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Round 3 report
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
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Four decisive games were played on the third day of Women Grand Prix tournament in Kazan. Alexandra Kosteniuk and Alisa Galliamova lost their games against Nadezhda Kosintseva and Viktorija Cmilyte accordingly.  Viktorija Cmilyte could have played quiet variation but preferred to go into an extremely sharp middle-game and outplayed her opponent in complications. Alexandra Kosteniuk got quite comfortable position with Black but didn’t play precisely and got into troubles in the rook ending.  Former world champion desperately tried to find a draw but after 78 moves the longest game of the third round was over.  Elina Danielian used inaccurate play of Betul Yildiz in the middle game and found an interesting plan which destroyed the position of her opponent. Hou Yifan recovered after the previous round and outplayed Tatiana Kosintseva with black. World champion found few exact moves in the opening and got sensible advantage.

 One more decisive game could have happened in the match Stefanova-Lahno.  Repeating the scenario of the previous round Bulgarian player grabbed a pawn but had problems with the coordination of her pieces. This time she managed to escape as Katerina Lahno didn’t find the precise way to fight for more than a draw. In the game Koneru – Muzychuk playing black Slovenian player succeeded to equalize the position after the opening and after 72 moves players agreed for a draw. After the third round two players Anna Muzychuk and Elina Danielian lead with two points.

 Viktorija Cmilyte – Alisa Galliamova 1-0

“The game was very interesting!, - said Viktorija Chmilyte.  –At a certain moment I noticed we had been following variations from the game Grischuk – Kramnik from last year’s matches. However I didn’t remember for sure what exactly they played”.

“I pretty liked my position, - confessed Alisa Galliamova. – I believe it was not worse than my opponent’s but some moves made me at a loss. I didn’t know, my position had much to do with someone else’s. Of course, it’s a pleasure for me to learn I had been following Kramnik for a while (laughing). To speak in earnest, I realized, I’ve missed plenty of chances, blundering here and there. I saw nothing on board at one point… Victoria always plays in battling chess and therefore I was supposed to be ready for many of them. Unlike tradition, today she started the game pretty quiet, she didn’t look like herself, and as a result all my preparations time turned to have been spent in vain.  I was astonished and therefore started to make mistakes.

- Question to both players. You used to play against both: men and women. What is more interesting for you and what is more complicated?

Alisa Galliamova: - In my opinion, it’s more complicated to play against men. Although, it seems to me at times, that I can’t stand playing both, - Alisa remarked with a laugh. –chess is so tough game and I just hate losing! – she explained later. - As a matter of fact, I have quite often played against men when I was a child and it was successfully. I often took podiums at the Russian Cups, once I ranked seventh at the Russian Chess Championship among men. I also played for the men club of Kazan, and together with my teammates we won Russian Club Chess Championship, which was pretty prestigious. In other words, results were not bad at all. However, so many years passed since then… At present, I play not so often, and therefore I prefer to play only in women events.

Victoria Chmilyte: There are more strong male-players than women-players, and this is quite natural from my viewpoint! However, the present Grand Prix Series is pretty strong, standing like a good solid “open” men’s tournament.

- You seem to know each other pretty well! Whom is it more interesting to play: an old familiar oponent or the one you are seeing for the first time?

Аlisa Galliamova: - You are perfectly right stating Victoria and I have been knowing each other for ages. I used to inflict her a very sensitive defeat during World Chess Championship in 2006 when we played against each other in semi-final. It was a terrible fight, and we usually have games of the kind… Unknown opponents are always dark horses. However, there is a big difference between, let’s say, a Chinese player and a European one. Even a low-ranked Chinese player might bring surprises. You never know what to expect of her. It’s far more comfortable to play Europeans.  

Victorija Chmilyte: - Provided there is time and chance to get prepared for the game, it’s always better to play the one you more or less know. Unfortunately we don’t always have these opportunities, and in this case I’d better play the one I don’t know at all.  

- What about opponents which are non-convenient to play?

Alisa Galliamova: - I think, I am among those for Victoria or I had been in the list before today’s game. (laughing).

Victoria Chmilyte: - It seems to me, that keeping on fighting is a good remedy against any opponent.  

Betul Yildiz - Elina Danelian 0-1

Elina Danelian: I think my opponent chose not a good variation today. after 19…Nce5 and 20…f5 black position is much better and I’m not sure if White can keep their position.

- Elina, are you pleased having just received the leader’s status?

Elina Danielian: I am trying to show my best now and we will see what will happen next. Provided my head keeps on working, I am likely to have a good result.  I`m not sure about my move 23…b5, most probably I had to play Rf6 and just keep this position with pawn up.

Betul Yildiz: Probably my plan with b4 and Na4 was not correct. I sacrificed the pawn on f3 because probably there was no another choice. It was also a mistake to take 26.Rf1 (I should take with queen) because after that I don’t have a move 27.Ne6. Black can play Bd5 and then Bc4.

- What is your Grand-Prix experience?  How you play in other Grand Prix stages?

Elina Danielian: - This is my second series. I started my first edition not very much successfully, but later on managed to substantially improve my game and situation. I once managed to share first place and also share second and third places in other Grand prix stages. My final result of previous Grand Prix 2009-2011 was fifth.  At the moment, I’m playing not so well, ranking eight.

Antoaneta Stefanova - Katerina Lahno 1/2 -1/2

Antoaneta Stefanova: The game was very complicated. I had a pawn up but black has good compensation.  Katerina had some chances of course but there were not so many pieces left on the board, so maybe I could keep my position even if she players the best way.

Katerina Lahno: There was  a good compensation for the pawn I even think black could have won the game. I don’t belive that white can play with rook on h1 and king on g1 and have good position. I think I had to play Nd5 and just bring my knight to the king side but I was not sure what was going on after Qb7.   

- A non-chess question to Ekaterina Lahno, which concerns football. Did you watch yesterdays’ Euro-2012 match, when Ukraine defeated Sweden 2-1?  

Ekaterina Lahno: I just switched on TV when Sweden opened the score. Ibragimovic scored the goal, and I started to think, that I bring my compatriots bad luck watching it but I didn’t switch off my TV. Meanwhile my team played back. At first they leveled the score and then took the lead. I didn’t call to Ukraine so far, but I’m sure they all have a big celebration to mark the win.  

Nadezhda Kosintseva – Alexandra Kosteniuk  1-0

Nadezhda Kosintseva: I was trying to surpreise my opponent because I don’t play 1.d4 so often but in fact it was her turn to surprise me after 3…Bb4 and 4…Bd2. I’ve got even worse position I believe Alexandra couldwarn me to play 26. b3 by playing 25.a4 first. In the end my position was winning because if black keeps the pawn e4 playing 68…Kh7 the pawn endgame will be lost. I could have played than 69.Kc6 with an idea to play 70.Kb6. So Black must play 69…Ra1 and than after  70.Rd8 Ra7 71. Rd7 Rd7 72. Kd7 it’s winning for white.

Alexandra Kosteniuk : “ I’ve got very comfortable position and then white played inaccurately, so I’ve got an advantage. I didn’t really miss b3, I just didn’t see that there Nb3 after cb. So I should not play f6. It was better to take on b3 any way. Instead of 31…e5 I could have tried Ne5 and then 32.Qe6 Qe6 33. Ne6 c3 34.Nd4 and 34…Nd3. Maybe it was a draw here but I’m not sure.  I felt it should be a draw in the rook endgame, probably I had to play e3 in one moment and just change this pawn.”

Humpy Koneru - Anna Muzychuk  1/2 – 1/2

Humpy Koneru:  “I’ve got two bishops in the opening but Im not sure about Qg3, maybe I could play something different . The endgame was almost equal but still I had some chances. Maybe I could play 41.Rb7 instead of Kc4 but Im still not sure if there is a big difference. I tried to press too hard and in the end lost a pawn but position was still drawish. “

Anna Muzychuk : “ I was ready for the opening which happened in the game and I think black managed to equalize. I made few mistakes in the endgame. For example I missed 37. Rc8, somehow I calculated only Rc4 and thought I would fight for draw here in the rook endgame.  I also missed few tempos in that engae and klet my opponent to activate her pieces.”

Tatiana Kosintseva - Hou Yifan –1-0

Tatiana Kosintseva:  I was expecting this variation form my opponent and belive that the position was interesting and playable. I think b3 was mistake. After that Yifan found good move Ne5 and now if I take the knight she plays de and then Bb4. The crucial mistake was 21.f5, it was better to play 21.0-0. “

Hou Yifan agreed that f5 was a mistake and propose to play this move later after both players make castling because white can play Bh1 in that position after Nh4 and keep the bishop.  Both players agreed that after f5 Black got an advantage which they managed to convert into full point.


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