Hou Yifan – Batkhuyag Munguntuul. 1 – 0
The game was played in Sheveningen variation of Sicilian defense with early e6-e5 advance. Reaction 12.f5 was too fast, attention deserved 12. 0-0. Afterwards the game developed into interesting endgame, Black seemed to overrate their position. Shift to knight-bishop endgame was the reason of Black defeat.
Hou: In the Middlegame I sacrificed a pawn e4 and got an initiative. My opponent had better position, I think. The endgame was equal but as I think 29..Kh8 was a mistake which gave me the opportunity to win.
Munguntuul: I spend too much time thinking in opening. After exchange of Queens an equal situation developed. But I lost a pawn on f7, and lost a difficult endgame.
Q: Hou, tomorrow you will play the decisive game against the second placed Antoaneta Stefanova. How will you prepare to this game?
Hou (laughing): I need a draw – I think everyone knows my planning and my play.
Shen Yang – Xu Yuhua. 1/2 – 1/2
The game was played in Nimtsovich defense. Black sacrificed a pawn to take the initiative and after a while took it back. Both players had no other option than to draw by repetition in Rook endgame.
Yang: In the opening I made an unusual move 10.Qc3, 10.Qc2 is more popular. After sacrificing a pawn, my opponent began to play actively and in the end, she retook it back. Material parity was restored and the game finished in a draw by repetition.
Xu: After exchange of Queens Black had a good position and the game shortly ended in a draw.
Q: The tournament is coming to the end. What would you say about this tournament?
Yang: I started unsuccessfully, but it was a good tournament for me.
Xu: I did not play well and I hope that in next tournament I will play better.
Q: Which next tournament are you going to participate?
Yang: I will participate in a tournament in Cambodia.
Xu: And I will go to Malaysia Open tournament.
Koneru Humpy – Zhao Xue. 0 – 1
New Indian defense was played. In the opening, Black made an interesting 16th move g5. Afterwards a sharp play ensued with precarious situation and White committed a mistake by move 25.f4. Instead they could have moved 25.h5. Black could not respond with 25…Bd7 because 26.h4 Bb5 27.Nh6 Kg7 28.Qb2 and White would have won. Therefore Black positioned themselves to gain a piece and won. Maybe timing problems on part of White contributed to their defeat.
Zhao: I made good preparation for this game and played 16…g5. Before this tournament, I studied several games and thought it was worth a try. My opponent lost much time thinking and got into trouble in the middlegame.
Humpy: I was not prepared well and did some unnecessary moves. 25.f4? was a terrible blunder, I should have played 25.h4. My pieces were not coordinated well and I lost.
Q: In about a month, World Chess Olympiad will start in Russia. Do you plan to participate?
Humpy: No, I do not have such plans.
Zhao: I will definitely participate.
Yildiz Betul – Stefanova Antoaneta. 0 – 1
Caro-Kann defense was developed. Opponents castled on opposite sides and exchanged Queens early. During the shift to endgame the weakness of White pawn h5 was emphasized, they lost it and thus the game, too.
Antoaneta: it was the first time I played Caro-Kann defense. In the endgame the position was unclear, but then she gave me a loose pawn on h5 and eventually I won.
Betul: Yes, I lost a pawn on h5, and I did not get a good composition.
Q: Antoaneta, tomorrow you play the decisive game against the leader - Hou Yifan. How will you prepare for this game?
Antoaneta: I do not have time for preparation. For some reason the last game will be played at 10 in the morning. If we played at least at 12:00 or 13:00 I would have had time for preparations.
Sebag Marie – Kosintseva Tatiana. 1 – 0
Rauser variation of Sicilian defense was developed. White castled to queenside while Black King remained in center. After exchange of Queens, White remained with two-bishop advantage and opponents had roughly equal positions. It seemed that Black overvalued their possibilities and underrated White move 27.Rc1 which led to worsening position. A waiting move 25…Rc7 could have been better. Afterwards, White got a winning chance with opposite color Bishop and an extra pawn. Black tried to exchange Rooks, which was countered with skillful and high level play by White who won.
Zhu Chen – Chiburdanidze Maia. 1 – 0
Players began the opening with Nimtsovich defense. During the shift to middlegame, White position was good. Instead of 13…c5, Black should have first moved 13…g5, then 14.Bg3 and after move to c5. After 20 Rd4, White gained a pawn and had all possibilities to win. Though Black put up a fierce resistance, White used their extra pawn on kingside, got a passed pawn and won.
Zhu: It was an interesting game. Move 13…c5 was a notable mistake, Queen had to withdraw b8. After the move in the game position of Black was not easy.
Maia: I agree, I should not have played c5. 13…g5 deserves attention.
Q: we have now 10 rounds past us. How was this tournament for you?
Zhu: I played not very good, in many games I made mistakes that cost me dearly. However it was a good tournament and still, there will be another tournament to win.
Maia: As I have said before, I came here to just enjoy play and relax.
Q: What is your next tournament?
Maia: Next tournament of Grand Prix. I have not yet decided on participation in Chess Olympiad.
Zhu: I will not participate in Olympiad since I have children to care for.