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Round 5: Hou Yifan Defeats Betül Cemre Yıldız, Takes Sole Lead
Thursday, 12 March 2009
picture14.jpgAfter the free day Atatürk FIDE Women Masters Grand Prix there is now only one player who took the sole lead. Hou Yifan won against Betül Cemre Yıldız, her fourth consecutive win. Humpy Koneru was able to outplay her opponent's hyperaggressive intentions and won against Martha Fierro. The Indian grandmaster is half a point behind Hou Yifan.

Hou Yifan's compatriot Xue Zhao won against Pia Cramling who suffered her third consecutive loss. Humpy Koneru and Xue Zhao have 4 points and share the second place. Meanwhile, Antoaneta Stefanova won with black pieces against Marie Sebag. Maia Chiburdanidze was victorious in the first game after the rest day with black pieces against Shen Yang. Elina Danielian was held to a draw by Zeinab Mamedyarova.

Detailed notes below.

The crucial game in terms of the standings between Martha Fierro and Humpy Koneru ended as a victory for the latter.  Black emerged comfortably out of the opening, which was a recently popular 6.d3 Ruy Lopez, but white managed to coordinate pieces and became annoyingly active. In the heavy piece endgame where tempo is generally vital, black was the one to pull the trigger rapidly and more accurately. The Indian grandmaster leaped to the shared second place thanks to her win with black pieces.


The opening between Hou Yifan and Betül Cemre Yıldız was a anti-Marshall Ruy Lopez, where the Chinese youngster employed a creative idea with Qb1-c4-b4 and keeping the bishop pair. There was still nothing particularly troubling for black until black easily allowed d4 and sacrificing e5 pawn for nothing clear at sight. This inaccurate play proved decisive and for the Chinese phenomenon who took the unshared lead for the first time.


White seemed to sit to the driving seat early in the game between Xue Zhao and Pia Cramling after an irregular opening. White won a pawn later on but even though it was returned, the dominating bishop pair and rook in the open file was enough to convert the position. Thanks to her win, Xue Zhao has 4 points and joined the second place.


Antoaneta Stefanova scored a crucial win against Marie Sebag with black pieces in Ruy Lopez Breyer Variation. Black get a comfortable position and gained edged with her active pieces and taking her opponent's e4 pawn in exchange for her a4 pawn. It was already a difficult position for white when she played Ne3 and lost the piece.


Maia Chiburdanidze returned back from the rest day fully energized and won with black pieces against Shen Yang. In  a Classical Nimzo-Indian, white seemed to be content with the reluctant configuration of the pieces including a knight maneovure via h1 but black won a pawn as a result of further inaccuracy and then went on to win.


Elina Danielian-Zeinab Mamedyarova game ended as a draw after long fight where black eqalized comfortably in a closed Catalan. Black had some activity but which was never close to an advantage and in the end the game finished as a draw which enabled the black player to gain the first draw in the İstanbul Grand Prix.
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