Round 1: Muzychuk and Khotenashvili draw first blood
The first round of the first stage of Grand Prix tournament in Geneva got under way on the 3rd of May 2013, after the founder of Neva Fondation Elena Timtchenko made the first symbolic move in the game Kosinseva-Hou Yifan 1.e4. The President of Swiss Chess Federation Prof. Dr. Adrian Siegel repeated 1.e4 in the game Muzychuk-Girya.
The first round was a pretty tough one for the start of the tournament – Bela Khotenashvili and Anna Muzychuk started with victories while other four games were drawn. Another Georgian player Nana Dzagnidze was very close to defeat Alexandra Kosteniuk but missed the victory in the time trouble. The quickest game of the round one between Lahno and Cmilyte finished with three-time repetition after 31 moves. Mongolian player Tuvshintugs Batchimeg made a draw against Women’s World Champion Anna Ushenina. Pictures round 1.
Playing with Black Anna Ushenina equalized comfortably and got a playable position. The game developed quite logically but at one point White forgot about the weakness of the first rank. Black immediately used it and managed to win a pawn. “I was playing normally today but then I missed this move Qe7 after Qe5. I had to play h4 first and then maybe Qe5 or Qd4. So I’ve got these complications right after Qe5 but luckily my opponent let me make a draw. It’s my birthday today, so maybe this was a reason I was lucky,” .said Tuvshintugs Batchimeg during the press-conference. As Adrian Mikhalchishin pointed out, Ukrainian player could have got winning rook endgame after an important maneuver 44…Re5-e6-c6.
White started to play quite aggressively at the opening (g4-h4-g5) and after h6 pushed the pawn to g6 to open g-file. It was scary for Black to make a short castling so Alexandra decided to look for counter play on the Queen’s side. According to the former world champion, Black’s moves b5 and Nc3 are dubious as after that her position became really bad. Nana Dzagnidze was sure White had winning position but didn’t find the right way to establish her advantage. One of the easiest way for White was to change white square bishops by playing 19.Bh7-20.Bg6. However, the variation chosen by Georgian player was in White’s favor as well, If she would play Qe4 instead of Ng6. After all troubles Alexandra was happy that the game was converted into the endgame where Black managed to make a draw.
Caro-Kann was played in the game and both players were repeating the well-known theoretical line. “I think this endgame was slightly better for White, I liked my position”, said Anna Muzychuk during the press-conference. Olga Girya estimated the ending as equal:”I saw many games with many different plans in that endgame but somehow I forgot all of them (smiles)”. It was not necessary for Black to take on c4 and create a weakness on c6 but Olga pointed out it was not easy to find the moves in that position. Russian player could have tried to defend more actively but chose quite passive defence, so Anna Muzychuk was improving her position step by step. White grabbed the pawn on c6 and with accurate play converted the advantage into a full point.
Despite the absence of Nadezhda Kosintseva in Geneva (she let her sister Tatiana to replace her for one event), she keeps on helping her sister Tatiana with the preparation through Internet. Today Tatiana repeated the moves from the game Kosintseva Nadezhda-Hou Yifan but chose to play 16.Bd3 instead of 16.Be2. Both opponents remembered the theory quite deeply and were following the main line. White got enough compensation for the pawn but Black had also quite safe position. It was not easy for both players to find the way to fight for more than draw. “I think it’s easier to play this position with White,” said Hou Yifan during the press-conference but at the same time she also didn’t see any idea for White to fight for more.
Khotenashvili-Ju Wenjun 1-0
Black chose to play quite risky move 10…Ne4 instead of more quiet 10…Re8 and playing white Bela Khotenashvili spent some time choosing between 12.Nd2 and 12.Ng5. 12. Nd2 guaranteed White stable advantage and good play, so since that moment it was not easy for Black to find the right plan. Please follow the deep analyzes of this game provided by GM Adrian Mikhalchishin.
Without exception the players expressed their joy to participate in this tournament.
Tuvshintugs Batchimeg: “It’s my first time here in Grand Prix and I’m really glad that FIDE is organizing one of the stages in our country. I’m lucky to participate in such a strong field here in this tournament and I would like to thank the Mongolian Chess Federation for giving me this opportunity. It’s great to be here in Geneva, I’ve been here for three times.”
Anna Ushenina: “I can say that organization is perfect here. I would like to express my gratitude to FIDE and Neva Fondation. It’s not easy to organize the event on such a good level”.
Viktorija Cmilyte: “It’s a very nice place and excellent hotel. It’s really nothing to complain about at all. I’ve got nominated by FIDE President not a long time ago and it came as a very pleasant surprise! I didn’t have much time to prepare for this event but I’m glad to have this fantastic chance to play in series of very strong tournament.”