After seventh rounds of tough struggle Humpy Koneru managed to become the sole leader in FIDE Women’s Grand Prix in Ankara. In a complicated game against Ju Wenjun Humpy Koneru managed to outplay her opponent in the deep endgame. Anna Muzychuk made a draw against Zhao Xue and placed second half a point behind of Indian player. After unpleasant start the current Olympic Champion Tatiana Kosintseva won the second game in a row against Monika Socko and climbed in the middle of the table. The derby between Turkish players Betul Yildiz and Kubra Ozturk finished peacefully as well as two other games Stefanova-Batkhuyag and Cmilyte-Lufei. Zhao Xue and Ruan Lufei share the third place with 4.5 points.
Zhao Xue -Anna Muzychuk 1/2-1/2
Anna Muzychuk: I didn’t know that line so well. I’m sure I made something wrong or it’s just simply worse position for black because it was not easy for me to play it. So I decided to go for this contra play with d4 but obviously it didn’t work and after Rd8 there was a strong move Bf5 which would not allow me to play Qh3.
Zhao Xue: I agree with Anna that Bf5 was the best chance I had in this game. Actually I didn’t really like the opening because the position was very complicated and I was not sure what was going on. Maybe I had a little edge but it was not easy to play. After she played d4 I have some chances but I didn’t find the correct way.
Monika Socko – Tatiana Kosintseva 0-1
Tatiana Kosintseva: After the opening I believe Be2 was not an exact move as it was better to play Qd3 instead and keep the bishop on c4. After c6 this bishop would be placed better. After c6 the position was unclear with chances for both sides. I think white could take on d5 with a pawn 18.ed and after f5 it was possible to play Nh4. In the game white didn’t have the opportunity to play Nh4 and black managed to push the pawns and white could not block them. So position became unpleasant for white.
Monika Socko: yes, I agree that I had to take with a pawn on d5. In the end I just had to keep the position. I should not play Ne1 but Re1-Rc1 instead. That position was still playable for both sides. So Believe that Ne1 was the biggest mistake. I thought that in the endgame my queen and knight could be stronger but in fact after f4 it’s not easy to find a move.
Viktorija Cmilyte - Ruan Lufey 1/2-1/2
Ruan Lufey: I guess this opening is about equal, just maybe slightly better for white. I made one mistake, although it was not very serious one, but white got small chances. I’m not sure if white could sacrifice a pawn of f3 by playing Ke4 Bc6 Ke5 Bf3 and than Rd4.
Viktorija Cmilyte: Yes, I saw this opportunity but black could just keep their bishop on d1 and I didn’t see how to improve the position. After Bc5 I thought I had some chances. My opponent was just in time to play g6, so I didn’t see what else I could do. There were a lot of draws in this variation but it’s pleasant for white to play. I thought black had a very passive position in that endgame with opposite color bishops and rooks but most probably it was not enough to win the game. The draw is so much more likely than another result.
Betul Yildiz-Kubra Ozturk 1/2 -1/2
Betul Yildiz: I had slightly better position in the middle game because of better pawn structure but still I think it’s logical that game finish in a draw. I had an extra pawn in the rook endgame but my opponent defended well and there were enough resources to win it.
Kubra Ozturk: I believe my opponent had a very good position in the middle game. In the endgame I had many pawn islands, so I had to find exact moves to make a draw. I think it became drawish after fg3. Even we play for the same team it’s normal for us also to play against each other.
Humpy Koneru – Ju Wenjun 1-0
Humpy Koneru: I think after the opening I had better position. Instead of Nc4 she could have played f6 but position was already good for me as she had a weakness on e7. So she decided to sacrifice an exchange and it was an interesting chance. It was a very tough game and maybe later I should have tried Rd3 instead of Re1 not allowing g5. I think in one point black had good chances to survive. It was right idea to remove the rooks because I wanted to play Rc4 and Rc7 and I could put both rooks on the seventh rank. In the time trouble I managed to create pass pawn a and it decided the game.
Ju Wenjun: I think opening was better for white. I think I had some chances in the end. Once I had those central pawns it should be not losing. But both of us had luck of time and it was not easy to find exact moves.
Antoaneta Stefanova – Munguntuul Batkhuyag 1/2 -1/2
Antoaneta Stefanova: I thought I should be better after the opening. The move Ne4 was interesting but I think after I played Ne5 and took the bishop on d7 it should be better for white. I didn’t prove that it’s enough to play for win but it the position was clearly more pleasant for white because of two bishops. If I manage to push e4 it should be also better. But it was not working after Qd5, so that’s why I played Qf2, sacrificed pawn on a2 but still I didn’t see anything better although I had a feeling it should be something.
Munguntuul Batkhuyag: I had feeling that I could hold the position. Instead of Qe5 I didn’t like de5. If white kept the queens, they could also win some tempos and it was unclear position.