After the lossless series ElinaDanielian was defeated by the second-ranked woman player in the World Humpy Koneru.Marie Sebag made a draw against Antoaneta Stefanova and shares the 2-3 places with Indian. After the rest day Nana Dzagnidze improved her tournament situation by scoring the 3rd win in a row and settles on the 4th rank in the table.
Pia Cramling – Maia Chiburdanidze 1/2 : 1/2 White tried to avoid Nimzo Indian. Black made an interesting exchange sacrifice on move 15 and after few moves got a good compensation in the endgame.
Pia Cramling: My opponent played very interesting in the opening. Maybe when she played 11…Bd5 I should have been gone 12.Qc3 with an idea not to allow her interesting positional sacrifice (diagram). In my opinion she should not exchange my bishop by playing 20…Nc1: it would be better for Black to keep the knight. The way she played was also very solid: she had a pawn, squares.
Maia Chiburdanidze: I played some interesting moves today: c5, d5 and c takes b. I wanted to get this position and I think it’s about equal. If I don’t sacrifice it should be still equal. Maybe I could have played better but I think I had a draw all the time. I was a bit surprised when Pia didn’t follow a repetition and moved another rook.
Nana Dzagnidze – Lilit Mkrtchian 1:0 In Queens Indian Black chose a rare line by playing 5...b5. On move 14 White made a pawn sacrifice and got a strong initiative. Nana Dzagnidze: I think Lilit played badly in the opening and 12…Qb7 was a mistake. When I played 12.Bg5 (diagram) I thought I have 13.Bf6 after her move 12…Bc3 but I missed 12…Bf3!. So I’m forced to play 13.Qc3 and then she has Ne4 and we enter just normal and playable position. Lilit Mkrtchian: I agree that Qb7 was a mistake but I just didn’t see d5 and it’s very difficult to defend such a position. Nana played that move very quickly; she is very strong in such positions. It was already too late - the situation was much worse for me: her pieces were coming and my pieces were very weak. I saw 12…Bf3 in one moment but I made a wrong evaluation of the final position in the coming variation: I thought I was piece dawn. Humpy Koneru - Elina Danielian 1:0 Koneru chose a solid line against Slav Defence. By playing logical moves she later on got a little advantage. Under the time pressure Black made a mistake and position became lost.
Humpy Koneru: It was Slav Defence. I played some unusual line in the opening by playing b3 and Bb2. My pawns were hanging but at the same moment I had a full control over the centre. Later on the position became complicated and the structure was very unclear but I got the centre with d5 and probably my opponent should have played 29…Ra7 instead of 29…b5, so after Ng3 she would have had a chance to play Ba8. In the end after 38. Re2, Black’s only chance was to push f4-f3, 38…Be5 is obviously a blunder (diagram).
Elina Danielian: the game was very complicated as always. Maybe I should have played 37…h3 instead of 37…Qg5 or maybe f4-f3 but I have to check it. The position was shaking and it was difficult to play it in the time trouble. There were many possibilities and it was not easy to choose the right one.
Martha Fierro-Batkhuyag Munguntuul 1:0 English opening was played in the game Fierro-Munguntuul. From the beginning White got a small edge and transferred it into an ending with a pawn up after some mistakes from the Black`s side. Martha Fierro: I don’t know what’s going on with me here but I mix moves in the openings all the time. Today I’ve played 3.Nf3 and then I remembered I had to play 3.Nc3 first. I said to myself: oh my God I`m doing such weird things all the time! I played strange moves in the opening, so I`m sure she could play something better. The position was good for me but in the endgame I started to play very strange again: I played 29.Bd7 and gave her a chance to activate a rook on a8 by playing 29…Ra7, 30…Rb7.It took too much time to win the position witha piece up but sometimes, when I havea winning position, I don’t win it so usually I try to be extremely careful in such situations but maybe it’s not good.
Munguntuul Batkhuyag: I could have played 10...Ne5 instead of 10…cd in the opening and not let my opponent to play Nc4. Maybe I should not play 16…b5, maybe f takes e was better because we would enter the same ending but without weakness on b5 and one more tempo for me.I thought I was going to win an exchange but I missed 17…Ne3 (diagram). Also in the endgame I had to play 38…d5 and 39…Rc7 instead of 38…Be5. I think it was possible to hold the position in that endgame.
Antoaneta Stefanova – Marie Sebag 1/2 : 1/2 Antoaneta Stefanova tried to avoid the main opening lines by playing 2.Bf4. The game transferred in an equal endgame but White got into the troubles by playing 32.b4… Under the time pressure the evaluation of the position changed again and Bulgarian player managed to sacrifice an exchange and hold the position.
Antoaneta Stefanova: It was an interesting position: somehow we didn’t have too many pieces but a lot of possibilities. Then I made a very bad move 32.b4. It was an unbelievable move: the pawn on c3 became weak. I was lucky I’m not losing after that because at the first moment I thought it was over for me. But after exchange sacrifice it should be drawn somehow. I don’t know maybe I was even winning in the end with all those extra pawns. But practically it’s not easy especially when your opponent has active pieces.I didn’t see if I could do something or not.I had another plan: instead of playing Rh8-Ra8 I could continue f4-f5 but any moment she could sacrifice her exchange on e5 and I didn’t see anything special for me in that rook ending.
Marie Sebag:I think 34…Nc3 was a mistake and I shouldhave not let my opponent to sacrifice an exchange. Later on I could also give back an exchange by playing 44…Re5 but I preferred another continuation.
Zhu Chen – Xu Yuhua 1/2 : 1/2 Nimzo Indian was handled in the game, White got a little edge after the opening but Black managed to exchange the material and equalized the position in the endgame.
Xy Yuhua: White had a good position in the opening and later on my opponent also got some attacking chances but, after we changed Queens and entered the ending, Black was ok. Maybe I even had some chances to get a better position but I didn’t see how.
Zhu Chen:I think I got an advantage after 15. h3 and 16.e4. It seemed to be a strong attack but I didn’t find a correct way. After she pushed f5 I decided to change queens because I thought the ending was better for me (diagram).But the endgame was ok for Black. Maybe my opponent had some chances but I`m not sure about it.