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Round 4: Hou Yifan and Martha Fierro Win Again, Share the Lead
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
In round 4, Hou Yifan managed to score her third win against Pia Cramling with black pieces. Martha Fierro won her second consecutive game against Betül Cemre Yıldız with black pieces exploitating her opponent's positional error. Maia Chiburdanidze suffered a loss against Elina Danielian after slowly letting a better position slip away from her hands with white pieces. Marie Sebag scored her first win against Zeinab Mamedyarova while Stefanova and Zhao drew their games. Another draw before the free day was between Humpy Koneru and Shen Yang.

Before the first free day, Hou Yifan and Martha Fierro lead with 3.5 out of 4 points followed by Humpy Koneru and Xue Zhao with half point behind. Full remarks from the fourth round below.

picture9.jpgHou Yifan-Pia Cramling, the meeting of the winner and the runner-up in the 2008 edition of Atatürk Women Masters ended up as a win for the Chinese youngster. In a Queen's Indian Petrosian/Kasparov System, white's first inaccuracy was playing Ba2 as Pia Cramling indicated in the press conference "Probably that was a bad idea.". After the small-scale complications, black had the bishop pair, more active pieces and therefore the upper hand. Black was almost letting the advantage gradually slip away when the decisive mistake came with Nb4 allowing Bd2 eventually winning the f3 pawn and then the game. This important victory was Hou Yifan's third consecutive win, thus 15-year-old prodigy entered the free day with 3.5 points at the shared first place.


Martha Fierro scored her third win against Betül Cemre Yıldız with black pieces. After black achieved a comfortable position, white committed some positional errors and in the end lost the track of the game. The last finesse was taking on f5 and immediately centralizing the white king and not allowing its counterpart to get active. However, when black king reached e5, there was a typical bad bishop vs. good knight endgame and black went on to win to join the lead with Hou Yifan.


Humpy Koneru-Shen Yang was ended as a draw without many fluctuations in the evaluation of the position. White's attempt to gain space on the queenside did not work out well enough and black managed to get a comfortable play. White managed to neutralize the passed b pawn in the endgame and the game ended as a draw at move 39.


picture10.jpgAntoaneta Stefanova-Xue Zhao was the Vitolins Variation in Bogo-Indian defense. Black gained a dangerous activity on the queenside which is in compliance with the conception of the variation but white was able to create a counter play on the king's side but still had to defend a game with a pawn dawn with a pair of rook and knight. Thanks to the protected and advanced passed pawn on h6 white did not allow black pieces to activate and made the draw after a long fight. Stefanova, the most cheerful participant of the press conferences spoke "It was another complicated game as all of my other previous games. I am glad it is a rest day."



Elina Danielian won against Maia Chiburdanidze who had a bad day, a fewer occasion in her long career. After the opening the great Georgian seemed to have a nice position with active pieces and possibilities to achieve an initiative but in due course she lost her track and the prospects disappeared. However, Ra4 on the 25th move was the decisive mistake allowing the disaster via the fork on c2.



Zeinab Mamedyarova-Marie Sebag looked more or less balanced despite the awkward formation of white pawns on the king's side, however things stared going wrong after white hastily took the pawn back because the compensation beforehand diminished and white had two weak pawns on the king side. The rest was conversion of this advantage with the rook and bishop against rook and knight by the French player who scored her first win.

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