Lopota 02: Hou Yifan early leader

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/21/2014 – With only two decisive games today in Georgia it is Hou Yifan that has taken an early lead by winning both of her games, but she is followed closely by Koneru, Harika and Ju Wenjun, the first of these will face Hou Yifan tomorrow in a crucial match for the standings. Will Hou Yifan dominate the event like she did in Khanty-Mansiysk or will she be stopped soon?

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The fourth stage of the the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix series 2013-2014 is taking place at the Ugra Chess Academy, Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia from the from the 19th of June until the 1st of July 2014. It is a twelve-player round robin with time controls of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, with 30 minutes plus an additional 30 seconds per move for the rest of the game. The total prize fund is 60,000, with the winner getting 10,000 Euro.

Round Two

Round 02 –June 20 2014, 15:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
½-½
Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
0-1
Dronavalli Harika 2503
Danielian, Elina 2460
½-½
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
Muminova, Nafisa 2332
½-½
Ju Wenjun 2532
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
0-1
Hou Yifan 2629
Koneru Humpy 2613
½-½
Zhao Xue 2538

The playing hall isn't as ample as in the previous editions of the playing hall, but it does nicely

Daniel Alsina and Maia Lomineishvili provide live commentary on the official website

Stefanova, Antoaneta ½-½ Muzychuk, Anna
A very strange game, but it seems that Stefanova's games are always so. Her attempt to crash through the kingside in this Stonewall look-a-like was met with stiff defense. Stefanova decided to repeat moves in a position that could still be played on.

Stefanova is fighting a cold and she decided she didn't also want to risk it all over the board

Considering how unpleasant her position was Muzychuk is surely happy with a draw

Zhao Xue ½-½ Khotenashvili, Bela
The fighting spirit of both players was commendable, but the game was very equal all throughout and no real fireworks occured.

Kosteniuk, Alexandra 0-1 Dronavalli Harika
The Indian player certainly gave Kosteniuk a lesson in positional chess. Despite the Russian's pair of bishops it was clear that the knights were the ones dominating the board. Kosteniuk was too over-eager and instead of trying to equalize she went for an attack that backfired as she had no way to protect her e3 pawn.

Alexandra: "Perhaps I over-estimated my position."

Muminova, Nafisa ½-½ Ju Wenjun
A positionally bizarre decision from Ju Wenjun to close down the center and kill her own dark-squared bishop while weakening all of her light-squares left her in an inferior position. In the final position instead of takking a three-fold repetition Muminova could have tried to push for an advantage in a relatively risk-free scenario.

Muminova's 0.5/2 against two Chinese players is not bad, but she had interesting chances in both

After playing a move like 12...e5? Ju Wenjun should be happy with a draw

Khotenashvili, Bela 0-1 Hou Yifan
Hou Yifan followed an unusual path in the Nimzo-Indian in which she was left with hanging pawns in the center, but White's structure was not better and Black's knights were very well placed. The game was approximately equal until the following moment:

[Event "Lopota WGP 2014"] [Site "Lopota GEO"] [Date "2014.06.20"] [Round "2"] [White "Khotenashvili, B."] [Black "Hou Yifan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E53"] [WhiteElo "2518"] [BlackElo "2629"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/1R4p1/p3qpnk/2pr3p/P3n3/4PN1P/2Q2PP1/B5K1 w - - 0 34"] [PlyCount "44"] [EventDate "2014.06.19"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] 34. Rb1 Qf5 $5 {Tricky but not best.} (34... Rf5 $1 {with the surprisingly unstoppable threat of Rxf3 gives Black a huge initiative.}) 35. Rc1 (35. Rf1 $1 {Was the best move; the reason will become clear soon.}) 35... Rd2 $1 {A beautiful blow! The intruder must be take; White cannot afford to lose f2 for free.} 36. Nxd2 Qxf2+ 37. Kh1 Ng3+ $1 38. Kh2 Nh4 $1 {This is the point! The queen and the knights swarm the enemy king who is helpless.} 39. Rg1 Ne2 {The human way.} (39... Nf1+ {The computer way.} 40. Kh1 Nf5 $1 {And White is helpless against the threat of Ng3!} 41. Rxf1 Ng3+ 42. Kh2 Nxf1+ 43. Kh1 Nxe3 44. Qe4 Qxd2 $19) 40. Qd1 Nxg1 41. Qxg1 Qxd2 42. Qf1 Qxe3 {With two extra pawns the rest is a mop up.} 43. Bb2 Qe4 44. Qf2 Kh7 45. Bc3 c4 46. a5 Nf5 47. Bd2 Qd3 48. g4 Nd4 49. Be3 Nc2 50. Bf4 c3 51. Qc5 Qe2+ 52. Kg1 Qe1+ 53. Kh2 Qe4 54. Qxh5+ Kg8 55. Kg1 Nd4 0-1

Yifan is, as usual, traveling with her mother

Khotenashvili still has plenty of time to recover

Koneru Humpy ½-½ Zhao Xue
A strong positional game by Koneru but an event better by Zhao Xue. A well played game that finished in a fighting draw.

Tomorrow Koneru will face Hou Yifan in a very important game

Standings

Round Two Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Photos by Alina l'Ami, from the official website

Schedule and results

Round 01 – June 19 2014, 15:00h
Koneru Humpy 2613
1-0
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Zhao Xue 2538
½-½
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Hou Yifan 2629
1-0
Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Ju Wenjun 2532
1-0
Danielian, Elina 2460
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
½-½
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Dronavalli Harika 2503
½-½
Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Round 02 –June 20 2014, 15:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
½-½
Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
0-1
Dronavalli Harika 2503
Danielian, Elina 2460
½-½
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
Muminova, Nafisa 2332
½-½
Ju Wenjun 2532
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
0-1
Hou Yifan 2629
Koneru Humpy 2613
½-½
Zhao Xue 2538
Round 03 –June 21 2014, 15:00h
Zhao Xue 2538   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Hou Yifan 2629   Koneru Humpy 2613
Ju Wenjun 2532   Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541   Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Dronavalli Harika 2503   Danielian, Elina 2460
Muzychuk, Anna 2561   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Round 04 –June 22 2014, 15:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Danielian, Elina 2460   Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Muminova, Nafisa 2332   Dronavalli Harika 2503
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518   Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
Koneru Humpy 2613   Ju Wenjun 2532
Zhao Xue 2538   Hou Yifan 2629
Round 05 –June 24 2014, 15:00h
Hou Yifan 2629   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Ju Wenjun 2532   Zhao Xue 2538
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541   Koneru Humpy 2613
Dronavalli Harika 2503   Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Muzychuk, Anna 2561   Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532   Danielian, Elina 2460
Round 06 –June 25 2014, 15:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488   Danielian, Elina 2460
Muminova, Nafisa 2332   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518   Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Koneru Humpy 2613   Dronavalli Harika 2503
Zhao Xue 2538   Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
Hou Yifan 2629   Ju Wenjun 2532
Round 07 –June 26 2014, 15:00h
Ju Wenjun 2532   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541   Hou Yifan 2629
Dronavalli Harika 2503   Zhao Xue 2538
Muzychuk, Anna 2561   Koneru Humpy 2613
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532   Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Danielian, Elina 2460   Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Round 08 –June 27 2014, 15:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488   Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518   Danielian, Elina 2460
Koneru Humpy 2613   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Zhao Xue 2538   Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Hou Yifan 2629   Dronavalli Harika 2503
Ju Wenjun 2532   Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
Round 09 – June 29 2014, 15:00h
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Dronavalli Harika 2503   Ju Wenjun 2532
Muzychuk, Anna 2561   Hou Yifan 2629
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532   Zhao Xue 2538
Danielian, Elina 2460   Koneru Humpy 2613
Muminova, Nafisa 2332   Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Round 10 –June 30 2014, 15:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488   Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Koneru Humpy 2613   Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Zhao Xue 2538   Danielian, Elina 2460
Hou Yifan 2629   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Ju Wenjun 2532   Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541   Dronavalli Harika 2503
Round 11 – July 01 2014, 13:00h
Dronavalli Harika 2503   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Muzychuk, Anna 2561   Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532   Ju Wenjun 2532
Danielian, Elina 2460   Hou Yifan 2629
Muminova, Nafisa 2332   Zhao Xue 2538
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518   Koneru Humpy 2613

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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


Topics: Lopota GP, Women

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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