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Hou Yifan wins GP Monaco with round to spare
Mrs. Agnes Puons, General Secretary of Société des bains de mer, making the first
move in the game
 Anna Muzychuk-Yifan Hou (Photo: Europe Echecs)

The very expected game between Mariya Muzychuk and Yifan Hou was the first to finish, with an easy victory of the Chinese GM in 29 moves. This result serves Hou to guarantee first place one round before the end. Koneru was trying to overplay Cramling, but finally she got only a draw. Dzagnidze and Stefanova won their games with the Black pieces against Anna Muzychuk and Khademalsharieh respectively. The Iranian lost her seventh game in a row, a tough test, after her promising start with three draws. In the other games Zhukova and Skripchenko made a fair draw in an equal game, and also draw was the game between Kosteniuk and Pogonina, after the evaluation of position was changing a lot during the game.

DSC03844  Mariya Muzychuk - Yifan Hou 0–1

Mariya chose the variation 3.Bb5+ in the Sicilian. The answer of Hou 3...Nd7 showed that the leader wanted to play a long and complicated game. Since Black successfully prevented White’s advance in the centre with d3-d4 Hou’s position started to be very promising. Mariya could not find any plan, while Yifan mobilized all her pieces, and after a bad mistake 19.g3? f4! Black was already winning. The victory of Yifan Hou in 29 moves is also important from a psychological point of view, regarding the future match for the World Championship between these two same players.
Anna Muzychuk – Nana Dzagnidze    0–1

A resurrected Nana won her third game in a raw, after having surprised her opponent with 3…Nf6, a move that she had never played before. Later in the middlegame, Nana proved that the e5 pawn was weak, and finally managed to capture it. White did not have any compensation for the pawn and Anna sacrificed a knight, trying to complicate the game to no avail. There was no compensation and finally White resigned in move 25.
DSC03829  Natalia Zhukova – Almira Skripchenko 0,5–0,5

Both players demonstrated a very deep theoretical preparation. Almira played the novelty 13…Qd5, but Natalia remembered having analysed it just before the game. White was slightly better during all the game but Black defended well, and the equal game finished in a draw in 31 moves.
Alexandra Kosteniuk – Natalija Pogonina 0,5–0,5

Alexandra: “I’ve played this line which was possible to predict because after the World Cup Peter Svidler used this line very successfully with Black. One could expect this variation to appear, but mostly I analysed 14…Bf6 at home, like in the game Giri-Svidler”. Later White had a very good position but in the endgame somehow Black started to be better. At the end, White had good compensation for the pawn and a draw was true in 49 moves.
DSC04035  Pia Cramling - Humpy Koneru 0,5–0,5

Koneru: “After 15…Qd6 Black is comfortable and slightly better.” Pia was defending her position with an isolated pawn quite well. It looks like the only moment for black was to go for an endgame with queens and rooks with 4 against 3 in the king side, after the variation  33…Nxd4 (instead of 33…Rf5) 34. Nxd4 Rxd4 35.Qb7 Qa3. In the game, Humpy did not manage to capture the pawn and it was a draw in 50 moves.
 Sarasadat Khademalsharieh – Antoaneta Stefanova      0–1

The opening of Black was very original: 1…g6, 2…Bg7 and 3…e6. “Antoaneta, don’t you think this is a very strange opening?” “You should ask mister Malakhov, he is a big specialist, I saw his games and I liked the idea”. The game was very complicated and Antoaneta simply overplayed her young opponent. Victory of Black in 72 moves.
Standings after round 10

1 Hou Yifan 8½

2 Koneru Humpy 7
3 Muzychuk Mariya 6½
4 Cramling Pia 5½
5 Pogonina Natalija 5½
6 Stefanova Antoaneta 5
7 Kosteniuk Alexandra 5
8 Dzagnidze Nana 4
9 Zhukova Natalia 4
10 Skripchenko Almira 4
11 Muzychuk Anna 3½
12 Khademalsharieh Sarasadat 1½
© FIDE Grand Prix 2015    |    |