Round 10: Round 10: Bela Khotenashvili overtakes Anna Muzychuk in the lead
In the tenth round of Neva Fondation Women Grand Prix Georgian player Bela Khotenashvili confidently won against Katerina Lagno and is half a point above of Anna Muzychuk, who made a draw against Viktorija Cmilyte. Tatiana Kosintseva drew against Anna Ushenina and remains on the third place before the last round. Nana Dzagnidze defeated Ju Wenjun and shares the fourth place with Anna Ushenina one point behind of Tatiana Kosintseva. Olga Girya and Tuvshintugs Batchimeg made a relatively quick draw while Alexandra Kosteniuk and Hou Yifan played 6 hours to finish their game in a draw too.
Viktorija Cmilyte got slightly better position with White due to space advantage. She could have tried to get the position with another pawn structure after 17.c5 but decided to open c-file. Anna Muzychuk managed to exchange a few pieces and equalized the position. It was clear for her that Bela Khotenashvili is going to win the game, so she made a risky decision 26…Qc8. Lithuanian player could get a big advantage after 28.Qb3 Re2 29.Nc3 and if Re3 than 30.Nd5! Both players were under time pressure when Viktorija got another opportunity to win a pawn after 36. de Qg5 37.Qe4. Instead of this she played 36.Rf2 and Anna Muzychuk got better chances in the endgame. After inaccurate 50…Kg7 White found the way to make a draw.
Katerina Lagno chose to play Queens-Indian against her opponent but it seems Bela Khotenashvili was prepared quite well at the opening. 13…Ne2 was a mistake as Black can d nothing but lose a pawn in all variations. According to Lagno, she simply missed Rd1 and it was hard for her to find any decent move after that. Georgian player didn’t leave any chance for Katerina to survive after 21.Ne5.
The theoretical battle between the players started long time ago but in the last game between same opponents Anna Ushenina chose to play 10…Ne5. 13. Nd5 has never happened in the games before and was prepared by Tatiana Kosintseva at home. Anna Ushenina reacted very well and didn’t let her opponent to create real threats on the King’s side. The game finished with three-time repetition after 24 moves.
Nana Dzagnidze didn’t expect her opponent to choose Dutch Defence and was preparing mainly against Kings-Indian. However, Ju Wenjun, who won in Dutch against Anna Ushenina few rounds ago, chose to play this opening again and got quite comfortable position with Black. It was not a type of position which Nana prefers to play and Georgian player said during the press-conference she was suffering there. Ju Wenjun played 21...b5 at one point and let White’s pieces to have more space for maneuvers. Georgian player found good counter play and later on managed to transfer the game into the winning endgame with opposite color bishops.
A very complicated and the longest game of the round between two former world champions. After the opening Alexandra could not find the right plan and “was choosing strange moves”, as she pointed out during the press-conference. White lost a pawn but was hoping to get some counter chances due to the pair of bishops. Black missed some opportunities to get huge advantage and later on the players ended up in a very complicated endgame with unbalanced material (2 bishops, knight and 4 pawns against rook, bishop and 6 pawns). After 95 moves players signed a peace.
The last round will start at 12 a.m. local time.