Round 5 Report
Sunday, 04 October 2009

As can be expected, last round before a free day, the players came out fighting and again there were four wins and two draws. This brings the total results so far to 19 wins out of 30 games and 11 draws, a 63% wins ratio which is excellent. With the GP regulations even the draws are fighting games and one avoids quick draws which players are sometimes tempted to make, to conserve energy.

Coincidentially, the men's tournament has also got 11 draws but with a slightly lower number of wins. Maybe trying to get the players to be more combative, the organisers have also been selecting the best game from each round, both for the men's and women's tournament. In the Women's GP, the best game at the end of the tournament, selected by a panel composed of GMs Nona Gaprindashvili, Ye Jianchuan and Zurab Azmajparashvili will net each player 800 euros. They have also offered a prize for the best novelty of the tournament.

The big game in this round was between two of the top seeds and the fireworks which are currently a daily routine all over China to celebrate their 60th Anniversary, were also not lacking in this game.

GM Sebag followed a recent line in the Meran and GM Dzagnidze innovated on move 16 with Bg5. This was not so good unfortunately and black took the initiative to reach the following position on move 30. Here, white played the natural move 30.Rb6 and black could have wrapped up the game with 30...Ng4! 31.Qd4 Nxe5 winning a piece in all variations.

Dzagnidze Sebag.jpg

What black played, gave her the advantage and in Nan's habitual time scramble she lost a piece on move 40. Nevertheless, this left her in the lead as another surprise was taking place on the second board.

Former World Champion Xu Yuhua sacrificed a piece in a French Classical, with black, against WGM Munugutuul Batkhuyag of Mongolia. When black failed to follow up with 19...Ba4!, white emerged from the position with a piece for a pawn and eventually converted the point.

Another former World Champion has been fighting in every game and round 5 was no exception. Her opponent Betul Cemre Yildiz from Turkey played extremely well and reached a position below on move 37 for white after black had just blundered with 36...Ned4.

Yildiz Zhu.jpg

Here, white could tie up the game with 37.Qg4 Ne7 38.Nxh7 as the on d4 is hanging with check and mate is looming. Unfortunately, white had been playing her last few moves within the 30 second increment and could not calculate this correctly. Instead she played 37.Nd5 and then just before the time control made another mistake and Zhu Chen took the point.

The top seeds fared badly in this round and despite a very good opening, Zhao Xue found herself on the wrong side of the result of a Nimzo Indian. After uncorking 17...Nd4! she took the initiative but then a miscalculation in the position below gave white a nice win.

Mkrtchian Zhao.jpg

Here, Black played 23...Nxd5 but instead 23...Bc8 would have forced white to go for an inferior endgame with 24.Bf4 Qxf4 25.gxf4 Bxe6 26.Bxe6 Nxb1. After the game move, 24.exd5 Qc5 25.Kg1 followed and black's attack had run dry.

The other two games ended in draws of 61 moves and 59 moves.

Martha Fierro and Shen Yang battled it out in a theoretical Spanish and the initiative shifted from one side to the other but there was very little real chances for anyone to try and win.

Full analysis and pgn download of the games can be found here .

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