After 5th round games grandmasters came to the press centre and answered to the journalist’s questions.
Batkhuyag Munguntuul – Zhao Xue. 1/2 – 1/2
Spanish opening was played, 7…Bg4 leaded only to inverted move-order of the main line. During the shift from opening to middlegame White preserved their advantage, so just before endgame Black sacrificed a pawn to get out of the difficult position. White did not foresee Black’s 42…Kb6 and the game equalized. Later White had an opportunity to preserve advantage by moving Kg3 or otherwise, except of 42…Rd2. Both parties tried to create winning chances but failed and draw was agreed.
Munguntuul: the opening went well after 21.g4. Though it seemed that opponent’s knight was in a better position, actually I had an advantage. Pawn on d6 was weak. Temporary Zhao had two-bishops advantage, but I put my Knight on d5 and she had to exchange one. Under the time presser Zhao sacrificed the pawn. Later I overlooked opponent’s 42…Nb6 and gave my pawn back. Nevertheless I still had an advantage which I failed to realize for a win.
Zhao: I did not think after 21.g4 position was better for White. Black was OK, though I could have played better. I had troubles with a pawn d6, it is true, but after 31.Bf2 I could’ve played d5, to change some pieces and to have a good position. I lost many chances due to timing. I should again say that I did not play well. I lost a pawn, but then took it back. So equal position with parity forces led to draw.
Q: Was this opening variation expected for you?
Munguntuul: Yes, I was expecting this Spanish opening. But castling was late, and Bg4 surprised me.
Q: Zhao, you mentioned yesterday chess is a job for you when you lose and pleasure when you win. So what it was for today?
Zhao: Well, today’s game is just added to my experience. I still have a lot to learn.
Stefanova Antoaneta – Kosintseva Tatiana. 1 – 0
Game began with Trombovsky opening. In middlegame parties mutually controlled their plans by consequently maneuvering. White established overwhelming power on Queen’s side and took the initiative. Black caught in timing and subsequently lost.
Antoaneta: It was a very interesting game. In this structure it is not easy to play normally for both colors. My opponent has found an interesting play with a long waiting for White to castle and then to attack. I deliberately delayed castling and tried to organized my attack at Queen side. When I finally castled it became very complicated, we both were in time-trouble. I don’t know if we played best moves, I think we made mistakes here and there. When I sacrificed the exchange I had a good compensation because I took a pawn and pawns of my opponent were weak.
Tatiana: The game was mutually sharp. I did move too incautiously and recklessly and committed a number of errors. I should have been more careful. I should not have let my opponent to play on counterstrikes and played more on defense. I should not allowed her to play Qa6. Probably I should’ve added a6-a4 including somewhere; also Bc8 move was interesting.
Q: How much time do you spend preparing opening in general?
Antoaneta: Opening is the most important part of the game. Modern chess theory emphasizes the importance of opening, so, unfortunately, we have to learn a lot.
Tatiana: much more attention is given to opening sequences recently and more players are dedicating their time to opening variations. Sometimes it takes most of the time.
Yildiz Betul – Shen Yang. 0 – 1
The game was played in Nimtsovich variation of French opening. Though White tried to play constantly sharp and active, Black countered with solid defense and exactly on time took the initiative into own hands. Key moment of a game came after 20th move: 21.Qh3 deserved serious attention. White could’ve prevented queenside castling: 21. Qh3 0-0-0 22.Bf7 Qf7 23.Ne6 with a complicated game.
Yang: After the opening the game was complicated because of different pawn structure. She had a very good fighting experience: she sacrificed a Bishop on h5 but I did not take it. So I came back Nd5. I thought her position was slightly better, she should’ve had some chances if she changed Queens. But she did not find a right plan. Also she had a time pressure.
Betul: I calculated many tactical variations. I sacrificed a Bishop, she did not take it – and at this moment I should’ve found something and not allowed to her to castle in Queen side.
Q: How did you evaluate your position after bishop sacrifice?
Yang: I thought I was in danger – she threatened to take a pawn Qc7 and my King was not in safety.
Q: Yesterday we had a day off. What impressed you much in this free day?
Betul: I was invited to our country’s Embassy, if was great for us. Then I joined the rest for tour.
Yang: I was pleased to visit our sponsors and express my gratitude.
Maia Chiburdanidze – Xu Yuhua. 1 – 0
The game was played in 4…Ba6 variation of New Indian defense. White took the initiative right from the opening. The plan Be4-d5 and then h6 was wrong. White played concrete and used weak pawn structure of Black. Black lost a pawn and lost without a slightest chance.
Maia: I had advantage from the beginning. My opponent did not play precisely and did the first mistake by moves 7…d5 and 8…Bd6, and the second, main – by playing 9…h6. After these moves I get an overwhelming advantage with my opponent having difficulties in defense, and I won easily.
Xu: I began this game well, however, in the middlegame I committed some mistakes and lost. I did want to move Bd6. I thought Black had had a good position there and did not see the change of Queens.
Q: Maia, today you were awarded by the Mongolian Agency of Physical Culture and Sport…
Maia: Of course, it was a pleasure for me. I thank Mongolian nation for this award. I would like if cooperation between our nations is not limited to chess, but genuine friendship blooms.
Zhu Chen – Koneru Humpy. 1/2 – 1/2
The game was played in Nimtsovich defense. White moved their King into safety by an unusual way and felt free to attack. Black moved their queen several times consequently and had it in a useless position. After Black’s 24…a6 move they should have paid attention to pawn move b5. Both parties experienced timing problem, lost winning moves and tied by repetition.
Zhu: the opening was not that good, I had small problems. I was not sure when she played Qb5 if it was good or not. Ok, then we moved 16…Qh5 17.h3 and here, as my husband said to me after the game, I could’ve played 17.Ne5. At the end when she played 27…Rc1+ I should’ve take at first: 28. Rc1 Rc1 29.Kg2 and after 29… Rh1 30.Bf6 Rc1 31.Nf5. with an advantage. At the other side, she’d better played 27…Ne5 28.Qe5 Rc1 with the position as in the game.
Humpy: Yes, in the game I had a pleasant opening. My 20…Qh5 was a wrong move, I should have moved h6, since my Queen didn’t have any space. I agree that Zhu concerning Rc1 line… I think we both made plenty of mistakes.
Q: Did both of you prepare the same opening was ?
Humpy: I knew Zhu liked this opening.
Zhu: I tried not to prepare at all, because Humpy plays too much openings. But I knew that variation.
Q: When you study chess in general, how much time you devote for the openings?
Humpy: I spend equal time for all parts of the game. It also depends on the competition I try to be prepared to. But most of the time I try to study new things.
Zhu: It depends. Normally I work at the openings but when I face some problems in a middlegame or endgame, I try to remove them.