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Round 9 report
Thursday, 21 June 2012
IMG_5158.JPGKazan stage of FIDE Women Grand Prix is gradually reaching its culmination.  Elina Danielian lost the first game in the tournament to Alexandra Kosteniuk. Ex-world champion, who had white pieces, was playing for initiative from the opening and found nice sacrifice to open the central files and create a decisive attack on opponents ‘king. The defeat of Armenian player let Anna Muzychuk, who made a draw against Viktorija Chmilyte, and Humpy Koneru, who won against Katerina Lahno, reach her on top. Although two rounds to go there are three leaders in the tournament.  Hou Yifan managed to win in close to draw rook endgame against Alisa Galliamova.  After the 5 hours of play Antoaneta Stefanova got winning  chances in the bishop endgame against Betul Yildiz but  didn’t find the way to create more problems for her opponent and as a result the game was drawn. Quite predictably, Kosintseva sisters concluded a draw. It took them 14 moves this time to seal their usual result.

Two rounds before the finish of the event, three players are resting on the top with 6 points each. Current leaders are Elina Danielian (Armenia), Anna Muzychuk (Slovenia) and Humpy Koneru (India). Viktorija Cmilyte (Lithuania) and Hou Yifan (China) are chasing them with 5,5 points, followed by Nadezhda Kosintseva, Alexandra Kostenyuk (both – Russia) and Katerina Lahno (Ukraine), who have collected 4,5 points in Kazan. Tatiana Kosintseca (Russia) is on the 9th place with 4 points. Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria) goes 10th with 3,5 points. Alisa Galliamova (Russia) and Betul Yildiz (Turkey) are closing the ranking with 2 points.
Viktorija Cmilyte - Anna Muzychuk 1/2-1/2
Viktorija Cmilyte: There was an interesting game today with many different opportunities.  I could have tried to play 14.Ng5 Qf6 15. Rh4 h6 16. Bd5 Kh8 17. Ne4 but black can even give their queen after Qh4 and de. 15.Ne6 is not dangerous after Be6 16.Re6 Nb4. Maybe white is slightly better but I didn’t see something better.
Anna Muzychuk: Taking into consideration, that I played with black pieces, the draw seems to be a good result today.
Chess is a serious game. Have you ever made something unpredictable either at the table or outside sport?
Anna Muzychuk: I’m not a great fan of unexpected things (laughing). 
Viktorija Cmilyte: I might have been unpredictable, but very many years ago.
Alexandra Kosteniuk - Elina Danielian 1-0
Alexandra Kosteniuk: I liked my position after the opening – it was comfortable for me to play it. I played Rh3 with idea not only to include my rook to attack on the opponent’s king in the future but also to protect my king with a move Ra3 in some variations.  After my move 20. Qg4 black could play f5 and I could not understand if it’s good idea or not.
Elina Danielian: I was ready for this variation but usually white play dc after Qg4, so I was trying to get the difference.  I think Rd8 was not a good move. It was also a bad idea to blunder Nd5. I could have played 22… Ba6 and all the game was ahead.  Nd5 is not a threat and I want to play Rc8, Nb6, Nc4. The position was very complicated and if white don’t get anything then Black can have nice contra play. 
Antoaneta Stefanova – Betul Yildiz 1/2-1/2
Betul Yildiz: I was surprised that my opponent didn’t play d4 today but chose this way.  Maybe Antoaneta could take on d3 with bishop but Im not sure. In any case I think it was more or less equal position after the opening.
Antoaneta Stefanova: I took with a rook because I thought after possible moves e4-e5 my rook can be useful on the 3rd rank. I was trying to find some play for white. I was checking also interesting possibility to play 20. Nb5 ab 21. Bb5 Kd7 but I could find nothing but draw after I we exchange everything on c6.  I had feeling there were some chances in the bishop endgame but I don’t know if I miss victory or not.
Katerina Lahno – Humpy Koneru 0-1
Humpy Koneru: Ive got better position in the opening. I think my opponent could play 14.Qc2 instead of 14.Bb2 in the opening and probably 11.Bg5 in order not to allow d5. Later on I was much better with pair of bishops and my rook on second rank but maybe I should have just taken 20…Rb5 instead of20… Rc2. Later I had only slight edge and even she gave a piece it was not so easy to win. I just played thi endgame.
Hou Yifan –Alisa Galliamova 1-0
Alisa Galliamova: I thought that rook endgame is equal so I went into it. Then I missed the idea Kf6, I thought we will just exchange all pawns and there will be draw. 
Hou Yifan: The position was equal  and after Ra3 white are safe but then white went for this rook endgame which was better for me after Re3. Maybe they could keep the knight by playing Nc2.
During the game both players didn’t see the move which would lead to draw 33.Rb8!

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