Tuvshintugs Batchimeg defeats Hou Yifan. Three players lead after three rounds
Anna Muzychuk, Bela Khotenashvili and Katerina Lahno are the leaders after a very exiting round three. The most unexpected result was the victory of lowest seed, Mongolian WGM, 2298, over top seed and former world champion, GM Hou Yifan, 2623. During the press-conference Tuvshintugs Batchimeg said she was just trying to make the logical moves. (Check analyzes of this game provided by GM Adrian Mikhalchishin on our website). Georgian derby between Khotenashvili and Dzagnidze finished in favor of Bela Khotenashvili. Katerina Lahno outplayed Olga Girya in Grunfeld after 72 moves. Three other games Kosintseva-Kosteniuk, Cmilyte-Ju Wenjun, Muzychuk-Ushenina finished in draws.
Both players were ready to fight today and chose quite sharp line. 10. h5 was the main theory but Bela decided to try the new move b4. Nana Dzagnidze was defending accurately and after Qe6 Kg7 Black managed to get the equal chances. During the press-conference Nana pointed out that her original plan was to sacrifice an exchange after 17…Nh5 18. Nf3, She regretted that she changed her mind afterwards. A few moves later, Black blundered tactics by playing 21…h6. For some reason Nana was sure that her opponent could not play 22.Ne6. After Bg6 the position of Black became hopeless.
Cmilyte-Ju Wenjun 1/2-1/2
Ju Wenjun managed to surprise Viktorija Cmilyte in the opening and it became obvious that Chinese player feels comfortable in such position. Lituanian player was spending a lot of time trying to find the right plan and as she said during the press-conference “lost a track in one moment”. Ju Wenjun won a pawn but Viktorija got some compensation as Black king was weak. It was not easy to win the endgame with a pawn up because White was defending her position very well.
The players decided to avoid theoretical lines in the opening, they also “missed” a middle game and went into the endgame on the sixth move. Slovenian play was quite happy with her position at the beginning and tried to choose the plan to get an advantage. After Black’s b5-b5 it became obvious for her that she has nothing in this position and started to play for a draw. Under the time pressure Black missed a few chances to get slight advantage. As players mentioned during the press-conference there was an opportunity to keep the bishop on g6 after 33…Ke7.
Katerina Lahno chose to play Grunfeld with Black but it seemed Olga Girya knew the theory quite well. It was necessary for White to play 20.Qf4 Rc8 21.Rc8 Qc8 and 22.d5 in order to fight for advantage. Instead, Russian player chose a dubious plan with 20.Rb2 and simply missed double attack 21…Bc2. It seemed that the game will not last long as Black got an extra pawn and good position but Katerina Lahno missed back the double attack of Olga Girya. The position of Black was still much better but it was also a psychological blow. As Katerina pointed out during the press-conference she tried not to think about what happened and just continued to play. “There were so many situations like that one in my chess career. I’m used to hold the tension”, said Ukrainian player. Olga Girya was defending very well and was very close to make a draw but missed some chances.
Alexandra Kosteniuk surprised her opponent with Caro-Kann but Tatiana decided to avoid playing the line which recently happened in the game Kosteniuk-Girya. Former World champion got an interesting play with 10…g5 and after 14.f4 the position became very sharp with many different opportunities for Black. Alexandra found a force way, which she thought could finish in Black’s favor, but she missed calm move 22.Rad1. White managed to transfer the game into a drawish ending.