Special Article for WGM Natalia Pogonina written by Chess Tutor William Stewart

The 1st Hangzhou Women Grand Master Chess Tournament is at the halfway point, taking place July 14th – 23th 2011 in Hangzhou, China. It is a classical time control featuring top female players from around the world, featuring an average FIDE rating of 2525.
Standings After 4 Rounds

Ju Wenjun Dominates 1st 4 Rounds
Ju Wenjun leads the tournament by a full point at 3.5/4, winning her games with some extremely aggressive chess. She attempted to press in Round 1 against Tatiana Kosintseva, playing the black side of a Najdorf with the Anti-Be3 line involving 6. …Ng4, 7. …h6 and 8. …g5 – however Kosintseva responded solidly and the game was drawn in an equal endgame on move 40.
T. Kosintseva Vs Wenjun: Final Position

Round 2 – Dzagnidze Vs Wenjun

Dzagnidze opened with white and Wenjun responded with the King’s Indian Defense. White played the opening completely without ambition and allowed black to easily achieve equality. Then, Dzagnidze blundered with 33. e4?? – allowing her opponent to win 3 pawns after the dust had settled – leading to her resignation on move 45.

Dzagnidze Vs Wenjun: Position After 34. …Nxd4

Round 3 – Wenjun Crushes US Women Champ Zatonskih

It appeared the Zatonskih’s preparation was solid as she blasted the complicated 11. …b5!? – however Wenjun played with precision to reach a favorable pawn-up endgame. Zatonskih’s defense was not active enough as Wenjun went on win in 41 moves with accurate technique.

Zatonskih Creates Complications with 11. …b5!?
Round 4 – Zhao Xue Falls to Wenjun in a Tactical Slugfest
Zhao Xue opened with d4 and again Wenjun played the King’s Indian Defense. Wenjun was able to rapidly equalize and achieved a small advantage with 15. …Ne6 White declined trading queens to enter an inferior endgame with 28. Qa5?! – allowing a Wenjun to infiltrate the white king’s position with 28. …Qf1+ After a few inaccurate moves by Xue, Wenjun was able to land a decisive tactical blow with 32. …Nf3+!
Xue Vs Wenjun: Position After 32. …Nf3+!
Brilliancy Prize – Most Spectacular Game

The youngest ever Women’s World Champion Yifan Hou is not going to be forgotten in a tournament like this, as she currently shares 2nd place at 2.5/4 with N. Kosintseva. The brilliancy prize for the tournament so far must go to Hou’s 1st Round victory over Sebag. Hou opened with the normally tame Rossolimo Opening with 5. Bb5, however opposite side castling made the game much more interesting as each player fought to attack the opponent’s king. Perhaps playing in the center and trying to push for …d5 would have been a better choice for Sebag, as her queenside attack simply proved to be too slow. Hou rapidly forced through on black’s kingside with 20. f6 and 21. g6! The resulting complications led Hou to sacrifice her queen for a pawn with 30. Qxh6+! to corral black’s king. Sebag resigned after 32. f8=Q+ as she would be mated the next move with 33. Rh8#

Hou Sacs Queen to Mate with 30. Qxh6+!

Photos and Game PGNs are available at ChessBase.com For the Original Article on the Women Grand Master Chess Tournament, please visit William’s website

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