Kosintseva and Dzagnidze struggle for leadership in Nalchik
Friday, 30 April 2010
The 4th round of FIDE Grand Prix tournament in Nalchik has proved to be a display of very high scoring potency – five games out of six ended with a win. Besides, in four of those five games it was black pieces that brought luck to the winners.
The first place has been retained by Tatyana Kosintseva, who has scored 3,5 points after four rounds. Nana Dzagnidze from Georgia is a close second. Pia Cramling from Sweden is in the third place with 2,5 points.
Kosintseva’s opponent in the 4th round was Munguntuul Batkhuyag from Mongolia. The Spanish game saw both players adhere to an unhurried, manoeuvre-heavy style of play. Gradually the Russian player managed to outplay her opponent and gain by an exchange. The technical stage was performed by Tatyana flawlessly.
Dzagnidze played with white pieces against Betul Yildiz who had started
this tournament so well. Right from the English opening, the white
pieces gained initiative while the black kept looking for a chance to
equalize by attacking the opponent’s king. At one moment the Turkish
chess player was very close to attaining her purpose but, having a time
trouble, she went past an equalizing continuation, lost a pawn and the
Pia Cramling celebrated her first win in
this tournament. Playing with black pieces in Slav defense she easily
equalized the game with Elina Danielian from Armenia and soon gained
advantage. Seeking counterplay, the Armenian player gave up two pawns
but never benefited in return. As a result, Cramling’s confident win on
Lilit Mkrtchian from Armenia has also tasted her first success – she won
against Zhao Xue, playing with black pieces. The Armenian player chose a
quite unusual opening variant in Queen's Indian defense. Having
sacrificed a pawn, she developed a strong play through the center. Xue
equalized the game carefully but soon made a big mistake in an equal
position and immediately surrendered after losing her queen.
The two Chinese players – former world champion Zhu Chen, representing
Qatar, and the 16-year-old Hou Yifan – played according to a similar
pattern. The black pieces gave the opponent quite a surprise in the
opening – Nimzo-Indian defense and equalized the game with ease. Chen,
playing with white pieces, wasted too much time in the beginning of the
game. Eventually, in a bit worse position, on 24th move she committed a
gross oversight, resulting in a loss of a piece and instant surrender.
Baira Kovanova’s opponent was the rating favorite of the tournament
Humpy Koneru from India. Playing with white pieces in Sicilian defense
the Russian player created a formidable attack but then overlooked a few
strong continuations. Then she had to look for equalization herself
right up until 61th move, followed by an agreement to draw.
On April 30th, in the fifth round, the leaders of the tournament -
Kosintseva and Dzagnidze are going to play against each other. The
Russian chess player will get the white pieces.