Tashkent 08: Humpy increases lead

9/27/2013 – Humpy scored a very important victory today by beating the second seed Zhao Xue. This, coupled with the fact that both of her closest rivals drew, gives her a full point lead over Lagno and Harika. With only three rounds to go it seems that she is clearly in a pathway to taking the tournament, but of course it is not over yet. Pictorial report of round 8.

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The Tashkent Women's Grand Prix is currently being held in Uzbekistan from September 17th - October 1st. The tournament is part of the Women's World Championship cycle that will determine the next challenger for the world title. The twelve player round robin will feature 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 8

Danielian and Lagno enjoy some coffee before the game

Round 08 – September 26 2013, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
0-1
Girya, Olga 2439
Ju Wenjun 2535
½-½
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Danielian, Elina 2470
½-½
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Koneru, Humpy 2607
1-0
Zhao Xue 2579
Lagno, Kateryna 2532
½-½
Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
½-½
Dronavalli, Harika 2475

Kosteniuk did not do so well against her compatriot, and is now losing ten rating points; she does have three more rounds to recover in though

Kosteniuk, Alexandra 0-1 Girya, Olga
Kosteniuk played a strange move in the opening, 10.Ndb5, and as if to justify this decision then moved her knight back to a3, which was very strange. This misplaced knight on the edge of the board immediately gave Black an advantage when the center blew up. Black even sacrificed a pawn to expose the awkward placement of the knights on the a-file. The initiative kept growing and even though another pawn had to be sacrificed, Black was able to get a material advantage by winning an exchange and the game with a nice combination.

With this win Girya moves to 50%

Olga: "I think my opponent should have played 14.e5. I had a much better position, but was not very accurate converting advantage into a point. At one moment I even felt that I am doing something wrong and it will be a draw."

The Chinese player was hoping to keep pressuring the top players with a win against Nakhbayeva, who is currently last, but this did not happen

Ju Wenjun ½-½ Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan
The game was pretty equal all throughout. Black might have tried something around the middlegame as her position seemed more active than White's, but through some exchanges her initiative was neutralized and the Chinese maybe even obtained a minimal edge. Ju Wenjun tried to make something happen with her pair of bishops but Nakhbayeva kept a solid position and had no problem holding a draw.

Still focused: Nakhbayeva hasn't lost her spirit and held easily against Ju Wenjun

Danielian, Elina ½-½ Khotenashvili, Bela
Danielian chose a variation that has a lot of poison, despite the symmetrical pawn structure. However White has to be very precise to keep her edge alive and retreating the bishop to the completely wrong diagonal as she did with 13.Ba2?! was enough to give away any hopes for an advantage and Khotenashvili drew the game without problems.

Elina: "I think 9…dxc4 was a dubious move, but I couldn't find any improvement for my position."

Koneru is now one point away from Lagno and Harika with three rounds to go

Koneru, Humpy 1-0 Zhao Xue
Definitely the most important game of the day. Humpy extends her lead over her competitors by means of a well calculated combination against Zhao Xue. In a tense game Humpy uncorked the surprising 25.Nxc4! which resulted, after many moves, in a position in which White had a queen and a rook against a queen and two knights. However that wasn't all, as White enjoyed two passed pawns on the queenside that were surely going to become queens. To avoid exchanging queens and going into a hopeless endgame Zhao Xue sacrificed a knight but she lost quickly after that. Humpy shows that she is superior to her competitors in this tournament and Zhao Xue is in a slump as this is her third loss in a row.

Zhao Xue was not happy with her performance today

Zhao Xue: "It was an absurd game by black. Of course there were much better ways to continue, like 21...d5 22.cxd5 Qxc1 23.Bxe7 Qc7 24.Bd6 Qb6"

Humpy: "I liked the idea with 21...Ra6 22.Qa3 f5 23.Neg5 Nxg5 24.Nxg5 Bxg5 25.hxg5 e4 26.Rfd1"

Muminova was not afraid to enter complications from the beginning of the game, and she again was close to a big upset

Lagno, Kateryna ½-½ Muminova, Nafisa
Lagno was White against the lowest rated player, a clear chance to keep chasing Humpy. However what happened on the board was very different as it was only Muminova who could claim to ever be better. The game was wild for a long time but after many simplifications only Black could be better in the endgame. Here Muminova's technique let her down and instead of trying to rip open a file for her rook with 25...Re8! and 26...f5! she played too passively and exchange her amazing knight for White's dubious bishop, after which a draw was inevitable.

Harika was able to equalize easily against Stefanova, but was this exactly what she needed?

Stefanova, Atoaneta ½-½ Dronavalli, Harika
Stefanova essayed a line that has become popular against the Gruenfeld recently: 5.Bd2 to avoid having issues with the pawn structure. However Harika was well prepared and she easily obtained equality by sacrificing a pawn and recovering it a few moves later. With these trades the position became absolutely equal and the draw could not be avoided.

Harika: "I didn't understand 13.Rc1. Maybe 13.Ne2 and 14.0-0 was more ambitious"

Antoaneta: "Before in the Grand Prix tournaments there was a special "opening expert", e.g. Zurab Azmaiparashvili, who was responsible for such situations when neither of the sides has a chance to improve position. The player could go to him and ask if he can allow to offer a draw regardless of the Sofia rules. So the players don't have to search for the way to repeat position like we did."

The players had to repeat moves in what was obviously a dead drawn position; one of the bad things about Sofia rules

Pictures by Maria Emelianova

Standings

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Schedule

Round 01 – September 18 2013, 14:00h
Danielian, Elina 2470
½-½
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Koneru, Humpy 2607
1-0
Ju Wenjun 2535
Lagno, Kateryna 2532
½-½
Girya, Olga 2439
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
1-0
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Dronavalli, Harika 2475
1-0
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Muminova, Nafisa 2293
0-1
Zhao Xue 2579
Round 02 – September 19 2013, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
0-1
Zhao Xue 2579
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
1-0
Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
½-½
Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Girya, Olga 2439
½-½
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Ju Wenjun 2535
½-½
Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Danielian, Elina 2470
0-1
Koneru, Humpy 2607
Round 03 – September 20 2013, 14:00h
Koneru, Humpy 2607
1-0
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Lagno, Kateryna 2532
1-0
Danielian, Elina 2470
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
0-1
Ju Wenjun 2535
Dronavalli, Harika 2475
1-0
Girya, Olga 2439
Muminova, Nafisa 2293
1-0
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Zhao Xue 2579
0-1
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Round 04 – September 21 2013, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
1-0
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
½-½
Zhao Xue 2579
Girya, Olga 2439
1-0
Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Ju Wenjun 2535
½-½
Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Danielian, Elina 2470
½-½
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Koneru, Humpy 2607
½-½
Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Round 05 – September 23 2013, 14:00h
Lagno, Kateryna 2532
1-0
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
½-½
Koneru, Humpy 2607
Dronavalli, Harika 2475
1-0
Danielian, Elina 2470
Muminova, Nafisa 2293
1-0
Ju Wenjun 2535
Zhao Xue 2579
1-0
Girya, Olga 2439
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
1-0
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Round 06 – September 24 2013, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
1-0
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Girya, Olga 2439
0-1
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Ju Wenjun 2535
1-0
Zhao Xue 2579
Danielian, Elina 2470
½-½
Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Koneru, Humpy 2607
½-½
Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Lagno, Kateryna 2532
1-0
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Round 07 – September 25 2013, 14:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
½-½
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Dronavalli, Harika 2475
½-½
Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Muminova, Nafisa 2293
0-1
Koneru, Humpy 2607
Zhao Xue 2579
0-1
Danielian, Elina 2470
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
0-1
Ju Wenjun 2535
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
0-1
Girya, Olga 2439
Round 08 – September 26 2013, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
0-1
Girya, Olga 2439
Ju Wenjun 2535
½-½
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Danielian, Elina 2470
½-½
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Koneru, Humpy 2607
1-0
Zhao Xue 2579
Lagno, Kateryna 2532
½-½
Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
½-½
Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Round 09 – September 28 2013, 14:00h
Dronavalli, Harika 2475   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Muminova, Nafisa 2293   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Zhao Xue 2579   Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514   Koneru, Humpy 2607
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307   Danielian, Elina 2470
Girya, Olga 2439   Ju Wenjun 2535
Round 10 – September 29, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495   Ju Wenjun 2535
Danielian, Elina 2470   Girya, Olga 2439
Koneru, Humpy 2607   Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Lagno, Kateryna 2532   Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496   Zhao Xue 2579
Dronavalli, Harika 2475   Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Round 11 – September 30, 11:00h
Muminova, Nafisa 2293   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Zhao Xue 2579   Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307   Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Girya, Olga 2439   Koneru, Humpy 2607
Ju Wenjun 2535   Danielian, Elina 2470

The games start at 11:00h European time, 13:00h Moscow, 5 a.m. New York. You can find your regional starting time here.

Links

The games will be 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


Topics TashkentW
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