Shezhen Women GP: Hou Yifan leads, three rounds to go

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

After winning the first Women Grand Prix last month, Hou Yifan has good chances to win the second as well. The Women's World Champion is leading the standings in Shenzhen, China after eight rounds, with six points - half a point more than her compatriot Zhao Xue.

General info

The second event in the FIDE Women Grand Prix 2011-2012 series takes place September 5-20 in the Wuzhou Hotel in Shenzhen, China. The participants of the event include current Women World Champion Hou Yifan and former World Champion Zhu Chen. Former World Champion Xu Yuhua is a technical adviser. The winner of the tournament will receive 6,500 euros out of a prize fund of 40,000 euros. The overall winner of the Women's Grand Prix will win a further 15,000 Euros at the end of the series. Players can only offer draws through the chief arbiter in special cases and the "zero tolerance" rule is also in effect, which requirer chess players to be seated at their boards when the games are scheduled to start. Games start at 15:00 local time (09:00 CET) except for the last round, which starts three hours earlier. and round 11 at 12 AM local time. September 11th (after round 4) and September 16th (after round 8) are rest days. Live games here.

Rounds 5-8

After four rounds Hou Yifan was already in the lead, together with Zhao Xue and Anna Muzychuk. These three players drew their next game and were joined by two other Chinese players: Ruan Lufei and Tan Zhongyi. Everything remained more or less the same when many games in round 6 ended in draws. A day later only Ruan Lufei and Hou Yifan won their games, against Betul Yildiz and Tan Zhongyi respectively. Then, in the 8th round, the top seed finally emerged above all the others: Hou Yifan won against Viktorija Cmilyte while Ruan Lufei lost to Zhao Xue, who is now back in (sole) second place.

The win by the World Champion against the European Champion was an easy one. It looks like she caught her opponent by surprise in a Sicilian Dragon:

Hou Yifan-Cmilyte
Shenzhen, 2011

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. g4!?
A well-known sideline that was popular in the 1980s and saw a bit of a revival last year.
9...Be6 10. O-O-O
The latest trend is 10.Nxe6 but Hou Yifan allows her opponent to return to the main line.
10...Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Qa5 12. a3

This looks incorrect here. Normal is 12...Rfc8.
13. g5 Nd7 14. Nxb5! Qxd2+ 15. Rxd2

And after this Black just loses another pawn without getting compensation.
16. Nxa7! Bxd4 17. Nxc8 Be3 18. Nxe7+ Kf8 19. Nd5 and White won.

Hou Yifan beats Viktorija Cmilyte in round 8 to grabe sole first place with three rounds to go

Games rounds 5-8


Shenzhen Women GP 2011 | Round 8 Standings




Photos © Anastasiya Karlovich and He Long


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