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Hou and Koneru win again, and join Mariya Muzychuk on the top
His Excellency Mr. Henri Fissore, Ambassador Adviser to the Minister of State of Monaco making
the first move in the game between Mariya Muzychuk and Alexandra Kosteniuk

Yifan Hou, Humpy Koneru and Mariya Muzychuk share first place after six rounds at the Women’s Grand Prix in Monaco. The number one and two of the tournament – and of the World - won their games against Stefanova and Khademalsharieh, respectively. Humpy won very fast, while Yifan had to fight for the victory in a very long game. Mariya Muzychuk escaped with a draw against Kosteniuk, after being pawn dawn for most of the game. Zhukova and Skripchenko won their first game in the tournament, against Cramling and Anna Muzychuk. Finally, Pogonina won with Black pieces against Dzagnidze, who for the moment can’t find her best play. 

Koneru (2)  Sarasadat Khademalsharieh – Humpy Koneru     0–1

Koneru surprised Sarasadat with a sharp opening line, which she had never played before. After move 10, Sarasadat didn’t know the theory and started to think a lot. The decisive mistake was 18.Qd3 (instead of 18.Qxe7+ o 18.Nd2). After that move it was only a matter of time for Humpy to win the game.  0-1 in 31 moves.
 Natalia Zhukova – Pia Cramling 1–0

Zhukova came to the game very well prepared. In a fashionable line of the Vienna Variation in the Queen's Gambit Declined, White sacrificed a pawn and later surprised Pia with the rare move 9.Re1 (only three games were played before according to the chess database). Pia didn’t manage to solve the problems and after long defense made a big blunder 32…Kh7. Zhukova won her first game in the tournament in 33 moves.
Dzagnidze-Pogonina  Nana Dzagnidze – Natalija Pogonina     0–1

Nana avoided aggressive lines in the opening and played very solid with White: the double fianchetto with 3.g3 and 10.b3. Natalia solved all opening problems and very soon took the initiative. As Dzagnidze said at the press conference she should play 25.e5 (instead of the “terrible mistake” 25.Qa1?) with good chances for defense.  The game finished in 35 moves with a nice tactical combination from Natalia.
 Anna Muzychuk – Skripchenko Almira          0–1

Black chose a tricky move order in the opening: 7…b6. At the press conference, Almira explained that M. Carlsen won against F. Caruana with the black pieces just in the same line (Tata Steel, 2015). Later, Anna blundered a pawn with 16.d4? and Black slowly realized its advantage, 55 moves, first victory for Almira in this tournament.
Stefanova-Hou  Antoaneta Stefanova – Yifan Hou 0–1

After round six Stefanova is the only player who didn’t make a single draw. She did not get anything from the opening, and according to Yifan 12…f5 is a very interesting decision. It’s difficult to say what was White’s mistake; simply Hou overplayed Antoaneta step by step. The game finished with victory of Black in 64 moves, a very nice chess number!
 Mariya Muzychuk - Alexandra Kosteniuk 0,5–0,5

The game between Kosteniuk and Mariya Muzychuk was the only draw of round 6. Both girls looked well prepared. Alexandra mentioned Vladimir Kramnik, who played 13…Kd8 in some blitz game versus Kosteniuk, as White. She liked his plan and repeated in today’s game. Mariya answered in a very ambitious way, but probably with 22.d6 she overvalued her chances. Later Alexandra was pawn up and the endgame probably was winning for Black, but Mariya created some counterplay and at last it was a fair draw.
Standings after round 6

1 Hou Yifan 4½
2 Koneru Humpy 4½
3 Muzychuk Mariya 4½
4 Cramling Pia 3½
5 Kosteniuk Alexandra 3½
6 Stefanova Antoaneta 3
7 Pogonina Natalija 3
8 Zhukova Natalia 3
9 Skripchenko Almira 2
10 Muzychuk Anna 2
11 Khademalsharieh Sarasadat 1½
12 Dzagnidze Nana 1
© FIDE Grand Prix 2015    |    |