Womens Grand Prix: Humpy in the lead, Hou Yifan ill

8/7/2010 – The top ranked player GM Humpy Koneru of India lost a game against tenth seed Batkhuyag Munguntuul in round seven, which saw five decisive games. In round eight Humpy scored an important win against Antoaneta Stefanova to take the sole lead, after leader Zhao Xue lost both her games. Second seed Hou Yifan missed her round eight game due to illness – possibly food poisoning.

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The FIDE Women Grand Prix, a series of elite tournaments organised by FIDE and Global Chess, is being held in various countries around the world. There are six tournaments spread over two years, with three tournaments every year. They have become part of the Women's World Championship cycle, which now becomes an annual event.

The current Grand Prix is taking place in the capital and largest city in Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar (or Ulan Bator). The participants include four former Women World champions, playing together for the first time. The average rating of all 12 players is 2487, making this one of the strongest many-player women's events ever. Rounds one to eleven of the event are on July 30 to August 11th, with free days on August 3rd and 8th.

Round 7 – August 6th, 2010
Hou Yifan
½-½
Shen Yang
Kosintseva, Tatiana
1-0
Zhao Xue
Stefanova, Antoaneta
1-0
Xu Yuhua
Chiburdanidze, Maia
1-0
Sebag, Marie
Zhu Chen
0-1
Yildiz, Betul Cemre
Munguntuul, Batkhuyag
1-0
Koneru, Humpy

What an incredible day: five out of six games were decisive! The one to watch was between Tatiana Kosintseva and Zhao Xue, while the surprise result came in Humpy Koneru vs Batkhuyag Munguntuul. The latter was a Sicilian Scheveningen (Keres Attack) in which White played a thematic sacrifice on move 15. Black got into time trouble and could not ward off the ensuing attack.

Munguntuul,B (2421) - Koneru,H (2600) [B80]
5th FIDE GP w Ulaanbaatar MGL (7), 06.08.2010
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.h3 h6 7.g4 a6 8.Bg2 Be7 9.Be3 Nc6 10.f4 Nd7 11.Nf3 b5 12.Qe2 Bb7 13.0-0-0 Qa5 14.Kb1 b4

15.Nd5 exd5 16.exd5 b3 17.a3 bxc2+. 17...Nb4 18.axb4 Qa2+ 19.Kc1 Rc8 is winning for Black (Batkhuyag: Black could have developed interesting play with this line). 18.Qxc2 Ncb8 19.Nd4 0-0 20.Nf5 Re8 21.Bd4 Bf8 22.Bc3 Qd8 23.g5 hxg5 24.Rhg1 g6 25.Bf3 Ne5 26.fxe5 dxe5 27.h4 Bc8 28.Rxg5 Bxf5 29.Qxf5 Bg7 30.Qc2 Nd7 31.d6 e4 32.Bxg7 Kxg7 33.Bxe4 Rc8 34.Qg2 Re6 35.h5 Nc5 36.Bxg6 fxg6 37.Rxg6+ Kh8 38.d7 Rb8 39.Qd2 Re7 40.Rh6+ Kg8 41.Qd5+ 1-0.


Tournament leader Zhao Yue checks out this critical game

Chiburdanidze-Sebag: 1-0
A Slav Defence in which White played sharp moves and Black responded with all her forces. The game developed into a precarious position with White having more power in middlegame and Black having two bishops. White continued to play actively and managed to win in 59 moves. Timing problems contributed to Black defeat.

Zhu Chen-Yildiz: 0-1
A variation of Queen Gambit was played. White abandoned for some time their pawn. In middlegame White gained a pawn and had slight advantage, but in the shift to the endgame White was too optimistic and lost after an unsound sacrifice.

Zhu Chen (2476) - Yildiz,B (2235) [D20]
5th FIDE GP w Ulaanbaatar MGL (7), 06.08.2010
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 e5 4.Nf3 exd4 5.Bxc4 Nc6 6.0-0 Be6 7.Bb5 Bc5 8.b4 Bb6 9.a4 a6 10.Bxc6+ bxc6 11.a5 Ba7 12.Bb2 Rb8 13.Bxd4 Bxd4 14.Nxd4 Qd7 15.Nxe6 Qxe6 16.Qd4 Nf6 17.Nc3 0-0 18.Rfd1 Qe7 19.Rab1 h6 20.Qc4 Ng4 21.h3 Ne5 22.Qxa6 Rxb4 23.Qa7 Rxb1 24.Nxb1 Ng6 25.a6 Qxe4 26.Nc3 Qc4

27.Qb7? Giving up the knight but unable to win with the advanced a-pawn. 27...Qxc3 28.a7 Qa5 29.Qb8 Kh7 30.g3 f5 31.Rd7 f4 32.Qb2 Ne5 33.Re7 Qe1+ 34.Kg2 f3+ 35.Kh2 Qf1 36.Rxg7+ Kh8 0-1.

Kosintseva,T (2562) - Zhao Xue (2462) [C64]
5th FIDE GP w Ulaanbaatar MGL (7), 06.08.2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 Bb6 5.d3 Nf6 6.Nbd2 0-0 7.0-0 d6 8.Ba4 Ne7 9.Nc4 Ng6 10.Bc2 Be6 11.Nxb6 axb6 12.d4 h6 13.h3 Qe7 14.a3 Nh7 15.Be3 Kh8 16.Re1 Rad8 17.a4 Ra8 18.b4 Nh4 19.a5 bxa5 20.bxa5 Qf6 21.Nxh4 Qxh4 22.d5 Bc8 23.c4 f5 24.exf5 Qxc4 25.g4 Nf6 26.Bb3 Qb5 27.Bd2 b6 28.Rc1 bxa5 29.Ba4 Qd3 30.Bc6

30...Qxh3 31.Rc3 Qh4 32.Rg3 Ba6 33.Kg2 Nh7 34.Bxa8 Rxa8 35.Bxa5 Bb7 36.Qb3 Ra7 37.Bxc7 Qe7 38.Bb6 Ra6 39.Bd8 Qf7 40.Rd1 Ra8 41.Qb6 Bxd5+ 42.Kg1 Qd7 43.Rxd5 Rxd8 44.Rgd3 Rg8 45.Qxd6 Qa4 46.Qxe5 Qxg4+ 47.Rg3 Qh4 48.Kg2 Qf6 49.Qe6 Qh4 50.Qe5 Qf6 51.Rg6 Qxe5 52.Rxe5 Nf6 53.Kf3 Ra8 54.Re7 Ra3+ 55.Kg2 Nh5 56.Rd6 Ra5 57.Rd8+ Kh7 58.Rf8 Nf6 59.Rxf6 1-0.

Round 8 – August 8th, 2010
Koneru, Humpy
1-0
Stefanova, Antoaneta
Hou Yifan
*
Zhu Chen
Shen Yang
1-0
Zhao Xue
Xu Yuhua
½-½
Kosintseva, Tatiana
Sebag, Marie
1-0
Munguntuul, Batkhuyag
Yildiz, Betul Cemre
0-1
Chiburdanidze, Maia

A few hours after the seventh round it turned out that Hou Yifan had become, probably through food poisoning. The Mongolian Organizers were quick to react and everything was done for her recovery. Unfortunately she felt very weak on Friday and could not play in the eighth round. Her opponent, Zhu Chen, generously agreed to a postponement of the game, which will take place on Saturday, the free day.

The game to watch in round eight was Humpy vs Stefanova. Both had ambitions to finish the tournament at the top of the table, and a win could mean a serious step towards this goal. The game started as a rousing battle, with Humpy pressing.

Koneru,H (2600) - Stefanova,A (2560) [D10]
5th FIDE GP w Ulaanbaatar MGL (8), 07.08.2010
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 a6 5.Qc2 g6 6.Bd3 Bg7 7.Nf3 0-0 8.0-0 Bg4 9.Ne5 Be6 10.c5 Nbd7 11.Nxd7 Nxd7 12.Bd2 f5 13.b4 Bf7 14.f4 e6 15.a4 g5 16.fxg5 Qxg5 17.Kh1 Bh6 18.Rf3 Kh8 19.Rg3 Qf6 20.Rf1 Rg8 21.Ne2 Rxg3 22.Nxg3 Rg8 23.b5 axb5 24.axb5 Qg7 25.bxc6 bxc6 26.Qa4 Nf6 27.Qxc6 Ng4 28.Rf3

Now Stefanova has already reache a fairly pleasant position, and could continue with 28...Nxh2 29.Kxh2 Bh5 30.Rf2 Qxg3+ 31.Kg1 Bxe3 32.Bxe3 Qxe3, ending a pawn up. But a momentary blackout brought doom and destruction: 28...Nxe3? 29.Rxe3 f4 (29...Bxe3 30.Bxe3 is just as bad) 30.Rxe6 Bxe6 31.Qxe6 (the white knight is aiming for f5) 31...fxg3 32.Qxh6 Ra8 33.hxg3 Ra1+ 34.Kh2 Rd1 35.Be2 1-0.

Shen Yang (2435) - Zhao Xue (2462) [E32]
5th FIDE GP w Ulaanbaatar MGL (8), 07.08.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b6 7.Bg5 Bb7 8.f3 h6 9.Bh4 d5 10.e3 Re8 11.Nh3 Nbd7 12.cxd5 exd5 13.Bf2 c5 14.Bd3 cxd4 15.Qxd4 Nc5 16.Bc2 Ne6 17.Qd2 Ba6 18.0-0-0 Qe7 19.Kb1 Rac8 20.Rhe1 Bc4 21.Nf4 Nc5 22.Ne2 Qe5 23.Nd4 Nfd7 24.h4 Qf6 25.g4 g6 26.g5 hxg5 27.hxg5 Qxg5 28.Rh1 Qe5 29.Rdg1 Nf8 30.Bh4 Ncd7

31.Nf5 Nf6 32.Bxf6 Qxf6 33.Qh2 Re5 34.Nh6+ Kg7 35.Ng4 (35.f4 would have ended it straight away) 35...Rh5 36.Qxh5 gxh5 37.Nxf6+ Kxf6 38.Rxh5 Ke7 39.Rf5 Ne6 40.b3 Ba6 41.Rxd5 Bb7 42.Rf5 Rh8 43.Rd1 Rh2 44.Kb2 f6 45.Kc3 Rh3 46.Rf1 Bc6 47.Bd1 Nc7

48.a4? Throwing away a very comfortable advantage. 48...Bd7. The white rook has no squares. 49.Bc2 Rh2 50.Bb1 Bxf5 51.Bxf5 Nd5+ 52.Kd3. At least White is a pawn up. 52...Rb2 53.Ke4 Nc3+ 54.Kd4 Ne2+ 55.Kc4 Ng3 56.Rb1 Rf2 57.Be4 Nxe4 58.fxe4 a6 59.e5 fxe5 60.Kd5 Rd2+ 61.Kxe5 a5 62.e4 Kd7 63.Kf4 Rd3 64.Kf5 Rf3+ 65.Ke5 Rd3 66.Rb2 Rd1 67.Rf2 Rd3 68.Kf6 Rxb3 69.e5

This should be a draw, but 69...b5? changes everything. 70.e6+ Kc6? Now it is really over. 71.e7 Re3 72.axb5+ Kd6 73.Rd2+ Kc5 74.b6 Kc6 75.Rd8 a4 76.e8Q+ Rxe8 77.Rxe8 Kxb6 78.Re5 a3 79.Re3 1-0.


A second victory after a disasterous start: WGM Shen Yang from China

Standings after eight rounds

Note that Hou Yifan and Zhu Chen have one game less than that others.


Top seed Humpy Koneru in the lead with 5.5/8 points


5.0/7 and a game in hand: second seed Hou Yifan (here during round seven)

Information and pictures from Ulaanbaatar supplied by FIDE


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