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Round 1 report
Sunday, 10 June 2012
The first round of FIDE Women`s Grand Prix tournament in Kazan got under way on the 10th of June 2012. Before the start of the games FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the minister of youth, sport and tourism of  RT Rafis Burganov and FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg took part in the press conference devoted to the beginning of the fourth stage of FIDE Women Grand Prix. After the end of the press conference FIDE President Kirsan Iyumzhinov made the first symbolic move in the game between Humpy Koneru and Hou Yifan.

The opening round passed in a tense struggle, nevertheless first three games Viktorija Cmilyte  -  Katerina Lahno, Elina Danielian – Anna Muzychuk,  Humpy Koneru – Hou Yifan were drawn. After the first time control Alisa Galliamova managed to win against Betul Yildiz in a slightly better endgame. Long game between Antoaneta Stefanova and Nadezhda Kosintseva finished in favor of Bulgarian player. A very exciting struggle between Tatiana Kosintseva and Alexandra Kosteniuk finished in a draw.

Viktorija Cmilyte - Katerina Lahno 1/2 – 1/2
Viktorija Cmilite: “I returned to the opening I used to play long time ago. It often happens, that in case the white doesn’t make the right move in the right time, the black just keeps the balance as It happened today. I was not ready for the line my opponent choose today  and white didn’t get anything at the opening”.
Katerina Lahno: “We very often play against each other and all the time Viktorija played with white and I had black. Therefore I didn’t spend very much time on preparations towards the present game, I needed some rest after the previous tournament in Batumi (Georgia), where I played in Rapid and Blitz Championships”.
Journalists inquired if Caterina’s husband, French grandmaster Robert Fontaine, assists her in her tournament preparations.
“As a matter of fact, he has already quitted his chess career and switched to chess journalism.  Of course he gives me advices from time to time, and it’s up to me if I listen to them or not.  I have got coaches to prepare for the games. I believe it’s too much to have two professional chess players in one family”, - Katerina answered with a smile.
Both players confirmed that they liked to watch football and Katerina Lahno told to journalists she even had the tickets for one of the matches of Euro-2012. Unfortunately she is going to miss that match which is scheduled on 19th of June because the calendar of Grand Prix in Kazan has been changed.
Betul Yildiz – Alisa Galliamova 0 - 1
“It was pretty nervous game for me, - confessed Alisa Galyamova at the post-game press-conference. - I have not once told every local reporter, that for me it’s always difficult to play at home first and foremost due to psychological factors. I strongly feel responsibility pressures, however I have won the first game, which was a good start, and that pleases me a lot”.
Alisa’s opponent from Turkey is the only participant of Kazan Grand Prix with Universiade background. Betul Yildiz was asked to share her impressions from 2011 Shenzhen Student Games .
“The matter is Universiade chess tournament was conducted separately from the main Universiade program. We stayed very far from the competition venue and had to spend very much time on traffic. Therefore, we had a few opportunities to feel the Universiade’s atmosphere to the full. Personally, I would like to take part in Kazan 2013 Universiade, but I am not sure if I manage to do that. It’s pretty difficult to plan for such a long period of time. If we speak of the sport level of the two competitions concerned, FIDE Grand Prix is much stronger and more interesting to play”.  
Elina Danielian - Anna Muzychuk  1/2 – 1/2
Elina Danielian was surprised with Anna’s choice in the opening but decided not to avoid the sharp lines. Both players admitted that the game was very complicated and it’s hard to say without computers where it was possible to play better.  Elina Danielian was not sure whether she chose correct move 21.Qg8 or it was better to play 22.Qg6 but admitted that Black has enough compensation even in the variation where white wins an exchange.
 “The first game is always difficult to play, - said Elina Danieljan. – The responsibility for the good start is like a burden”.
Humpy Koneru - Hou Yifan 1/2 – 1/2
Both players came to the conclusion that after 18.Nh4 white had edge. In spite of this Humpy Koneru said she played not precisely and in the end Black got quite solid position. “ I think I was better to play immediately 23.Re4 instead of 23.Re5, maybe there were more chances”, said Indiian player.
Both of played particpated in the tournaments just before the trip to Kazan. Koneru competed in Batumi at the Rapid Chess and Blitz Championships, Hou Yifan tried her luck at the men’s tournament in China.
Humpy Koneru:  «The schedule is OK for me and it was pretty enough to have a couple of days-off”.
Hou Yifan: “It is more difficult to change climate zones and weather conditions, my chess schedule is a bit tough but it’s ok”.
Nadezhda Kosintseva - Antoaneta Stefanova 0 - 1
Despite the opinion that women chess players don’t like to play Berlin Wall, Antoaneta admitted she had nothing against this endgame. Antoaneta Stefanova was satisfied with her position after the opening even Nadezhda Kosintseva avoided to follow Berlin.  “ I missed my advantage in one moment and Re6 was the only chance to fight for win. I think my opponent was not obliged to play Rf7 immediately”. Nadezhda agreed that Rf7 was a crucial mistake and she could have played Rc7 instead.  As for the opening she said that she could have tried to prevent Black’s activity by playing g3  with the idea not let the knight to go on f4.
The journalists didn’t hesitate to inquire if Veselin Topalov urged his compatriot to come to Russia and take revenge for his modest result at the Candidates Matches-2011.
“It happened so, that Veselin didn’t manage to show his best in Kazan last year, but this had not the least impact on my plans to visit Kazan, - Antoaneta answered, - I heard, that the city is a good and there are experienced organizers of various international events, including chess tournaments”.
Tatiana Kosintseva – Alexandra Kosteniuk 1/2 – 1/2
It was the longest game of the first round. Both players agreed that the game was very interesting and complicated and the evaluation changed few times. Alexandra Kosteniuk admitted the move Rd5 was a big mistake in time trouble, she didn’t see Qe8 and afterwards she had to defend worse position.  
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