Nalchik GP: Zhao Xue now with 5.0/5 and 3300+ performance

10/15/2011 – What can we say? GM Kateryna Lahno played a vicious attacking game against the 26-year-old Chinese GM, who defended coolly and in the end chalked up yet another victory, her fifth in a row. Zhao Xue's performance statistics are, of course, stratospheric. There were three more decisive games, all in favour of White, with the Kosintseva sisters scoring 2-0. Big illustrated round five 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 five: The blood-soaked round five

Friday, October 15, 2011

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

The leader of the Grand Prix in Nalchik, Zhao Xue, is driving her the other participants to distraction. In the fifth round on Friday the Chinese player chalked up her fifth victory in succession, this time against GM Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine. The encounter was an acute tactical struggle. Lahno used an interesting variation of the Grunfeld Defence 4…c6, sacrificing a pawn and then a piece. But in the endgame Zhao managed to repel the attack, take the initiative and win the game.

[Event "Nalchik WGP 2011"] [Site "Nalchik RUS"] [Date "2011.10.14"] [Round "5"] [White "Zhao Xue"] [Black "Lahno, Kateri"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D70"] [WhiteElo "2497"] [BlackElo "2554"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2011.10.09"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 d5 4. cxd5 c6 ({This move was already tried by Sutovsky against Vassily Ivanchuk, without success:} 4... Nxd5 5. e4 Nb6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. O-O-O Qd6 10. Nb5 Qd7 11. Na3 e5 12. d5 Nd4 13. Kb1 c6 14. dxc6 bxc6 15. Qa5 Qb7 16. Ne2 Rb8 17. Rd2 Nd5 18. exd5 Bf5+ 19. Ka1 Bc2 20. Qc3 cxd5 21. Nxd4 Rfc8 22. Bc4 Ba4 23. Nb3 e4 24. Bd4 Bf8 25. Qe3 dxc4 26. Nc5 Qc6 27. Nxe4 f5 28. Nf6+ Kf7 29. Nb1 h6 30. Nc3 Rb7 31. g4 Rd8 32. gxf5 gxf5 33. Rg1 {1-0 (33) Ivanchuk,V (2768)-Sutovsky,E (2700)/Ningbo 2011/ CB29_2011}) 5. dxc6 $146 Nxc6 6. e3 e5 7. dxe5 Qa5+ 8. Nc3 Qxe5 9. Bb5 Bc5 10. Nge2 O-O 11. Bxc6 bxc6 12. e4 Bb6 13. Na4 Rd8 14. Qc2 Qa5+ 15. Nec3 Nd5 $2 { Kateryna Lahno, ever the fighter, decides to throw a full piece into the fray.} 16. exd5 {The Chinese GM says ta and takes it.} Bf5 17. Qd2 Re8+ 18. Kd1 Be3 19. Qxe3 Rxe3 20. Bxe3 cxd5 {and now we can count the pieces: Black has a queen for rook and two knights - not the best of deals, but with a probably defensible position.} 21. Ke2 Bc2 22. b3 d4 23. Bxd4 Qg5 24. Kf1 Qd2 25. Bf2 Rc8 26. Re1 Rxc3 27. Nxc3 Qxc3 {Now it is a queen for two rooks and a pawn. White has been under a vicious attack, with the danger still not passed.} 28. h4 h5 29. Kg1 Qd2 30. Bg3 Bd1 31. Rh3 Be2 32. Bf2 Qxa2 33. Rg3 Qd2 34. Rg5 a6 35. Rc5 {Chainsaw chess by Kateryna, but now she spoils it with a time trouble blunder:} Qb2 $2 36. Rd5 {Threatening 37.Bd4 with dire consequences.} f6 37. Rd7 g5 38. hxg5 fxg5 39. Be3 Bb5 40. Bc1 {and the black position has fallen apart.} 1-0

In the press conference Zhao Xue said she was lucky to win in the endgame

Another representative of China, Ju Wenjun, is still on the second place. After victories in the first
two rounds she made the third draw in succession, this time against Victoria Cmilyte of Lithuania.

The free day on Thursday was good the Kosinseva sisters: they visited the waterfalls and both won their fifth round games.

Nadezhda Kosintseva on the boat trip to the waterfalls...

... and ready to play a sharp Paulsen against Mongolian IM Batkhuyag Munguntuul

[Event "Nalchik WGP 2011"] [Site "Nalchik RUS"] [Date "2011.10.14"] [Round "5"] [White "Kosintseva, N."] [Black "Munguntuul, B."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B48"] [WhiteElo "2560"] [BlackElo "2465"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2011.10.09"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6 7. Qd2 Nf6 8. O-O-O Be7 9. f3 O-O 10. g4 b5 11. g5 Nh5 12. Kb1 Ne5 13. f4 Ng4 14. e5 Bb7 15. Rg1 Nxe3 16. Qxe3 g6 17. Bg2 Bxg2 18. Rxg2 d5 19. exd6 Qxd6 20. Nf5 Qc5 21. Nxe7+ Qxe7 22. Rgd2 Qc7 23. Qe5 Rac8 24. Rd4 h6 25. h4 Ng3 26. gxh6 Qxe5 27. fxe5 Nf5 28. Rd7 Kh7 29. Ne4 Kxh6 30. Ng5 Kh5 31. Nxf7 Rc5 32. Rg1 Nh6 33. Nxh6 Kxh6 34. Rd6 Rf2 {Not a wise decision, but this move leads to a double-double rook position you don't see every day.} 35. Rxe6 Rcxc2 36. Rexg6+ Kh5 $2 {This is deadly - for Black.} ({After} 36... Kh7 37. Rxa6 Rxb2+ 38. Ka1 Rbe2 {White does not have the mate threat of} 39. Ra8) 37. Rxa6 Rxb2+ 38. Ka1 Rbe2 39. Ra8 1-0

In the press conference Nadia (left) admitted she has won the game only because
Tuul had blundered on move 36 – an essentially equal position

Sister Tatiana Kosintseva about to face a Petroff played by compatriot Alexandra Kosteniuk

[Event "Nalchik WGP 2011"] [Site "Nalchik RUS"] [Date "2011.10.14"] [Round "5"] [White "Kosintseva, T."] [Black "Kosteniuk, A."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2536"] [BlackElo "2469"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2011.10.09"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 Nd7 8. Qd2 Nf6 ({Relevant:} 8... Ne5 9. O-O-O O-O 10. h4 Bg4 11. Be2 Qe8 12. Kb1 Rd8 13. h5 Qa4 14. h6 g6 15. Bg5 Bxg5 16. Qxg5 f6 17. Qh4 Qa5 18. Bc4+ Nxc4 19. Qxg4 Qb5 20. b3 Ne5 21. Qe6+ Rf7 22. Nd4 Qd7 23. Qd5 c6 24. Qa5 a6 25. c4 Re8 26. Nf3 Ng4 27. Rd2 Rfe7 28. Rhd1 Re6 29. Qb4 Nxh6 30. Rxd6 Rxd6 31. Rxd6 Qe7 32. Qd2 Nf7 33. Rd7 Qe2 34. Qf4 Re7 35. Qb8+ Kg7 36. Qxb7 Rxd7 37. Qxd7 Qxf2 38. Nd4 {Adams,M (2729)-Gelfand,B (2723)/Yerevan 2008/CBM 124 Extra/1-0}) 9. O-O-O O-O 10. Bd3 c5 11. Rhe1 $146 ({Predecessor (2):} 11. h3 Qa5 12. Kb1 b5 13. Rhe1 Re8 14. c4 b4 15. g4 Bb7 16. Nh4 Ne4 17. Bxe4 Bxe4 18. Nf5 Bf3 19. Nxe7+ Rxe7 20. Bg5 Rxe1 21. Rxe1 Qa6 22. Qd3 Bb7 23. Rd1 Re8 24. b3 Be4 25. Qd2 Bg6 26. Be3 h6 27. h4 Be4 28. h5 Re6 29. Rg1 f6 30. Qd1 Qc6 31. Qd2 {1/2-1/2 (31) Hunt,H (2413)-Ledger,A (2459)/England 1999/EXT 2000}) 11... d5 12. c4 d4 13. Bg5 Be6 14. c3 b5 15. cxb5 Qa5 16. c4 Qb6 ({Black had good drawing chances after} 16... Qxa2) 17. Ne5 a6 18. Nc6 Bd8 19. Nxd8 Qxd8 20. bxa6 Rxa6 21. b3 Qa8 22. a4 Nd7 23. Bc2 Qb7 24. Bf4 Rb6 25. Qd3 g6 26. Qf3 Qa6 27. g4 Nf6 28. h3 Bxc4 $2 29. bxc4 Qxc4 30. Bc7 $1 {Refuting Black's sacrifice two moves earlier. } Nd5 $2 {Compounding the error.} 31. Bxb6 Nc3 32. Ba5 Na2+ 33. Kb2 Nc3 34. Bxc3 Rb8+ 35. Kc1 dxc3 36. Qf6 {There is no saving trick for Black, who is simply lost.} 1-0

A disappointing tournament for former women's world champion GM Alexandra Kosteniuk

GM Antoaneta Stefanova beat IM Alisa Galliamova to take shared third place

Current standings

Their hero: tournament leader Zhao Xue (performance = 3302) with local school children

Zhao Xue is joined by former women's world champion Chinese GM Zhu Chen...

... who plays a simul against students from the school. Zhu Chen now lives in Qatar.

The two Chinese GMs pose with a lucky schoolboy


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