Zhao Xue – Chiburdanidze Maia. 1 - 0
English opening with White double Fianchetto has appeared in the game. White made an interesting move 13.Kc4. A precarious situation developed in the middlegame, which enabled Black to shift into endgame with advantage. However, Black misjudged White’s counterattack and gave possibilities to White to threaten with checkmate leading to White’s win.
Zhao: It was a complicated game. In the opening I had better position, but my planning was wrong and Black took advantage. After the middlegame there appeared a bad endgame for me, too. I was just lucky to win by chance. I did not play good; I have to analyze this game.
Maia: I’ve got a good position after the opening, but gave her some chances 21.Bc8 is a bad move. In the Endgame I was good, I played inaccurate nevertheless she was in a very hard position. Then came my unexplainable blunder and, as a result – defeat, though I needed a draw.
Q: You play chess many years, don’t you get bored from chess?
Maia: Of course, I am tired; I am fed up with it. I played chess for forty years – it is twice longer than some of our participants’ age.
Zhao: Chess is the most important thing in my life, it is my job. Of course, sometimes I got bored, too, but winning heals me.
Q: Zhao, you said the chess is your job. Is it a job or a pleasure basically?
Zhao: When I play good and I win games – chess is pleasure. If I lose games it is a bad job.
Q: If you were not a chess player who would you have been?
Maia: It is an abstract question for a person of my age.
Zhao: I would go to University, I am a good student, and after the graduating, I would have got a job.
Koneru Humpy – Hou Yifan. 1/2 – 1/2
Blunfeld Gambit was played. In this opening Black tried to use its central pawn’s force after sacrificing other pawn. Attention should be paid to move 15.b5. Then White tried to gain advantage by exchanging the pieces. After the middlegame rook-bishop-pawn-versus-rook-and-knight ending has appeared, it has finished in drawn Rook-versus-Rook-and-bishop ending.
Humpy: There wasplayed… gambit. After 14.b4 I had some advantage but played inaccurate. After 27.Rc1it was equal, I should’ve played 27. Qc1. I tried to pressure but it was a technically draw.
Hou: White were strong. I sacrificed a pawn and maybe I didn’t have enough compensation. In middle game I regained it, I think I played middle game well.
Q: What do you think about 15.b5?
Humpy: If she played 15.b5 move I would have played Bb5 and then Nd7 could be foreseen. So I guess both choices were equally good.
Hou: Maybe it was a better choice.
Q: Who does support you at the tournament?
Humpy: My mother. Also I prefer to prepare to games by myself.
Hou: My parents and my coach, and I hope all Chinese.
Q: Tomorrow is a free day. How do you evaluate your tournament situation after the first part of the tournament?
Humpy: There too many rounds to play to make conclusions.
Hou: It is too early. Anyway I will try my best in the rest of tournament.
Xu Yuhua – Zhu Chen. 1/2 – 1/2
Smyslov variation of Spanish opening developed. After 14 moves White had an opening advantage. Black sacrificed a pawn and after the changing of Queens tried to use the activity of pieces. In double-edged Ending White received an advantage by superior calculation, but Black managed to save the game.
Xu: I think I played well, I got into good position in midgame, and though I gave a pawn, her good defense led to draw.
Zhu: It was a complicated game. I had a double pawn c5, but I also had two bishops - it should have been as a compensation. Then I sacrificing a pawn, probably it was not necessary. I think Black had good position. Then she did some mistakes. She gave me the pawn, and also I did a mistake – gave the pawn back. I took 33.Nc2 – maybe I should’ve taken Na2.
Q: How do you evaluate the position after 27.f4?
Zhu: It was not correct choice because it have opened position and my two bishops had started to work.
Q: The question from the reporter for the Chinese Sinhwa news agency. How is your feeling playing in this tournament and what results do you expect to achieve?
Xu: I am glad that there are so many compatriots. Since it was only the 4th round, it is too early for predictions.
Shen Yang – Stefanova Antoaneta. 0 – 1
The Queen Gambit was played. Rarely applied 4.Be6 move was made, and after 15th move equal position was established. In the middle game White tried to gain advantageous position several times, but each time Black countered with solid defense. Having time-trouble, White committed an error, which Black used skillfully to win.
Antoaneta: I chose a bit strange variation in Queen’s Gambit accepted with quick Be6, but I think I had a good position, in general equal. In the time trouble my opponent gave me some chances - to activate my pieces, put my knight on d4. After Qg2 probably it winning for black but I did not know exactly how. I spent my half an hour just for the 1 move. Lucky for me I won the game but I am not sure if it was correctly – maybe there was a draw or perpetual check, I don’t know.
Yang: The game was played equally, but in midgame I overlook Qa5 and receiver a worse position. After she spent most of her time taking g2 pawn I did not know what to do.
Q: What do you think of Be6 move, Antoaneta?
Antoaneta: In general, it is a rare variation, but it is not a bad move.
Q: Will you join tomorrow’s tour?
Both girls: Of course, tour is included in the program.
Sebag Marie – Yildiz Betul. 1/2 – 1/2
Arkhangelsky variation of Spanish game was played. After 19 moves, White had some opening advantage. While White showed uncertain play, Black responded with proper moves and stabilized its position. Once having blunder, White could have lose the game in one move. Though afterwards game lasted long, in the end it was draw.
Yildiz: I had some advantage in middlegame, then I missed some moves. After 41.b4 cb 42.Bb4 Rb8 I was winning. But we’ve changed 2 pieces and the game came to the draw.
Q: How do plan to spend tomorrow’s free day?
Yildiz: I am invited to visit the Embassy, and after that I will join others in tour.
Kosintseva Tatiana – Batkhuyag Munguntuul. 1 – 0
The game proceeded in Arkhangelsk variation of Spanish opening. In the middlegame White played positioning game around d5, and after piece exchanges, an endgame ensued with each side having two rooks. A slight mistake by Black was successfully used by White to win the game.
Tatiana: It was a difficult game. An equal position developed, and it held for a long time. Then Black began to play erroneously, I took the initiative. In the Rook-ending Black should’ve played more accurate, instead of 35.Kg8 they should’ve changed Rooks: 35.Rf4 Kf4 36.Kg8. It would have been a draw, but Black made mistakes, and I won.
Munguntuul: There was an equal position in the beginning. After exchanging most of pieces, endgame with rooks ensued, and as Tania said, I played not precisely. White’s rook was endangering me through line “a” and also my pawns got disconnected. I should have exchanged rooks.
Q: How could you comment 6…Bc5 in Spanish Opening?
Tatiana: Archangelsk Variation is a popular line now, even at the highest level. For me it was a surprise that Munguntuul choose this variation, which put me into difficult situation. I used to play this variations as well, it is very interesting.
Munguntuul: I studied this variation at home, but I also was surprised by 10.a5. Generally I think it is a good variant, Black have equality.
Q: Munguntuul, you have played many tournaments in various countries. How does it feel to play such a strong tournament in your own country? Is it advantage or disadvantage?
Munguntuul: Wherever I am, I try to play good. I played here three times and lost twice, though I had chances in all games to win or draw. However, I will try to play better in rest of games.
Q: Tania, does the time difference affect your play?
Tatiana: Of course, after all it is a 4 hours difference and it took me some time to get used to time difference. But now it is OK, I caught my rhythm.