Sharjah 03: Two at the Top

by Alejandro Ramirez
8/27/2014 – With round three over two early leaders have emerged. Harika keeps good pace by drawing Hou Yifan, though to be fair she should have pressed harder in the final position. Ju Wenjun had a lot of patience and defeated Zhao Xue in a long opposite colored bishop endgame. The other boards saw some nice fights, especially Tatiana Kosintseva's sacrificial win against Alina l'Ami.

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The sixth and final stage of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix series 2013-2014 is taking place at the Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club, (UAE) from the 24th of August until the 7th of September 2014. Over eleven rounds, twelve of the strongest women players in the world will compete in the round robin tournament with the standard FIDE time control of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, with 30 minutes being added at that point and an additional 30 seconds per move through the entire game.

Round Three

Round 03 –August 27 2014, 15:00h
Ju Wenjun 2559
1-0
Zhao Xue 2508
Danielian, Elina 2490
1-0
Zhu Chen 2461
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
½-½
Ushenina, Anna 2487
l'Ami, Alina 2446
0-1
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
Muminova, Nafisa 2315
½-½
Koneru Humpy 2598
Hou Yifan 2661
½-½
Dronavalli Harika 2521

Ju Wenjun 1-0 Zhao Xue
White's quiet Catalan brought an opposite colored bishop endgame that was mildly unpleasant for Black. Zhao Xue got lost in her defensive resources and she never quite found a good way to equalize the situation. Ju Wenjun first won a pawn and then placed her pieces perfectly for a zugzwang on her opponent, costing Black a second pawn and the game.

Another Chinese derby. Zhao Xue goes 0.5/2 against her compatriots

With this victory Ju Wenjun joins Harika at the top

Danielina, Elina 1-0 Zhu Chen
The game was roughly equal until Zhu Chen committed the strange decision of placing her knight on b8, away from the action. Danielian pounced and established her own knight on e5, having a powerful steed that was also locking her opponent's out of the game. Black's position collapsed surprisingly quickly after that.

Backwards is not the way! Zhu Chen's repositioning of her knight cost her a loss

Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg ½-½ Ushenina, Anna
Nothing much happened in this game, a dull opening led to a position in which it was hard for either side to improve.

Winning 12 points after three rounds is certainly something to smile about

l'Ami, Alina 0-1 Kosintseva, Tatiana
A very powerful game by Tatiana Kosintseva! In a complex position she decided to sacrifice a pawn for pressure on the kingside, which eventually led her to sacrifice a piece in that flank. l'Ami was forced to accept this Greek gift, but she still had some defensive resources - unfortunately she missed them with the pressure piling and time trouble looming. One mistake was all it took and Kosintseva crashed through.

Kosintseva's fiery attack gave her a pretty win

Muminova, Nafisa ½-½ Koneru Humpy
A lucky day for Humpy. After inexplicably blundering a pawn she found herself in a completely lost endgame. However Muminova simply played bad moves and allowed counterplay that should not have existed. Humpy took advantage of this and drew the game in a rook endgame.

Nafisa definitely missed a golden chance today

Hou Yifan ½-½ Dronavalli Harika
An interesting and complex game, but the most difficult to understand decision was Harika's willingness to repeat moves in the final position; if anything it was Black that stood better.

An important game that ended in a draw

Hou Yifan's 2.0/3 isn't spectacular, but it keeps her ahead of Humpy

Round Three Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Standings

Photos of Round Three by Anastasya Karlovich

Pairings and Schedule

Round 01 – August 25 2014, 15:00h
Zhu Chen 2461
0-1
Zhao Xue 2508
Ju Wenjun 2559
½-½
Ushenina, Anna 2487
Danielian, Elina 2490
½-½
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
1-0
Koneru Humpy 2598
l'Ami, Alina 2446
0-1
Dronavalli Harika 2521
Muminova, Nafisa 2315
0-1
Hou Yifan 2661
Round 02 –August 26 2014, 15:00h
Zhao Xue 2508
½-½
Hou Yifan 2661
Dronavalli Harika 2521
1-0
Muminova, Nafisa 2315
Koneru Humpy 2598
1-0
l'Ami, Alina 2446
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
½-½
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
Ushenina, Anna 2487
1-0
Danielian, Elina 2490
Zhu Chen 2461
0-1
Ju Wenjun 2559
Round 03 –August 27 2014, 15:00h
Ju Wenjun 2559
1-0
Zhao Xue 2508
Danielian, Elina 2490
1-0
Zhu Chen 2461
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
½-½
Ushenina, Anna 2487
l'Ami, Alina 2446
0-1
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
Muminova, Nafisa 2315
½-½
Koneru Humpy 2598
Hou Yifan 2661
½-½
Dronavalli Harika 2521
Round 04 –August 28 2014, 15:00h
Zhao Xue 2508   Dronavalli Harika 2521
Koneru Humpy 2598   Hou Yifan 2661
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494   Muminova, Nafisa 2315
Ushenina, Anna 2487   l'Ami, Alina 2446
Zhu Chen 2461   Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
Ju Wenjun 2559   Danielian, Elina 2490
Round 05 –August 30 2014, 15:00h
Danielian, Elina 2490   Zhao Xue 2508
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346   Ju Wenjun 2559
l'Ami, Alina 2446   Zhu Chen 2461
Muminova, Nafisa 2315   Ushenina, Anna 2487
Hou Yifan 2661   Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
Dronavalli Harika 2521   Koneru Humpy 2598
Round 06 –August 31 2014, 15:00h
Zhao Xue 2508   Koneru Humpy 2598
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494   Dronavalli Harika 2521
Ushenina, Anna 2487   Hou Yifan 2661
Zhu Chen 2461   Muminova, Nafisa 2315
Ju Wenjun 2559   l'Ami, Alina 2446
Danielian, Elina 2490   Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
Round 07 –September 01 2014, 15:00h
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346   Zhao Xue 2508
l'Ami, Alina 2446   Danielian, Elina 2490
Muminova, Nafisa 2315   Ju Wenjun 2559
Hou Yifan 2661   Zhu Chen 2461
Dronavalli Harika 2521   Ushenina, Anna 2487
Koneru Humpy 2598   Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
Round 08 –September 02 2014, 15:00h
Zhao Xue 2508   Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
Ushenina, Anna 2487   Koneru Humpy 2598
Zhu Chen 2461   Dronavalli Harika 2521
Ju Wenjun 2559   Hou Yifan 2661
Danielian, Elina 2490   Muminova, Nafisa 2315
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346   l'Ami, Alina 2446
Round 09 – September 04 2014, 15:00h
l'Ami, Alina 2446   Zhao Xue 2508
Muminova, Nafisa 2315   Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
Hou Yifan 2661   Danielian, Elina 2490
Dronavalli Harika 2521   Ju Wenjun 2559
Koneru Humpy 2598   Zhu Chen 2461
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494   Ushenina, Anna 2487
Round 10 –September 05 2014, 15:00h
Zhao Xue 2508   Ushenina, Anna 2487
Zhu Chen 2461   Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
Ju Wenjun 2559   Koneru Humpy 2598
Danielian, Elina 2490   Dronavalli Harika 2521
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346   Hou Yifan 2661
l'Ami, Alina 2446   Muminova, Nafisa 2315
Round 11 – September 06 2014, 13:00h
Muminova, Nafisa 2315   Zhao Xue 2508
Hou Yifan 2661   l'Ami, Alina 2446
Dronavalli Harika 2521   Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
Koneru Humpy 2598   Danielian, Elina 2490
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494   Ju Wenjun 2559
Ushenina, Anna 2487   Zhu Chen 2461

Links

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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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