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Hou Yifan maintains full point lead after round 9
His Excellency Michel Roger makes the first move in the game Pogonina-Muzychuk,M

Following the successful reception the day before, His Excellency Michel Roger, the Minister of State of Monaco visited the famous Touze tournament hall at the Casino. Together with FIDE President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, he made the first move in the game between WGM Natalija Pogonina and Women World Champion Mariya Muzychuk.
The game was also witnessed by the President of the International Judo Federation, Mr. Marius Vizer, who spared some time from his engagements to visit the playing venue. ECU President Zurab Azmaiparashvili also visited playing venue today.

Mr. Jean-Michel Rapaire, President of Monaco Chess Federation;
Mrs. Agn
es Puons, General Secretary of Société des bains de mer;
His Excellency Mr. Michel Roger, the Minister of State of Monaco;
Mr. Marius Vizer, President of the International Judo Federation;
Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, president of FIDE; Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili, ECU President
Mr. Jean-Michel Rapaire,His Excellency Mr. Michel Roger,Mr. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

In the 9th round of Women Grand Prix Hou Yifan defeated Natalia Zhukova and maintains 1 point lead two rounds to go. Maria Muzychuk drew against her opponent from the final of the Women World Championship, Natalia Pogonina, and shares the second place together with Humpy Koneru, who outplayed Alexandra Kosteniuk. 

Cramling-Muzychuk,A  Pia Cramling - Anna Muzychuk        0,5 – 0,5

The Moscow variation (the Slav defense) was played and after 20 moves the game finished with a threefold repetition. At the press conference Pia mentioned that she felt a bit tired after 9 rounds. Anna, on the contrary, stated she was still full of energy thankfully to great physical preparation she had had before this tournament (jogging in particularly). 
Natalija Pogonina - Mariya Muzychuk     0,5 – 0,5

Mariya: “I have not analyzed the move 8.Be2 before. First I was thinking her  idea is to play Be2-f3 and Ne2, but it does not work, I can even play 10…Nd7 (if 10.Bf3) and she has no time to play 11.Ne2 because of Ne5”. After numerous exchanges the game came to a very equal rook endgame, where a draw seemed the most logical result. Draw in 38 moves.
Stefanova-Dzagnidze  Antoaneta Stefanova - Nana Dzagnidze    0 - 1

Antoaneta had slightly better position from the opening but Nana played very precisely and managed to equalize. The rook endgame was completely equal, but at one point Antonetta played inacurately and gave her opponent winning chances because of weakness of e5 pawn.  Step by step Nana activated her rooks and eventualy won the game in 42 moves.
Humpy Koneru - Alexandra Kosteniuk     1 – 0

Alexandra chose an interesting line with 4…Nc6 against  4. Qc2 variation (the Nimzo-Indian defense). Since Humpy managed to create pass pawn on the Queen’s side, her position was always slightly better. During the press conference ladies did not find any big mistake of Black, but somehow Alexandra’s position slowly became worse and she lost in 42 moves.
DSC03823  Almira Skripchenko-Sarasadat Khademalsharieh 1–0

Almira decided to play Kramnik’s idea 6.Nh4 (the Reti opening) and got a pair of bishops quite early. The evaluation of the game remained about equal for quite long but closer to the time trouble the players became tired and started to make mistakes. Sarasadat's last mistake 50…Qa3?? led to  the lost position by force after 51.Qc4.
Yifan Hou- Natalia Zhukova       1 – 0

Natalia was prepared much better for this game and after the opening she had a good position with Black. Players were following the game Grischuk-Dominguez till the move 21…Be7. Both players showed good strength in quite complicated middle game and only in the endgame Yifan managed to trick Zhukova with 43.f4 and later 47.Rb5. White won the game in 53 moves.
Standings after round 9

1 Hou Yifan 7½
2 Muzychuk Mariya 6½
3 Koneru Humpy 6½
4 Pogonina Natalija 5
5 Cramling Pia 5
6 Kosteniuk Alexandra 4½
7 Stefanova Antoaneta 4
8 Skripchenko Almira 3½
9 Zhukova Natalia 3½
10 Muzychuk Anna 3½
11 Dzagnidze Nana 3
12 Khademalsharieh Sarasadat 1½
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