After the second round there are two chess players with absolute result: Chinese players Zhao Xue and Hou Yifan, both playing Black, won their games against Yildiz Betul Cemre and Munguntuul Batkhuyag accordingly. Another Chinese player Ju Wenjun was close to repeat the success of her compatriots but overlooked the winning move under the time trouble. As a result the game between Ju Wenjun and Viktorija Cmilyte was drawn. Three other games Zhu Chen – Ruan Lufey, Kovalevskaya Ekaterina – Muzychuk Anna, Elina Danielian – Tan Zhongyi ended with the same result. After the games participants came to the press centre and answered to the journalist’s questions.
Yildiz Betul Cemre – Zhao Xue 0-1
Sicilian Defence was played in the game. Zhao Xue chose the rare continuation which recently happened in the game Kovalevskaya – Koneru in Rosotv. White didn't play precisely in the middle game and gave the pair of bishop advantage for Black. Chinese player used the mistakes of her opponent and convert the edge into a full point.
Zhao Xue: 3.c4 is not a main line for White. I saw some games of Betul and I understand she likes to play that kind of positions with e4, c4 and then d4. I don't like to play these positions with Black and I chose 3…Qb6 in order to stop d4. I’m not sure if the variation is correct because it can be dangerous to spend time in the opening for such moves. I think her mistake was to play 7.d3. Instead she could have chosen 7.Nd4 cd 8.Na4 and 9.b4.
Betul Yildiz: I remember this opening was played in Rostov - Koneru chose the same variation against Kovalevskaya. I checked this line a bit. I think my mistake was when I played e5 in the middle game. I had to exchange my bishops on her knights, so my opponent got a pair of bishops and my position became bad.
Munguntuul Bathhuyag – Hou Yifan 0:1
Sicialian Defence, Paulsen Variation happened in the game. In the middle game White changed some pieces and game was transferred to the ending which was slightly better for Black. By playing 27…f6 Hou Yifan created some problems for White and didn't give any chance for her opponent to equalize the position after.
Hou Yifan: In the opening the position was very unclear. My opponent could play 14.cb ab 15.Nb4 and gave her pawn on e4 but she chose 14.Bg5 - the move which I missed. Then we came into the endgame with rooks and two knights against bishop and knight. I think I had a slight advantage in the endgame because my bishop seems to be better than her knight and her pawns on the Queen side can not move. Later on my opponent made some mistakes such as Na7 and I managed to win.
Munguntuul Bathhuyag: I like my position but I should not let her to play f6 because she catches my knight after that. So 25.Re2 was a crucial mistake. I should have come back with my knight and change one pair of rooks. Maybe instead of 27.Na7 I could have played 27.Kg2 and just hold the position.
Ju Wenjun – Viktorija Cmilyte 1/2 – 1/2
King`s Indian Defense was played in the game. Ju Wenjun received pleasant position with a strong centre but Black managed to find a contra play. Under the time pressure both opponents underestimated the move 40.Nf5 which could decide the game immediately. Instead White chose 40. Be7 and the game was drawn.
Viktorija Сmilyte: When I played 39…Qd5 it was the most tense situation in the game - we didn’t have much time at that moment. There was a move 39…Qg5 instead of 39…Qd5 but at that moment I had one pawn up and I really wanted more. I saw 40.Nf5 but I didn’t know that I was losing. I thought I could continue playing 39…Qd3 Kg1 and 40…f2. When you out of time you don’t calculate 10 moves, you think it’s gonna be fine, you just have to make a move. It was an interesting opening, I actually thought I`ve got a decent position out of the opening and I played quite ambitiously. So I played 10…Qh5 because I thought it was quite important that White are not in time to play h3, so I can play Bh3 and exchange white square bishops. But of course I could have chosen simple castling instead of Qh5. Later on I could have played 12…Nd4 instead of 12…Ne5 because I underestimated f4 and e4 – I think I have some problems after that.
Ju Wenjun: After 12…Ne5 and 13.f4 I think I`m slightly better because I have a strong centre. I was satisfied with my position. I felt I had a slight advantage in the middle game but I didn’t find the best solution how to improve my position. I should have played more precisely. In one moment after I played e6, I think Black are already better.
Zhu Chen – Ruan Lufey 1/2 – 1/2
English Opening was chosen in the game. White tried to get some edge by using the advantage of pair of bishops. Black managed to exchange some pieces and simplified the position.
Zhu Chen: I was trying to get better position and in one moment I was better. I didn’t see her move 27…Rd4 and maybe the move 27.Kg2 was not a very precise move. Maybe it was better to play 27.Kf1 instead. I had a pair of bishops but after the move Rd4 I spent 20 minutes but could not find anything special for White. I was also thinking to play Be3 instead of Ne6 but she can continue playing Bb6.
Ruan Lufey: My opponent surprised me today - I didn’t prepare this opening. It was my first time to play it and I think I made some mistakes. I thought maybe it would be better for her not to exchange the queens but keep them – the position might be better for White. After the exchanges of Queens and bishop on e6 I think the position is ok for Black.
Ekaterina Kovalevskaya – Anna Muzychuk 1/2 – 1/2
Black got an advantage in the middle game and was holding some pressure during all game. Ekaterina Kovalevskaya tried hard to hold the worse position but could lose the game after 37…Nf4, a move which was underestimated by Anna Muzychuk. Instead Anna played 37…Qg1 and let her opponent to make a draw by perpetual check.
Ekaterina Kovalevskaya: It was too late to be afraid in that sharp position, for so many years we have been doing this job. (laughing). Again I gave up too much time in the opening, the position became hard. I play this opening for Black and White, so its not easy to say why I was thinking so long - probably I like to look at the chess board too much (laughing). Of course Anna helped me in the end by playing Qg1, I think she had good chances to win the game. I thought my position was losing and my only hope was if Anna would help me by making a mistake. After that I found a perpetual check and made it of course.
Anna Muzychuk: Actually I didn’t see how can I improve my position. I didn’t have much time in the end as well but I felt there was something better. It is not easy for me to find the move 37…Nf4, which computer shows, because I thought the knight had to protect my king. I was mostly thinking on putting my knight on c7.
Elina Danielian – Tan Zhongyi 1/2 – 1/2
Queen’s Gambit was chosen by players. In the position with opposite colour bishops Elina Danielian was trying to create an attack on the King’s side but had to defend her position after a blunder.
Tan Zhongyi: I played similar variation before and actually I didn’t make special preparation for this opening. I think Elina should not let me to take her pawn on a3, she could have played b4 instead and develop her position slowly. I’m satisfied with the result but not with the process.
Elina Danielian: today I didn’t have time trouble and I’m very happy about it. I obviously had an advantage but I didn’t play well and missed it. Some parts of the game I played very badly and of course in the end I missed Qg4! But to tell the truth at that moment position is already unclear. I managed to made a draw, so I’m satisfied with the result.
Report was prepared by Anastasiya Karlovich