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Round 2 report
Thursday, 19 July 2012
round2.jpgA particularly fascinating game was played between Lahno-Kovalevskaya, following nearly 20 moves from last month's game between Bodnaruk-Kovalevskaya, in which white won.  Clearly black had prepared something different this time around.  However, it was white who unleashed a novelty, on move 18

18.Qg3!? (Bodnaruk had played 18.Qe2) 18… Be4? (necessary was 18... 0-0) 19.Rd4 Bf5 20.Bh6 after which white amassed a sizeable advantage, and converted for victory.


The struggle Koneru-Khurtsidze was entertaining to watch.  A Queen's Gambit with Qf4 kicked off the struggle, and in an intriguing but known position, the Georgian player miscalculated and conducted moves in an incorrect order, resulting in a positional error.


12…e5? (12...Rfc8! this move has been played by black on different occasions in the games Kempinski-Lutz, Kempinski-Short and Georgadze-Vaganian) 13.g5 Nh5 14.Nb3 Qc7 15. Nd5 and a few moves later, black resigned.

An interesting opening discussion took place in the game between Zhao Xue-Kosintseva, with the Russian playing a novelty on move 15, later revealed to be home preparation.


15...Bb4!! (the position to this point had been seen only once, in the game between Unenina-Paikidze where black played 15…Be6 and white went on to win)
16.Bf8? it is worth mentioning that white succumbed after only 6 more moves (white could have opted instead for 16.Qd4 Bf5 17.Bc5 Bc5 18.Qc5 Qc5 19.Bf7 Rf7 20.Rc5 Bg4 21.Ke2 Raf8 =).  The game continued: 16…Be6 17.Qe5 Raf8 18.Nd4? Bc4 19.Rc4


19…Qa2! 20.Rb4 Nd3 21.Qb5 Nb4 22.Re1 Nc6 0-1

The game Ju Wenjun –Elina Danielian came to a startling end, as black had equalized with ease out of the opening and had wrested the initiative from white.  However, in a completely level position, black blundered, and the outcome of the game became clear a single move later:


37…Rbb4?? (unquestionably, a draw would have been the result after 37…Kf8 with the subsequent example line 38.e5 Be5 39.Rh5 Ke7 40.Rg5 Rf3 41.Re5 de 42.Qf3 Qf3 43.Kf3 f6 =) 38.Qc8! Kf8 39.e5 Be5 40.Ne5 Qe5 41.Re2 Re4 42.Be4 Re4 43.Rh8 Kg7 44.Re8 1-0

Another game full of fireworks was the battle between Mkrtchian-Yifan, where white came out of the opening with a pleasant position, but after some tentative play, black step by step claimed the initiative.


16.a3 Nc6 17.b4?! At first glance these moves seem quite active, however, subsequently it will be seen that only black benefits from this plan, as the move a5 affords itself to black, weakening white's camp. (instead, after 16…Nc6 worthy of attention was 17.Nc6 bc 18.Ne5 =): The game witnessed 17…Bb6 and after a few more moves, black was in command.  White was continuing to mix things up right to the end, when in heavy time trouble, white had a chance to rescue the game had she played the following pretty continuation.


30.Bf7?? (instead white could have saved the position with 30.Nf3 Nf1 31.Kg1 Qd1 32.Bf7 Kh8 33.Bb3 Ng3 34.Bd1 Rd1 35.Kh2 Nf1 36.Kg1 Ng3 =).  Instead, black achieved a winning position after 30… Kh8 and the game played out to its logical conclusion.

The longest struggle of the day was played in Munguntuul-Lufei.  In quick order, the players went straight from the opening into an endgame and it seemed that a draw would be agreed upon in the relatively balanced position.



It is likely that white also felt relatively confident in the eventual sharing of the point.  However, black had other ideas and when white slipped up a bit, all of the sudden things weren't so clear.  Black continued to press stubbornly, executing subtle move after move to eventually emerge victorious.
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