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Round 8: Koneru is one point ahead
By WFM Maria Emelianova

r8 010 WGPTashkent2013 The eighth round didn't bring any major changes to the leading group as Humpy Koneru outplayed Zhao Xue and increased her leading to one point. Harika Dronavalli and Kateryna Lagno drew against Antoaneta Stefanova and Nafisa Muminova accordingly to keep sharing second place. Ju Wenjun and Bela Khotenashvili also signed a peace with Guliskhan Nakhbayeba and Elina Danielian to stay on fourth to fifth places. In the Russian derby Olga Girya managed to score a point against Alexandra Kosteniuk.

The full standings table you can find here

Pictures of the 8th round and press conferences are available in the Photo Gallery.

Stefanova - Dronavalli ½ - ½

r8 028 WGPTashkent2013
Fashionable line with 5.Bd2 against Grunfeld Defense was played. The White couldn't get anything from the opening and The game soon ended with a draw by repetition. 

Harika: "I didn't understand  the 13.Rc1. Maybe 13.Ne2 and 14.0-0 was more pretending"

Antoaneta: "Before in the Grand Prix tournaments there was a special "opening expert", e.g. Zurab Azmaiparashvili, who was responsible for such situations when non of the sides has a chance to improve position. The player could go to him and ask if he can allow to offer a draw regardless of the Sofia rules. So the players don't have to search for the way to repeat position like we did."

Kosteniuk - Girya 0 -1
r8 020 WGPTashkent2013
In the Paulsen Sicilian, White chose the wrong plan 14.exd5 and couldn't hold the position with two knights at the edge of the board.

Olga: "I think my opponent should have played 14.e5. I had a much better position, but was not very accurate converting advantage into a point. At one moment I even felt that I am doing something wrong and it will be a draw."

Lagno - Muminova ½ - ½
r8 011 WGPTashkent2013
In the Ragozin Defense Kateryna allowed her opponent to get an active play on the king's side, but the Uzbek missed the opportunities of her position by not playing 17…Nb3+. Kateryna defended well in the endgame with pawn-down, and after the tine control game finished in a draw.  

Danielian - Khotenashvili ½ - ½
r8 018 WGPTashkent2013
In the Queen's Gambit Declined White had a slightly better but quiet position, more or less balanced through the whole game. After the game gone to the bishops endgame, the logical result was signed.

Elina: "I think 9…dxc4 was a dubious move, but I couldn't find any improvement for my position."

Koneru - Zhao Xue 1 - 0
r8 014 WGPTashkent2013
In a very unusual opening pattern, which can be named Grunfeld Defense Reversed, Black's position eventually had been ruined with their inaccurate 21...b5.

Zhao Xue: "It was an absurd game by black. Of course there have been much better ways to continue, like 21...d5 22.cxd5 Qxc1 23.Bxe7 Qc7 24.Bd6 Qb6"

Humpy: "I liked the idea with 21...Ra6 22.Qa3 f5 23.Neg5 Nxg5 24.Nxg5 Bxg5 25.hxg5 e4 26.Rfd1"

Ju Wenjun - Nakhbaeva ½ - ½
r8 023 WGPTashkent2013
Game started as Queen's Indian Defense, but had been transposed into the symmetrical position, which turns to be rather popular here in Tashkent. Probably Black had some chances to play more active, but a couple of White's bishops were strong enough to equalize the position.

© FIDE Grand Prix 2013    |    |