Tashkent 07: A Black day

9/26/2013 – Four players managed to win today with the black pieces, though one of the most important of these victories could easily have favored white. Muminova was very close to beating Humpy and she had a decisive advantage, but she faltered in the most important moment and the Indian player took the game and the lead, half a point of Harika and Lagno who drew each other. Report and analysis.

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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 7

Round 07 – September 25 2013, 14:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
½-½
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Dronavalli, Harika 2475
½-½
Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Muminova, Nafisa 2293
0-1
Koneru, Humpy 2607
Zhao Xue 2579
0-1
Danielian, Elina 2470
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
0-1
Ju Wenjun 2535
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
0-1
Girya, Olga 2439

Muminova could have delivered the surprise of the tournament in this round, but she wasn't able to find the killing blow

Muminova, Nafisa 0-1 Koneru, Humpy
Sometimes a difference between grandmasters and lower rated International or FIDE Masters is that the higher titled players are able not only to know exactly what to do in an opening position, but why they are doing it. The subtleties of the Sicilian are immense and they all demand attention, but in this game it was obvious that Koneru knew what was going on and Muminova had no idea. Humpy played the dubious lines 2...b6?! which has only been seen in serious chess in the game Robson-Kamsky from 2012.

Every opening move that Muminova played afterwards was questionable. 8.a3?! was unnecessary, the Qd2-f2 maneouver was weak, retreating the knight on d4 to b3 was too passive. So it should not come as a surprise that Black got equality from the opening, and that she did not get more is largely due to Humpy not handling the position to the best of her abilities. Muminova took advantage of this and blasted her opponent's kingside with a powerful attack. Koneru was simply outplayed once the opening phase finished, and against Muminova shows in this tournament that she is not one to be trifled with. But again, she also shows that she has trouble finishing games off. The simple 29.fxe6 would've given her an easy win as Black's position would have collapsed very soon. Instead she let her initiative drift away and Humpy won with her extra material.

Humpy: "At the opening I had a comfortable position, but instead of 16…Na7 should have played e5. Then I think I shouldn't take 23…Bxe4. And in the middle game I was just co very bad. After 30.f6 Black is completely lost: 30…Qd2 31.Ne4 Qxd4+ 32.Kh1 h5 33.Qf4 Kh7 34.Ng5+"

Harika tried an Ivanchuk idea, but Lagno knew exactly what she was doing

Droanavalli, Harika ½-½ Lagno, Kateryna
A very important game for the standings as both players were tied for first place before the start of the round. Harika tried sacrificing a pawn early in the opening to expose her opponent's dark squares, however this didn't yield much and with good defense Lagno was able to neutralize Harika's plans and obtain an equal endgame.

Katya: "This line happened in an old game of Ivanchuk. Vassily took 6…cxd4, but I wanted to capture with the knight first. I liked this trick with 12.Qb3: if I give check 12…Qa5, then 13.Bd2 Qxc5 14.Bb4."

Harika: "I was thinking about 13…Kg8 14.0-0, and if g5 is possible Black has some nice counter play."

Katya: "Yes, it looks interesting, but dangerous for Black. I think only a computer can easily hold this position.
And there was an interesting idea for White: 17.Nxb7 Bxb7 18.Qxb6 axb6 19.Rc7 Ba6 20.Rxe7 but it didn't work because of 20…Kf6. After 14.Bxg7 the position was equal. As I remember Ivanchuk played 14.Bd2 and it was a long game which finally finished with a draw"

The game the girls are referencing is Ivanchuk-Krasenkow from 2006. An "old game"!

Lagno equalized with Black and, with Harika, is half a point away from Humpy

Sterfanova, Antoaneta ½-½ Kosteniuk, Alexandra
Kosteniuk had again already played this line which happened in today's game. The ultra-aggressive pawn storm on the kingside in this variation is nothing new and instead of repeating her game with Dzagnidze from Geneva, she decided instead to follow in Giri's footsteps and play 12...Nh5, but Stefanova retreated to h2 instead of pushing forward with 13.Be5. The Bulgarian obtained a very nice position and it seemed she would've had a shot at an advantage if she had castled short and sacrificed a pawn that was not doing much on the queenside anyways. Instead she awkwardly put her king on d2 shich obviously allowed counterplay. Kosteniuk was a little too aggresive with her pawn advances and instead of just getting a good position she "won" an exchange, but lost two pawns in the process and gave White a huge pawn structure. She found an almost miraculous resource in time pressure with 32...Qxg6+!!?? but it was almost miraculous because it didn't quite work. 34.Ne1 was winning, clearing the f3 square for the king. Instead of that Stefanova allowed a perpetual...

Kosteniuk has strangely been playing openings that have already happened in her games quite often this tournament

Nakhbayeva was ground down in a long endgame and is now last in the event

Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 0-1 Girya, Olga
If there is one opening that White can play to pressure just a little without really ever being in danger is the exchange Slav. However even this opening is not exempt from the rule that you can be outplayed from any position. Nakhbayeva was fine until she blundered a pawn on move 39, after which she had an unpleasant defense for over 60 moves. She was close to holding a draw, but a mistake on move 91 (she should've brought her rook back to the queenside) and a subsequent blunder on move 103 cost her the game... Girya won out of willpower more than anything.

Olga: "My 13…Nc6 was a strange move, White was slightly better, but later the position became equal. I already expected she would play 39.Bxf5 with a draw, but then she blundered a pawn. I had good winning chances, but blundered a pawn back. Very difficult and tiring game."

Girya bounced back with a hard fought win and is performing at about her rating

Khotenashvili, Bela 0-1 Ju Wenjun
This line of the Dutch is very strange from a positional stand-point. Despite the fact that Black enjoys the pair of bishops, the closed nature of the structure and the crippled f-pawns almost always means that White enjoys the better minor pieces; however if she is to make progress usually the break h3-g4 opening the position must happen. Khotenashvili wasted some time moving pawns on the queenside which allowed the Chinese player to block the typical h3-g4 by moving her own h-pawn forward. White was very obviously planless and just kept moving pieces back and forth and Ju Wenjun took advantage of this with a timely and fantastic exchange sacrifice which devastated White's position.

Ju Wenjun: "White's position was OK, but I thought she would play 23.b4gxf4 (23...Bc6 24.Qf3) 24.exf4 and 26.Nxe4 was a mistake."

Ju Wenjun has won two in a row, but is still 1.5 points away from Humpy

Danielian was one of the executioners with the black pieces today

Zhao Xue 0-1 Danielian, Elina
Zhao Xue "won" an exchange with a small combination, but Black obtained an open file, a poweful knight, a passed extra c-pawn and every positional advantage you can think of. It's unclear why the Chinese player did this as she has a perfectly good position. Only shortly after Zhao Xue blundered a nice combination starting with 26...Rxf3 and it was just over after that.

Elina: "I think I have played the best game in this tournament so far. I sacrificed an exchange and had a lot of possibilities. Of course the position was holdable for White, but my opponent helped me a lot by her blunder 26.Nc2. For example after 26.h4 Nf7 27.Nc2 Rb3 I still have a comfortable position, but it is much better for White anyway."

The issues with using a logographic system as her main language: Zhao Xue making sure she spelled 'Danielian' right

Pictures by Maria Emelianova

Standings

Replay seven six games

Select games from the dropdown menu above the board

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
½-½
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Dronavalli, Harika 2475
½-½
Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Muminova, Nafisa 2293
0-1
Koneru, Humpy 2607
Zhao Xue 2579
0-1
Danielian, Elina 2470
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
0-1
Ju Wenjun 2535
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
0-1
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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