Women's Grand Prix in Lopota begins

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/19/2014 – Lopota, Georgia is the host of the fifth Women's Grand Prix in the 2013-2014 series. The games have begun with an incredibly strong field. World Champion Hou Yifan and Koneru Humpy lead the pack of players trying to win the tournament and accumulate Grand Prix points. Yesterday was the opening ceremony and today we already had action packed games and missed chances.

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The fourth stage of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix series 2013-2014 is taking place at the Ugra Chess Academy, Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia from the from the 19th of June until the 1st of July 2014. It is a twelve-player round robin with time controls of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, with 30 minutes plus an additional 30 seconds per move for the rest of the game. The total prize fund is 60,000, with the winner getting 10,000 Euro.

Opening Ceremony

The fifth Women's Grand Prix in the 2013-14 series has begun in Lopota, Georgia.

The city of Lopota is next to the lake of the same name in Georgia

Georgian player Beata Khotenashvili with her daughter at the opening ceremony

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov came to open the event

Ju Wenjun with a beautiful view in the background

As usual for the Grand Prix series the event started off with folkloric dances

And in action!

World Champion Hou Yifan is the top rated player and got the number three seed

Anna Muzychuk being presented a traditional shawl as a gift

The participants, from left to right: Kosteniuk, Dzagnidze, Harika, Hou Yifan, Stefanova, Muzychuk A, Danielian, Muminova, Zhao Xue, Humpy, Khotenashvili and Ju Wenjun

Round One

Round 01 – June 19 2014, 15:00h
Koneru Humpy 2613
1-0
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Zhao Xue 2538
½-½
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Hou Yifan 2629
1-0
Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Ju Wenjun 2532
1-0
Danielian, Elina 2460
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
½-½
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Dronavalli Harika 2503
½-½
Muzychuk, Anna 2561

Koneru Humpy 1-0 Stefanova, Antoaneta
The combination of a dubious opening and the strength of Humpy's play was sufficient for White to take this game. It was very interesting and quite complex, with many tactics and difficult decisions, but at the end of the day when the smoke cleared the resulting endgame was complex for the Bulgarian player.

Antoaneta fell victim to India's top female player

Zhao Xue ½-½ Khotenashvili, Bela
The fighting spirit of both players was commendable, but the game was very equal throughout and no real fireworks occured.

Dzagnidze, Nana ½-½ Kosteniuk, Alexandra
White missed a golden opportunity:

[Event "FIDE Women's GP Lopota 2014"] [Site "Lopota"] [Date "2014.06.19"] [Round "1"] [White "Dzagnidze, Nana"] [Black "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A28"] [WhiteElo "2541"] [BlackElo "2532"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "2kr1b1r/2p2ppp/p1pqb3/4p3/NP2Pn2/P4N2/1BQP1PPP/R4RK1 b - - 0 14"] [PlyCount "30"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "GEO"] 14... Nd3 {Black's position is in shambles and the only thing that is holding it together is that knight on d3. White can eliminate it, but she does not see the opportunity.} 15. Rfc1 $6 {An exchange offering, but Kosteniuk does not bite.} (15. Bd4 $1 {Blocking the defense of the knight is lethal.} Nf4 (15... exd4 16. Qxd3 {leaves Black's position helpless. To begin with the a6 pawn cannot be defended.} Kb7 17. Nc5+ $18) 16. Bxe5 $18) 15... f6 16. Ne1 {Take my rook, why don't you?!} Nxc1 17. Rxc1 Qd7 18. d4 {White still has more than enough compensation, but she loses her way quickly.} exd4 19. Nd3 c5 $1 { Liberating Black's position.} 20. Ndxc5 Bxc5 21. Nxc5 (21. Qxc5 $1 {Was the only way to retain the advantage. The tactical justification is as follows:} Kb8 (21... Qd6 22. Qa7 $1 Kd7 23. Nc5+ Ke7 24. Nb7 Ra8 25. Qxa8 Rxa8 26. Nxd6 cxd6 27. Bxd4 {and to be honest Black should survive this endgame relatively easily.}) 22. Bxd4 $16 Qxd4 $2 23. Qxc7+ Ka8 24. Nb6+ Qxb6 25. Qxb6 $18) 21... d3 {Now White has nothing.} 22. Nxd3 Bb3 $1 23. Qc5 Kb8 24. Bd4 Qxd4 25. Qxc7+ Ka8 26. Qc6+ Ka7 27. Qc7+ Ka8 28. Qc6+ Ka7 29. Qc7+ 1/2-1/2

Alexandra salvaged a position that was nearly resignable had her opponent found the correct path

Ju Wenjun 1-0 Danielian, Elina
White held the advantage throughout the game and Black made some mistakes in the endgame that helped the Chinese player. The game went down to a rook vs. knight endgame in which Danielian had one passed pawn against Jun Wenjun's single remaining last pawn. A mistake let Ju Wenjun block the passer and win easier than she should have.

The Chinese players scored 2.5/3 today. Ju Wenjun did her part by beating Elina Danielian.

Dronavalli Harika ½-½ Muzychuk, Anna
The Indian player found herself with a weak but extra pawn throughout most of the game. However she was unable to make progress in a very long rook endgame and eventually the game reached a draw.

Hou Yifan 1-0 Muminova, Nafisa
White's relatively quiet set up susprisingly almost backfired badly:

[Event "FIDE Women's GP Lopota 2014"] [Site "Lopota"] [Date "2014.06.19"] [Round "1"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Muminova, Nafisa"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2629"] [BlackElo "2332"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "2kr3r/ppp1q1pp/2p2pn1/8/1PNpP1b1/P2P1N1P/2P1QPP1/RR4K1 b - - 0 15"] [PlyCount "30"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "GEO"] 15... Nf4 16. Qd2 {White held a solid edge, but she allowed Black's position to become too active. Here Black had an ingenious resource.} Nxh3+ $2 (16... g5 $3 {Brilliant! The bishop doesn't have to be taken, but if it is not White is just worse and Black will retreat it and continue pushing on the kingside.} 17. hxg4 h5 $1 {The point, the h-file opening is difficult to meet.} 18. g3 hxg4 19. Qd1 Qh7 20. Nh4 f5 $1 {And White will not survive.}) 17. gxh3 Bxh3 {This is just harmless. White is not even positionally worse, there are no threats on the kingside.} 18. a4 Qf7 19. Qf4 g5 20. Qh2 {The rest is cake for the World Champion.} Be6 21. Nfd2 f5 22. b5 c5 23. b6 axb6 24. a5 f4 25. axb6 cxb6 26. Nd6+ Rxd6 27. Ra8+ Kc7 28. Rxh8 Rd7 29. Qh6 Qe7 30. Nc4 1-0

Not the cleanest point, but a point is a point: Hou Yifan

Nafisa missed a golden chance to upset the World Champion today

Round One Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Photos by Alina l'Ami, from the official website

Schedule and results

Round 01 – June 19 2014, 15:00h
Koneru Humpy 2613
1-0
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Zhao Xue 2538
½-½
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Hou Yifan 2629
1-0
Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Ju Wenjun 2532
1-0
Danielian, Elina 2460
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
½-½
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Dronavalli Harika 2503
½-½
Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Round 02 –June 20 2014, 15:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488   Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532   Dronavalli Harika 2503
Danielian, Elina 2460   Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
Muminova, Nafisa 2332   Ju Wenjun 2532
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518   Hou Yifan 2629
Koneru Humpy 2613   Zhao Xue 2538
Round 03 –June 21 2014, 15:00h
Zhao Xue 2538   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Hou Yifan 2629   Koneru Humpy 2613
Ju Wenjun 2532   Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541   Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Dronavalli Harika 2503   Danielian, Elina 2460
Muzychuk, Anna 2561   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Round 04 –June 22 2014, 15:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Danielian, Elina 2460   Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Muminova, Nafisa 2332   Dronavalli Harika 2503
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518   Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
Koneru Humpy 2613   Ju Wenjun 2532
Zhao Xue 2538   Hou Yifan 2629
Round 05 –June 24 2014, 15:00h
Hou Yifan 2629   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Ju Wenjun 2532   Zhao Xue 2538
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541   Koneru Humpy 2613
Dronavalli Harika 2503   Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Muzychuk, Anna 2561   Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532   Danielian, Elina 2460
Round 06 –June 25 2014, 15:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488   Danielian, Elina 2460
Muminova, Nafisa 2332   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518   Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Koneru Humpy 2613   Dronavalli Harika 2503
Zhao Xue 2538   Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
Hou Yifan 2629   Ju Wenjun 2532
Round 07 –June 26 2014, 15:00h
Ju Wenjun 2532   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541   Hou Yifan 2629
Dronavalli Harika 2503   Zhao Xue 2538
Muzychuk, Anna 2561   Koneru Humpy 2613
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532   Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Danielian, Elina 2460   Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Round 08 –June 27 2014, 15:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488   Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518   Danielian, Elina 2460
Koneru Humpy 2613   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Zhao Xue 2538   Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Hou Yifan 2629   Dronavalli Harika 2503
Ju Wenjun 2532   Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
Round 09 – June 29 2014, 15:00h
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Dronavalli Harika 2503   Ju Wenjun 2532
Muzychuk, Anna 2561   Hou Yifan 2629
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532   Zhao Xue 2538
Danielian, Elina 2460   Koneru Humpy 2613
Muminova, Nafisa 2332   Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Round 10 –June 30 2014, 15:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488   Khotenashvili, Bela 2518
Koneru Humpy 2613   Muminova, Nafisa 2332
Zhao Xue 2538   Danielian, Elina 2460
Hou Yifan 2629   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532
Ju Wenjun 2532   Muzychuk, Anna 2561
Dzagnidze, Nana 2541   Dronavalli Harika 2503
Round 11 – July 01 2014, 13:00h
Dronavalli Harika 2503   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2488
Muzychuk, Anna 2561   Dzagnidze, Nana 2541
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2532   Ju Wenjun 2532
Danielian, Elina 2460   Hou Yifan 2629
Muminova, Nafisa 2332   Zhao Xue 2538
Khotenashvili, Bela 2518   Koneru Humpy 2613

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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



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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