Nalchik GP: Zhao Xue with 9.5/10 with 3016 performance

10/20/2011 – This is becoming one of the most amazing results of all time. Chinese GM Zhao Xue is three and a half points ahead of the field, and stands to gain 46 rating points from a single tournament. She is playing short games, often being the first to finish. But they are not draws but lovely wins. Xue's plus nine results dwarfs that of second-placed player, Ju Wenjun, on plus two. Friday is the final round.

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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 nine report

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

 Ti. Name Rtng  Ti. Name Rtng
Res.
GM Kosintseva Nadezhda 2560 IM Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2421
0-1
GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2528 GM Zhao Xue 2497
0-1
GM Kosintseva Tatiana 2536 GM Zhu Chen 2490
½-½
WGM Ju Wenjun 2536 GM Lahno Kateryna 2554
½-½
GM Cmilyte Viktorija 2525 IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2467
½-½
GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2469 IM Galliamova Alisa 2498
1-0

Nadezhda Kosintseva vs Ekaterina Kovalevskaya: The duel between the Russian players players was a fascinating and uncompromising struggle to the end. They played 20 moves of a Rauzer with great speed, and it was only before her 21st move that Nadezhda started thinking for the first time. "I remembered it was necessary to transfer my king to g8, and the bishop to f8, but did not know when and what to do after that," she said. She also admitted she had overestimated the position. She came under pressure and around move 34 lost the thread completely. The game ended in a Black victory on move 45.

Alexandra Kosteniuk vs Alisa Galliamova: The second duel between Russian players ended with a victory for Kosteniuk. "The game was bright, fascinating and, obviously, not without mistakes," says the official bulletin. It ended soon after a fatal blunder (36 …Kh7) in time trouble in a very drawish position.

Antoaneta Stefanova vs Zhao Xue: The former world champion could not stop the tournament leader – the Chinese phenomenon outplayed her with the black pieces, without any help from mistakes, simply step by step, and with a flourish in the final phase. This victory put her three and a half point ahead of the field, with a 2993 performance.


Round ten report

Thursday, October 20, 2011

 Ti. Name Rtng  Ti. Name Rtng
Res.
IM Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2421 IM Galliamova Alisa 2498
½-½
IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2467 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2469
1-0
GM Lahno Kateryna 2554 GM Cmilyte Viktorija 2525
0-1
GM Zhu Chen 2490 WGM Ju Wenjun 2536
0-1
GM Zhao Xue 2497 GM Kosintseva Tatiana 2536
1-0
GM Kosintseva Nadezhda 2560 GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2528
½-½

Only extreme examples can possibly compare to Zhao Xue’s result so far. This is no idle claim. 9.5/10 with a 3000+ performance, three and a half points ahead of the field. And she isn’t simply beating everyone, but beating them faster than anyone else as well. More than once her games were the first to finish, and not because of a quick draw. Round ten was yet another example, as she beat Tatiana Kosintseva in 29 moves, in impressive style. For anyone suspecting computer assistance, a perfectly understandable concern, it is worth adding that mistakes were made, and ones that could have cost her the win. But when it came to crunch time she had the goods when her opponents did not. Today’s win culminated in a beautiful winning sacrifice, that not only abandoned a rook, but took a pawn that seemed virtually untouchable. Analysis shows that it is winning in all variations. Superb.


Tatiana Kosintseva (the rueful lady on the left) and Super Woman Zhao Xue

Another Chinese player, Ju Wenjun, moved into sole second place with a black pieces win over her former compatriot (now living in Qatar) Zhu Chen. The game was a King's Indian in which Wenjun exerted relentless pressure, bringing down the former women's world champion in 69 moves.

[Event "Nalchik WGP 2011"] [Site "Nalchik RUS"] [Date "2011.10.20"] [Round "10"] [White "Zhu Chen"] [Black "Ju Wenjun"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E70"] [WhiteElo "2490"] [BlackElo "2536"] [PlyCount "138"] [EventDate "2011.10.09"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nge2 O-O 6. Ng3 c6 7. Be2 a6 8. Be3 b5 9. O-O Nbd7 10. c5 dxc5 11. dxc5 e5 12. a4 b4 13. Nb1 Ne8 14. Qc1 Nc7 15. Bc4 Kh8 16. Nd2 f5 17. exf5 gxf5 18. f4 exf4 19. Rxf4 Nf6 20. Bd4 Ncd5 21. Rxf5 Bxf5 22. Nxf5 Ne7 23. Nd6 Nc8 24. Nf5 Ne8 25. Bxg7+ Nxg7 26. Nxg7 Qd4+ 27. Kh1 Qxg7 28. Nf3 Ne7 29. a5 Ng6 30. Qd2 Nf4 31. Rg1 Rad8 32. Qxb4 Rb8 33. Qa3 Rxb2 34. Bf1 Rf2 35. Bxa6 Rxg2 36. Bf1 Rxg1+ 37. Nxg1 Ne6 38. Bh3 Qd4 39. Bg2 Nxc5 40. a6 Rg8 41. Ne2 Qd1+ 42. Ng1 Nd3 43. Qc3+ Rg7 44. Qf6 Qg4 45. Qf8+ Rg8 46. Qf1 Nb4 47. a7 Qg7 48. Qf2 Nd3 49. Qa2 Ra8 50. Bxc6 Rxa7 51. Qe2 Qd4 52. Qe8+ Kg7 53. Bf3 Ne5 54. Qh5 Qf4 55. Bd5 Rd7 56. Bg2 Rd2 57. Qe8 Qg5 58. Qa8 Ng4 59. Qb7+ Kh6 60. Qc6+ Qg6 61. Qxg6+ Kxg6 62. h3 Nf6 63. Nf3 Ra2 64. Kh2 Kf5 65. Nd4+ Ke5 66. Nc6+ Kf4 67. Nd4 Nd5 68. Kg1 Ne3 69. Bf1 Ra1 0-1


Chinese WGM Ju Wenjun, above during the press conference, is now in second place

Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, who had shared the second place spot with Wenjun a round earlier, drew her game against compatriot Alisa Galliamova. Viktorija Cmilyte from Lithuania defeated Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine. With her 5.5/10 score she shares the 3rd-4th places with Ekaterina Kovalevskaya.

Batkhuyag Munguntuul from Mongolia (above) switche places at the bottom of the table with Russian GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, whom she beat (and Alisa Galliamova). Nadezhda Kosintseva and Anoaneta Stefanova ended their game in a draw.

Current standings

Note that the final eleventh round of the competition will be played on Friday, October 21, and that unlike the previous days it will begin at 13:00h Moscow time. The most interesting game is bound to be Ju Wenjun vs Zhao Xue, the least interesting Tatiana Kosentseva vs Nadezhda Kosintseva, since the two sisters (like the Klitschko brothers) traditionally never fight against each other, but play a standard draw.


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 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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