Round 10: leaders keep their positions
After the tenth round of the Women’s Grand Prix in Sharjah Ju Wenjun keeps leading. She drew with Humpy Koneru as well as Hou Yifan did against Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, so the winner of the tournament will be determined in the last round. Batchimeg Tuvshintugs is on the third place one point behind of Hou Yifan. Anna Ushenina split a point with Zhao Xue and keeps chances for the bronze medal as she placed fourth before the last round. Zhu Chen and Harika Dronavalli defeated Tatiana Kosintseva and Elina Danielian respectively. Alina L’Ami made a draw with Nafisa Muminova.
In the last round Ju Wenjun plays with Black against Tatiana Kosintseva, while Hou Yifan has white pieces against Alina L’Ami. The 11th round will start at 1 pm local time on 6th of September. The closing ceremony will take place at the Cultural and Chess Club of Sharjah at 7.30 pm.
Zhao Xue 1/2-1/2 Anna Ushenina
Zhao Xue and Anna Ushenina were the first ones to finish their game. Former world champion managed to surprise her opponent at the opening and equalized quite easily. In the final position Black could have sacrificed a pawn in order to get some activity on the King’s side. However, it was not easy to estimate if there was enough compensation and Anna preferred to repeat the moves.
Ju Wenjun 1/2 – 1/2 Humpy Koneru
The leader of the tournament obtained very comfortable position due to better pawn structure and more active pieces. It was not easy to hold for Black and Humpy gave a chance to her opponent to get a big advantage after possible 32.Rd5.
One of the ideas is to change the rooks and use d-file and passive position of Black. Ju Wenjun preferred to play without any risk and kept her lead before the last round.
Batchimeg Tuvshintugs 1/2-1/2 Hou Yifan
Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, who shows very good opening preparation in this tournament, managed to get a position where White plays almost without any risk. Her knight on d4 was perfectly placed and it was not easy to create any counter play for Black.
Trying to create a threat Bb5 Hou Yifan could have had some troubles after 35. Qb2. Pawn on g7 is hanging, Bb5 is not possible…It's hard to say if Black can hold the position.
However, the tiredness from playing so long and difficult tournament influenced the decision of Batchimeg and the peace was signed one move before the time control.
Elina Danielian 0-1 Harika Dronavalli
Harika Dronavalli used the King’s Indian Defense against Elina Danielan but few moves later the pattern of position looked more similar to Benoni, Indian player got a better pawn structure in the minor piece endgame with connected center pawns. In the following pawn endgame Dronavalli kept an advantage and won a marathon after 89 moves and nearly six hours of play.
Alina L'Ami 1/2-1/2 Nafisa Muminova
The position was about equal when Alina L’Ami decided to go for 24. Rg3. “I could have said that I've seen the following combination before I played Rg3 but in fact I simply missed 24… Ne5 and Rd1 in the end of the variation”, explained Romanian player.
After 25.Qh5 the game became extremely sharp and after necessary 25… Ng6, White played 26.Re6! sacrificing a rook and after 26…fe 27. Be6 Kh8 28. Qg6 Nafisa decided make a draw after 28…Qe7.
It was also possible to play 28…Qf8 hoping that the defensive recourses are good enough, as it was not easy to calculate all following variations.
Hint, the daughter of Zhu Chen, could not wait for her mother any more and decided to join the press conference.
Zhu Chen 1-0 Tatiana Kosintseva
The first victory of Zhu Chen in this tournament. After the opening the position became very complex and double edged as both players started to advance their pawns on different sides. After 26.f5 Tatiana could have regrouped her pieces and stopped the attack of her opponent but underestimated the threats of White.
The leader of the tournament Ju Wenjun writes her wishes in the book of the Cultural and Chess Club of Sharjah The Deputy Arbiter Anastasia Sorokina and Batchimeg Tuvshintugs