Ruan Lufei continues to lead the 6th stage of the Women’s Grand Prix in Ankara. In the 3rd round the Chinese player claimed yet another win – this time against Yildiz Betul – and maintained her 100% result. Humpy Koneru threw herself into the chase and now has 2.5 points, while Anna Muzychuk followed her two draws at the start with her first win of the tournament.
by Evgeny Atarov
Ruan Lufei had to strain herself to the max against the Turkish player: she stubbornly waited for a mistake from Betul but the latter managed to reach a practically equal endgame, and it was only then that the Chinese player managed to outwit her opponent…
It was also in the endgame that Koneru found success in her encounter with Stefanova. The ex-World Champion clearly overestimated her chances, as on a few occasions she passed up drawing chances before she was forced to concede the hopelessness of her position. That moved Humpy to 2.5 points while Antoaneta was left with only half a point and unexpectedly shares last place with Monika Socko and Kubra Ozturk.
Ozturk scored her first half point in the game against Munguntuul. From the very first moves she played strictly for a draw without any “pangs of conscience”. Socko, meanwhile, had a life-and-death struggle against Ju Wenjun… The Chinese player first won one pawn, then another, then promoted a new queen and was left a bishop up. She was a step away from victory, but with a last-ditch effort Monika managed to organise an amazing stalemate construction with a “crazy queen”!
Zhao Xue suffered an even harder blow when she lost with the white pieces to Cmilyte. In the opening Viktorija went for a pawn sacrifice for the sake of the initiative, but for a long time that was rather abstract in character. However… as soon as Black sacrificed two bishops for a rook it immediately became clear that White’s minor pieces had got stuck on the queenside – and they couldn’t help their king. A direct attack quickly decided matters.
There were no fireworks, however, in the Muzychuk – Kosintseva game: Tatiana simply couldn’t equalise out of the opening and entered a slightly worse endgame in which Anna didn’t give her the slightest chance. Men’s chess with a logical result.
No change for now in Ankara…