After the free day the round fifth was quite peaceful – 4 draws and only 2 decisive games, a rare outcome in this event. Playing black the leader of the tournament Elina Danielian made a draw against Viktorija Cmilyte in a slightly better for white endgame. Anna Muzychuk defeated Betul Yildiz to join Elina Danielian on top. Katerina Lahno received the position with the big advantage in the opening, playing white against Alexandra Kosteniuk and managed to convert her advantage into full point. Antoaneta Stefanova and Tatiana Kosintseva were close to win their games but missed their advantage playing against Alisa Galliamova and Humpy Koneru accordingly. Nadezhda Kosinsteva got better position playing with white against Hou Yifan but world champion changed few pieces and succeeded to make a draw in a slightly worse endgame.
Round 5 of the competition has significantly changed the tournament ranking. Anna Muzychuk (Slovenia) joined Elina Danielian (Armenia) on top with the 3.5 points. Katerina Lahno (Ukrane), Nadezhda Kosintseva (Russia), Humpy Koneru (India) and Viktoria Chilyte are occupying the 3rd – 6th places with 3 points. Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria) is solely on the 7th spot with 2,5 points, followed by Alisa Galliamova, Alexandra Kostenyuk (both Russia) and Hou Yifan (China) with 0.5 points less. Betul Yildiz (Turkey) closes the ranking with 1 point.
Katerina Lahno - Alexandra Kosteniuk 1-0
Katerina Lahno: I was trying to surprise my opponent and played 4.Bc6 but in the end it was her turn to surprise me with Be7. I was checking this position long time ago and don’t remember what exactly white played here. I think I got quite good position, at least I thought I was playing logically.
Alexandra Kosteniuk: Yes, I also don’t remember what the best moves here are. I played not so accurate. Maybe 12…Qd7 was already not an correct move because I could not play 15…0-0-0 because of 16.Qg4 and 17.Qg7. Maybe it was possible to play 14…ab and 15…Rd8 or 15…0-0-0 after 15.Qe4 but it looks also dangerous. After 20.Bh6 gh my position is just bad.
Katerina Lahno: - I won after a good rest indeed (smiling). I liked the excursion, provided by the organisers, very much. Kremlin was something special! The weather was hot, sometimes too hot. However, there was no way to please everyone. In case we started earlier, some ladies might be complaining they would have no opportunities to sleep out well. We started at about 1 p.m., so we were supposed to sunbathe.
Alexandra Kostenyuk: - We had a city tour yesterday. Since I have already been to Kazan many times, and saw nothing new, although the excursion was very interesting. I’m sure, all the ladies who are in Kazan for the first time appreciated the excursion highly.
The 35th move turned to be crucial for Anna Muzychuk and Betul Yildiz, who finished second in turn. Slovenian player defeated her Turkish opponent with black pieces. Later on the winner confessed, that her sister Maria used to play the same match, however the result had been different.
Betul Yildiz - Anna Muzychuk 0-1
Anna Muzychuk: - I was ready for this variation today. Usually white play 16.Nb6 but Betul chose Qb3. I think after Nc5 Black have already better position. Even she doesn’t play Ne7 but Rf1 I can play Bg5 and f5 later. I liked my position. My sister Maria played this variation with white and lost that game to Alisa Galliamova at the World Chess Olympiad, so I checked this game as well. My sister doesn’t often help me, since I am doing better than her. I call her to help me occasionally, just at times.
- You have recently competed your sister at the World Blitz and Rapid Chess Championships. Unlike Kositseva sisters ever playing draws, your family games are always fascinating. To say, Maria celebrated a win in Batumi.
Anna Muzychuk: - I was surprised to lose to her there because usually I win when we play at home. After the defeat, I got cross and I started to play twice as vitally and won 5 matches in a row. In any case its nice to have a sister chess player whom you can play from time to time and share some thoughts and ideas.
Last year during the Candidates Matches in Kazan people used to speak on the coming death for chess in the face of draws. 27 clashes out of 30 ended in a draw. However, women chess players, competing in Kazan, are proving now it’s too early to speak of the close.
Anna Muzychuk: - Level of men’s chess is much higher. Let’s take Grand Prix for men, and we will see there are much more draws than in any women’s tournament. That’s why it’s more interesting for spectators to follow women events. We won’t definitely win after a winning position! You know, it’s far more interesting to watch perturbations! Women seem to know smaller number variations, and therefore they are playing, not just calculating or reminding of them.
Betul Yildiz: - I can only dream of draws, having 4 defeats out of 5 rounds (smiling). It’s pretty complicated for me to play in such a strong tournament, since everyone is doing her best to defeat me.
Nadezhda Kosintseva - Hou Yifan 1/2-1/2
Nadezhda Kosintseva: I used to play open Sicialian and very aggressive variations against Hou Yifan before and I must tell that I lost many games. So I decided to change my tactics today and chose more quiet variation with c3 and line with Bd2. The idea of this move is to take on c3 with a bishop after the knights exchange. I could try to create an attack on black’s king but f its not working strategically black will be better. So I’ve decided to go forBe4- Bc6 and I believe after Bc6 my position is better because of the weakness on c6 which I tried to use. I could have played more precisely somewhere.
Hou Yifan: In the opening my pieces were a bit far from the center and my opponent had better position. If black manage to keep c6 pawn than their position was defendable as it happened in the game.
- How did you spend the day-off?
Hou Yifan: - I went sightseeing, organized by the local OC. I liked the Kremlin very much. I had a chance to learn the other side of the city housing the chess tournament.
Nadezhda Kosintseva: My sister and I were on private tour about Kazan with our friends. I liked everything about the trip, but for the sunburn. My forehead didn’t stand the sun attack.
Victorija Chmilyte - Elina Danielian 1/2 -1/2
Its seemed as if you could be the first to finish the game, and you turned out to play long. Was it because of the no chance for the draw offer?
Elina Danielian: I think so!
Victoria Chmilyte: In the midgame there was a moment, when one of us would agree to the draw offer in case it could be possible. I was a bit surprised with Elina’s choice today, she doesn’t often play this line. In any case I chose quiet variation. I thought the endgame with d4 and d5 pawns is slightly better for white but in any case it was really close to equal all the time. The game could have finished earlier. For example I didn’t know how to improve my position if black played 35…Ne7 and Nf5 because the pawn endgame is drawish and also 36…h4 could have made draw earlier.
Elina Danielian: Yes, I wanted to play h4 but then I changed my mind. Even without a pawn the position was close to draw, so I think I was not risking in any moment.
One of you (Victorija) managed to win two games in a row, while the other (Elina) was the current leader of the event. Who had psychological advantage in the game?
Elina Danielian: I don’t know, what to answer. I tried not to think of the tournament ranking at all, meaning just to play well.
Victoria Chmilyte: The mood was good. Every match in the tournament stands separately, therefore I normally percept them in this way.
Antoaneta Stefanova - Alisa Galliamova 1/2 -1/2
Antoaneta Stefanova: -Today I played the variation which I learnt in the article of Greek GM and FST E. Grivas It’s a playable line and I was happy with the outcome after the opening. Alisa had been deep in her thought to give me advantage of time and I also liked my position. Afterwards I thought I was completely winning even I was in time trouble I thought it was not difficult. I started missing some moves. E5 finally was a big mistake. I should not play like this but I missed that after 38…Kf5 and planned 39. g4 black have 39…Nd4! I don’t think there were good chances to win after e5. Noramlly I should just keep the position and improve it step by step because black pieces are passive and they have nothing to do but wait.
Alisa Galliamova: - I was very much surprised with one of my opponent’s moves (Na3) in the opening. I know Vadim Zvyagintsev is famous for such faints. I didn’t manage to recover soon. Probably I should also read the article of Grivas which Antoaneta suggested (laughs). My position was much worse, so I had to defend it. I’m not sure if Antoaneta played correctly 15.Qa3 I believe after 17…a5 my position was not so bad, I spoiled it later.
- Did you go sightseeing on Thursday?
Antoaneta Stefanova: - I got a fever, and that’s why I was forced to stay in the hotel to take treatments.
Alisa Galliamova: - I was a baby-sitter at first, and then found some time to prepare to Antoaneta. I discovered, that she can play anything and was very much distressed about that. At half past eleven I understood, I wouldn’t learn or revise anything more and went to sleep. And once again, she has surprised me a lot! I didn’t know what to do at the board.
Tatiana Kosintseva - Humpy Koneru 1/2-1/2
Tatiana Kosintseva: A very popular line of Ruy Lopez happened in the game today. Humpy had played this way before and I was ready for the opening. Black play 19..Nd3 usually but Humpy chose19… Nc4. My position was a bit pleasant because of weakness on e6.
Humpy Koneru: I chose the line with Nc4 because after the exchange on e3 the position was about equal. I missed the plan of white with 51.Kd3 and 52.Kc4. We were in time trouble, so we made many mistakes.