One point lead for Danielian in Doha with two rounds to go
At the FIDE Women Grand Prix in Doha, Qatar Elina Danielian leads by a point after nine of eleven rounds. Humpy Koneru probably missed a win against Xu Yuhua, and so a qualification for the world title match is far away for the Indian.
One of the pretty pictures of Doha taken by Maria Bolshakova & Anastasiya Karlovich; more here
The 6th and final tournament of the 2009-2011 FIDE Women Grand Prix Series takes place February 22nd-March 5th in Doha, Qatar. It's a 12-player round-robin. Games start at 15:00 local time (13:00 CET), round 11 three hours earlier. For more info, and current GP standings, see our previous report.
In the 8th round on Wednesday, Humpy Koneru inflicted the first loss upon tournament leader Elina Danielian. In doing so the Indian kept her hopes alive to finish ahead of Nana Dzagnidze in the overall Grand Prix, which would earn her a qualification for a match for the world title against Hou Yifan later this year.
After quite a good game, Koneru could have decided matters immediately with 39. d7 and 40.Rxe5, but instead she played it the other way around: 39. Rxe5?! Rxe5 40. d7 and now 40... Rc1! 41. d8Q+ Qxd8 42. Rxc1 h3 would have complicated matters a bit, although White might still be winning. Instead, 40... Rd5 41. Qa8+ Kh7 42. Qxd5 was 1-0.
Humpy Koneru, with Elina Danielian in the background
Nana Dzagnidze herself won with a nice rook sacrifice, against Lilit Mkrtchian:
23. Rxh7+! (Can you calculate this till the end?) 23... Kxh7 24. Qh5+ Kg8 25. Qg4+ Kf8 26. Qg7+ Ke8 27. Qg8+ Kd7 28. Qxf7+ Kd8 29. Qxf6+ Kd7 30. Bh3 1-0
On Thursday Danielian struck again, beating Fierro convincingly with the white pieces. Koneru was destined to win as well, but then... it just didn't happen. Xu Yuhua kept on defending, and the presence of opposite coloured bishops proved enough for the Chinese to defend a position two pawns down.
It must have been a huge disappointment for Koneru, especially after seeing her rival Dzagnidze lose against Marie Sebag. The Française bravely went for a Tal-like attack and was rewarded in the end.
14. Ng5+! Of course. 14... Kg8 14... hxg5 15. hxg5+ Kg8 16. Nf6+ Bxf6 17. gxf6) 15. Nxf7! Rxf7 16. Bxh6!? You don't really want to continue with 16. Ne3 even if it turns out to be objectively better. 16... Nxd4! 17. Bxg7 Nxb3 18. Qh6 Rxg7 19. Nf6+
19... Kf8? It looks strange to go for a self-pin. Better was 19... Kf7! 20. Nxg4 (20. axb3? Ng8) 20... Nxa1 but perhaps Dzagnidze was afraid of 21. Qf4+ Ke6 22. Qf6+ Kd7 23. Qxg7.
Here Black can save her knight with 23... Nc2+ 24. Kd2 Nb4 and then White can continue the fun with 25. Nf6+ Kc8 26. h5!?. 20. axb3 Be6
21. h5! The attack continues! 21... Kf7 22. Nh7! Qh8 23. Ng5+ Kf6
24. e5+! Kxe5 Was she playing for a win? 24... Kf5 25. g4+ Kxe5 26. f4+ Kf6 27. Ne4+ Kf7 28. Ng5+ Kf6 and 24... dxe5 25. Ne4+ Kf7 26. Ng5+ Kf6 are not more than perpetual. 25. Nf3+ Kd5 26. Qe3 Nf5 27. O-O-O+! Kc6 28. Qxe6 Qh6+ 29. Kb1
29... Qf4?? It was already difficult, but this is a full rook. 30. Qd5+ 1-0
Marie Sebag from France
And so with two more rounds to go, Danielian still leads by a full point, ahead of Marie Sebag. Koneru follows with half a point less, and so chances to finished (shared) first in Doha are very slim. The schedule for the last two rounds:
Round 10 on 2011/03/04 at 15:00
|12||GM||Dzagnidze Nana||2550||-||GM||Zhu Chen||2495||11|
|1||GM||Koneru Humpy||2607||-||IM||Mkrtchian Lilit||2475||10|
|2||IM||Fierro Baquero Martha L||2363||-||GM||Xu Yuhua||2484||9|
|3||GM||Cramling Pia||2516||-||GM||Danielian Elina||2454||8|
|4||GM||Stefanova Antoaneta||2546||-||IM||Munguntuul Batkhuyag||2410||7|
|5||GM||Sebag Marie||2489||-||GM||Chiburdanidze Maia||2502||6|
Round 11 on 2011/03/05 at 12:00
|6||GM||Chiburdanidze Maia||2502||-||GM||Dzagnidze Nana||2550||12|
|7||IM||Munguntuul Batkhuyag||2410||-||GM||Sebag Marie||2489||5|
|8||GM||Danielian Elina||2454||-||GM||Stefanova Antoaneta||2546||4|
|9||GM||Xu Yuhua||2484||-||GM||Cramling Pia||2516||3|
|10||IM||Mkrtchian Lilit||2475||-||IM||Fierro Baquero Martha L||2363||2|
|11||GM||Zhu Chen||2495||-||GM||Koneru Humpy||2607||1|
Games rounds 8-9
Game viewer by ChessTempo
Doha Women GP 2011 | Round 9 Standings
Photos © Maria Bolshakova & Anastasiya Karlovich, more here
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