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Round 7: Hou Yifan Won the Big Match Against Humpy Koneru, Two Chinese at the Top
Sunday, 15 March 2009

Hou Yifan grounded down Humpy Koneru in the big match of the tournament between the first and the second seed, the former leading and the latter following. Xue Zhao won against Martha Fierro to follow the Chinese prodigy half point behind. Marie Sebag won against Betül Cemre Yıldız after the letter make many blunders in a drawish position while Danielian-Cramling and Shen Yang-Stefanova ended as a draw. Maia Chiburdanidze won against Zeinab Mamedyarova.

Sunday is a rest day but Hou Yifan will definitely enjoy it thanks to her six consecutive win and 6.5 out of 7 score. Xue Zhao is right behind her with 6 points and Humpy Koneru third with 5. Notes below.
The game which coud be tailed as not only the match of the day, but even the game of the tournament was played between Hou Yifan and Humpy Koneru, the 15-year-old number three in the world and the number two in the world in female rankings faced each other in the crucial game of the tournament. In Tchigorin Variation o Closed Ruy Lopez, white was a pawn up, which was actually a passed pawn on b file but the position was still even until black erred and went in to the wrong direction after the time control against Bg6. Qa7 at the 44th move immediately lost because of allowing the queen to arrive the crime seen and assault the black king.


In a complicated King's Indian white remained with a pawn up after the smoke cleared out and won the rook endgame to take the sole second spot in Xue Zhao-Martha Fierro.

Elina Danielian-Pia Cramling was a Chebanenko Slav where white was a pawn up but could not make much progress. Shen-Stefanova was a draw on 24 not without fight but not the most exciting game in the tournament either.


Chiburdanidze won against Mamedyarova, where she was the first to create danger around her opponent's king and parried her opponent's attack to win.


The Turkish player in the event, namely Betül Cemre Yıldız lost another dramatic game this time against GM Marie Sebag, where she had a slight initiative but the position was almost equal. After the exchange of the queens with the opposite colored bishops on board, black looked to be close to the draw but blundered and lost a pawn. The position could still be drawn but further mistakes in the endgame led to a painful loss for the Turkish player.

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