After each game of the FIDE Grand Pix in Ulaanbaatar all the participants visit the press conferences and answer the questions of journalists.
Humpy Koneru – Marie Sebag. 1-0
Antimeran variation of Slav defense was developed. White left their King in center, won a pawn and started to play active. Black responded with sharp play and an unpredictable situation has developed. After the exchange of Queens the game was equal. Having sacrificed a pawn, White received connected passed pawns in center, which leaded them to the win.
Humpy: It was very complicated game. In the difficult position Black moved Bishop to g1, it was a mistake, she should’ve played 21…h5. After the changing of Queens an interesting position has appeared. Then, having sacrificed a pawn, I conquest the center.
Marie: I really don’t know what to say.
Q: Humpy, why didn’t you play 15.Qe4?
Humpy: I didn’t see the plan for White after 15…Kh8.
Q: You both play men and women tournaments. What is the difference to play with women and men? Which do you like more?
Humpy: It depends on the level of tournament. Here I play with women stronger then 2400, so obviously their level is high and the competition is interesting.
Marie: I agree with her opinion.
Tatiana Kosintseva – Zhu Chen. 1-0
Filidor defense has been played in the game. White, having space advantage on the King side, started to attack the King. After some exchanges were made, the heavy-pieces Endgame appeared, White received the winning position.
Tatiana: The position seemed unclear to me till the 40th move. Later I’ve received a counterplay and having passed time trouble I got an extra pawn, which then realized.
Q: What do you think about the opening?
Tatiana: I knew that Chen likes to apply Filidor defense, which is rarely used by other players and is very interesting. So I reviewed this opening and prepared for it.
Chen: I faced the novelty 15. Nf3. There was a complicated game, but I think Black got into troubles.
Q: How do you recover after difficult games?
Tatiana: I just rest, read, watch TV and take a walk.
Chen: I am used to long difficult games.
Shen Yang – Munguntuul Bathuyag. 0-1
The game was played in exchange variation of Queen’s Gambit. White tried to realize the minority attack on Queen side, while Black stabilized the situation. 25. Bg6 was a dubious decision. White seemed to blunder 28.Bc8, exchanging a minor figure for 2 pawns. In the Endgame Black realized the material advantage.
Munguntuul: There was an even position after the opening. Probably Shen Yang wanted to win, she took the pawn on g6 and was mistaken. But there was a chance to play 27.Qb5 or 27.Qd2 instead of Qa6. I did not see how to win there but I could equalize.
Shen: I had a little advantage at first. After she pushed c5 I thought for a long time and then played Qa6. I thing after Qb5 or Qd2 could lead to a complicated game.
Q: How do you prepare for matches and how much time do you spend?
Munguntuul: I begin preparations after breakfast and, as of time, I do not count it.
Shen: Usually 1 hour.
Q: How do you recover after difficult games?
Shen: I go home and listen some music.
Munguntuul: After dinner I take long walks.
Antoaneta Stefanova - Maia Chibrdanidze. ½-½
At the beginning White reach the distinct advantage and began to dictate their game. Black found themself in a very dangerous situation and only thanks to high technique defense in the endgame managed a draw.
Antoaneta: I had a good position after the opening, probably winning. After 10… b5 there were some complications but it should be winning for White. Then Maia showed much better technique in the Endgame, and at the end it was draw.
Maia: I think Antoaneta had a big advantage in the opening. I played inaccurate, after 8.Ne5 I could have played better. But later she had a lack of time which probably did not allow her to realize the advantage.
Q: Maia, do not you think 18…Qd8 instead of Qd4 was better?
Maia: There were a lot of options. I saw that move, but declined it because of 19.Bh3. The position also seemed difficult to me.
Q: What do you think about organization this tournament and opening ceremony.
Antoaneta: Everything was very nice. I liked Mongolia. I haven’t never been in this country before. In case of tournament it is really strong one. All strongest and high ranking players gathered here. I hope it will not be the last.
Maia: The opening was fantastic. I liked this tournament. There is a nice place – it it calm, I like the nature. I’m very glad that people in Mongolia still remember me. I wish all the best them and I wish chess in Mongolia to develop fast.
Q: Both of players are great champions. What was your motivation to achieve this title?
Antoaneta: I am motivated for every tournament and just try to do my best.
Maia: I became the World champion when I was so young that even did not thing about motivation. And when I became the champion I have to have motivation to defense the title.
Zhao Xue – Hou Yifan. ½-½
Though the game started with Closed opening, it transferred to a position typically developed from Sicilian defense. After e6-e5 maneuver Black got white-square weakness, but equalized the position. The game came to the draw by repetition of moves.
Zhao: The opening was strange. I did not know how to play, but Ok, it was not so bad. I had not an advantage but it was an equal position. In the Midlegame after exchanging a lot of pieces I thought I got some little better chances. But I played Qb2, it is a bad move. I did not see Qb7, so it is a drawn position.
Hou: The Midlegame was unclear, I guess I missed some chances. 17…Nc5 is not good I missed after 18…e5 she plays 19.Nd5 and then she had some advantage. Then the situation stabilized and there were no possibilities for risky actions.
Q: Was there the beginning you expected in the game?
Zhao: I prepared another variation - D38.
Hou: I did not prepare much.
Q: How much time do you spend on preparations for games?
Zhao: Maybe 1-2 hours.
Hou: Usually 2 hours, sometimes less.
Xu Yuhua – Betul Yuldiz. 1-0
The game was played in Arkhangelsk variation of Spanish debut. Black strived to develop an active, sharp play. White took a pawn on 19th move during the middle game and gained the initiative. Afterwards skillful planning allowed the capture of another pawn leading to winning position.
Xu: The beginning was clear. I took advantage of my extra pawn, she did not put much of a resistance and I won.
Betul: I sacrificed a pawn to get some space and it turned out an unnecessary move. I had a chance to equalize in the middle game, but there I had some problems with Queen. I also had a draw chance in Endgame, but I lost them as well.