Official Report - Anna Muzychuk defeats Hou Yifan to catch Kateryna Lagno in first place.
The key game of the round five was the encounter between number one and number two in the tournament Hou Yifan and Anna Muzychuk. The Slovenian player outplayed Hou Yifan and shares first place with the Ukrainian Kateryna Lagno who drew her game against Anna Ushenina. Two Russian players Alexandra Kosteniuk and Olga Girya lost their games against Bela Khotenashvili and Ju Wenjun respectively. Another Russian Tatiana Kosintseva had winning position against Tuvshintugs Batchimeg but missed her chances a few times today. Viktorija Cmilyte and Nana Dzagnidze were the last to finish their game in a draw after 72 moves.
Tuvshintugs -Kosintseva 1/2-1/2
One of the theoretical lines of Ragozin appeared on the board and in the middle game White transferred his knight on f2 by playing Nd2-f1-g3-h1-f2. The position was about equal but White missed a chance to play 32.d6 and blundered 33…Bh5. Black had a huge advantage and missed the direct way to win a few times. 39…Rg2! Could have finished the game immediately after 40.Kg2 Rg8 31.Kf1 Qf3. Tatiana played differently but the position was still absolutely winning. After 44…Nf4 and the evaluation of the position went from -5 to 0 according to Houdini. After that Black didn’t have real chances to fight for more than a draw.
Anna Ushenina surprised her opponent with Ne7, so Kateryna Lagno decided to go into a sharp position after Qb3-Qb7. The World Champion spent a lot of time and found a nice idea 23…c5 cutting the diagonal for the bishop. Despite the fact that White had an extra pawn, Black got good compensation and after three-fold repetition the game between the two Ukrainian players finished in a draw.
The game finished in draw but only after both players got some winning chances. Nana Dzagnidze sacrificed the exchange and according to Cmilyte, the position on the board was easier for Black to play. However White found a good opportunity to activate her pieces and after Rh7 it was White who was trying to play for more than draw. According to Viktorija Cmilyte f6 was a mistake. Black received good counter chances but didn’t manage to win.
In a King's Indian the Russian player got an extra pawn and Black had to prove if she hds enough compensation or not. Following the best King's Indian traditions Ju Wenjun brought all her pieces to the King’s side and sacrificed another pawn. The computer defends White’s position but it’s hard to stay calm playing such position with White. Olga Girya made a mistake with 29.Qb2 and it cost her full point. Ju Wenjun finished the game with direct attack on the White’s king.
In one of the variations of the Catalan the players went into a sharp position and after the provocative 20…f5 White got quite strong initiative. At the press-conference the players agreed it was a mistake to take 26.Qh5 and let Black exchange the bishop for the strong knight on e6. “I just missed White’s strong move Qe2”, said Bela Khotenashvili. A few moves later Black made a mistake with Qf3 and got a lost position. “At this moment I just could not calculate anything. I was surprised Black was not losing immediately”, said Alexandra Kosteniuk. The endgame was technically winning for White but the Georgian player didn’t play precisely and former world champion could have held for a draw after 56…Kb2.
Muzychuk-Hou Yifan 1-0
A very important victory for Anna Muzychuk, as she has not been able to defeat the former world champion for several years. Analysis of the game is at the official website here.
Standings after 5 rounds