After the second round there are two chess players with absolute result: Nana Dzagnidze and Elina Danielian were stronger in their games against Munguntuul Batkhuyag and Maia Chiburdanidze accordingly. Marie Sebag created the strong attack on her opponent’s king and won an impressive game against Xu Yuhua.
As it happened in the first round, the only one game was drawn today between Zhu ChenandPia Cramling. After the games participants came to the press centre and answered to the journalist’s questions.
Dzagnidze Nana – Munguntuul Batkhuyag 1:0
Playing with Black, Batkhuyag Munguntuul equalized after the opening which happened to be Reti System. In the symmetrical pawn structure Black created some weaknesses which were used by White afterwards.
I think the position was equal after the opening. Playing with Black I was satisfied with the position I’ve got. I thought that position was near to equal all the time, with some chances for White of course, but I think It’s possible to hold it. Maybe I didn’t need to play f5 and I didn’t have to play 36.b5 for sure in the end (diagram). After that my pawn on a6 became weak, her knight got a comfortable location on c5 square.
Dzagnidze Nana: I also believe Black didn’t have any problems after the opening. At the same moment I think it was more comfortable to play this position with White, so I just continued playing it. Afterwards my opponent created the weaknesses by herself. I also agree that 36. b5 was a crucial mistake, it was difficult to play for Black after that.
It often happens with me that I prepare one variation before the start of the game but afterwards I see another idea and I follow it. It’s typical for me and it happened in the game today. Of course my couch was not satisfied with that.
Zhu Chen – Pia Cramling 1/2 : 1/2
In the game Zhu Chen - Cramling White played the solid line with Qc2 against Nimzo-Indian. White managed to get small advantage after the opening but could not turn it into a full point.
Pia Cramling: In the opening it became quite sharp and I decided to go to the endgame with an equal position. My pieces were standing a little bit strange so I had to be careful and finally we went into the repetition. In one moment I had to make a decision – to go for complications or play what I finally played in the game.
Zhu Chen: I think I made a mistake in the opening and I had some problems. But afterwards I was trying to put my pieces more protective. After Black decided to exchange some pieces I think White got a good position. Maybe I had some slight chances but during time trouble I didn’t find how to improve my position.
Elina Danielian – Maia Chiburdanidze 1:0
After some moves the game was transformed into a well known position from Queens Indian. Playing aggressively Black got the equal chances in the game.
I`ve got a good position after the opening. Elina provoked me, with her move 14. Nf4, to play g5 and g4. I think the position was about equal all the time but after 34. Ra8 and 35. Qc8 my position became better. I think I should not play Be7, it was too fast, of course I saw the sacrifice 39.Rc7 (diagram) but I thought I had normal position after 42. Nf8. But Elina calculates very well, so she found the chances how to improve her position. I think it’s not easy to defend the position in the end.
Elina Danielian: I think Maia could have played better after she pushed her pawns on f5, g4. Instead of this she closed the centre and position became equal. After I doubled my rooks on the h-file, I made a foolish thing, just simply forgot to play Rh6 (I played Kf1 instead) and let Maia to play h5 and close the line. And I think after that Black has good position because my rooks do nothing on the "h" line. But of course when Maia gave me a chance to sacrifice a piece I moved on. I think it was my only chance and I also thought during the game it would be easier for me to play that position (with tree pawns against a piece) in the time trouble. Black could win this position only playing very accurately but in time trouble I was able to activate all pieces and it was a decisive factor. Still I believe there were many mistakes from the both sides… Humpy Koneru – Martha Fierro 1:0
Volga Gambit has been played today in the game Koneru-Fierro. White defended well in the opening and, after changing few pieces, got a clear advantage. Indian player kept an extra pawn from the opening and implemented it into more in the ending.
Martha Fierro: I didn`t find my play during the game. It was more then simple Benko Gambit because I had no compensation at all. Maybe I misplayed somehow, I have to check it because I don`t know.
Humpy Koneru: I didn`t expect this opening today, I saw the only one game with the same opening which my competitor has played recently. But there were not so much complications in the game, so it was easy for me to play. I think it was better for White. Probably 20...Na4 was a wrong move (diagram). Black could have played differently.
Lilit Mkrtchian – Antoaneta Stefanova 0:1
Chebanenko variation of Slav defence happened in the game Mkrtchian - Stefanova. After the opening Black got a very passive but solid position. In the time troubles the evaluation of the position changed many times.
It was really difficult game. I had really good position but in time trouble I played very badly. I think the position was also normal in the endgame but I made too many mistakes.
Antoaneta Stefanova: I got a worse position from the opening, it was clear. Still it was somehow solid position, so I was trying to hold it. I believe I found few only moves. I don`t know if Lilit could win by force or not at some point because my position looked very dubious and there was not much contra play. But of course in time trouble everything can happen as we all know already. After the first time control I thought I’ve got some attacking chances but then I realized that actually it’s not so much. When we entered the endgame I was thinking that I’m not going to lose it any more but maybe it was not logical to win it. But since that moment everything could happen already because we both were under time pressure. Maybe she had to change one rook
immediately after we changed queens because I had too weak pawns.
A former World Champion Nona Gaprindashvili kindly shared her views about the game after 25. Ne5. “Antoaneta Stefanova slowly drops out of the bad position. I think her position was hopeless before. Lilit could have played 23.Ne5! two moves earlier (diagram). Without this move the position is still better for White but I think the worst times are over for Black.”
Xu Yuhua – Marie Sebag 0:1
In Naidorf variaton in Siclian Defence Black sacrificed a pawn and got very strong attack on the white king.
In the opening Black made an interesting move 11...h5. I think the position is very unclear after that. I took a pawn but after that I`m not sure I can defend my position. Also I think g5 was a bad move and the game is lost after that (diagram).