Round 7: Synchronized swimming of Ju Wenjun and Hou Yifan
Ju Wenjun and Hou Yifan continue to move synchronously over the last rounds as both players won today again. While Ju Wenjun caught her opponent Nafisa Muminova in the opening and won relatively quickly, Hou Yifan outplayed Zhu Chen only in the deep ending after 5 hours of play. After two losses in a row Humpy Koneru defeated Tatiana Kosintseva but it didn’t help her to shorten the distance with the World Champion so far. Batchimeg Tuvshintugs had good chances for victory against Zhao Xue but their game finished in a draw as well as other more quiet games L’Ami-Danielian and Dronavalli-Ushenina. After 7 rounds Ju Wenjun and Hou Yifan share the lead with 6 (!) points. Batchimeg Tuvshintugs is on the sole third place 1, 5 points behind the leaders. Anna Ushenina and Harika Dronavalli share the fourth place with 4 points.
Alina L’Ami 1/2-1/2 Elina Danielian
Alina L’Ami obtained a very promising position after the opening and got a chance to win a pawn on 20th move.
20. Ne4 de 21. Bf2 and 22.Be4 She chose 20.Be7 instead and Black equalized the position after few exchanges. The endgame seemed absolutely equal and could have finished earlier but L’Ami started to give small hopes to her opponent. But even with extra material in hands, Black has never had decisive advantage.
Nafisa Muminova 0-1 Ju Wenjun
Things went wrong for Nafisa Muminova right in the opening. She missed black’s respond 11…Nd5 12. Rd3 c4 after inaccurate 11.Re3 and had to go back with her Rook on e1, losing two tempos. Ju Wenjun kept on putting pressure on her opponent and white collapsed after 28 moves.
Humpy Koneru 1-0 Tatiana Kosintseva
Humpy Koneru got slightly better position and Black had to solve some small problems in order to equalize the position. The rook endgame which appeared on the board was better for White but it was far from to be winning. Humpy Koneru showed very good technique and eventually won the game.
According to Tatiana, she missed the maneuver of White’s King Kf1-g2-f2-g3 which creates zugzwang for Black.
Hou Yifan 1-0 Zhu Chen
Don’t give Hou Yifan a chance to give up an exchange! Two last games of World Champion proved she played stronger in unbalanced positions. Hou Yifan didn’t get outcome in the middle game and converted the game into the complex endgame. Black tried to use bad position of White’s king and Hou Yifan gave up an exchange in the right time. Under the time pressure Zhu Chen started to make mistakes and after World Champion centralized her king and advanced her pawns, the fight was over.
Batchimeg Tuvshintugs 1/2-1/2 Zhao Xue
After inaccurate 9…h6 Mongolian player found a nice way to fight for initiative and tried to play against bad location of Black’s dark-square bishop. She was playing precisely until 15th move…
Here white could have played 15.Nd6 and 16.Rc1 with good chances but Batchimeg played Rc1 first and let Zhao Xue to escape from the worst after short castling. White still kept an advantage but it was not so easy to convert it into a full point.