Jermuk R10: Hou Yifan leads by a full point

7/28/2012 – And she does so one round before the finish, which means she will be at least equal first in the Fifth FIDE Women's Grand Prix (and in the lead in the entire series). Hou achieved this with a black-piece win over IM Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, while her closest rival, tragically WGM Ju Wenjun, stumbled against compatriot GM Zhao Xue. Round ten report with pictures and annotated games.

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From July 16 to 29, 2012 the southern Armenian hamlet of Jermuk is playing host to the Fifth FIDE Women's Grand Prix, part of a series of elite events organised by FIDE and Global Chess. There will be six tournaments over two years in various countries around the world. The winner of each tournament takes home 6,500 Euros, the total prize fund is 40,000 Euros. The overall winner will get a further 15,000 Euros at the end of the series. Starting time of the games is 15:00h (check your local time here). A full shedule with all results is given at the bottom of the page. Monday, July 23 is a free day.

Round nine: Thursday July 25, 2012 at 15:00h
WGM
Ruan Lufei 2483
1-0
GM
Zhao Xue 2556
IM
Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2417
0-1
GM
Hou Yifan 2617
GM
Kosintseva Nadezhda 2516
1-0
GM
Danielian Elina 2480
GM
Lahno Kateryna 2537
½-½
IM
Khurtsidze Nino 2456
IM
Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2447
½-½
GM
Koneru Humpy 2598
IM
Mkrtchian Lilit 2450
½-½
WGM
Ju Wenjun 2518

The game of the day was the attractive and instructive victory played by Ruan against Zhao Xue. After the opening, a complicated position arose, and on move 19, black erred, allowing white to uncork an impressive tactical combination

The game between Kosintseva and Danielian was rife with tension throughout. After the opening, white had a nominal advantage, but black made a couple of inaccurate moves, handing white an advantageous position. Not all was yet decided, and white in fact gave back the queen for rook and bishop, hoping to generate some winning chances in the resulting endgame.

In the game between Kovalevskaya and Hou Yifan, spectators saw a back and forth affair. Out of the opening, the Chinese player chose an active approach, but white countered accurately, and was able to enter the middle game with a better position. At this point, however, the roles reversed and it was white who began to lose the thread and play in an unsure manner.

The clash between Kateryna Lahno (above) and Nino Khurtsidze was a captivating game. After a balanced opening, the Ukrainian star sacrificed a pawn for the initiative, and looked to be in full control after some inaccurate responses from the Georgian. However, just when it appeared that the end would be near, it was white’s turn to stumble.

Another game which was worthy of attention was the battle between Munguntuul and Koneru, in which the opening saw an imbalanced position which was difficult to assess. Koneru chose an unorthodox variation, but as it turned out, white was up to the challenge and matched her opponent’s knowledge and preparation. Having attained a certain advantage, white instead of continuing the battle opted instead to repeat the position and take the draw.

Another interesting game was seen in the match between Lilit Mkrtchian and Ju Wenjun (above in the press conference with tournament commentator Aghasi Inants). The opening phase ended in an equal position, when black started to play quite actively and in a risky fashion, with the hopes of stirring things up. White responded properly and enjoyed some advantage, but at a critical juncture, didn’t proceed in the best way.

Summary commentary of the round

This analysis is porovided by Aghasi Inants in Armenian and translated into English by and Aram Hajian.


Round ten: Friday July 26, 2012 at 15:00h
GM
Zhao Xue 2556
1-0
WGM
Ju Wenjun 2518
GM
Koneru Humpy 2598
1-0
IM
Mkrtchian Lilit 2450
IM
Khurtsidze Nino 2456
1-0
IM
Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2447
GM
Danielian Elina 2480
½-½
GM
Lahno Kateryna 2537
GM
Hou Yifan 2617
½-½
GM
Kosintseva Nadezhda 2516
WGM
Ruan Lufei 2483
½-½
IM
Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2417

As the participants approach the finish line at the Jermuk Women Grand Prix, the tension continues to rise. With the penultimate round already complete, the reigning World Champion Hou Yifan solidified her grasp on first place, and with it, first place in the entire Grand Prix cycle.

In the game Koneru-Mkrtchian, Black was unable to solve the opening problems set before her by White. Endeavoring to equalize, Black searched for the right move, but instead stumbled.


An IQ puzzle for our readers: from which country does IM Lilit Mkrtchian come?

A thrilling game was enjoyed by the spectators in the all-Chinese clash Zhao Xue-Ju Wenjun. A complex position arose after the opening phase, with mutual chances. Principles of positional chess mandated that Black must move actively, with a resolute plan. Ju was up to the challenge and in one sequence unleashed a series of sacrifices. Punches and counterpunches were delivered with the computer’s assessment of the position changing with seemingly every move.


Lost her game, her lead and a realistic chance of winning the tournament: Ju Wenjun

Another thrilling struggle was seen in the game Khurtsidze-Munguntuul. White did not achieve much of an advantage out of the opening, but a pawn sacrifice secured the initiative for White, as she dictated the play into the middle game. Black had difficulties navigating around the problems posed to her by White, and at one point she erred, allowing White to capitalize and achieve a winning advantage. All that was left was for White to make a couple of correct moves and the game would be decided. At this point, it was White’s turn to blunder, but Black missed the golden opportunity to take advantage.

The game between Elina Danielian (above right, in the press conference with tournament Kateryna Lahno and commentator Aghasi Inants) and Kateryna Lahno was short, but not devoid of excitement. White chose a somewhat unorthodox variation of the Grunfeld and went straight after Black’s king. But Katya Lahno kept her cool and was able to neutralize all threats, and at some point found a perpetual check after sacrificing a rook.

The game Hou Yifan-Kosintseva was a relatively peaceful one, with White getting no particular advantage after the opening. The picture changed little as the middle game unfolded, with each player choosing moves in keeping with the positional themes. Not surprisingly, the players repeated moves and on move 25, shook hands to agree to the draw.

Photos by Arman Karakhanyan

Summary commentary of the round

The following analysis was provided by Aghasi Inants in Armenian and translated into English by and Aram Hajian.

Standings after ten rounds

Remaining schedule

13th day: Round 11 and Closing Ceremony 28.07.2012
14th day: Departure 29.07.2012

Schedule and results

Round one: Tuesday July 17, 2012 at 15:00h
GM
Koneru Humpy 2598
1-0
GM
Zhao Xue 2556
IM
Khurtsidze Nino 2456
0-1
WGM
Ju Wenjun 2518
GM
Danielian Elina 2480
½-½
IM
Mkrtchian Lilit 2450
GM
Hou Yifan 2617
½-½
IM
Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2447
WGM
Ruan Lufei 2483
½-½
GM
Lahno Kateryna 2537
IM
Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2417
1-0
GM
Kosintseva Nadezhda 2516
Round two: Wednesday July 18, 2012 at 15:00h
GM
Zhao Xue 2556
0-1
GM
Kosintseva Nadezhda 2516
GM
Lahno Kateryna 2537
1-0
IM
Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2417
IM
Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2447
0-1
WGM
Ruan Lufei 2483
IM
Mkrtchian Lilit 2450
0-1
GM
Hou Yifan 2617
WGM
Ju Wenjun 2518
1-0
GM
Danielian Elina 2480
GM
Koneru Humpy 2598
1-0
IM
Khurtsidze Nino 2456
Round three: Thursday July 19, 2012 at 15:00h
IM
Khurtsidze Nino 2456
0-1
GM
Zhao Xue 2556
GM
Danielian Elina 2480
1-0
GM
Koneru Humpy 2598
GM
Hou Yifan 2617
½-½
WGM
Ju Wenjun 2518
WGM
Ruan Lufei 2483
1-0
IM
Mkrtchian Lilit 2450
IM
Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2417
1-0
IM
Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2447
GM
Kosintseva Nadezhda 2516
½-½
GM
Lahno Kateryna 2537
Round four: Friday July 20, 2012 at 15:00h
GM
Zhao Xue 2556
1-0
GM
Lahno Kateryna 2537
IM
Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2447
½-½
GM
Kosintseva Nadezhda 2516
IM
Mkrtchian Lilit 2450
1-0
IM
Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2417
WGM
Ju Wenjun 2518
1-0
WGM
Ruan Lufei 2483
GM
Koneru Humpy 2598
½-½
GM
Hou Yifan 2617
IM
Khurtsidze Nino 2456
½-½
GM
Danielian Elina 2480
Round five: Saturday July 21, 2012 at 15:00h
GM
Danielian Elina 2480
½-½
GM
Zhao Xue 2556
GM
Hou Yifan 2617
1-0
IM
Khurtsidze Nino 2456
WGM
Ruan Lufei 2483
½-½
GM
Koneru Humpy 2598
IM
Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2417
½-½
WGM
Ju Wenjun 2518
GM
Kosintseva Nadezhda 2516
0-1
IM
Mkrtchian Lilit 2450
GM
Lahno Kateryna 2537
½-½
IM
Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2447
Round six: Sunday July 22, 2012 at 15:00h
GM
Zhao Xue 2556
½-½
IM
Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2447
IM
Mkrtchian Lilit 2450
½-½
GM
Lahno Kateryna 2537
WGM
Ju Wenjun 2518
½-½
GM
Kosintseva Nadezhda 2516
GM
Koneru Humpy 2598
1-0
IM
Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2417
IM
Khurtsidze Nino 2456
0-1
WGM
Ruan Lufei 2483
GM
Danielian Elina 2480
½-½
GM
Hou Yifan 2617
Round seven: Tuesday July 23, 2012 at 15:00h
GM
Hou Yifan 2617
½-½
GM
Zhao Xue 2556
WGM
Ruan Lufei 2483
½-½
GM
Danielian Elina 2480
IM
Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2417
0-1
IM
Khurtsidze Nino 2456
GM
Kosintseva Nadezhda 2516
1-0
GM
Koneru Humpy 2598
GM
Lahno Kateryna 2537
½-½
WGM
Ju Wenjun 2518
IM
Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2447
½-½
IM
Mkrtchian Lilit 2450
Round eight: Wednesday July 24, 2012 at 15:00h
GM
Zhao Xue 2556
1-0
IM
Mkrtchian Lilit 2450
WGM
Ju Wenjun 2518
½-½
IM
Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2447
GM
Koneru Humpy 2598
0-1
GM
Lahno Kateryna 2537
IM
Khurtsidze Nino 2456
½-½
GM
Kosintseva Nadezhda 2516
GM
Danielian Elina 2480
½-½
IM
Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2417
GM
Hou Yifan 2617
1-0
WGM
Ruan Lufei 2483
Round nine: Thursday July 25, 2012 at 15:00h
WGM
Ruan Lufei 2483
1-0
GM
Zhao Xue 2556
IM
Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2417
0-1
GM
Hou Yifan 2617
GM
Kosintseva Nadezhda 2516
1-0
GM
Danielian Elina 2480
GM
Lahno Kateryna 2537
½-½
IM
Khurtsidze Nino 2456
IM
Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2447
½-½
GM
Koneru Humpy 2598
IM
Mkrtchian Lilit 2450
½-½
WGM
Ju Wenjun 2518
Round ten: Friday July 26, 2012 at 15:00h
GM
Zhao Xue 2556
1-0
WGM
Ju Wenjun 2518
GM
Koneru Humpy 2598
1-0
IM
Mkrtchian Lilit 2450
IM
Khurtsidze Nino 2456
1-0
IM
Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2447
GM
Danielian Elina 2480
½-½
GM
Lahno Kateryna 2537
GM
Hou Yifan 2617
½-½
GM
Kosintseva Nadezhda 2516
WGM
Ruan Lufei 2483
½-½
IM
Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2417
Round eleven: Saturday July 27, 2012 at 15:00h
IM
Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2417
-
GM
Zhao Xue 2556
GM
Kosintseva Nadezhda 2516
-
WGM
Ruan Lufei 2483
GM
Lahno Kateryna 2537
-
GM
Hou Yifan 2617
IM
Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2447
-
GM
Danielian Elina 2480
IM
Mkrtchian Lilit 2450
-
IM
Khurtsidze Nino 2456
WGM
Ju Wenjun 2518
-
GM
Koneru Humpy 2598

Links

The games are being 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 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


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