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Hou Yifan vs Tatyana Kosintseva: chasing the leader
Monday, 03 May 2010
This Sunday, in the sixth round of the third stage of Women’s Fide Grand Prix tournament in Nalchik, the current leader – Tatyana Kosintseva from Russia – has scored her fifth win, playing with black against her compatriot, Baira Covanova. The close second, vice-champion of the world, Hou Yifan is currently 1.5 points behind. The Chinese player has gained a victory in the game against Elina Danielian from Armenia.

Hou Yifan, playing against Danielian with black pieces in Ragozin’s Queen gambit variation, developed  a strong counterplay in the opening and had good prospects of assaulting the king. One wrong move by her opponent was quite sufficient to launch Yifan into a powerful offensive. It was all over by the 32nd move.

In the Spanish game, playing with black, Kosintseva gradually equalized chances and then, taking advantage of  her opponent’s misstep, won a pawn. Her careful defence gave Covanova a few good chances to attain a draw but she missed them. The castle 020510_kosintseva-web.jpgendgame, very skillfully carried out by Tatyana, brought her a win on the 51st move.

Humpy Coneru, playing with white, has scored a win against Betul Yildiz from Turkey and only reached an unwonted level of 50% efficiency. In the opening – the Queen’s gambit -  the Indian player did not create any problems for her opponent. In the middle of the game Betul undertook a poor maneuver of a knight, and Coneru led the game towards the end with visible advantage. Both having time trouble, the Turkish chess player failed to employ all her resources of defense and admitted defeat on the 40th move.

The confrontation of Munguntuul Batkhuyag and Lilit Mkrtchian turned out very dramatic. Playing with white in French defence, Tuul opted for a pretty rare plan, and the black had no significant problems in the opening. In a difficult position Mkrtchian lost by an exchange and gave up the initiative completely. Yet the Mongolian player also missed her chances and at some point in the end-game was a just step away from defeat. Lilit, though, was the last to commit an error, and Tuul scored a win on the 87th move.

Zhu Chen from Quatar, playing with white against Zhao Xue from China and using Nimzo-Indian defence, gained a minor advantage in the game by an effective temporary sacrifice of a piece. However, the Chinese player was quite prudent and 020510_zal-web.jpgresourceful in her defence, cutting the chances of the white to win down to a minimum. Chen tried hard to find a chink in the armor of her opponent’s defence but all the attempts were fruitless. The game ended in a draw on the 56th move.

Playing with black against Nana Dzagnidze, Pia Cramling used Ragozin’s variant in the Queen’s gambit and retreated into solid defence. In the middlegame the white managed to win a pawn but the black received a certain compensation for it. Later on the Georgian chess player was rather inaccurate which allowed her Swedish opponent to equalize the game. Dzagnidze continued searching for a way to win but Cramling’s neat defence led the game up to a draw.

In the seventh round the following pairs will take their seats at the leaders’ tables - Kosintseva vs Humpy Coneru and Hou Yifan vs Munguntuul Batkhuyag.
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