Humpy Koneru Wins Second Grand Prix in Armenia
Humpy Koneru emerged as the winner of the FIDE Grand Prix which finished today in Dilijan, Armenia. The Indian finished a point ahead of Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia) and Anna Muzychuk (Slovenia). The latter tops the standings in the Grand Prix after two legs have been played.
The 2nd FIDE Grand Prix took place June 16th-28th in Dilijan, a beautiful spa town in the Tavush Province of Armenia. It is one of the most important resorts of Armenia and located in the Dilijan National Park. There was good reason for the organizers to promote their town on the tournament website with pictures like this one:
The tournament was a round robin which lasted eleven rounds, with two rest days. The participants were Humpy Koneru, (India, 2597), Anna Muzychuk (Slovenia, 2593), Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia, 2550), Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria, 2531), Bela Khotenashvili (Georgia, 2531), Tatiana Kosintseva (Russia, 2526), Viktorija Cmilyte (Lithuania, 2511), Anna Ushenina (Ukraine, 2499), Harika Dronavalli (India, 2492), Elina Danielian (Armenia, 2475), Olga Girya (Russia, 2436) and Tuvshintugs Batchimeg (Mongolia, 2316).
After five rounds, Anna Muzychuk was in sole lead with 4 out of 5. In the second round she beat Tatiana Kosintseva with the English Attack. After a sharp start, the game reached an ending that saw an exciting pawn race.
Muzychuk's game in round 5 was a nice example of aggressive chess. She basically showed why Black's setup against the Ruy Lopez is not one of the main lines!
The key game of the tournament was the following. Humpy Koneru defeated Muzychuk and took over the lead in the tournament. Black should have played 40...b5+ and then take on d5.
Here's another nice win by Koneru, played the next day. The Indian has played this opening, called the Schmid Benoni, a few times already and seems to be quite successful with it. Maybe worth trying?
After ten rounds, Koneru was still half a point ahead of Muzychuk, who could only hope for the Indian to slip in the last round. It went differently: Koneru was in fact the first to win her game on Friday to secure her victory!
Muzychuk drew with Danielian, which allowed Dazgnidze to catch the Slovenian in second place. Koneru won 10,000 Euros and also 160 Grand Prix points. She didn't play in the first Grand Prix, which was played in May in Gevena and surprisingly won by Bela Khotenashvili, who finished last this time.
Women Grand Prix (Dilijan) 2013 | Final standings