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6th Women's Grand Prix Doha 2011 (11)

Koneru ties for first with Danielian in Doha and qualifies for World Title Match

Humpy Koneru qualifies for World Women's Championship Match after winning the final game to finish. Photo © Maria Bolshakova and Karlovich Anastasiya

Humpy Koneru qualifies for World Women's Championship Match after winning the final game to finish. Photo © Maria Bolshakova and Karlovich Anastasiya | http://qatar2011.fide.com

A tension filled final round saw Humpy Koneru survive a lost position against Zhu Chen to beat her and take first (on tie-break from Danielian after both scored 8/11) in the Doha Women's Grand Prix. Earlier long time leader Elina Danielian had to settle for a draw after going down a known line of an Anti-Meran. Marie Sebag did her best to join these two on 8/11 but was never better against Batkhuyag Munguntuul and eventually went too far and lost. This result allowed Koneru to overtake Nana Dzagnidze in the overall Grand Prix standings and thus win a chance to play Hou Yifan in a Women's World Chess Championship match later in the year. Dzagnidze's play looked increasingly distracted towards the end of the event but nevertheless must be bitterly disappointed that a precise series of results for Koneru and her opponents at the top of the standings in Doha cost Dzagnidze her world title shot. Final Grand Prix Standings are also in this article. World Champion Hou Yifan took clear first with 480 points and Humpy Koneru 2nd 468.3.

The stage is set for the final round. Photo © Maria Bolshakova and Karlovich Anastasiya for http://qatar2011.fide.com/.

Humpy Koneru was somewhat lucky to beat Zhu Chen (a number of the former world champions don't look to have worked very hard at their games recently and Zhu Chen was very poor in Doha). Zhu was familiar with the opening that was played and got a huge position after 23 moves. Then she just spent a lot of time over the insipid Ra3 and after that her position gradually went down hill and Koneru made no mistake. Koneru had a huge series of lucky breaks in the final rounds, not least Danielian's loss in the penultimate round and she took advantage of a series of poor moves by her opponents but she did fight very hard for this result.

Zhu Chen was well short of her best all the way through the tournament. Could she do Dzagnidze a favour by holding Humpy Koneru? Photo © Maria Bolshakova and Karlovich Anastasiya for http://qatar2011.fide.com/.

Zhu Chen - Koneru, Humpy

6th Women GP Doha QAT (11), 2011.03.05

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 Bd6 6. Nf3 Bc7 7. e4 d6 8. h3 O-O 9. Bd3 a6 10. a4 Re8 11. O-O Nbd7 12. Bf4 Nf8 13. Nd2 Ng6 14. Bg3 Ne5 15. Bc2

Zhu Chen has had this position before but here she deviates from: 15. Be2 Bd7 16. Qc2 Rb8 17. Rfc1 b5 18. axb5 axb5 19. b4 c4 20. Nf3 Bb6 21. Ra6 Bc8 22. Ra2 Qd7 23. Qd2 Nxf3+ 24. Bxf3 Bb7 25. Bh4 Bd8 26. Qf4 h6 27. Bg3 Bc7 28. Rca1 Ra8 29. Bg4 Rxa2 30. Rxa2 Nxg4 31. Qxg4 f5 32. Qxf5 Qxf5 33. exf5 Re1+ 34. Kh2 Bb6 35. Bxd6 Bd4 36. Nxb5 Bf6 37. Nc7 c3 38. Bf4 Re4 39. Bd6 Rd4 40. Re2 Kf7 41. Re8 Be5+ 42. Rxe5 c2 43. Re8 {1-0 Zhu Chen (2476)-Nikolaidis,I (2538)/ Athens GRE 2006/The Week in Chess 615

15... Bd7 16. f4 Ng6 17. f5 Ne5 18. Bh4 Ba5 19. Ne2 Bxd2 20. Qxd2 Nxe4 21. Qf4 Nf6 22. Nc3 Nh5 23. Qf2 Qb6?

Humpy Koneru

r___r_k_
_p_b_ppp
pq_p____
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P______B
__N____P
_PB__QP_
R____RK_

Zhu Chen

Position after 23...Qb6

This should lead to a big advantage for white:

24. Ra3?!

24. Ne4 Qxb2 25. Nxd6 Nf4 26. Nxe8 is just winning for white. Zhu Chen spent ages here and got into time pressure and didn't choose anything like the best move available to her here.

24... Qb4 25. Rb3 Qd4 26. Rb6 Nc4 27. Rxb7 Bc8 28. Re7

Doesn't seem the most precise. 28. Rc7

28... Rxe7 29. Bxe7 Ng3 30. Qxd4 cxd4 31. Rf3 Bxf5 32. Bxf5 Nxf5 33. Rxf5 dxc3 34. bxc3 f6

A good move that puts white under a lot of pressure. Koneru must have a winning position but there is still work to do.

35. Rf4 Rc8 36. Re4 Rc5 37. Kf2 Kf7 38. Bd8 Ne5 39. Ke2 Ke8 40. Bb6 Rxc3 41. Rb4 Rc2+ 42. Kf1 Nc4 43.Kg1 Kf7 44.Bf2 Kg6 45.g4 a5 46.Rb7 Ra2 47.h4 Rxa4 48.h5+ Kh6 49.Rc7 Ne5 0-1

Marie Sebag never looked like winning her final round game to get a tie for first place. Photo © Maria Bolshakova and Karlovich Anastasiya for http://qatar2011.fide.com/.

Marie Sebag had nothing to lose today in pressing for a win against Batkhuyag Munguntuul. She could not finish lower than third and a draw was as good as a loss in this regard. Sebag eventually went too far and lost a game she was never better in.

Nana Dzagnadze started the event with 390 points. Going into the final round she couldn't add to this total. Humpy Koneru would overtake her with a first place or a one way tie for first, a three way tie-would leave her just short on 387 points. In the end this came to pass and Humpy Koneru took the place Dzagnadze seemed to have in her pocket. That said qualification was in her own hands, a second place and there was nothing that Koneru could have done, relying on others is a bad policy.

Elina Danielian played down a known line that was at least equal for black against Antoaneta Stefanova who was woefully out of form in Doha. Photo © Maria Bolshakova and Karlovich Anastasiya for http://qatar2011.fide.com/.

Leader Elina Danielian drew by repetition against Antoaneta Stefanova in a Slav. All the moves had been seen before, in the previous game white tried to win and went on to lose, here they just repeated. This guaranteed her at least a share of first but also paved the way for Humpy Koneru to have a shot at qualifying for a World Championships Match.

Danielian, Elina - Stefanova, Antoaneta

6th Women GP Doha QAT (11), 2011.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. Be2 O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 a6 10. Rd1 b5 11. Be2 Qc7 12. e4 e5 13. g3 Re8 14. a3 exd4 15. Nxd4 Be5 16. Bf3 c5 17. Nf5 Nb6 18. a4 b4 19. a5 bxc3 20. axb6 Qxb6 21. bxc3 Rb8 22. Bd2 Qb3 23. Qc1 Bb7 24. Rb1

(24. Re1 g6 25. Nh6+ Kg7 26. g4 Qc4 27. Bf4 Qxc3 28. Bxe5 Qxe5 29. g5 Nxe4 30. Bxe4 Bxe4 31. Ng4 Qd4 32. Nf6 Re5 33. Qf4 Rb4 34. Rad1 Rxg5+ 35. Qxg5 Qxf6 36. Qxc5 {0-1 Kotanjian,T (2580)-Ter Sahakyan, S (2480)/Martuni ARM 2009/The Week in Chess 767})

24... Qa4 25. Ra1 Qb3 26. Rb1 Qa4 27. Ra1 Qb3 28. Rb1 1/2-1/2

Maia Chiburdanidze against Nana Dzagnidze. Photo © Maria Bolshakova and Karlovich Anastasiya for http://qatar2011.fide.com/.

Maia Chiburdanidze and Nana Dzagnidze played a Queen's Gambit Accepted that finished in a draw by repetition after 12 moves in a game that has been played a lot of times before.

Chiburdanidze, Maia - Dzagnidze, Nana

6th Women GP Doha QAT (11), 2011.03.05

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Bxc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Bg4 8.Ng5 Bxd1 9.Bxf7+ Kd7 10.Be6+ Ke8 11.Bf7+ Kd7 12.Be6+ Ke8 1/2

Lilit Mkrtchian and Martha Fierro Baquero drew by repetition after 52 moves.

Xu Yuhua continued a fine finish to the tournament beating Pia Cramling in 53 moves.

Final Grand Prix Standings

PlayerIstanbulNanjingNalchikJermukUlaanbaatarDohaPlayedBest 3
Hou Yifan120-130(70)160-4410
Koneru Humpy160-(70)-93⅓1454398⅓
Nana Dzagnidze-130100160-(80)4390
Tatiana Kosintseva--16013093⅓-3383⅓
Elina Danielian120-(10)93⅓-1454358⅓
Zhao Xue90110(40)-93⅓-4293⅓
Xu Yuhua-160-(30)60554275
Marie Sebag8080--(30)1104270
Antoaneta Stefanova45--93⅓130(20)4268⅓
Pia Cramling65-100(55)-804245
Lilit Mkrtchian-804093⅓-(35)4213⅓
Maia Chiburdanidze45--(40)70804195
Batkhuyag Munguntuul-6070-(20)554175
Shen Yang(25)60-5545-4160
Zhu Chen-3070-45(10)4145
Martha Fierro6520-(10)-354120
Kovanova Baira-404020--3100
Ju Wenjun-80----180
Betul Cemre Yildiz101020-(10)-440
Zeinab Mamedyarova25-----125
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. Koneru, Humpy g IND 2607 * 1 ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 8 2654
2. Danielian, Elina g ARM 2454 0 * 1 0 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 8 2668
3. Sebag, Marie g FRA 2489 ½ 0 * 1 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 7 2592
4. Cramling, Pia g SWE 2516 ½ 1 0 * 1 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 2487
5. Dzagnidze, Nana g GEO 2550 1 0 0 0 * ½ 1 1 1 0 1 0 2484
6. Chiburdanidze, Maia g GEO 2502 0 0 ½ ½ ½ * 0 1 1 1 ½ ½ 2489
7. Munguntuul, Batkhuyag m MGL 2410 0 0 1 1 0 1 * 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 5 2461
8. Xu, Yuhua g CHN 2484 ½ 0 0 1 0 0 1 * 0 1 1 ½ 5 2454
9. Mkrtchian, Lilit m ARM 2475 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 1 * ½ 0 1 2426
10. Fierro Baquero, Martha L. m ECU 2353 0 0 0 ½ 1 0 1 0 ½ * ½ 1 2437
11. Stefanova, Antoaneta g BUL 2546 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ * 0 4 2383
12. Zhu, Chen g QAT 2495 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 1 * 2356
Round 11 (March 5, 2011)
Danielian, Elina - Stefanova, Antoaneta ½-½ 28 D45 Anti-Meran Variations
Chiburdanidze, Maia - Dzagnidze, Nana ½-½ 12 D20 QGA
Munguntuul, Batkhuyag - Sebag, Marie 1-0 54 B95 Sicilian Najdorf with 6.Bg5
Xu, Yuhua - Cramling, Pia 1-0 53 B42 Sicilian Paulsen
Mkrtchian, Lilit - Fierro Baquero, Martha L. ½-½ 52 A45 Trompowsky
Zhu, Chen - Koneru, Humpy 0-1 49 A60 Modern Benoni

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