Cramling and Hou vs. Kosintseva: still hoping to gain on leader
Thursday, 06 May 2010
Two rounds prior to the close of the 3rd round of FIDE Grand Prix among women in Nalchik, Tatiana Kosintseva retains leadership. In the 9th round the Russian chess-player drew the game against Zhu Chen from Qatar and scored her 7th point. Hou Yifan from China and Pia Cramling from Sweden are one point behind. They both have scored victories in this round – in games against Baira Kovanova from Russia and Betul Yildiz from Turkey.
Pia Cramling completely outplayed her opponent, Betul Yildiz, in the
English opening. The Sweish chess-player missed some very strong
continuations in middlegame and gave Betul a good chance for salvation.
The Turkish player overlooked an easy draw in the rook endgame and
failed to maintain a difficult but theoretically drawish position.
Hou Yifan, playing White against Baira Kovanova, gained no advantage in
the Spanish game. More than that, her position was very dangerous in
middlegame. As for Baira, she possibly failed to control her nerve under
time pressure and made a series of bad moves in a good position which
led to the loss of a piece and a defeat on the 37th move.
Tatiana Kosintseva, playing white against Zhu Chen, had to face a rare
variant in the Spanish game and failed to gain initiative in the
opening. An almost equal endgame quickly followed and continued till the
53rd move when the players agreed to a draw.
Elina Danielian from Armenia lost again, and it seems this tournament
has turned out rather unlucky for her. Her offender in this round was
Munguntuul Batkhuyag from Mongolia. Playing with White in a difficult
position that came out of the English opening, Danielian was too
careless with her king, overlooked a couple of tactical stabs and was
forced to resign on the 33rd move.
Humpy Koneru is slowly gaining on the leaders. In this round, playing
with Black, she won the game against Lilit Mkrtchian from Armenia. In
Ragozin’s variant of QG, which is so popular at this tournament,
Mkrtchian had a certain advantage but overlooked a few strongest
continuations, and the position was equalized. However, despite the time pressure, Lilit, instead of going for an equal endgame, carried on
looking for a win. She allowed her opponent to regroup her pieces and
carry out the decisive attack on the king.
The duel of Zhao Xue and Nana Dzagnidze was quite fierce. It looks like
the Chinese chess-player finally warmed up toward the close of the
tournament, and Dzagnidze, who played with Black, had to carry on
defending all through the game. After the Catalan opening the game
stretched all over the chess-board. The Chinese had two bishops and
advantage in space. Playing carefully, however, Dzagnidze managed to
exchange all her opponent’s active pieces and equalize the position. An
agreement to a draw was made on the 72nd move.
On Thursday, in the next to last, tenth round Kosintseva is going to
play with white against Cramling, and Hou, with black, against