Hou Yifan and Ju Wenjun are the winners of Grand Prix in Sharjah
Ju Wenjun and Hou Yifan became the winners of the 6th stage of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix in Sharjah. In the 11th round World Champion Hou Yifan defeated Alina L’Ami to catch her compatriot Ju Wenjun, who saved an important half a point in the game against Tatiana Kosintseva. The fight for the bronze medal lasted till the end of the round and as a result four players Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, Harika Dronavalli, Zhao Xue and Anna Ushenina shared the third place. Batchimeg Tuvshintugs needed a draw to keep the third place in the tournament but lost to Harika Dronavalli. According to tie-break results, it was Harika who won the bronze medal.
After 8 rounds Hou Yifan became the winner of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix Series 2013-2014 and gained the right to play in a ten-game World Championship match in the third quarter of 2015. She showed better result than her main rival Humpy Koneru, who finished on the second place. Anna Muzychuk took the third place. The Classic Jewelry House Lobortas has also awarded the winner of Grand Prix Series Hou Yifan with the special cup. The trophy consists of precious elements and stones of varying size, including silver, gold and diamonds.
Hou Yifan –Alina L’Ami
Alina L’Ami provoked exchange sacrifice but Hou Yifan got a full compensation. The position was very complex but it was easier for the World Champion to play it in the time trouble as it was Alina, who had to defend against White’s threats. The defending recourses of Black were still good but Romanian player didn’t handle the pressure and blundered the material.
Harika Dronavalli 1 –0 Batchimeg Tuvshintugs
Harika put strong positional pressure on her opponent and showed many strong positional ideas. After 21.Nf7! she got clear advantage. Later on Harika converted the game into the ending with Rook and 4 pawns versus Bishop, Knight and two pawns. Indian player showed good technique in the endgame and Batchimeg could not hold her position.
Humpy Koneru 1-0 Elina Danielian
Very complicated and double edged game. White decision 12.Bd6 was dubious as Humpy gave 2 pieces for a Rook and Black got clearly better position. After imprecise 17…Nd7 Danielian allowed White to convert the game into another unbalanced position with 2 rooks versus three light pieces. It was Humpy turn to misplay and once again Elina Danielian gathered all her strength and found very good chances for Black. It seems like the tiredness from playing so many events in a row affected Danielian’s play in the end.
Tatiana Kosintseva 1/2-1/2 Ju Wenjun
It was a strange opening choice by Ju Wenjun as theory considers this position better for White. The game didn’t change this estimation and Kosintseva got winning position but didn’t play precisely. She missed few possibilities to covert her advantage. Ju Wenjun worked hard to save half a point and kept the first place in the tournament.
Nafisa Muminova 0-1 Zhao Xue
Nafisa Muminova obtained a very pleasant position out of the opening but lost her track around 25 move. Zhao Xue managed to create sufficient counter play by pushing her pawns on the King’s side. White reacted too slowly and Zhao Xue outplayed her opponent in a slightly better ending.
Anna Ushenina 1/2-1/2 Zhu Chen
Both opponents didn’t take any risk today and the game eventually finished in a draw.
During the 11th round Qatari GM Mohamed Al-modiahki gave a simul to the studants of the Cultural and Chess club of Sharjah
All players thanked the organizers for the great organization of the 6th stage of FIDE Women’s Grand Prix and also expressed their gratitude to FIDE for supporting women chess and organization of the whole Grand Prix Series 2013-2014.
Memorable gifts from the organizers of Grand Prix for participants
The closing ceremony took place after the end of 11th round. The pictures from the ceremony are here.