Tehran WGP Rd3: Zhao Xue is the winner of the day

by Alina l'Ami
2/14/2016 – The third round was by far less peaceful than the five draws and one decisive game might suggest. Natalija Pogonina drew with Black against Ju Wenjun, thus maintaining her sole lead. By a funny coincidence, three games of round three ended in a three-fold repetition. In the only decisive game, Zhao Xue - Nino Batsiashvili, White won after sacrificing a pawn and then a piece!

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Photos by Alina L'Ami for the official site

Round 3 in progress

Zhao Xue
1 - 0
Batsiashvili Nino
Zhukova Natalia
½ - ½
Stefanova Antoaneta
Dzagnidze Nana
½ - ½
Koneru Humpy
Harika Dronavalli
½ - ½
Gunina Valentina
Cramling Pia
½ - ½
Khademalsharieh Sarasadat
Ju Wenjun
½ - ½
Pogonina Natalija

Let's have a look on what happened on the boards, especially since two games featured heavy theoretical battles, which ended with different results.

Zhao Xue - Nino Batsiashvili 1-0

In the first game between these players ever, White chose an ambitious Vienna line based on an early pawn sacrifice and continuing (again!) with a piece offer barely out of the opening...

12. Bxh6 was played (in the footsteps of Mamedyarov-Morozevich, 2009 - although in a blitz game)
12... gxh6 13. Qxh6 Re8

Nino Batsiashvili

Nino did not seem to be caught unaware as she blitzed her first 13 moves, which induced her opponent to become circumspect and spend considerable amounts of time. This was not in vain as after Xue's novelty:

14.Qh5 Either the Georgian forgot her analysis or she was simply unprepared for this. One way or another, Nino spent almost 25 minutes on her answer, which proved a mistake with heavy consequences given the ultra-sharp, Najdorf-Sicilian concrete-like, position.

Zhao Xue didn't hesitate to wrap things up after the massive attack on the black king

Natalia Zhukova - Antoaneta Stefanova 1/2-1/2

In the game between Natalia and Antoaneta, two players which have met quite a lot, White met the Grunfeld with the critical 8.Rb1 exchange variation. The novelty arrived slightly later than in the previous game, with 17.h4. But typically for the Grunfeld, Black's extra pawn proved a good match for White's initiative and space and the game liquidated into a drawn ending. It was nevertheless fascinating to follow the numerous spectacular lines mentioned by both players during the press conference.

Beautiful eyes + beautiful smile = great game too!

Ju Wenjun - Natalija Pogonina 1/2-1/2

A cautious opening choice (for some people's taste, a super-safe manoeuvring Reti variation), allowed Wenjun to put an end to Natalia's string of victories, but the logical draw in an opposite-coloured bishops ending after a balanced positional fight maintains Natalias's sole lead in the tournament.

Roller-coaster-like schedule for most of the players...Wenjun is getting tired too

To take or not to take on c5, that was the question...Wenjun decided to go for the trade, after which the Russian surgically defended and hold on to a draw. Instead, 22. b5 would have been preferable, keeping the options open and the upper hand.

Keeping a firm grip on the lead

Harika Dronavalli - Valentina Gunina 1/2-1/2

The ever friendly and big time chess lover - Harika

Both Harika and Valentina had a shaky start (even though this refers more to their results than the general class of play) making the slow-mode opening a suitable choice for each of them. Harika played the 'off-beat' (in fact quite a fashionable line these days on top level, employed by none other than Carlsen himself) 2.Bf4 London opening, but was surprised one move later by Valentina's 3...Bg4. Typical for this variation, the middlegame was not too eventful and after a series of exchanges a three-fold repetition sealed the draw.

Nana Dzagnidze - Humpy Koneru 1/2-1/2

Playing with Black against Nana Dzagnidze, Humpy Koneru used the same opening as in the first round, the Tartakover Queen's Gambit. At this level, the players usually switch from one opening to another in order to avoid concrete preparation, but judging from this perspective it could have been precisely Humpy's consequence which surprised her opponent. White chose a somewhat "dry" setup, eventually resulting in a queenside domination with a beautifully placed knight on c6. Far from retreating to a passive defence, Humpy started active kingside counterplay, balancing the chances and achieving a draw.

Because I have a high admiration for those tough decisional moments that build strong grandmasters and characters, I have to share with you what Nana played here:

27. g4! which I believe it is not an easy choice, as White's structure and king could become vulnerable later on. 27... Nf6 28. Nc6 Rd7 29. f3 However, it proved that Nana's idea to kick away the e4-knight and to improve her pawns was the right way to go. The game didn't lack interesting and sharp moments later on, so kindly check the remaining of the game for your own enjoyment.

Humpy's weapon from round one (Tartakower) brought her only half a point this time

Pia Cramling - Sarasadat Khademalsharieh 1/2-1/2

Pia Cramling managed to recover after her unfortunate start by drewing with White against Sara. The game was anything but peaceful and even in the final position, where players decided to repeat the moves, the structure was highly non-symmetrical. A fitting result for Pia and the continuation of a good tournament for Sara.

Sarasadat Khademalsharieh

Pia Cramling

In chess as in life, ups and downs are inevitable. Here Sara played

20... Rxa3 missing Pia's trickery with 21. Bxe6 Rxa1 22. Bxd7+ Kxd7 23. Rxa1. She could have gone instead: 20... Rf3 first, luring the king to e2 and only after that the capture on a3 is possible, as Bxe6 doesn't work anymore in view of Bb5+!

This was the 'peaceful' story of today and tomorrow there is a Valentine's Day to celebrate, especially for Valentina! How will she do that? Through hard work on the board, of course...

Replay all games from round three (with times per move)

[Event "FIDE Women GP Tehran 2016"] [Site "Tehran"] [Date "2016.02.13"] [Round "3"] [White "Dzagnidze, Nana"] [Black "Koneru, Humpy"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D58"] [WhiteElo "2529"] [BlackElo "2583"] [PlyCount "88"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "IRI"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. d4 {(0s)} d5 {(0s)} 2. c4 {(0s)} e6 {(0s)} 3. Nc3 {(6s)} Nf6 {(8s)} 4. Bg5 {(87s)} Be7 {(25s)} 5. Nf3 {(46s)} h6 {(22s)} 6. Bh4 {(14s)} O-O {(14s)} 7. e3 {(25s)} b6 {(23s)} 8. Bd3 {(186s)} Bb7 {(17s)} 9. O-O {(123s)} Nbd7 {(28s)} 10. Bg3 {(735s)} c5 {(250s)} 11. cxd5 {(9s)} Nxd5 {(221s)} 12. Nxd5 {(616s)} Bxd5 {(443s)} 13. Rc1 {(19s)} Nf6 {(165s)} 14. dxc5 {(724s)} Bxc5 {(366s)} 15. Qe2 {(225s)} Ne4 {(415s)} 16. Ba6 {(475s)} Bd6 {(469s)} 17. Nd4 {(417s)} Bxg3 {(373s)} 18. hxg3 {(4s)} Qe7 {( 239s)} 19. a3 {(267s)} Nc5 {(161s)} 20. Bc4 {(13s)} Bb7 {(182s)} 21. b4 {(313s)} Ne4 {(54s)} 22. Ba6 {(21s)} Rfc8 {(306s)} 23. Qd3 {(66s)} Rxc1 {(521s)} 24. Rxc1 {(3s)} Rd8 {(15s)} 25. Bxb7 {(88s)} Qxb7 {(60s)} 26. Qc2 {(316s)} Qd5 {(267s)} 27. g4 {(108s)} Nf6 {(130s)} 28. Nc6 {(390s)} Rd7 {(39s)} 29. f3 {(12s)} Qg5 {(178s)} 30. Qe2 {(143s)} h5 {(286s)} 31. gxh5 {(42s)} Nxh5 {(16s)} 32. f4 {( 129s)} Ng3 {(16s)} 33. Qa6 {(351s)} Qd5 {(359s)} 34. Qc8+ {(86s)} Kh7 {(9s)} 35. Ne5 {(18s)} Rd8 {( 271s)} 36. Qc2+ {(27s)} Kg8 {(29s)} 37. Kh2 {(137s)} Ne4 {(39s)} 38. Qc7 {(36s)} Rf8 {(11s)} 39. Qd7 {(148s)} Nf6 {(265s)} 40. Qxd5 {(0s)} Nxd5 {(0s)} 41. e4 {(717s)} Nxf4 {(111s)} 42. Rc7 {(28s)} f5 {(618s)} 43. Nd7 {(126s)} Rf7 {(241s)} 44. exf5 {(530s)} exf5 {(106s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Women GP Tehran 2016"] [Site "Tehran"] [Date "2016.02.13"] [Round "3"] [White "Cramling, Pia"] [Black "Khademalsharieh, Sarasadat"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2521"] [BlackElo "2403"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "IRI"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. d4 {(0s)} Nf6 {(0s)} 2. Nf3 {(0s)} d5 {(0s)} 3. c4 {(438s)} e6 {(74s)} 4. Nc3 {(65s)} Bb4 {(25s)} 5. Qa4+ {(330s)} Nc6 {(7s)} 6. Bg5 {(22s)} dxc4 {(39s)} 7. a3 {(662s)} Bxc3+ {(131s)} 8. bxc3 {(2s)} Qd5 {(181s)} 9. Bxf6 {(283s)} gxf6 {(6s)} 10. g3 {(49s)} Bd7 {(705s)} 11. Qc2 {(19s)} Na5 {(117s)} 12. e4 {(430s)} Qd6 {(395s)} 13. Nd2 {(160s)} c5 {(786s)} 14. Nxc4 {(1210s)} Nxc4 {(10s)} 15. Bxc4 {(6s)} cxd4 {(6s)} 16. Qd3 {(24s)} Rc8 {(389s)} 17. cxd4 {(466s)} Qc6 {(325s)} 18. Ba2 {(421s)} Qc3+ {(298s)} 19. Qxc3 {(18s)} Rxc3 {(5s)} 20. Kd2 {(133s)} Rxa3 {(26s)} 21. Bxe6 {(49s)} Rxa1 {( 25s)} 22. Bxd7+ {(5s)} Kxd7 {(5s)} 23. Rxa1 {(3s)} Ra8 {(141s)} 24. Kd3 {(62s)} a6 {(132s)} 25. f4 {(326s)} b5 {(417s)} 26. d5 {(85s)} a5 {(170s)} 27. e5 {(130s)} b4 {(312s)} 28. Kc4 {(33s)} Rc8+ {(81 s)} 29. Kd4 {(40s)} Ra8 {(38s)} 30. Kc4 {(16s)} Rc8+ {(5s)} 31. Kd4 {(60s)} Ra8 {(5s)} 32. Ke4 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Women GP Tehran 2016"] [Site "Tehran"] [Date "2016.02.13"] [Round "3"] [White "Zhukova, Natalia"] [Black "Stefanova, Antoaneta"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2484"] [BlackElo "2509"] [PlyCount "68"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "IRI"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. d4 {(0s)} Nf6 {(0s)} 2. c4 {(0s)} g6 {(0s)} 3. Nc3 {(8s)} d5 {(0s)} 4. cxd5 {(235s)} Nxd5 {(0s)} 5. e4 {(5s)} Nxc3 {(8s)} 6. bxc3 {(6s)} Bg7 {(12s)} 7. Nf3 {(75s)} c5 {(86s)} 8. Rb1 {(45s)} O-O {(25s)} 9. Be2 {(43s)} cxd4 {(178s)} 10. cxd4 {(8s)} Qa5+ {(10s)} 11. Bd2 {(109s)} Qxa2 {(9s)} 12. O-O {( 20s)} Bg4 {(434s)} 13. Bg5 {(551s)} h6 {(424s)} 14. Bh4 {(142s)} g5 {(358s)} 15. Bg3 {(14s)} Nc6 {(9 s)} 16. d5 {(51s)} Na5 {(575s)} 17. h4 {(567s)} Rac8 {(806s)} 18. hxg5 {(145s)} hxg5 {(22s)} 19. Re1 {(483s)} Qc2 {(470s)} 20. Nxg5 {(173s)} Bxe2 {(76s)} 21. Rxe2 {(125s)} Qxd1+ {(79s)} 22. Rxd1 {(2s)} Nc4 {(191s)} 23. e5 {(195s)} Rfd8 {(258s)} 24. d6 {(275s)} exd6 {(304s)} 25. exd6 {(14s)} Rd7 {(159s)} 26. Re7 {(430s)} Rxe7 {(444s)} 27. dxe7 {(22s)} Bf6 {(34s)} 28. Re1 {(142s)} Re8 {(45s)} 29. Ne4 {(24s)} Bb2 {(260s)} 30. Nd6 {(493s)} Nxd6 {(34s)} 31. Bxd6 {(3s)} b5 {(353s)} 32. Rb1 {( 218s)} Bf6 {(77s)} 33. Rxb5 {(36s)} Bxe7 {(13s)} 34. Bxe7 {(168s)} Rxe7 {(11s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Women GP Tehran 2016"] [Site "Tehran"] [Date "2016.02.13"] [Round "3"] [White "Ju, Wenjun"] [Black "Pogonina, Natalija"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A06"] [WhiteElo "2558"] [BlackElo "2454"] [PlyCount "88"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "IRI"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. Nf3 {(0s)} d5 {(0s)} 2. g3 {(0s)} Bg4 {(25s)} 3. Bg2 {(8s)} Nd7 {(10s)} 4. O-O {(62s)} c6 {(192s)} 5. d3 {(11s)} Ngf6 {(10s)} 6. Qe1 {(120s)} e5 {(88s)} 7. e4 {(6s)} dxe4 {(28s)} 8. dxe4 {(3s)} Be7 {( 59s)} 9. Nbd2 {(28s)} O-O {(30s)} 10. h3 {(18s)} Bh5 {(98s)} 11. Nc4 {(293s)} Qc7 {(86s)} 12. Nh4 {( 275s)} Rfe8 {(423s)} 13. Bd2 {(94s)} b5 {(426s)} 14. Na5 {(152s)} Nc5 {(301s)} 15. Nf5 {(32s)} Bf8 {(241s)} 16. b4 {(448s)} Nb7 {(285s)} 17. Nxb7 {(754s)} Qxb7 {(5s)} 18. g4 {(380s)} Bg6 {(52s)} 19. Qe2 {(2s)} Nd7 {(953s)} 20. c4 {(26s)} bxc4 {(38s)} 21. Qxc4 {(23s)} c5 {(70s)} 22. bxc5 {(608s)} Rac8 {(147s)} 23. Be3 {(1053s)} Nxc5 {(141s)} 24. Rfd1 {(132s)} Red8 {(708s)} 25. Rab1 {(116s)} Rxd1+ {(245s)} 26. Rxd1 {(90s)} Ne6 {(9s)} 27. Qa4 {(213s)} Nc5 {(455s)} 28. Qc4 {(22s)} Ne6 {(10s)} 29. Qa4 {(294s)} Nc5 {(202s)} 30. Qa5 {(454s)} f6 {(178s)} 31. Rd8 {(46s)} Rxd8 {(80s)} 32. Qxd8 {(7s)} Ne6 {(70s)} 33. Qd5 {(219s)} Qxd5 {(222s)} 34. exd5 {(3s)} Bxf5 {(19s)} 35. gxf5 {(2s)} Nd4 {( 104s)} 36. Bxd4 {(70s)} exd4 {(4s)} 37. Kf1 {(4s)} Kf7 {(41s)} 38. Ke2 {(11s)} Bc5 {(117s)} 39. Kd3 {(18s)} Ke7 {(4s)} 40. Kc4 {(0s)} Kd6 {(0s)} 41. f4 {(123s)} Bb6 {(317s)} 42. Be4 {(6s)} Bc5 {(43s)} 43. Bf3 {(64s)} Bb6 {(5s)} 44. Be4 {(2s)} Bc5 {(3s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Women GP Tehran 2016"] [Site "Tehran"] [Date "2016.02.13"] [Round "3"] [White "Harika, Dronavalli"] [Black "Gunina, Valentina"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D00"] [WhiteElo "2511"] [BlackElo "2496"] [PlyCount "38"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "IRI"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. d4 {(0s)} d5 {(0s)} 2. Bf4 {(0s)} Nf6 {(406s)} 3. e3 {(72s)} Bg4 {(88s)} 4. Nf3 {(215s)} e6 {(70s)} 5. h3 {(400s)} Bh5 {(171s)} 6. Be2 {(108s)} c6 {(72s)} 7. O-O {(259s)} Bd6 {(217s)} 8. Ne5 {(464s)} Bxe2 {(65s)} 9. Qxe2 {(3s)} O-O {(34s)} 10. Nd2 {(30s)} Qc7 {(272s)} 11. c4 {(337s)} Nbd7 {(430s)} 12. Nxd7 {(50s)} Nxd7 {(24s)} 13. Bxd6 {(705s)} Qxd6 {(5s)} 14. Rad1 {(7s)} Rfe8 {(169s)} 15. Nf3 {(344s)} Nf6 {(226s)} 16. Qc2 {(38s)} Ne4 {(73s)} 17. Nd2 {(80s)} Nf6 {(116s)} 18. Nf3 {(8s)} Ne4 {(5 s)} 19. Nd2 {(4s)} Nf6 {(32s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Women GP Tehran 2016"] [Site "Tehran"] [Date "2016.02.13"] [Round "3"] [White "Zhao, Xue"] [Black "Batsiashvili, Nino"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2506"] [BlackElo "2485"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "IRI"] [TimeControl "40/5400+30:1800+30"] 1. d4 {(0s)} Nf6 {(0s)} 2. c4 {(0s)} e6 {(0s)} 3. Nf3 {(16s)} d5 {(0s)} 4. Nc3 {(4s)} dxc4 {(0s)} 5. e4 {(537s)} Bb4 {(11s)} 6. Bxc4 {(21s)} Nxe4 {(18s)} 7. O-O {(6s)} Nxc3 {(6s)} 8. bxc3 {(5s)} Bd6 {(5s)} 9. Ng5 {(584s)} h6 {(57s)} 10. Qh5 {(168s)} O-O {(8s)} 11. Ne4 {(380s)} Nd7 {(62s)} 12. Bxh6 {(316 s)} gxh6 {(46s)} 13. Qxh6 {(340s)} Re8 {(77s)} 14. Qh5 {(766s)} Nf8 {(1398s)} 15. f4 {(139s)} Ng6 {( 891s)} 16. f5 {(1063s)} Qh4 {(88s)} 17. Qxh4 {(604s)} Nxh4 {(7s)} 18. Nf6+ {(3s)} Kf8 {(6s)} 19. Nxe8 {(5s)} Kxe8 {(2s)} 20. Rae1 {(4s)} Be7 {(545s)} 21. fxe6 {(17s)} fxe6 {(14s)} 22. d5 {(307s)} exd5 {(306s)} 23. Bd3 {(148s)} Bd7 {(780s)} 24. Rf4 {(345s)} Kd8 {(525s)} 25. g3 {(21s)} Bh3 {(498 s)} 26. gxh4 {(29s)} Kd7 {(1s)} 27. Rf7 {(124s)} Re8 {(68s)} 28. h5 {(96s)} Be6 {(230s)} 29. Rg7 {( 24s)} Rf8 {(458s)} 30. h6 {(46s)} Kd6 {(124s)} 31. h7 {(27s)} Bf6 {(18s)} 32. Rg6 {(27s)} Be5 {(6s)} 33. Bf5 {(41s)} Rxf5 {(56s)} 34. Rxe6+ {(16s)} 1-0

Select games from the dropdown menu above the board


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 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Alina is an International Master and a very enthusiastic person in everything she does. She loves travelling to the world's most remote places in order to play chess tournaments and report about them here on ChessBase! As chance would have it Alina is also an excellent photographer.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register