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Round 1: No Draws Policy in Atatürk Masters

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In the first day,there was an intense fight despite there was a short time period to prepare for the first round players for each player after a tiring opening ceremony with huge media attention. It might be understandable to see some quiet draws after a tiring schedule but that was definitely not the case. Local hero Ekaterina Atal?k won against Harika Dronavalli while Irina Krush won against Zhu Chen after playing an interesting gambit. 14-year old super talent Hou Yifan won against Anna Ushenina of Ukraine with help of her pawn majority on the king side. Click more to see the first round report with pictures and the notes of Krush-Chen game by the winner.

Round 1: No-Draws-Policy By Ladies

SNo.   Name Rtg Res.   Name Rtg SNo.
1 IM KRUSH Irina 2473 1  -  0 GM CHEN Zhu 2548 10
2 IM ATALIK Ekaterina 2408 1  -  0 IM DRONAVALLI Harika 2455 9
3 IM JAVAKHISHVILI Lela 2470 1  -  0 WGM XUE Zhao 2517 8
4 IM USHENINA Anna 2484 0  -  1 WGM YIFAN Hou 2527 7
5 WIM YILDIZ Betul Cemre 2207 0  -  1 GM CRAMLING Pia 2524 6

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Atal?k made a good start to the tournament at home. In the English, after the opening she won a pawn after 15...Bf5. She went on and took two more pawns while giving away the exchange. During the rest of the game, she converted this material advantage to her first win in the tournament.


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Atal?k, seemed grimly determined to win her first game after some months. 

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Turkish youngster Betül Cemre Y?ld?z faced the most experienced player in the field, Pia Cramling. After a quiet opening and in a roughly equal endgame after white allowed black knight to d4 everything changed drastically and black won a pawn and went on to win.  

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In the game between Lela Javakhishvili, a frequent visitor of Turkey who won against Xue Zhao, white obtained a visible advantage after black's castling in the tenth move which was never played before. After the exchange of queens white extracted more from the position with the help of the strong rook in the seventh rank and the d-pawn. Black might have chosen other defenses like 23..c4 which seems slightly better according to Rybka but black still seems to be in dire straits after that. After h4-h5 breakthrough, white won the game since it was not possible to avoid further material loss and defense against the active pieces of white for black. 


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GM Victor Bologan, who is the second of Zhu Chen checks the opening. 

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Krush chose a rarely played Gambit against the former world champion, named Geller Gambit (named after the former Soviet/Russia grandmaster Efim Petrovich Geller who was one of the prominent opening experts and also a great player in the middle and late 20th century) and went on with a position where white gains some initiative against the pawn. The risky variation she chose paid off and the initiative seemed to be enduring even after the queen exchange. Exchanging some more pieces with Nc1 (as  tells us this was Atal?k's suggestion) might be better than the game but the lasting and growing initiative of white against the difficulties of black in developing pieces resulted in a forceful attack even without the queens and white won the game. You can see the game with some brief comments by Krush: 


Krush,Irina (2473) - Chen, Zhu (2549)

?? Bank Ataturk International Women Masters Tournament (1) (Notes: Krush)

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4

Even thought there was not much time to prepare for the round beforehand, since the pairings and the colors were determined a short time before the round, I thought what she chose was the most likely choice by Zhu Chen even before coming to the tournament. She takes dc4 in Slav.



This is Geller(-Tolush) Gambit and it is the first time I have ever played it. But the problem is that black has to protect the pawn and now it is really a gambit! Of course a4 is the main choice here but I would like to play a position which was less well-known. Almost no one plays this anymore and she could probably not have any specific preparation for the Geller Gambit. I even have the intentions of playing Geller Gambit before coming here. This variation was popular in 70s in 80s and I know that Kasparov has some games with this variation with white.

b5 6.e5 Nd5 7.a4 e6 8.Ng5

Another possible choice for white here is taking on b5. Actually that was not what I was intending to play. This is the critical main line, with the bishop strongly placed on b7 actually the main difference from the variation that I chose in the game so that was why I played the text move.

[8.axb5 Nxc3 9.bxc3 cxb5 10.Ng5 Bb7 11.Qh5 Qd7 12.Be2 h6 13.Bf3 Nc6 14.0-0 Nd8 15.Ne4 a5 16.Bg5 Bd5 17.Rfe1 Nc6 18.Bh4 Ra7 19.Qg4 Rh7 20.Nd6+ Bxd6 21.Bxd5 Be7 22.Be4 g6 23.Bf6 Kf8 24.Qf3 Nd8 25.d5 exd5 26.Bxd5 Qf5 27.Qe3 Rd7 28.Rad1 Bxf6 29.exf6 Ne6 30.Be4 Rxd1 31.Bxf5 Rxe1+ 32.Qxe1 gxf5 33.Qe5 Kg8 34.Qg3+ 1-0 Kasparov,G-Petursson,M/La Valetta 1980/EXT 2000]


Apart from Be7 there are other moves as Nakamura played Bb7 in one game.  Bb4 is another possibility. But her choice is the most solid one.

[8...Bb4 9.Qh5 Qe7 10.Bd2 h6 11.Nge4 Ba6 12.Be2 0-0 13.0-0 Rd8 14.axb5 cxb5 15.Bxh6 gxh6 16.Nxd5 exd5 17.Nf6+ Kg7 18.f4 Qb7 19.Rf3 Qc6 20.f5 Rh8 21.Raf1 Bd2 22.e6 Rf8 23.Ng4 Qb6 24.f6+ Kh7 25.e7 Qxd4+ 26.Kh1 Nc6 27.Rh3 Qxb2 28.Nxh6 1-0 Kasparov,G-Comp/Rotterdam 1987/EXT 2004; 8...Bb7 9.Qh5 g6 10.Qf3 Qc7 11.Be2 h6 12.Qh3 Nd7 13.0-0 Be7 14.Bg4 Nf8 15.Re1 Qb6 16.a5 Qxd4 17.Nf3 Qc5 18.Ne4 Qb4 19.a6 Bc8 20.Bg5 Bd7 21.Bxe7 Kxe7 22.Nfg5 Nh7 23.Qxh6 Nxg5 24.Qxg5+ Kf8 25.Nf6 Qe7 26.Bf3 Kg7 27.Rad1 Rad8 28.Bxd5 exd5 29.Rd4 Be6 30.Rf4 Qb4 31.Rf1 Rdf8 32.h4 Rh6 33.h5 Rfh8 34.g4 Qxb2 35.Nd7 Qa3 36.Qf6+ Kg8 37.Qd8+ Kg7 38.Rxf7+ Bxf7 39.Qf6+ Kg8 40.e6 Be8 41.e7 gxh5 42.Qf8+ Kh7 43.Qf5+ Kg7 44.Qe5+ Kf7 45.Qf5+ Kg7 46.Qe5+ ½-½ Lastin,A-Nakamura,H/Tripoli LBA 2004/The Week in Chess 503]

 9.h4 h6 10.Nge4 b4

Up to now she was playing all these quite automatically but I am not sure whether she was prepared, trying to remember something or just finding these all by herself. Actually all the moves are quite normal.

11.Nb1 Ba6



Qg4 is the move actually I was not very happy with. In Geller Gambit this is a quite thematic move. However, there are some nuances in this position compared to the normal ones. The normal position would like the normal line if the pawn is on h2 and the bishop on f8. Now, she has the Kf8

12... Kf8

Which I underestimated during the game but this move has some advantages such as when black captures d4 with her queen in some position than Nf6 would be no longer possible since when the king protects the g7 pawn with Kf8 then the discovered check winning the queen is no more possible.


After this move black might have played h5 and Qb6 which would possibly strong for black since white pawn on d4 is very dangerous to give up with the centralized queen attacking the e5 pawn at the same time. Actually I was intending to play Ng3 and defending the d4 pawn but I was not quite happy about what was going on.



The move my opponent chose here looks good since it also trying to exploit the queen's absence from d1 with some threats like Nc2 etc. but against this move I saw a forced variation beforehand which was actually played...

14.Bxc4 Nb4 15.0-0 Bxc4

Actually I saw a funny possibility here since when black captures d4 there is the move Bxe6 against it. I call it funny because when black captures the bishop then Qf4 and whichever the square king moves now there is Nf6. I thought I can also sacrifice my rook for the bishop on a6 since I have two strong bishops some initiative which looks quite good for white since there is Qf5 here.

16.Nxc4 Qxd4 17.Qe2

After my early queen sortie to g4, I am now a pawn down but I thought it was okay since I have Qe2 and thought b3 would be an easy pawn for me to win back. Black has some development problems in the back rank with the knight and rooks but I did not notice Qd3 at first. This move is kind of problematic move because


Forces me to exchange the queens but she is still a pawn down.  I already noticed much earlier but thought it would not be a big deal since there is a compensation for the pawn because of my better-developed pieces as against her development problems with her pieces. But now I thought more about it I would not even care about the h4 pawn or black's possibility to develop the knight at a6, which is hanging since I have my pieces developed, b3 pawn would fall after Rb3.

18.Qxd3 Nxd3 19.Rd1 Nb4

Actually now it seems quite bad for black. Maybe black should have exchanged the knight with the bishop on d1.

20.Ra3 Nd5 21.Rxb3 Nd7 22.Rb7

The idea of black is to play Nb6 and slowly completing the development of the pieces so I have to get some measures against it. I have to play the rook to the seventh rank in the first convenient opportunity. This is a critical position in the game and I also thought about moving to h5 fixing the black pawns and avoiding the possible capture on b4. Also in order to prevent N7b6, playing a5 is another possibility but then black would play Rb8 to force the exchange of the rook and if I exchange my rook on b3 with the rook on b8 then I would have exchanged a very strong piece of mine with a very weak piece of her so I did not like those moves.




That is the point. If she captures on c4 then the strong knight on d5 has to be lifted from there so that was one of the best moves in the game.

23..Bxh4 24.Ba3+

Maybe Na5 and trying to capture c6 and maybe even a7 later on might be a simpler way to play but I liked the game continuation, which keeps the position more complicated.

Kg8 25.Na5

Seems a bit weird but why not? Maybe after g3 she could turn her bishop to d8 and then in some cases prevents Na5 later on...

25... f5

It is difficult to suggest a good defense for black. I can keep things simple as much as possible but I chose a continuation that would still keep the pressure on black. I was not going to capture the pawn first since if after 27.Nc6 I thought she was intending to play Rh7 and exchanging that bad piece with my rook on b7 but then I saw the variation in the game.

26.exf6 gxf6 27.g3 Bg5 28.f4 f5 29.fxg5 fxe4 30.g6

Although I am a pawn down there is a big pressure on black king after this move. It seems quite hopeless for black.

Re8 31.Nxc6 e3 32.Bb2 e5 33.Bxe5 Rxe5 34.Nxe5 h5 35.Rf1 1-0

I can say that the key moment is where I played Qg4 which I am not quite sure about . She should probably have focused on attacking only d4 pawn with Qb6.

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picture 028In the game between, the Ukrainian star Anna Ushenina against the Chinese super talent Hou there was a balanced position after the opening majorities on different sides of the board for both sides. The queens were exchanged early in the game and a position The position might only favour black with a microscopic advantage arose due to more advanced pawn majority on the kingside. However, it seemed that there is a long way to talk about getting close to win for either side. Black's minor advantage got bigger after 52.Ke1 where Be1 which is the suggestion of silicon helper of us to understand the games to some extent. However, even after that, black would be side playing for a win.

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 AWM 2008