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The Chinese perfomance in Nalchik
Friday, 21 October 2011
tania-zhao.jpgWGM Anna Sharevich comments on the 10th round games

Zhao Xue – Kosintseva Tatiana


You’ll laugh, but the Chinese won again! Well, either the stars have developed in the right way or Zhao is so fantastically strong. Probably both variations. After all Xue really put problems for her opponents in every game. And Tatiana also couldn’t resist a pressure. The Queen’s Indian happened in the game. Xue chose the variation with the pawn sacrifice on d5. And here the leader of the tournament showed enormous understanding of the position. She outplayed Tatiana, for whom the tournament wasn’t the best one. The apogee of the game was the brilliant sacrifice –  23. Ng7!

“In the opening I played the variation which happened in my practice before, by the way against the Russian girls. That’s why I knew the ideas”, - Xue said.
“This isn’t “my tournament”, Tatiana shared. “ I managed to win only one game. I got quite good positions with white, but couldn’t convert them into a victory”.

zhu-ju.jpgZhu Chen – Ju Wenjun

The game happened to be really fascinating. White couldn’t get the initiative in the variation of the King’s Indian. Maybe because of Ju’s plan 13... Ne8. In the middle game Zhu decided to sacrifice the exchange, which wasn’t correct enough and lost not only the initiative, but was outplayed by the Chinese grandmaster.

 “To be honest I was lucky in this game because in the opening I didn’t get any advantage”, said Wenjun. “But my opponent made a mistake and I managed to use this”.

Well, we cannot but admit the fact that Ju Wenjun is fighting for the second place. But! Tomorrow she’ll face the leader and nobody knows what will happen – either we’ll see a short draw or the great Chinese battle.

 
tuul-kosteniuk.jpgMunguntuul Batkhuyag – Kosteniuk Alexandra

Unfortunately the end of the tournament  wasn’t lucky enough for Alexandra. Even she had all the chances to finish it good. The former world champion outplayed the opponent and got a huge advantage. But something happened to Sasha and after the first control she almost crashed her position by herself.

“In the opening I didn’t get anything and was making everything to lose the game”, agreed Tuul.  “But in some moment my opponent “helped” me” a lot”.

“I think that I made a fatal mistake on the move 69… Rb4”, said Sasha with bitterness. “And I almost lost the game by myself”.

 
kovalevskaya-galliamova.jpgKovalevskaya Ekaterina – Galliamova Alisa

 Katya and Alisa have been playing against each other since their childhood and it’s really hard to remind the score. “In the last years we didn’t play a lot between each other”, Alisa said. “First I left chess, then Katya. Now we both are back”. We should admit that during the long period Kovalevskaya and Galliamova played  together in one team –  the Russian national team. But sport is sport, and friendship should stay out of the chess board. And the game is the best proof for that.

Kovalevskaya played the Sicilian defence with 3.с4 and didn’t get any advantage there. Alisa found an interesting idea 4...g5!? with the opportunity for the counter play on the King’s side. By the way black made a blunder 19… g4  because she didn’t see the reply 20.g3. After that the position became very pleasant for white. But Katya also blundered and lost her advantage because of 28.Kg2. Finally the game ended in a draw what seems to be quite logical for such “an action movie”.

 
nadia-stefanova.jpgKosintseva Nadezhda – Stefanova Antoaneta

After three losses in a row we could hardly call Antoaneta’s mood positive. But nevertheless the former world champion managed to show her great sportive spirit and showed a worthy game. Of course Nadya also “helped” her. She didn’t manage to get any advantage in the opening and her position couldn’t be called perspective. After 25…Nс4 black intercepted the initiative.
“I thought that after 25… Nс4 I was better”, Antoaneta told the journalists. “But I didn’t see how to improve my position. Anyway in the situation that happened after a time trouble the pieces activity was enough for at least a draw. To be honest after three losses draw is a good result”.

“What concerns me it’s time to make the conclusions before the European Team Championship”, Nadezhda shared her thoughts. “It’s clear that this tournament wasn’t the one that I’ll recollect with pleasure. And now I’ll be trying to find the explanation because very soon I’ll have a double responsibility – for myself and for the team”.

 
lahno-cmilyte.jpgLahno Kateryna – Cmilyte Viktorija

The European champion chose Yanish variation in Ruy Lopez system and managed to show the solid and interesting fight. Unexpectedly after move 18… Bd5 (that didn’t look the most attractive one) Katya started to make mistakes move by move. White afforded black’s pieces to come to the King side even without organizing any counter play. And after move 26… Bc5 Kateryna had to give up the exchange. Sure that the Ukrainian grandmaster was fighting till the last chance. But to be objective this kind of positions is almost undefended against such an experienced player as Viktorija. In the ending the Lithuanian realized an extra rook and won the game.

It’s hard to believe but so many top chess players will recollect this tournament with bitterness! But for Viktorija there is still a chance for the second place.
 
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