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Round 8 report
Monday, 18 June 2012
Four games in the eighth round in FIDE Women Grand Prix in Kazan were decisive today but in fact all of them could be scored if Betul Yildiz and Viktorija Cmilyte, who had big advantage, would defeat their opponents - sisters Nadezhda and Tatiana Kosintsevas. The central game of the match between the leader Elina Danielian and chaser Katerina Lahno finished in favor of Armenian player. Anna Muzychuk got a better position after the opening in the game against Alisa Galliamova but later on didn’t play precisely and allowed black to equalize. In the deep endgame Slovenian player managed to find winning chances and beat her opponent. World Champion Hou Yifan, who played white against Alexandra Kosteniuk, sacrificed the second knight on g7 square in this tournament as it also happened in the game with Antoaneta Stefanova in the sixth round. The attack of Chinese player was decisive and Alexandra could not defend her position.  Humpy Koneru created strong initiative in the middle game and defeated Antoaneta Stefanova.

After the 8th round Elina Danielian is on the top with 6th points. Anna Muzychuk is on the second place half a point behind. Viktorija Cmilyte and Humpy Koneru share the third place with 5 points. Hou Yifan increased her tournament situation and share the fifth place with Katerina Lahno with 4,5 points.
 IMG_6387 copy.jpg Elina Danielian – Katerina Lahno 1-0
Elina Danielian: I can’t say I was perfectly ready to the variation we have played. I’ve got a position with isolated pawn so I had to play actively. My knights were in the center. And I had some threats.  I think Nf5 was inaccurate move maybe she could play Nc6 because later my queen moved to the eighth rank. At a certain moment black made a mistake Nd4 and their position became lost. I played 24…h4 in order to improve my position as black have no moves in fact. My opponent could have played 24…Nfe7 for example.
Elina, you have been playing chess for long. Do you feel the game is a part of your life or is just a job?
Elina Danielian: In case it didn’t give pleasure, we would have quitted it long before. Every chess player enjoys what he or she is doing, and this is impossible otherwise.  
We’d like to cheer up Katerina, who has lost her game. There is at least one sport, where Russians are envious to Ukrainian.  
Katerina Lahno started to smile, realizing the question concerned EURO-2012.
Katerina Lahno: This is just for a while, believe me! I don’t have a feeling we will play well against England. We might lose them either – 1:2, 0:2 or 0:3. Ukraine has fewer chances in football than in chess, while the money is also very different.
 IMG_6509 copy.jpg Betul Yildiz – Nadezhda Kosintseva 1/2 -1/2
Nadezhda Kosintseva: I remember a game of Shirov in that variation and I was ready to play those kind of positions wth black. 27…Qa2 was a mistake I should have taken another pawn on e4. Few moves later I realized my position is just worseso im glad to make a draw in the end.
Betul Yildiz: I’m sure my position was better in the endgame but it was so hard to find the correct way to win it. I’ve got really tired.

What are chess in your life: are they a job or a kind of hobby?
Betul Yildiz: This is a job indeed! When I studied at a university, I had no time to play chess in full size. However now I have graduated from the law department, and can concentrate on chess. Several years later I might come back to the choice, judging upon results I will see if it would make sense to stay in chess or take some another profession.
Nadezhda Kosintseva: Chess is my job, although if I proceed the way I’m doing now I’d rather take it as hobby.
Nadezhda, it seems as if you are a colleague of Betul. Have you ever worked as a layer?
Nadezhda Kosintseva: Not yet!
 IMG_6518 copy.jpg Anna Muzychuk – Alisa Galliamova 1-0
Anna Muzychuk: I think I had good position in the opening but I lost my advantage in one moment. I was trying to find the way to get advantage because I felt it really excised but I’m not sure how I had to play. Later on I believe I had nothing in that endgame and sometimes I had feeling that even black can be better.
Alisa Galliamova: To begin with, I normally evaluated my position, and then I lost my way. I even lost interste to my position, because it was so bad, until the moment I realized I got some chances.  I was happy with the endgame but probably made some inaccurate moves, for example I played wrongly a5.
Do you take chess as hobby or a job?
Anna Muzychuk: I graduated from the Institute of Physical culture, so I can work as a coach, however participoation int the tournament is top priority for me.
Alisa Galliamova: - I can hardly call myself a professional now, since for I just played five or six games during 7.5 months. This has nothing to do with professional chess level! There is no surprise I’m doing not so well indeed! On the one hand, I am missing practice, and on the other I’m already tired.
I happened to have a dedicated training camp before the event, after which I was already tired of chess and of the theory. As a result, I have now what I have. I have to confess, that I don’t have the mood to play. I showed neither fighting spirit, nor play to win. I didn’t make use of my chances and opportunities. During the second game, I had a good position. I stood pretty well in the third match. Today I didn’t manage to convert  a very promising position into anything material. I wish I’d rather quit the tournament. It’s pretty difficult to stand still psychologically. You’re to go out and play after those sensitive defeats! You are to tease yourself even if your game has not wish to return. Tomorrow is a day-off, and it gives me comfort to think of it, however I will have three more games to play...
 IMG_6425 copy.jpg
Humpy Koneru – Antoaneta Stefanova 1-0
Humpy Koneru: For the first time in my life I played this Panov variation. I was not sure what shell I do after b5. If I take Nb5 black will play Rb8 and will have some contra play and compensation for the pawn.  I think my opponent should have played 19…Nf6 instead of 19…Rd8 because after d6 and Nd5 I got better  position. It was clear there are some exact moves which lead to win after 28. Qd3 h5 but I didn’t find anything better than 29.Rc3 and 30.Rc1. after 32.Rf8 it was lost for black.
Antoaneta Stefanova: Yes, it was my first idea to play Nf6 but then I saw something and changed my mind. If I don’t blunder a piece maybe my position is not so bad.

IMG_6575 copy.jpg  Tatiana Kosintseva – Viktorija Cmilyte 1/2-1/2
Tatiana Kosintseva: We came to the position after 20th move which was more easy for white  to play because they have clear plan – to play on the kings side. I think a4 was a logical move because I wanted to have protect my king from all possible threats on c-file. I think 19.h4 was not an accurate move, I should start with 19.g4. In the endgame I played not precisely and let my opponent to get better position. Probably 39.fe was not good, maybe I could have played  39.Ke3.
Viktorija Cmilyte: I was ready for the opening and I even the position can be a bit worse for balck I was ready to play it.  I think after 30…Qd7, 31…Qd7 my position was ok. I think I could win in the endgame but now its not easy to say where exactly after so many hours of playing.
Hou Yifan –Alexandra Kosteniuk 1-0
Alexandra Kosteniuk: I was satisfied with the position I’[ve got after the opening but then I started to make moves which I could not really explain and got into a trouble. I think Ng7 simply wions in that position.
Hou Yifan: I was not sure actually about Ng7 because I think white could have defended more precisely by playing 31…Bb6. There are some chances to give a perpetual  check there.
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