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Round 3: Hou Yifan Wins Against Stefanova, Yıldız Holds Humpy to Draw, Four Share the Lead
Monday, 09 March 2009
Hou Yifan scored her second win against Antoaneta Stefanova in the heavy piece endgame. Martha Fierro won against Pia Cramling and reached 2.5 points as Zhao Xue also scored her second win the event, against Zeinab Mamedyarova after refuting her opponents' premature sacrifice. Elina Danielian-Shen Yang was a draw but not without thriller since Shen Yang had the better position for most of the game but during the time scramble Elina Danielian missed a one-move win. Marie Sevag and Maia Chiburdanidze drew in 43 moves. Betül Cemre Yıldız hold the top seed and the leader of the tournament before round three Humpy Koneru to a draw after a six hour fight.

After the third round, Humpy Koneru, Hou Yifan, Martha Fierro and Xue Zhao share the lead with 2.5 out of 3. The full report is below.

In the d3 Italian, which is a close relative of Ruy Lopez type of position, white tried to take the initiative in the game between Hou Yifan and Antoaneta Stefanova but Hou Yifan thinks the position was very unclear.  After some fireworks strating with Ng7 on the king side, though white had some advantage but still a long way to win as Stefanova also express during the conference. The decisive moment arrived when the position was getting closer to a draw. When black blundered and lost a pawn "the position was not drawish anymore" as Stefanova explained during the press conference.


Martha Fierro got a sensational result by winning against Pia Cramling and joined the leaders in the field. White ended up with a pawn up after a complicated middlegame with two pair of rooks and opposite colored bishops. White achieved a winning position but almost not able to convert it and though the position approached to being drawish as Cramling pointed out in the press conference but Fierro managed to find a way to score her second win in the tournament.


picture17.jpgThe game between the highest and the lowest rated players in the field started with a Sicilian Rossolimo. While everything seemed in order, black started to gain the control gradually but after the time control the white was able to neutralize the position. However, according to both players white lapsed and the 3 vs . 2 pawns with one pair of rook and knight can be winning for black. Nevertheless, the Turkish girl from Izmir defended the position and reached rook vs. rook+knight endgame. The endgame is drawn but not without venom. In the end after playing for another fifty moves, the Turkish youngster grasped her first half-point.



Xue Zhao won against Zeinab Mamedyarova in a position where black entered premature complications ending up with having one rook against two pieces with an open g file. However, Chinese player was able to refute the intentions of black on g file.



In advanced Caro-Kann Sebag-Chiburdanidze ended peacefully but Sebag was worried about her position throughout the game but Chiburdanidze saw it as a routine game that black managed to equalize after the opening and comfortable get the draw.


picture13.jpgOn the other hand, Elina Danielian and Shen Yang made a draw in the end of long fight. Although the Armenian international master felt there was something wrong in her position as she revealed during the press conference the silicon monsters do not agree. Danielian explained "She used to have good winning chances with a strong b pawn. However, with little time on her clock, my opponent decided to open the position which was risky to me because my bishop pair started to work after the position opened. I think I also missed a win in one move. Instead of 54.Bf1 I should have played Rd5." Shen Yang tought the game was more balanced before the time control but nevertheless they agreed on the missed win on white part's since they already had a post-mortem session to clear the smoke on the game out.



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