Dzagnidze extends her leads in Jermuk

7/1/2010 – Georgian GM Nana Dzagnidze, 23 years old, has won three games in succession and now leads the field in the Women Grand Prix by a full point. Lilit Mrktchian of Armenia has taken second place, previously occupied by Tatiana Kosintseva. After losing her first two games top seed Hou Yifan has scored 3.5/4 to edge her way towards the top. The Chinese GM has a magic potion.

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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. The winner of each gets € 6,500 out of a prize fund of € 40,000. The overall winner of the series receives an additional € 15,000 at the end of the series. The Jermuk Grand Prix is one of the strongest women tournaments of all times. There are eleven rounds in all, with one free day: Wednesday, June 30.

Round five + six report

Round 5 – June 28, 2010
Kosintseva, Tatiana
1-0
Chiburdanidze, Maia
Stefanova, Antoaneta
0-1
Mkrtchian, Lilit
Danielian, Elina
½-½
Hou Yifan
Cramling, Pia
½-½
Xu Yuhua
Kovanova, Baira
0-1
Shen Yang
Fierro Baquero, Martha
0-1
Dzagnidze, Nana

The leader Nana Dzagnidze played the Moscow Variation of the Sicilian against tail-ender Martha Fierro, who made a positional error on move 16, which brought her yet another defeat in this tournament.

Kosintseva-Chiburdanidze was a spirited Caro-Kann in which the young Russian grandmaster Tatiana Kosintseva (picture above) was able to outplay the veteran Georgian former world champion in convincing style.

In Stefanova-Mkrtchian we saw one of the most aggressive lines of the Queen's Indian, in which the Armenian was able win the full point with black in a marathon 79 moves.

The game Baira Kovanova vs Shen Yang (picture above) was a closed French with interesting attacking themes. Kovanova looked to be on the path to victory when she was brought down by a tactical miscalculation:

Kovanova,B (2366) - Shen Yang (2452) [C00]
4th FIDE GP w Jermuk ARM (5), 28.06.2010
1.e4 e6 2.d3 d5 3.Qe2 Nf6 4.Nf3 b6 5.e5 Nfd7 6.g3 c5 7.Bg2 Nc6 8.0-0 Qc7 9.Re1 Ba6 10.Bf4 Be7 11.h4 b5 12.c3 c4 13.d4 b4 14.Ng5 Qa5 15.Qh5 g6 16.Qg4 h5 17.Qd1 Rb8 18.Qf3 b3 19.Na3 bxa2 20.Re2 Rb3 21.Rd2 Qb6 22.Rxa2 Nb4 23.Nxf7 Kxf7 24.Be3+ Kg7 25.cxb4 Bxb4 26.Rc2 Be7 27.Nb1 Bb7 28.Nc3 a5

White has a comfortable position, but spoils it with 29.Ne2? Black is swift to pounce: 29...Rxe3! 30.fxe3 Qb3 (forking the rooks!) 31.Nf4 Qxc2 32.Nxe6+ Kg8 33.Rxa5 Qxb2 34.Ng5 Bxg5 35.e6 Bf6 36.Rxd5 Bxd5 37.Qxd5 Qb4 38.Qxd7 Qe7 39.Qc8+ Kg7 40.Qxc4 Qd6 41.d5 Qxg3 0-1.

Round 6 – June 29, 2010
Dzagnidze, Nana
1-0
Kosintseva, Tatiana
Mkrtchian, Lilit
1-0
Chiburdanidze, Maia
Hou Yifan
1-0
Cramling, Pia
Shen Yang
1-0
Fierro Baquero, Martha
Stefanova, Antoaneta
1-0
Danielian, Elina
Xu Yuhua
1-0
Kovanova, Baira

After five rounds Nana Dzagnidze led the field with 4.5/5, with Tatiana Kosintseva in second place half a point behind. Their direct encounter was naturally the highlight of round six. It was a Nimzo Indian Rubinstein which ended in a firework win for the Georgian, increasing her lead in the field to a full point.

Interestingly all six games in this round were won by White.

Standings after six rounds


After a disastrous start, losing her first two games, top seed Hou Yifan is has started
catching up, with 3.5 points from her last four games.


Yifan's secret: preserved Chinese dates soaked in water – try it before knocking it


A terrible tournament for our friend Martha Fierro, who has lost all her games so far

All pictures by Arman Karakhanyan, courtesy of FIDE


Links

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