Istanbul: Zhao thwarts Humpy, stays in the lead

by ChessBase
3/18/2009 – GM Zhao Xue came under considerable pressure in the Women's Grand Prix in Turkey, with India's Koneru Humpy pressing. But she managed to hold for 66 moves and remains in the lead. Hou Yifan drew against Marie Sebag, while Elina Danielian beat Martha Fierro to move into contention at equal third. The Turkish WIM Betül Yildiz scored her first victory, over Shen Yang. Round nine report.

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İş Bankası - Women Grand Prix Series in Istanbul

The first event of the FIDE 2009/2010 Grand Prix cycle is being held in Istanbul: It is called the Is Bank Atatürk FIDE Women Masters, and is actually the second edition of a women’s super tournament in Turkey. It is taking placed from the 6th to 20th of March in Istanbul, at Cybele Art Gallery in Is Bank Tower. Illustrated report from the opening ceremony and the first two rounds. Top seed Koneru Humpy is at plus three in third place. Big pictorial report.

Report after round nine

Leader Xue Zhao came under considerable pressure from top seed Koneru Humpy, who had the black pieces. But the Chinese GM managed to hold and maintain her overall lead, with 7.5/9 in the tournament. Hou Yifan drew her game against Marie Sebag after a five and a half hour fight. The 15-year-old stays in second place. Antoaneta Stefanova beat Zeinab Mamedyarova, as did Elina Danielian against Martha Fierro. The Turkish entry, Betül Cemre Yildiz came back from a worse position to score her first win in this tournament, against Chinese WGM Shen Yang. Pia Cramling won her second game in a row, against Maia Chiburdanidze. It was the clash between the two most experienced trademark names in the field.

Round 9: Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Zhao Xue 
 Koneru Humpy
Marie Sebag 
 Hou Yifan
Elina Danielian 
 Martha Fierro
Shen Yang 
 Betül Yildiz
Maia Chiburdanidze 
 Pia Cramling
Zeinab Mamedyarova 
 Antoaneta Stefanova

Current standings

Women's chess is tough: Humpy has plus four and is playing a tiny bit lower than one would expect from her rating. Betül Cemre Yildiz is on minus six and performing well above her rating. Of course the two Chinese girls Zhao and Hou are up there at orbital heights. On Wednesday the most interesting encounters are Humpy vs Stefanova (with the Indian 2621-GM be able to take a full point from the experienced ex-world champion?); Hou Yifan vs Daneilian (the Armenian IM is also up there in the running and may be very motivated to overtake the young Chinese player); and Zhao vs Sebag (the French GM is a dangerous opponent and always good for surprises). Watch it unfold on the Playchess server.

Pictorial impressions from Istanbul

By Özgür Akman

Hou Yifan vs Marie Sebag: draw in 89 moves (Black was pressing)

Legendary GMs: Maia Chiburdandze vs Pia Cramling – Black won in 42 moves

Satisfied: Turkish Chess Federation President Ali Nihat Yazici watches Betül analyse her win against Shen Yang

Shen Yang (2448) - Yildiz,B (2214) [C84]
FIDE Women's Grand Prix Istanbul TUR (9), 17.03.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bb7 7.d3 Be7 8.Nbd2 0-0 9.Re1 d6 10.a3 Na5 11.Ba2 c5 12.Nf1 h6 13.Ne3 Re8 14.b4 Nc6 15.c3 Bf8 16.Bb2 Qd7 17.Qb3 a5 18.bxc5 dxc5 19.Qxb5 Ba6 20.Qa4 Reb8 21.Bd5 Bb5 22.Qd1 Nxd5 23.exd5 Ne7 24.Nxe5 Qc7 25.c4 Ba4 26.Qe2 Rxb2 27.Qxb2 Rb8 28.Qc3 Rb3 29.d6 Qxd6 30.Qxa5 Be8 31.Qa8 Rb8 32.Qe4 f6 33.Nf3 Bg6 34.Qg4 f5 35.Qh4 Bf7

In an essentially winning position (exchange and two pawns) the Chinese player has a blackout: 36.Ne5?? Qxe5. Naturally we will check whether this was actually played, whether Shen Yang simple hung a piece (was she planning to move the other knight?). 37.Nd5 Ng6 38.Rxe5 Nxh4 39.Ne7+ Kh7 40.Nxf5 Nxf5 41.Rxf5. Black has two pieces for the exchange and three pawns, but two of them are going to be gobbled up soon. 41...Bg6 42.Rd5 Rb3 43.a4 Bxd3 44.a5 Bxc4 45.Rd7 Bb5 46.Rb7 c4 47.h4 c3 48.Rc1 Ba3 49.Rc2 Rb1+ 50.Kh2 Ba4 51.Rxb1 Bxc2 52.Rb6 Be4 0-1. Nicely played by the charming young Turkish player who got everything right after her opponent had blundered.

Danielian vs Fierro, 1-0 in 46 moves. Poor Martha Fierro started with 3.5/4 and then lost five in a row

Summit meeting: Zhao Xue vs Koneru Humpy, draw in 66, with Black pressing


Betül Cemre Yildiz (Turkey)
Birth Year: 1989
Rating: 2214
Title: Woman International Master
FIDE Rating List Rank (Women): 426

One of the young heroes of the hosts, which is a rapidly country is from Izmir, which is the third largest city and one of the major chess center in the country. She started playing chess at the age of nine and made her debut in the national team for the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul 2000. She already won five consecutive Turkish women's titles, from 2001 to 2006. During those years she led her country despite her young age. She won the bronze medal in the Under 18 Girls World Youth Championship, which was held in Kemer, Antalya, Turkey. Last year she won the silver medal behind Ekaterina Atalik, the strongest female player of the country, but ahead of another young hero of Turkish chess, Kübra Öztürk.

Shen Yang (China)
Birth Year: 1989
Rating: 2448
Title: Women Grandmaster (WGM)
FIDE Rating List Rank (Women): 39

The young star of the new superpower in China had a youth debut back in 2001 by winning Under 12 Girls World Youth Championship. She won the World Junior Girls title in 2006. She also has a successful record for her national team since she was the member of the Chinese national team that won the bronze medal in the last two Olympiads and also that won the first edition of the World Teams Championship for women.

She qualified for the quarter finals in World Championship for women last year in Nalchik and eliminated by Humpy Koneru. Up to the undesirable end, she was the upset of the championship since she eliminated Xu Yuhua, world champion then, and Nadezhda Kosintseva.

Remaining schedule

Wednesday March 18 15:00h Round 10
Thursday March 19 11:00h Round 11
    17:00 Prize ceremony
Friday March 20   Departure


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