar

Evenij Miroshnichenko is the live commentator at the official website

Pictures by Maria Emelianova

Standings

Replay round six games

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


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