Antoaneta Stefanova – Nana Dzagnidze 0:1
In the game both players decided to avoid the well known openings. Taking on d4 White gave an advantage to the opponent and after such powerful moves as Nf4! and Rd5! Black managed to win.
Nana Dzagnidze: It was Rety which transferred to Benony but with opposite colours. I didn’t have problems after the opening. Probably Antoaneta had to play e takes d some moves earlier because after she played 10.ed in the game I had moves 10…e4 and 11…Qd4. I think after 11…Qd4 and long castle my position is better. I’m not sure about the move 15…Kb8, I think it was better to play f5. White had a chance to play better but I think she simply didn’t see the move 18…Rg5 (diagram).
Munguntuul Batkhuyag - Humpy Koneru 0:1
Spanish Opening was played in the game Batkhuyag-Koneru. After an accurate defence in the opening Black grabbed a pawn and transferred the game into the ending.
Humpy Koneru: After the opening White had a very pleasant position: my c6 square was weak. Probably 15.c3 was a wrong move. After that I found a tactical move 16…c5 and I got a control over the centre (diagram). After exchanging c3 with b4 pawns II also had an initiative. We entered the ending with rook and knight against rook and bishop where I had a passed pawn. There were problems with the pawn structure on the King`s side. I improved my position slowly and won the game.
Munguntuul Batkhuyag: After the opening the position seemed to be good for me: she had a weak c6 square and her knight on a5 was located badly. Probably I should not play 15.c3 but to be honest I didn’t see the move 16…c5. The endgame was worse for me but I was trying to hold it. After she played f4 and moved her king to the centre the game was already lost for me.
Maia Chiburdanidze – Martha Fierro 1:0
A former world champion got a little bit more pleasant edge after the King's Indian Opening and managed to win an ending with better prospects for White.
Maia Chiburdanidze: I think 9…Bg4 was not a good move because later on she had to go back with her bishop losing a tempo. My position was slightly better but you should work hard to implement it into more. In the endgame Martha made a mistake playing h5 because she gave me a chance to create a passed pawn (diagram). Maybe she could hold the position playing f6, bringing her king on the queenside and moving a knight on f7. After we traded pieces my idea was to play against her bad knight on a5. There are some positions where e-file is opened, the d6 pawn is weak and it`s easy to get some winning chances.
Martha Fierro: I played this variation before against Chmilyte and 9…Bg4 should be some kind of theory. White usually continues f3 and then Black plays Bd7. But Qd3 was a novelty for me. White was a little bit better during the whole game. I sensed that 33...h5 was a mistake but maybe later on I should not have taken on g4 but kept the h5 pawn. I was thinking to play e6 in the middle game and take on d5, and if she takes on d5 with "c" pawn, I put some pressure after c4, otherwise I can continue Be5…
Elina Danielian – Zhu Chen 1:0
King's Indian also happened in the game Danielian-Zhu Chen. White had a little advantage in the opening. The evaluation of the position was changing rapidly when both opponents entered a time trouble. White got an attack and managed to mate the opponent’s king.
Elina Danielian: At the beginning the position was quite boring and I spent plenty of time trying to find how to complicate it. Maybe I have chosen not very good move Bc6 because I exchange my bishop with her knight but the position promised to be living. Later on I decided to sacrifice a pawn on b2, and I also saw the following variations including the move Nc6. I could have kept the pawn playing 25.Na7 instead of 25.e4. To be honest I didn’t like something in that variation but I don’t know what exactly...We both were in the time trouble: I had less time in one moment, and then both of us were out of time. It was really difficult to play and for sure we made some mistakes. Instead of Qe6 she had to play the only move Re5 and give an exchange for my strong bishop (diagram). Anyway it was interesting to play this position because it is a kind of positions I like to get in general.
Xu Yuhua – Lilit Mkrtchian 0:1
French defence was handled in the game Xu Yuhua-Mkrtchian. White started an early attack playing h4 and Rh3. Black defended well and accepted the opponent’s sacrifice. White’s attack got bogged down and Mkrtchian kept extra material.
Xu Yuhua: I think White didn’t have enough resources for attack. 18.Qc2 was a mistake and probably I should have played Nf3 (diagram).
Lilit Mkrtchian: In this tournament I always have to defend and I have the positions which I'm trying to hold. Today it was a very complicated game. When I took a bishop on h6 I realized that position should be winning for me because I could not find mate or compensation for my opponent. Of course I was afraid I calculated and didn’t find anything for her. If Xu plays Nh7, I just continue with Kh8 and the attack is over. Still I have to check with computer if White had any chanses to win in this position.
Marie Sebag – Pia Cramling 1:0
White got a pleasant edge after the opening (Sicilian Defence). Pia Cramling had some problems with development and Marie Sebag activated pieces and managed to win a pawn.
Marie Sebag: I was ready for the opening and I got a better position. Later on I managed to win a pawn. The rook ending is better for me but still it’s not clear if Black has to lose.
Pia Cramling: I had to take the queen on d1 one move earlier. After 16.Rad1 the position became difficult for me. I had to play Na6 and try to hold it. I saw she could play 20.Ra1 after my 19…f6 but didn’t see her move 22.b5. Anyway the position is still very difficult (diagram).