Lopota 08: Missed Opportunities

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/28/2014 – Only one person took a full point today, Stefanova, but that number could easily have been four or five as players certainly missed her chances today. Muzychuk was both winning and lost against Zhao Xue while Kosteniuk miraculously salvaged a perpetual check from a position where she was just down a piece. Harika, most importantly, spoiled a winning position against Hou Yifan.

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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 eight

Round 08 – June 27 2014, 15:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
1-0
Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
½-½
Danielian, Elina 2460
Koneru Humpy 2613
½-½
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Zhao Xue 2538
½-½
Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Hou Yifan 2629
½-½
Dronavalli Harika 2503
Ju Wenjun 2532
½-½
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541

Arbiter Marika Japaridze showing off her billiard skills

As well as the press officer Alina l'Ami who is ready for a rest day

Service to the players has been absolutely top class in this event

Stefanova, Antoaneta 1-0 Muminova, Nafisa
Stefanova, maybe somewhat surprisingly, chose a theoretical and solid line that preserves a nice white edge. Muminova responded in an atrocious manner: putting her queen on a6 was positional suicide and her majesty was nothing but a big target for White's f1 bishop. Black's best accomplishment this game was not having to resign before move 20.

Antoaneta was the only player to score a full point today

Khotenashvili, Bela ½-½ Danielian, Elina
A tough struggle in a complex Benoni. White certainly had some pressure from the opening but this quickly dissipated after a couple of inaccurate moves; after this it was Black in the driver's seat. Danielian's pressure all over the board, aided by her powerful knight on b4, gave her a pleasant advantage but one that was not easy to crash through with. Khotenashvili remained solidly on the defense but her position still held together. The Armenian player was simply unable to find the key to unlock White's position and she had to be content with a draw.

A hard-fought draw under way

Bela is trying to make this tournament less of a disaster

Players are not the only ones that suffer during this events. No one in this tournament is doing it alone, friends, family, coaches and seconds are deeply vested in every game. Here on the left is David Jojua, Bela Khotenashvili's second, and on the right is Lasha Janjgava, the national trainer of the men's team of Georgia.

Koneru, Humpy ½-½ Kosteniuk, Alexandra
A great tactical struggle that proves that the game isn't over until it is over.

[Event "Lopota WGP 2014"] [Site "Lopota GEO"] [Date "2014.06.27"] [Round "8.3"] [White "Koneru, Humpy"] [Black "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A28"] [WhiteElo "2613"] [BlackElo "2532"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2014.06.19"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] {A great tactical struggle that proves that the game isn't over until it is over.} 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. a3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Qc2 Be7 7. e3 { A reverse Sicilian; sign of a fight to come!} O-O 8. b4 Nxc3 9. dxc3 Qd6 10. Bb2 Bg4 $6 {This is a difficult move to understand.} (10... Rd8 $11) 11. Be2 f5 12. b5 Bxf3 13. gxf3 $5 {Fighting spirit! White wants to use the g-file for her own purposes.} Nd8 14. c4 c6 15. c5 Qg6 16. Bxe5 cxb5 17. Bxb5 {White's bishops are clearly very dangerous. Kosteniuk has to act quickly to counteract them.} Rc8 18. Ke2 $6 (18. Qb3+ $1 Kh8 (18... Qe6 19. Bc4) 19. Ke2 Rxc5 20. Rhg1 $18) 18... Rxc5 19. Bc4+ (19. Qb3+ Qe6 {no longer makes sense.}) 19... Kh8 20. Bd4 Rc7 $2 {Details of the position!} (20... Rc8 21. Rhg1 Bg5 22. h4 Ne6 23. Rxg5 Nxd4+ 24. exd4 Qd6 {and Black has full compensation for the piece.}) 21. Rag1 Bg5 22. h4 Ne6 23. Be5 {The rook is hanging in this variation, a crucial point.} Rc5 24. Bd6 {Too many of Black's pieces are under attack.} Nf4+ 25. Bxf4 Qc6 26. hxg5 (26. Rxg5 {was much more accurate, there is no reason to trap White's rooks.} Rxc4 27. Qd3 $1 $18) 26... Rxc4 27. Qb3 (27. Qd3 $1) 27... Qa6 28. Ke1 Rfc8 29. e4 $1 {Protecting c1.} fxe4 30. fxe4 Qg6 31. Qxb7 $2 (31. f3 Rc3 32. Qxb7 $18) 31... Rxe4+ 32. Kf1 Rf8 33. Bg3 Qe6 34. Kg2 $2 (34. Qb5 $1 $18) 34... Rxf2+ $1 {A surprising resource!} 35. Bxf2 (35. Kxf2 Qa2+ {actually loses.}) 35... Qg4+ 36. Kh2 Qh5+ 37. Kg2 Qg4+ 38. Kh2 Qh5+ 39. Kg2 Qg4+ 40. Kh2 {A cold shower for the Indian player.} 1/2-1/2

Resourceful Alexandra pulled a miracle draw this round

Zhao Xue ½-½ Muzychuk, Anna
Both sides missed tactical winning chances in this crazy game

[Event "Lopota WGP 2014"] [Site "Lopota GEO"] [Date "2014.06.27"] [Round "8.4"] [White "Zhao, Xue"] [Black "Muzychuk, Anna"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A35"] [WhiteElo "2538"] [BlackElo "2561"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2014.06.19"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] 1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 g6 4. e3 Nf6 5. d4 cxd4 6. exd4 d5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Qb3 e6 9. Bb5 Bg7 10. Bg5 Qb6 11. Nxd5 exd5 12. Qb4 $2 {This move simply cannot be recommended.} f6 (12... Bd7 13. Qc5 Bxd4 14. Qxb6 Bxb6 $17) 13. O-O $6 Kf7 $1 {Very powerful play!} 14. Qb3 Bg4 $2 (14... fxg5 $4 15. Qxd5+ Kf8 16. Nxg5 {gives White huge compensation for the piece.}) (14... Na5 $1 15. Qxd5+ Be6 16. Qc5 Qxc5 17. dxc5 fxg5 18. Nxg5+ Kf6 {and Black's extra piece should eventually be good enough to win.}) 15. Rfe1 Bxf3 16. gxf3 Rhd8 17. Be3 {Black holds an edge but now it is not so simple to win.} a6 18. Bxc6 Qxc6 $2 (18... Qxb3 19. axb3 bxc6 $15) 19. Rac1 Qd7 20. Rc3 (20. Bf4 $1 Rac8 21. Bd6 $1 $18) 20... Rac8 21. Rec1 Rxc3 22. Rxc3 g5 23. Qc2 Qh3 24. Rc7+ Kg8 25. Rxb7 Qxf3 26. Qc7 Qd1+ 27. Kg2 Qg4+ 28. Kf1 Qd1+ 29. Kg2 Qg4+ 30. Kf1 Qd1+ 31. Kg2 1/2-1/2

Anna was sporting a new look today

Hou Yifan ½-½ Harika, Dronavalli
Both sides must be exhausted by this point in the tournament. This game lacked any kind of precision or tactical ability as both sides kept missing chances. Harika had at least a couple of chances to obtain a near decisive advantage using only simple calculation but she kept missing her opportunities. The World Champion should consider herself lucky to escape unscathed.

"Ooooh, she had that move?!" Hou Yifan missed more than one of her opponent's opportunities

Dronavalli missed a great chance to catapult herself into the top positions

Ju Wenjun ½-½ Dzagnidze, Nana
The players that currently hold second place decided to repeat moves in a position that was objectively equal, but could certainly be played on by both sides.

Comfortable in second: Ju Wenjun

Standings after eight rounds

Round eight 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
1-0
Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
½-½
Danielian, Elina 2460
Koneru Humpy 2613
½-½
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Zhao Xue 2538
½-½
Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Hou Yifan 2629
½-½
Dronavalli Harika 2503
Ju Wenjun 2532
½-½
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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