Lopota 07: Sun setting in Georgia

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/27/2014 – Hou Yifan continues to dominate the Lopota Grand Prix. She beat Nana Dzagnidze, who remains tied for second with Ju Wenjun, and it seems that is impossible to stop her. With a nearly 3000 performance rating and a point and a half lead over the field the tournament it is starting to become a race for second place. Four more games remain; how can she be stopped?

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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 seven

Round 07 – June 26 2014, 15:00h
Ju Wenjun 2532
1-0
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
0-1
Hou Yifan 2629
Dronavalli Harika 2503
½-½
Zhao Xue 2538
Muzychuk, Anna 2561
½-½
Koneru Humpy 2613
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
1-0
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Danielian, Elina 2460
1-0
Muminova, Nafisa 2332

The swimming pool hasn't been used by the players almost at all...

More room for the Georgian men's team, which arrived yesterday for a training session, to use!

Arbiter Marika Japaridze keeps everything under control

Ju Wenjun 1-0 Stefanova, Antoaneta
A very one sided game. Stefanova's early aggression was justified but she had to follow it up with care and precision, which she did not, and that led to her position collapsing by move 15.

Stefanova simply couldn't hold her position early on

Ju Wenjun is always looking at different angles to her positions

Dzagnidze, Nana 0-1 Hou Yifan
The game of the day, at as far as results go. Hou Yifan equalized without problems in a rare version of the Bogo-Indian. Dzagnidze's response seemed very mild at best and despite having the pair of bishops she had no advantage in the resulting closed position.

Dzagnidze's plan starting with 17.g4?! was misguided and some simplifications really put a spotlight on how weak her structure was and how much better the Chinese player's knight was compared to her own. Although technique in this game wasn't accurate in every move, Hou Yifan did play well enough to keep her slight advantage, turn it into real practical problems and in time pressure take an important victory.

Win after win. Hou Yifan's performance approaches 3000.

Harika, Dronavalli ½-½ Zhao Xue
Zhao Xue opened the game with 1.Nf3 b5!?, a speculative move at best. That being said the game did follow the Kramnik-Carlsen game from 2011... granted it was a rapid. At some point the Indian player must have made a mistake because by move 15 it was clear that Zhao Xue had enough pressure on the c4 pawn to maybe even claim a slight advantage.

The Chinese player had no problems taking this pawn for free and it seemed that she was cruising to victory, but her technique let her down. She played rather passively but always hanging on to her extra pawn. The mistake came late in the game when she played the inexplicable 41...g5? which allowed her opponent to threaten checkmate on g7 forcing Zhao Xue to give a perpetual. 41...e5 would have won the queen endgame without problems.

The innovator: Zhao Xue

Muzychuk, Anna ½-½ Koneru, Humpy
Muzychuk seemed to have some home prep as she obtained pressure in a dry Petroff. Her second Emil Sutovsky really shining in this game. However it seemed as if Koneru had enough to hold her own until Muzychuk bluffed with the move 22.h4!?. The pawn sacrifice does not seemed justified but Koneru was too scared to take it!

After that White's advantage was significant. Muzychuk squandered some opportunities by trading off too many pieces instead of using the ones she had on the board to create real pressure.

Anna came in with good ideas but couldn't bring the full point home

Humpy was certainly happy with a draw today

Kosteniuk, Alexandra 1-0 Khotenashvili, Bela
Playing the modern defense is always a double-edged sword. The idea is usually to avoid theory and get into complex positions early on. This backfired enormously on Khotenashvili who was simply lost by move 15. Kosteniuk held the advantage in every single sector of the board; the fact that the Georgian player lasted 17 more moves before basically being mated was almost a miracle.

Danielian, Elina 1-0 Muminova, Nafisa
The Armenian's ultra-aggressive set-up with long castling paid off quickly:

[Event "Lopota WGP 2014"] [Site "Lopota GEO"] [Date "2014.06.26"] [Round "7.6"] [White "Danielian, Elina"] [Black "Muminova, Nafisa"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A13"] [WhiteElo "2460"] [BlackElo "2332"] [PlyCount "47"] [EventDate "2014.06.19"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 e6 3. d4 Bb4+ 4. Nc3 Ne7 5. Qa4+ Nbc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Qc2 b6 8. Bd2 Bb7 9. a3 Bd6 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. e4 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 Re8 13. O-O-O a6 14. h4 h6 15. e5 {From here Black has two choices; one loses and one retains equal chances.} Bf8 $2 {Muminova chooses the losing move.} (15... Be7 16. Bd3 Na7 { The simple point is that now} 17. Bh7+ Kf8 {the king is not on the h-file.}) 16. Bd3 Qd7 (16... Be7 17. Bh7+ Kf8 18. Be4 $18 {White's upcoming d5 will collect too much material.}) 17. Rh3 $2 (17. Bh7+ Kh8 18. Ng5 {and Black is already helpless against multiple threats.}) 17... b5 $2 {Underestimating White's chances.} (17... Ne7 $1 {Bringing the knight to defend was paramount.}) 18. Bh7+ Kh8 19. Ng5 $1 {Back on track.} Nd8 20. d5 Bxd5 21. Be4 Be7 22. Bxd5 { is all over now.} Bxg5+ 23. hxg5 exd5 24. Rxh6+ 1-0

Elina created an attack out of seemingly nowhere

A beautiful sunset captured by Alina l'Ami. Breathtaking!

Standings after seven rounds

Round seven 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
1-0
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
0-1
Hou Yifan 2629
Dronavalli Harika 2503
½-½
Zhao Xue 2538
Muzychuk, Anna 2561
½-½
Koneru Humpy 2613
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
1-0
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Danielian, Elina 2460
1-0
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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mike warner mike warner 6/27/2014 07:22
she needs to play with the boys
1