Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

6th Women's Grand Prix Doha 2011 (9)

Danielian maintains 1 point lead from Sebag, Koneru loses ground

Elina Danielian still leads by a point. Photo ©

Elina Danielian still leads by a point. Photo © | http://qatar2011.fide.com

Elina Danielian beat Martha Fierro Baquero to maintain a one point lead over Marie Sebag who beat Nana Dzagnidze. Perhaps more important than the race for first place is the battle between Dzagnidze and Humpy Koneru for the right to play Hou Yifan later in the year for the Women's World Chess Championship. Dzagnidze's consistency over her three previous tournaments in the Grand Prix meant she had a big advantage over Koneru going into the Doha leg. Koneru at the very minimum needs to share first with one other player in Doha. She had gathered some momentum over the last few rounds but that came to a halt when she failed to convert a big opening advantage over Xu Yuhua. To be fair at first sight her position was just winning but it turned out that the bishops of opposite colours made any significant breakthroughs difficult (I still have the feeling there must be something). With Danielian and Sebag continuing apace it looks like two wins in the final rounds won't be enough for Koneru now.

Elina Danielian leads by a point with two rounds to go. Photo © http://qatar2011.fide.com/.

Elina Danielian certainly would have been entitled have felt down after her loss to Humpy Koneru in the previous round but she struck back immediately with a win over Martha Fierro Baquero to keep her lead at a point going into the final two rounds. Danielian won a pawn and then finally got this position which she converted quite nicely. A point and a half from her last two games will guaranteed first place alone.

Martha Fierro Baquero

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p__Bk_p_
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Elina Danielian

Position after 42.g4

42...Kd5 43.Nf6+ Ke6 44.Rg7 Nb5 45.Rxg6 Nxd6 46.Nh7+ Kd5 47.Rxd6+ Kxc5 48.Rd1 Rb8 49.g6 Kc6 50.g7 Be7 51.Nf8 1-0

Nana Dzagnidze has still to draw a game and perhaps that was also unlikely today as Marie Sebag sacrificed a knight for an attack. Sebag certainly had practical chances which lasted a long time but Dzagnidze defended well for long periods and threatened to consolidate before errors cost her the advantage and then the game. For Sebag this means at least she stays in touch with the leader Danielian.

Sebag, Marie - Dzagnidze, Nana

6th Women GP Doha QAT (9), 2011.03.03

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. c3 Bg7 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4 a6 7. Bc4 b5 8. Bb3 Nge7 9. Nc3 O-O 10. Nd5

Maybe new. 10. O-O, 10. d5 and 10. Bg5 have all been played before.

10... h6 11. Bf4 d6 12. Qd2 Kh7 13. h4 Bg4 14. Ng5+ Kg8 15. Nxf7

Nana Dzagnidze

r__q_rk_
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p_np__pp
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PP_Q_PP_
R___K__R

Marie Sebag

Position after 15.Nxf7

An interesting sacrifice which maybe isn't quite sound.

15...Rxf7 16. Bxh6 Nxd4 17. Bxg7 Nxb3 18. Qh6 Rxg7 19. Nf6+ Kf8

This doesn't seem the best here. A sample line of Kf7 shows the king wandering around but black certainly gets a lot of material to start. 19... Kf7 20. Nxg4 Nxa1 21. Qf4+ Ke6 22. Qf6+ Kd7 23. Qxg7 Nc2+ 24. Kd2 Nb4 25. a3 Nbc6 26. h5 Qf8

20. axb3 Be6 21. h5 Kf7 22. Nh7 Qh8 23. Ng5+ Kf6 24. e5+

Here 24...dxe5 25.Ne4+ Kf7 26.Ng5+ is a draw, black instead goes for a win, rather too bravely.

24...Kxe5? 25. Nf3+ Kd5 26. Qe3 Nf5?

Now white is suddenly a bit better.26...Bf5 27. h6 Rh7 28. Ng5 Kc6 29. Qf3+ d5 30. Rc1+ Kb7 31. Nxh7 Qxh7

27. O-O-O+ Kc6 28. Qxe6 Qh6+?

Now black is definitely worse 28... Re8 29. Qd5+ Kb6 30. g4 Ne7 31. Qd4+ Kb7 32. h6 Rf7 33. Ng5 Qxd4 34. Rxd4

29. Kb1 Qf4?

Just losing a rook

29... Kb7 30. Qe4+ c6 31. g4 d5 32. Qe6 Re7 33. Qxg6 Qxg6 34. hxg6 Ng7 would hang on a bit longer.

30. Qd5+ 1-0

A word on how the overall Grand Prix stands for which I thank Geoffrey Borg. First of all you can read the regulations at: http://www.fide.com/FIDE/handbook/Women_GP_regs_2011_2012.pdf

The points for the first three places are: 160 / 130 / 110 points.

Some scenarios: if Koneru ties for first (with one other player) she will get 145 points giving her 398.33 points. Dzagnidze could get 110 points if she takes third place alone increasing her current score of 390 to a final 400 total (her bottom score is 100 a tie for 3rd-4th would only get her 100 points which is no good for her). Koneru has 160 and 93.5 as her top scores, her 70 in Nalchik is obviously going to be the dropped score.

Hou Yifan now looks the likely winner of the entire Grand Prix and her challenger will be Dzagnidze.

Humpy Koneru missed a chance to stay in touch. Photo © http://qatar2011.fide.com/.

This is because Humpy Koneru couldn't convert a large advantage she got from the opening against Xu Yuhua.

Humpy Koneru

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p_q__n_r
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_p_pP_Pp
_B___Q_P
_PP__B__
_K_RR___

Xu Yuhua

Position after 27.g4

Here it looks like black will just push white off the board on the queenside. Here perhaps Koneru should have tried 27...hxg3. Later when white sacrificed the pawn Koneru could have kept the bishop on the outside of the pawn chain with f6. She also swapped off the knight for the dark squared bishop which probably she shouldn't have done. Koneru herself thought that 39…a3 was a mistake and she should have played immediately 39…Rh8. Instead she got stuck and couldn't find a way through this position and no doubt was almost down to her increment of 30 seconds a move by this point.

Humpy Koneru

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k_q__pp_
__r__b__
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_p_pP__p
pPrB___P
K_PR__R_
___Q____

Xu Yuhua

Position after 49.Qd1

Here Koneru tried g6 but it didn't do the trick and in the end white gave perpetual on move 106.

Pia Cramling was well beaten by Batkhuyag Munguntuul. Photo © http://qatar2011.fide.com/.

Pia Cramling suffered a second successive opening catastrophe on the black side of the Sicilian. Here even before they left known theory Cramling must have been close to lost. Batkhuyag Munguntuul took her time and crashed through on a defenceless king.

Munguntuul, Batkhuyag - Cramling, Pia

6th Women GP Doha QAT (9), 2011.03.03

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be2 e6 7. Be3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. f4 a6 10. a4 Bd7 11. Nb3 b6 12. Bf3 Qc7 13. g4 Bc8 14. Bg2 Nd7 15. g5 Re8 16. Qh5 g6 17. Qh4 Bf8

A previous women's game went: 17... Nb4 18. Nd4 e5 19. fxe5 Nxe5 20. Nf3 Ng4 21. Bd4 h5 22. h3 Ne5 23. Nxe5 dxe5 24. Qf2 Bxg5 25. Bxb6 Qb7 26. Rad1 Nxc2 27. Nd5 Be6 28. Nc7 Qxb6 29. Qxb6 Be3+ 30. Qxe3 Nxe3 31. Nxe8 Rxe8 32. Rd6 Nxf1 33. Bxf1 Rb8 34. Rxa6 Rxb2 35. a5 Ra2 36. Ra8+ Kg7 37. a6 h4 38. Rb8 g5 39. Rb7 g4 40. hxg4 Kg6 41. a7 Kg5 42. Bb5 Kf4 43. Rc7 Kg3 44. Rc3+ Kxg4 45. Rc7 Kg3 46. Rc3+ Kf4 47. Rc7 Kg3 48. Rc3+ 1/2-1/2 Gu Xiaobing (2346)-Xu Yuhua (2475)/ Tianjing CHN 2003/The Week in Chess 462

18. Rf3 Bg7 19. Rh3

This position is pretty bad for black, Tivakov chose 19. Raf1 Nf8 20. Kh1 Rb8 21. f5 Ne5 22. Rh3 b5 23. axb5 axb5 24. Nd4 b4 25. Nce2 Nc4 26. Bc1 Qc5 27. Nb3 Qb6 28. Nf4 Bb7 29. f6 Bh8 30. Nxg6 1-0 Tiviakov,S (2635)-Ahmed,S (2309)/Dhaka BAN 2003/The Week in Chess 437

19... Nf8 20. f5 Bxc3 21. f6 h5 22. bxc3

(22. gxh6 Nh7 23. bxc3)

22... Ne5 23. Bd4 Ng4 24. Kh1 Nh7 25. Rg3 Ne5 26. Bxe5 dxe5 27. Bf3

Pia Cramling

r_b_r_k_
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pp__pPp_
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_NP__BR_
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R______K

Baktyuhag Munguntuul

Position after 27.Bf3

With no counterplay in sight white has taken her time and now has a crushing attack.

27...Bb7 28. Bxh5 gxh5 29. Re1 Red8 30. Qxh5 Bxe4+ 31. Rxe4 Qc6 32. Rge3 Kh8 33. Qxf7 Rd7 34. Qh5 Kg8 35. Kg1 Rad8 36. Nd2 Ra7 37. Nf3 1-0

Maia Chiburdanidze and Antoaneta Stefanova drew quite a lively Slav Defence in 51 moves.

Lilit Mkrtchian piled further misery on the out of form Zhu Chen beating her from a worse position. At first Zhu Chen's King's Indian seemed to be doing well but it seemed like she was looking for a draw and she played purposelessly for a few moves. Eventually she allowed a knight she could easily have taken off to land on e6 for a decisive attack.

6th Women GP Doha (QAT), 22 ii-5 iii 2011 cat. X (2490)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2
1. Danielian, Elina g ARM 2454 * 1 0 1 . 1 ½ 1 1 . 1 1 2758
2. Sebag, Marie g FRA 2489 0 * ½ 1 1 . ½ 1 . ½ 1 1 2663
3. Koneru, Humpy g IND 2607 1 ½ * 0 ½ 1 . 1 1 ½ ½ . 6 2603
4. Dzagnidze, Nana g GEO 2550 0 0 1 * 0 . 1 0 1 1 1 . 5 2524
5. Cramling, Pia g SWE 2516 . 0 ½ 1 * ½ ½ ½ 0 1 . ½ 2491
6. Chiburdanidze, Maia g GEO 2502 0 . 0 . ½ * 1 1 0 ½ 1 ½ 2482
7. Mkrtchian, Lilit m ARM 2475 ½ ½ . 0 ½ 0 * . ½ 0 1 1 4 2451
8. Fierro Baquero, Martha L. m ECU 2353 0 0 0 1 ½ 0 . * 1 ½ . 1 4 2464
9. Munguntuul, Batkhuyag m MGL 2410 0 . 0 0 1 1 ½ 0 * . 0 1 2412
10. Stefanova, Antoaneta g BUL 2546 . ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 1 ½ . * 0 0 3 2371
11. Xu, Yuhua g CHN 2484 0 0 ½ 0 . 0 0 . 1 1 * ½ 3 2378
12. Zhu, Chen g QAT 2495 0 0 . . ½ ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ * 2303
Round 9 (March 3, 2011)
Danielian, Elina - Fierro Baquero, Martha L. 1-0 51 E62 King's Indian 6...Nc6
Sebag, Marie - Dzagnidze, Nana 1-0 30 C60 Ruy Lopez
Chiburdanidze, Maia - Stefanova, Antoaneta ½-½ 51 D12 Slav Defence
Mkrtchian, Lilit - Zhu, Chen 1-0 50 E90 King's Indian Classical
Munguntuul, Batkhuyag - Cramling, Pia 1-0 37 B83 Sicilian Scheveningen
Xu, Yuhua - Koneru, Humpy ½-½ 106 B42 Sicilian Paulsen

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