Nalchik GP: The Zhao Xue express steams on

by ChessBase
10/16/2011 – Someone should call Guinness – the Chinese GM Zaho Xue is on the rampage and has now won her sixth game in a row, maintaining a nominal 3300 performance. This time she profited from a prime blunder by former women's world champion Zhu Chen. Alexandra Kosteniuk ended her losing streak with a well-played game which, however, her opponent was able to defend. Round six report.

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The third stage of FIDE Women's Grand Prix cycle 2011-2012 is being staged from 8th to 23rd of October in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, in the Hotel Sindika. The playing days are October 9-12, 14-17, 19-21, the rounds start at 15.00h Moscow time (13:00h CEST, 7 a.m. New York)..

Round six: the Zhao Xue express goes on and on

Saturday, October 15, 2011

 Ti. Name Rtng  Ti. Name Rtng
IM Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2421 GM Cmilyte Viktorija 2525
GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2469 WGM Ju Wenjun 2536
IM Galliamova Alisa 2498 GM Kosintseva Tatiana 2536
IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2467 GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2528
GM Lahno Kateryna 2554 GM Kosintseva Nadezhda 2560
GM Zhu Chen 2490 GM Zhao Xue 2497

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk looking determined before the start of round six

"Alexandra ended a series of defeats and showed her usual style in this game," says the tournament bulletin. "The Russian grandmaster showed all her courage in this battle. Everything happened in the game: a sharp Najdorf, sacrifice and counter sacrifice, an unusual fortress in the endgame." Indeed the Russian GM was winning, but her efforts to win a second game in this tournament were thwarted by her Chinese opponent.

Her opponent, WGM Ju Wenjun, defending her second place in this event

[Event "Nalchik WGP 2011"] [Site "Nalchik RUS"] [Date "2011.10.15"] [Round "6"] [White "Kosteniuk, A."] [Black "Ju Wenjun"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B96"] [WhiteElo "2469"] [BlackElo "2536"] [PlyCount "159"] [EventDate "2011.10.09"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4 Qb6 9. Qd2 Qxb2 10. Rb1 Qa3 11. e5 dxe5 12. fxe5 g5 13. exf6 gxh4 14. Be2 Qa5 15. O-O Nd7 16. Kh1 Qg5 17. Rf4 e5 18. Nd5 exd4 19. Qxd4 Kd8 20. Ne7 Qc5 21. Qd2 Bxe7 22. fxe7+ Qxe7 23. Bg4 {Up to here there is one predecessor game (from correspondence chess).} Re8 $146 24. Rc4 b6 25. Rd1 a5 26. h3 ({White missed} 26. Bxd7 Bxd7 27. Re4 {which should decide the game on the spot. But she is still winning after the text move.}) 26... Ra7 27. Qc3 Ba6 28. Bxd7 Rxd7 29. Rxd7+ Qxd7 30. Rd4 Re6 31. Rxd7+ Kxd7 32. Qd4+ Ke8 33. Qxh4 {After the tactical fireworks White has ended up with a queen for rook and bishop - and still excellent winning chances.} Kf8 34. Qd8+ Kg7 35. Qd4+ Kg8 36. Kh2 Bb7 37. g4 Be4 38. c4 Bb7 39. Kg3 Be4 40. c5 bxc5 41. Qd8+ Kg7 42. Qxa5 Bb7 43. Qxc5 { And now, with even more material advantage, White appears to be completely winning. With the Let's Check engines on Playchess clamouring for victory (+ 5 pawns!) the Chinese WGM sets up a fortress which Alexandra Kosteniuk tries, for 37 moves, to penetrate - to no avail.} Ba6 44. a4 Kg8 45. Qd4 Kh7 46. h4 Kg8 47. Kf4 Kh7 48. a5 Kg8 49. Qd8+ Kg7 50. g5 hxg5+ 51. Qxg5+ Kh7 52. h5 Rh6 53. Qe7 Kg7 54. Kg5 Re6 55. Qc7 Rh6 56. Qh2 Kh7 57. Qc2+ Kg7 58. Qc5 Re6 59. Qc1 Rh6 60. Kh4 Re6 61. Qg5+ Kh7 62. Kg3 Rh6 63. Kf4 Re6 64. Qd8 Kg7 65. Qa8 Rh6 66. Qg2+ Kh7 67. Qe4+ Kg7 68. Qe5+ Kh7 69. Qe4+ Kg7 70. Qd4+ Kh7 71. Kf5 Re6 72. Qb2 Rh6 73. Ke5 Re6+ 74. Kd5 Rh6 75. Qf2 Kg7 76. Qg3+ Kh7 77. Qc3 Re6 78. Qa3 Kg7 79. Qb4 Rh6 80. Ke4 {and at last the Russian GM offers a draw.} 1/2-1/2

Kateryna Lahno vs Nadezhda Kosintseva

A Catalan in which White gained some advantage in the opening, but Nadezhda managed to find great defensive moves, and the chances became equal. The draw was agreed in the endgame. “Why is the tournament not going my way?” Kateryna mused during the press conference. Her explanation: she has really been playing a lot in recent months and doesn't feel fresh enough.

Batuuyag Munguntuul vs Antoaneta Stefanova was essentially decided by move 24

Former women's world champion Stefanova has won three games in a row

After her disaster in the previous round Alisa Galliamova played a fine attacking
game against Tatiana Kosentseva, who however saved it to a draw

Ekaterina Kovalevskaya vs Viktorija Cmilyte was an interesting, fighting game

[Event "Nalchik WGP 2011"] [Site "Nalchik RUS"] [Date "2011.10.15"] [Round "6"] [White "Kovalevskaya, E."] [Black "Cmilyte, V."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B52"] [WhiteElo "2421"] [BlackElo "2525"] [PlyCount "132"] [EventDate "2011.10.09"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. O-O Nc6 6. c3 Nf6 7. Re1 e6 8. d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 d5 10. e5 Ne4 11. Nbd2 Nxd2 12. Bxd2 Be7 13. Rc1 O-O 14. Rc3 Rfc8 15. a3 b5 16. Rd3 Qd8 17. h4 h6 18. Nh2 Bxh4 19. Qh5 Bg5 20. f4 g6 21. Qh3 Bh4 22. g3 Be7 23. Qxh6 Qf8 24. Qh3 Qg7 25. g4 f6 26. exf6 Bxf6 27. g5 Bxd4+ 28. Kg2 Bxb2 {Black is two pawns up but White has a very sharp attack.} 29. Ng4 Ne7 30. Nh6+ Kf8 31. Qxe6 Rc2 32. Re2 a5 33. Rde3 $6 {White allows her opponent some defensive resources.} ({After} 33. f5 Rxd2 34. Rdxd2 {the Lithuanian GM would have had no more chances.}) 33... Rxd2 34. Rxd2 Bc1 35. Rde2 Bxe3 36. Rxe3 b4 37. axb4 axb4 38. Re5 b3 39. Qb6 b2 40. Qb7 Rd8 41. Qxb2 Rc8 42. Qb4 Ke8 43. Ng8 {White is back on track and does not let her opponent wiggle out of it.} Qxe5 44. fxe5 Nxg8 45. Qb5+ Kf8 46. Qf1+ Kg7 47. e6 Rf8 48. Qa1+ Kh7 49. Qa7+ Kh8 50. Qd4+ Kh7 51. Kg3 Rf5 52. Kg4 Rf8 53. Qxd5 Rf5 54. Qd7+ Kh8 55. Qd4+ Kh7 56. Qa7+ Kh8 57. Qb7 Rf8 58. Qd7 Rf5 59. e7 Nxe7 60. Qxe7 Kg8 61. Qc7 Rf8 62. Qd6 Kg7 63. Qh2 Rg8 64. Qc7+ Kh8 65. Qe7 Rg7 66. Qf8+ Kh7 1-0

Ekatrina Kovalevskaya had drawn all her games before this win.
The Russian IM and bottom seed is currently in fourth place.

What to say about this lady? GM Zhao Xue has won all her six games so far

In this round Zhao was helped by a crass blunder of her famous opponent

[Event "Nalchik WGP 2011"] [Site "Nalchik RUS"] [Date "2011.10.15"] [Round "6"] [White "Zhu Chen"] [Black "Zhao Xue"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E32"] [WhiteElo "2490"] [BlackElo "2497"] [PlyCount "120"] [EventDate "2011.10.09"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 d6 7. f3 d5 8. Nh3 c5 9. dxc5 d4 10. Qc2 e5 11. Nf2 a5 12. e4 Be6 13. Rb1 a4 14. Bd2 Nfd7 15. Bb4 Nc6 16. Be2 Qe7 17. Nd3 Qh4+ 18. Nf2 f5 19. Bd3 f4 20. Be2 Qg5 21. Bf1 Rfc8 22. Rc1 Qe7 23. Nd3 Nxb4 24. axb4 b6 25. Be2 bxc5 26. b5 Qh4+ 27. Nf2 Rf8 28. Ra1 Nb6 29. Bd3 Qg5 30. Kf1 Kh8 31. h3 h5 32. Rg1 Qe7 33. Ke2 Qf7 34. Rgc1 g5 35. Kd2 Kg7 36. Be2 Kf6 37. Qd3 Rfd8 38. Ke1 Qg8 39. Rc2 Rd7 40. Rac1 Rg7 41. Qa3 Rc8 42. Kd2 d3 43. Bxd3 Rd7 44. Ke1 g4 45. fxg4 hxg4 46. hxg4 Bxg4 47. Bf1 Be6 48. Qf3 Rcd8 49. Qa3 Rc7 50. b4 axb3 51. Qxb3 Ra7 52. Rc3 Ra4 53. g3 Rb4 54. Qa2 Qg5 55. Qa7 $4 ({After} 55. Rf3 {White should have been okay.}) 55... fxg3 56. Ng4+ Bxg4 57. Qxb6+ Kg7 58. Qa7+ Rd7 59. Qa2 Qf4 60. Bg2 Rb3 {and it is a forced mate.} 0-1

Current standings

To give you an overviews impression: the tournament hall in Hotel Sindika, Nalchik

In the hotel theatre WGM Anna Sharevich comments for a handful of spectators –
but of course plenty more on the Internet


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