Round 4 Report
Friday, 02 October 2009


Round 4 and hard fought games. the Grand Prix tournaments have become synonymous with fighting chess as the draw offer is not allowed in the regulations both for men and women.

We had a number of interesting games, although the first two games to finish, after around 3 hours play, were firstly, Shen yang - Mrktchian who followed a line of the Nimzo Indian which resulted in a sterile position with bishops of opposite colours. when the rooks came off, there was nothing left to play for. Zhu Chen and Ju Wenjun treated each other with great respect and repeated the position in a dynamic position with lots of play left.

Which brings us to the remaining four games.

What can we say about GM Nana Dzagnidze? Superb will to win and a fighter till the end. In a slightly worse position, she refused to repeat moves and constantly probed the position until her opponent, WGM Baira Kovanova from Elista, Russia, made a fatal error. With 4 out of 4 the Georgian Grandmaster has now achieved a performance of 3191!  The game was a positional Sicilian Taimanov with WGM Kovanova keeping control of the game up till black played 40...Nf5. Then the black queen soon entered the game and black had a slight initiative. White could still have held the draw but after 68.Kb6 the game was over.


The current performance table looks as follows in the Najing leg of the WGP :

  Name Rtg FED Pts Ra Rp Rtg+/-
GM Dzagnidze Nana 2535 GEO 4 2416 3191 12.7
GM Xu Yuhua 2485 CHN 2454 2799 13.8
  Ju Wenjun 2443 CHN 2439 2542 5.5
GM Zhao Xue 2542 CHN 2415 2496 -2.1
GM Zhu Chen 2488 QTR 2 2401 2446 -2.3
GM Sebag Marie 2519 FRA 2 2452 2432 -4.8
WGM Shen Yang 2453 CHN 2480 2417 -2.3
IM Fierro Baquero Martha 2386 ECU 2471 2388 -0.1
IM Mkrtchian Lilit 2469 ARM 2481 2379 -5.1
WGM Kovanova Baira 2408 RUS 2450 2365 -2.7
WGM Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2418 MGL 2425 2323 -5.2
WIM Yildiz Betul Cemre 2224 TUR 0 2485 1685 -10.2

So this leads us to another player who is having a great tournament. Former World Champion Xu Yuhua has been playing some great games and Round 4 was no exception. She started complications on the king side with h3-g4 and eventually reached the diagrammed position. She chose 25.Bxf8 followed by d6 whereas d6 immediately would have given her a winning advantage.
Xu Yuhua eventually won a pawn and the d-pawn proved the critical factor to win the game.

GM Marie Sebag has been on a bit of a rolelr coaster. She started off the tournament losing to Shen Yang but following yesterday's victory is now back on 50%. Marie played well against the Petroff and kept a nagging advantage until Natkhuyag lost her a-pawn. After some hard work white managed to convert the point.

Another player who has been recovering from her slow start is GM Zhao Xue, the number one seed. Yesterday, in an English Opening / Reversed Accelerated Dragon, she played solidly until she reached the position below.


After an inaccuracy by Betul, she fired things up with Nxe5 after which white got a big advantage and took the point home.
Full analysis of the games can be found here .

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