Bela Khotenashvili became the winner of Neva Fondation Women Grand Prix
In the last round Georgian player Bela Khotenashvili managed to make a draw against Anna Ushenina and won the tournament. Her nearest rival Anna Muzychuk had to win the game in order to catch the leader but Slovenian player didn’t get anything out of the opening and drew against Alexandra Kosteniuk. “I’m very happy to win this tournament and consider this result as the best one in my career so far. I would like to thank Georgian chess federation, President of GCF Giya Giorgadze and our coach Davit Jojua for their help”, said Bela Khotenashvili at the final press conference.
Pictures from the closing ceremony.
It became clear today how tired all players are as they were making such mistakes which don’t appear in their games normally. Ukrainian player Katerina Lagno overlooked the piece blunder of her opponent Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, Hou Yifan missed winning chances in the endgame and lost the game against Nana Dzagnidze. Tatiana Kosintseva had a very good position after the opening but was spending a lot of time and lost against Ju Wenjun. Viktorija Cmilyte outplay Olga Girya. As a result, Nana Dzagnidze tied for the third place with Tatiana Kosintseva.
Bela Khotenashvili got a position with isolated pawn in Queens Gambit. Anna Ushenina chose an interesting plan and tried to maintain the pressure. World champion could get an advantage by playing 17.b5 ab 18. Rc6! but didn’t consider this opportunity. After that Black managed to exchange a few pieces and the game ended in a draw. Bela Khotenashvili became the winner of the first stage of Women Grand Prix.
It was an important game for Anna Muzychuk, as in case of victory she had a chance to catch Bela Khotenashvili. “If I could manage to get better position I would definitely play for win”, said Anna Muzychuk but I seems White didn’t get this opportunity during the game. Slovenian player didn’t expect Alexandra Kosteniuk to play Caro-Kann and Russian player managed to equalize the position quite easily. There was no way to improve the position for both sides and the game finished in a draw after 29 moves. Anna Muzychuk finished the tournament without losing any game.
Ju Wenjun decided to play Dutch with White and Tatiana Kosintseva managed to get quite comfortable position with Black but spent a lot of time in the opening. After 20 moves Russian player had only 2 minutes till end of the time control and started to make inaccurate decisions. According to Tatiana Kosintseva, Black could have kept the bishop instead of changing it. Under the time pressure Black lost a pawn and had to fight for a draw in the endgame. Post-game analyses showed that Black could hold the balance but during the game White managed to exchange the queens and won.
Once again Mongolian player showed good opening preparation and didn’t get any problems with Black. Both players started to play unpredictably after 25 moves and for some time we had doubts in the press-center if there were problems with transmission or not. As it was proved at the press conference, Mongolian player simply blundered a piece by playing Ba4 but surprisingly Katerina Lagno didn’t take the bishop. As both players pointed out, they simply missed Na4! Katerina Lagno simply followed her plan Nc1-Ne2 and could not imagine that Black blundered a bishop. Black had advantage in the endgame but Katerina Lagno managed to transfer the position into the endgame with the opposite color bishops.
Nana Dzagnidze used to play 9…0-0 but feeling sleepy she mixed moves in the opening. White had slightly better position after the opening and Nana decided to sacrifice the exchange to complicate the game. “I think Black is just worse if I don’t do anything”, said Georgian player at the press conference. However, Hou Yifan managed to get absolutely winning position but had to play precisely as Nana was creating threats all the time. Black used his last chance - brought the king to the center and tried to advance e-pawn. Under the time pressure former world champion started to play inaccurately and even lost the game.
The awarding ceremony took place after the last game was finished and was attended by Under Secretary-General, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, Mr. Tokayev, the founder of Neva Fondation Elena Timtchenko, FIDE President Kirsan Iljumzhinov, FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg.