Lopota 06: Chasing the World Champion

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/25/2014 – Nana Dzagnidze keeps crushing her opponents and sits at a magnificent 5.0/6, a score that would normally be enough to comfortably lead the event. But Hou Yifan won yet again, in excellent fashion against Ju Wenjun. Tomorrow's game will be for all the marbles as the Georgian player clashes with an on form World Champion.

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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 six

Round 06 – June 25 2014, 15:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
½-½
Danielian, Elina 2460
Muminova, Nafisa 2332
0-1
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
0-1
Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Koneru Humpy 2613
1-0
Dronavalli Harika 2503
Zhao Xue 2538
0-1
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
Hou Yifan 2629
1-0
Ju Wenjun 2532

The walk to the hotel from the playing hall at night

Some stop by the dock to take in the day's events

Stefanova, Antoaneta ½-½ Danielian, Elina
A repetition in an almost equal position typical of a Semi-Slav. A rest day never hurt anyone.

Stefanova has two wins and two losses and despite two short draws on top of that
no one can complain about her not having any fighting spirit

Danielian's unique pen

Muminova, Nafisa 0-1 Kosteniuk, Alexandra
Muminova's intuition and bravery is spot on. She finds aggressive and powerful moves and can obtain winning positions against anyone. However when it is time to wrap things up by precisely bringing the point home she often fails to do so. Somehow instead of driving her crushing attack forward she ended up getting mated when she ran out of ideas in the kingside...

Alexandra was helped somewhat by her opponent

An inspirational shirt...

Khotenashvili, Bela 0-1 Muzychuk, Anna
An early mistake by the Georgian player blundered a pawn and a further mistake left her position in ruins after which it was simple for Muzychuk to clean up the game.

Muzychuk needed this victory to keep fighting for the top places

Koneru, Humpy 1-0 Harika, Dronavalli
Koneru came very well prepared to the game with an interesting novelty in move 15 of a sharp Grunfeld. Harika was simply unable to navigate the complications well enough and her double pawn sacrifice did not provide enough counterplay. The game reached a queen endgame that was surely lost for Black, but a series of mistakes by Koneru allowed Harika to eliminate a powerful passed pawn for free. White was still better but had to win the game all over again, which she did in the 96th move. The game should have taken half as long as that.

Dronavalli fell victim to great prep from Humpy

Zhao Xue 0-1 Dzagnidze, Nana
Zhao Xue certainly seems out of shape in this tournament. From an interesting position that was very complicated from a strategical point of view she kept making mistake after mistake until her position simply collapsed.

2778 performance and on Hou Yifan's heels: Nana Dzagnidze

Hou Yifan 1-0 Ju Wenjun
The most important game of the day, for sure:

[Event "Lopota WGP 2014"] [Site "Lopota GEO"] [Date "2014.06.25"] [Round "6.6"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Ju, Wenjun"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B20"] [WhiteElo "2629"] [BlackElo "2532"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2014.06.19"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] 1. e4 c5 2. Ne2 {A way of avoiding the Sveshnikov and a couple of other annoying lines.} Nf6 $5 {One of the many ways of reacting against White's play. } 3. Nbc3 d5 4. exd5 Nxd5 5. g3 Nxc3 6. Nxc3 Bd7 7. d4 {New and sharp. Is it possible that Hou Yifan had analyzed this position before hand?} cxd4 8. Qxd4 Nc6 (8... Bc6 9. Qxd8+ Kxd8 10. Rg1 $14) 9. Qe4 f5 $5 {This sharpens the game up. The complications that come from this move are not easy to evaluate over the board.} 10. Qc4 $1 (10. Qe3 Nb4 11. Qe2 Bc6 12. f3 e5 {gives Black some counterplay.}) 10... Ne5 $6 11. Qd5 $1 Bc6 (11... Nc6 12. Bg2 {is definitely not what Black had intended.}) 12. Qxe5 Bxh1 13. Be2 $5 (13. Nb5 $1 {This direct approach was best.} Rc8 14. Nxa7 Rxc2 15. Qxf5 $1 Rc7 16. Bf4 $1 { Black's rook is suprisingly trapped!} e5 17. Bb5+ $1 Bc6 18. Nxc6 bxc6 19. Qe6+ Qe7 20. Bxc6+ {is winning but this is a nearly impossible variation to calculate.}) (13. Bf4 {was the stronger human move.} Qd6 $8 (13... Bc6 14. Nb5 Rc8 15. Rd1 $18) 14. Qxf5 Qf6 15. Qh5+ $1 g6 16. Bb5+ Bc6 17. Qe2 $16 {Black's position again seems difficult to hold; she doesn't have time for Bg7 because of Nd5.}) 13... Qd6 $1 14. Qxd6 exd6 15. f3 $1 {This was Hou Yifan's idea. She retains the advantage as Black's bishop is trapped on h1.} d5 16. Be3 $1 d4 $1 17. Bxd4 O-O-O 18. Bxa7 Bg2 19. Kf2 Bh3 {Black's double pawn sacrifice serves as a decoy for the dark squared bishop allowing her to bring her own trapped bishop to the game.} 20. Bd3 f4 21. g4 $1 {The bishop is still in danger!} g6 22. Ne2 h5 23. Nxf4 hxg4 24. Nxg6 Rg8 25. Nf4 Rd6 {The smoke has basically cleared and White's advantage is beyond doubt. Her powerful bishops and pawns will be hard to play against.} 26. Be3 Be7 27. Bf5+ Kd8 28. Nxh3 gxh3 29. Bxh3 Bh4+ 30. Ke2 Bf6 31. c3 Rh8 32. Bf4 Rb6 33. Rd1+ Ke7 34. Rd7+ Ke8 35. Bg4 Rxb2+ {Black recovers one of her pawns but she is still down material and her king is not very happy.} 36. Kd3 Rg8 37. Rc7 Rh8 38. a4 Rb6 39. Bd7+ Kd8 40. Bb5 Rh3 41. Rd7+ Kc8 42. Ke4 Rh4 43. Rf7 Kd8 44. Kf5 Be7 $1 {Keeping Black's hopes alive.} 45. Be5 (45. Rxe7 $2 Rxf4+ 46. Kxf4 Kxe7 {leads nowhere.}) 45... Rh5+ 46. Ke4 Rg6 47. f4 $1 {With the f5 threat looming it is hard to suggest something for Black. She blunders in desperation.} Rxh2 $2 48. f5 Re2+ { Dropping a full rook but the game was already over.} 49. Bxe2 {A wonderfully clean game by the World Champion.} 1-0

Hou Yifan with a not-too-shabby 2920 performance

Standings after six rounds

Round six 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
½-½
Danielian, Elina 2460
Muminova, Nafisa 2332
0-1
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
0-1
Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Koneru Humpy 2613
1-0
Dronavalli Harika 2503
Zhao Xue 2538
0-1
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
Hou Yifan 2629
1-0
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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theoldmanhomeyard@gmail.com theoldmanhomeyard@gmail.com 6/27/2014 09:52
I would like to see her dominate a few more women's events before following Judit's path.
Wallace Howard Wallace Howard 6/26/2014 10:17
I hope Yifan can finish with a 2800-2900 performance.
Maybe she'll start getting more invitations to top events like London Classic, Dortmund, Wijk Aan Zee, Etc.
Women's chess is quite exciting at the moment.
AngeloPardi AngeloPardi 6/26/2014 10:43
Yifan should stop playing women events.
Brumario Brumario 6/26/2014 04:25
Yifan should be invited regularly to the top tournaments. Playing against 2500-2600 restrains her development.
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