Artwork by Mike Magnan

Ekaterina Kovalevskaya took away the first half a point from Zhao Xue

In the seventh round the leader of the tournament Zhao Xue faced serious problems for the first time since the beginning of the competition. Ekaterina Kovalevskaya with black played better in the opening than the Chinese chess player and by the move 20 she had obvious advantage. But then the Russian hastened to transfer the game into rook endgame which was impossible to win even with the extra pawn.

We shall note that the seventh round was the most stressful in the tournament. The shortest game lasted for 60 moves, the longest – between Nadezhda Kosintseva and Zhu Chen ended in a draw on the 103 move.

After three consecutive wins Antoaneta Stefanova suffered a defeat. Playing with white pieces the Bulgarian chess player gave the initiative to the opponent in the middlegame, got a heavy endgame, which she couldn’t already save.

Viktorija Chmilyte with white prevailed over Alexandra Kosteniuk in acute, dramatic duel. Having got an advantage in the opening, in the middlegame the Lithuanian chess player gave the initiative to the opponent, but the Russian couldn’t use the chance, in time trouble on the move 40 she made a mistake and got a lost endgame.

Two other pairs of opponents parted in peace in the seventh round: Tatiana Kosintseva and Muguntuul Batuyag, Ju Wenjun and Alisa Galliamova.

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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