Four leaders after sixth rounds
Tatiana Kosintseva and Bela Khotenashvili outplayed Viktorija Cmilyte and Batchimeg Tuvshintugs respectively and joined the group of leaders. Katerina Lagno and Anna Muzychuk finished their games in draws and also share the first place with 4 out of 6. After 5 draws in the previous rounds World Champion Anna Ushenina won the first game in the tournament and is half a point behind of the leaders. Her opponent Alexandra Kosteniuk lost the third game in a row. Olga Girya played very confidently against former world champion Hou Yifan and made a draw after 70 moves.
Ju Wenjun-Lagno 1/2-1/2
Ju Wenjun avoided aggressive lines in the opening and played 6.e3. Katerina Lagno didn’t need to solve any opening problems with Black and quickly equalized. Players exchanged a few pieces and the position became absolutely drawish. Katerina Lagno wore the ribbon of Saint George today. This is worn in a manner to celebrate Victory Day (9th of May) in former republics of the USSR as an act of commemoration and remembrance.
At the press-conference after the first round Olga Girya said that this tournament would be a great opportunity for her to play with the top women players. “I’ve never played against Hou Yifan and looking forward to meet her over the board”, said Russian player. Five rounds later the dream came true and Caro-Kann, the usual opening choice of Olga Girya, appeared on the board. According to Hou Yifan, she decided not to prepare too much for the opening but simply play chess today. Former World Champion tried to create an attack on the King’s side but Russian player had a good counter play in the center. The position became very complex but Olga found precise moves to avoid the threats of her opponent. Black simplified the position and transferred the game into the endgame with extra pawn, which eventually finished in a draw.
Nana Dzagnidze spent a lot of time in the opening trying to find the right moves order, as she was not very familiar with the position after 7…Bb4. Anna decided to avoid Carlsbad pawn structure after 12…ed and took on d5 with c-pawn. Georgian player managed to get the position with slight edge and could have got better chances by playing 16.Nd5 Nd5 17. Ed ed 18. d6!? After16. Bg5 Black managed to find the right way to equalize the position and after 33 moves the game finish by three-time repetition.
After six rounds of play Bela Khotenashvili remains the only player who hasn’t made any draw, as she won 4 games and lost 2 of them. Tuvshintugs Batchimeg surprised her opponent in the opening, so Georgian player spent a lot of time trying to choose one of many possible lines. Black managed to get the position with slight edge but later on Mongolian player missed an interesting opportunity to play 14…bc instead of Nc6, opening b-file for the rooks. As Batchimeg pointed out at the press-conference she had to play Rfd8-Rd5 instead of Qf5 because after Bg5 she could not do it anymore. Mongolian player felt she missed her advantage somewhere and became upset during the game. It was not necessary to sacrifice a knight on c6 as after b3 the position of Black became lost.
Despite unsuccessful results in the previous rounds Alexandra Kosteniuk tries to fight in any game and chooses principal variations. Anna Ushenina spent a lot of time in the opening trying to calculate many different lines and after 20 moves she had to play with 3 minutes on her clock. Alexandra could have tried to play 18. Nc6 or 23. Be5 24. Nc6 but for some reason the former world champion avoided playing this move today. After 23. Bc1 b4 White’s position became worse and after a few moves Black won a pawn. Black didn’t play precisely and White could have kept chances to hold the position by playing 31.Bc3. After 31.Bc1 Ba6 the position of Black became absolutely winning.
Check later on our website the game analysis provided by GM Adrian Mikhalchishin.