Lopota 05: Unstoppable?

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/24/2014 – Hou Yifan won yet another game by demolishing Antoaneta Stefanova in only 25 moves. With 4.5/5 and a 2879 (!) performance it seems as if the World Champion will cruise to victory; but things are not so simple! Ju Wenjun and Dzagnidze follow closely only half a point behind and with terrific 2730+ performances of their own. Tomorrow will feature a crucial Chinese derby..

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The fifth stage of the the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix series 2013-2014 is taking place in Lopota, Georgia 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 five

Round 05 – June 24 2014, 15:00h
Hou Yifan 2629
1-0
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Ju Wenjun 2532
1-0
Zhao Xue 2538
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
1-0
Koneru Humpy 2613
Dronavalli Harika 2503
½-½
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Muzychuk, Anna 2561
1-0
Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
½-½
Danielian, Elina 2460

What are these sausages doing there?! Find out in our rest day report next time around!

The last Grand Prix in Khanty-Mansiysk was a one sided tournament. Hou Yifan had no problem taking the event and crushing the competition; are we seeing a repeat of this dominance?

Hou Yifan 1-0 Stefanova, Antoaneta
Stefanova's set-up was not as usual as it seemed, and actually her position had interesting strategical ideas by having strong pressure against the weak d4 pawn. However she made the mistake of putting too much pressure there before finishing development and her king in the center proved to be too weak. In a very unpleasant position, but far from lost, Stefanova committed a blunder and it was all over by move 25.

Hou Yifan's latest victim: Antoaneta Stefanova

Hou Yifan is still under strong pressure from two players trailing by only half a point

Ju Wenjun 1-0 Zhao Xue
A very tense battle. Ju Wenjun's early exploits in the kingside looked more dangerous than what they actually were, but Zhao Xue wasn't able to create huge amounts of counterplay either. White's pressure continued well into the endgame. In time trouble a critical position was reached; Zhao Xue had the choice of capturing a pawn but transposing into a dangerous-looking pawn endgame or trying to survive down the pawn. She chose the latter which proved to be the wrong choice.

Ju Wenjun won again. She is happy about it!

Zhao Xue fell to both of her Chinese compatriots this tournament

Dzagnidze, Nana 1-0 Koneru Humpy
Despite Dzagnidze's early slight advantage from the opening it seems it was the Indian player that was more in tune of the demands of the position and she slowly outplayed her opponent. White's awkward pieces left her struggling for equality, but she was never much worse. The tables quickly turned when Koneru blundered a simple combination that netted the Georgian a pawn and the initiative. From then on Dzagnidze did not look back and she converted the full point.

An important game for the top standings

Harika, Dronavalli ½-½ Khotenashvili, Bela
A very even game all through-out. White's Catalan reached a typical structure in which Black had an extra pawn but they were tripled on the open c-file. White was never able to actually take this pawn and by the time she did the game was simplified enough to the point it was nothing but a dead draw.

Bela Khotenashvili is tied with Zhao Xue and Alexandra Kosteniuk,
normally a good thing but not in this tournament

Harika is only a point behind Hou Yifan

Muzychuk, Anna 1-0 Muminova, Nafisa
Another game that showed the dangers of leaving your king in the center:

[Event "Lopota WGP 2014"] [Site "Lopota GEO"] [Date "2014.06.24"] [Round "5.5"] [White "Muzychuk, Anna"] [Black "Muminova, Nafisa"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C07"] [WhiteElo "2561"] [BlackElo "2332"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2014.06.19"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. Ngf3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. Bb5 Bd7 7. Nxc6 bxc6 8. Bd3 Qc7 9. Qe2 Bd6 10. Nf3 Ne7 11. e5 Bc5 12. O-O Bb6 13. Bd2 c5 14. c4 h6 15. Rac1 a5 16. cxd5 exd5 17. e6 Bxe6 18. Bb5+ Kf8 19. Ne5 Nf5 20. Bc3 Qd6 21. Rfe1 Bc7 22. Qh5 Ne7 23. Bd7 $1 {The start of a powerful combination.} g6 $2 (23... Bxd7 $4 24. Qxf7#) (23... Kg8 24. Bxe6 Qxe6 25. Nc6 $1 Qxc6 26. Rxe7 Rf8 27. Qg4 $1 $16) (23... Ra7 $1 {A very hard move to see. The point is that there are many things that need defense on the 7th rank, the bishop on c7, the knight on e7, the pawn on f7, and tactically this will make sense.} 24. Bxe6 Qxe6 25. Nd3 $14 {although White is still better.}) 24. Qf3 {The queen is better placed on f3 than h5, but more importantly the opening of the bishop on c3 is lethal.} Rh7 25. Bxe6 Qxe6 26. Ng4 $1 {Oh, and the weakness on f6.} Qc6 27. Nf6 Rg7 28. Rxe7 Kxe7 29. Nxd5+ Kf8 30. Nxc7 {Black loses too much material.} 1-0

Nafisa has only been able to accumulate half a point so far

Anna sits in the middle of the field with 3.0/5

Kosteniuk, Alexandra ½-½ Danielian, Elina
White's advantage going into the endgame was obvious: the pair of bishops gave her good chances there. However she immediately started to misplay it and she underestimated how weak her bishop on a2 would become. Danielian's pieces swarmed the kingside and took pawn after pawn. In a winning position the Armenian player then made mistake after mistake, squandering all of her advantage. Kosteniuk salved the game but made it hard on herself by going in to a rook and bishop vs. rook endgame (she didn't quite need to do this) and had to suffer for many hours to hold the draw.

Alexandra and Elina fought to their last breath for a draw

 

Standings after five rounds

Round five Games

 

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Photos and information 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
0-1
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Hou Yifan 2629
½-½
Koneru Humpy 2613
Ju Wenjun 2532
1-0
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
1-0
Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Dronavalli Harika 2503
½-½
Danielian, Elina 2460
Muzychuk, Anna 2561
1-0
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Round 04 – June 22 2014, 15:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
1-0
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Danielian, Elina 2460
1-0
Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Muminova, Nafisa 2332
0-1
Dronavalli Harika 2503
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
0-1
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
Koneru Humpy 2613
½-½
Ju Wenjun 2532
Zhao Xue 2538
0-1
Hou Yifan 2629
Round 05 – June 24 2014, 15:00h
Hou Yifan 2629
1-0
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Ju Wenjun 2532
1-0
Zhao Xue 2538
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
1-0
Koneru Humpy 2613
Dronavalli Harika 2503
½-½
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Muzychuk, Anna 2561
1-0
Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
½-½
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.


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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notyetagm notyetagm 6/25/2014 06:36
GM Ramirez,

Your game commentaries are excellent instructive tools. I have learned a lot from them.

A quick request. When you mention that someone blunders, could you please give the move number to make it easier to track down the blunder? Stefanova's blunder was 23 ... Ra8-c8?? versus Hou Yifan while Humpy Koneru's blunder was 26 ... Qe2-g4? instead of 26 ... a5-a4!, allowing 27 Rc1xc6!.

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