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Round 5 Report: Three Way Tie...Again!

Turkish Day in Istanbul Ataturk Masters: Atal?k and Y?ld?z won

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Round 5 was another exciting round with many interesting results. The Chinese derby between Yifan and Zhao ended as a draw. Betül Cemre Y?ld?z, the underdog of the tournament won her first game after the draw , winning against one of the top players of the US, Irina Krush while when Ekaterina Atal?k was drawing a better endgame, this did not happen and she won again to join Yifan and Cramling who won against Dronavalli showing the power of two bishops.

The press conference of Pia Cramling is available on Playchess-Broadcasts. 

SNo.   Name Rtg Res.   Name Rtg SNo.
3 IM JAVAKHISHVILI Lela 2470 ½  -  ½ GM CHEN Zhu 2548 10
4 IM USHENINA Anna 2484 0  -  1 IM ATALIK Ekaterina 2408 2
5 WIM YILDIZ Betul Cemre 2207 1  -  0 IM KRUSH Irina 2473 1
6 GM CRAMLING Pia 2524 1  -  0 IM DRONAVALLI Harika 2455 9
7 WGM YIFAN Hou 2527 ½  -  ½ WGM XUE Zhao 2517 8

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Left: Hou Yifan, preparing for the round with a little nap. Right: But she is not left alone by visitors who wants to have picture with the child prodigy.

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The first game to mention today is the Chinese derby between Yifan and Zhao was a "silent" draw but helped Yifan to retain her leading position despite it is now shared by Atal?k and Cramling who won their games.

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Left: Zhu Chen preparing for the game. Right: Zhu Chen in action

After four losses in a row, Zhu Chen drew her first game against Javakhishvili after some nice tactic to reach a drawn endgame. Bologan remarked that it is completely a draw after Qc2 although white has winning chances before hand.


40...Ndf2 41.Rf3
[41.Rc5 would not change the evaluation either 41...e5 42.Rc1 (41.a8Q Ra8 42.Ba8 Nh3 and draws) =] 42.Rf2 [Black was threatening Nh3 and Rd1] 42...Nf2 43.Vf2 Qb3 44.a8Q Qd1 45.Qf1 Qf1 46.Kf1 Ra8 47.Ba8 and now it is completely draw. Also notice that the h pawn's promotion square is not the same color with bishop's square.

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The other local hero, WIM Betül Cemre Yildiz won a spectacular game against IM Irina Krush from the United States. She launched an attack on h-file on an equal Rossolimo game and an interesting sacrifice on g5. Actually both sides played a logical game but apparently black could not find the thin hopes of the accurate defence against white's attack on h-file. First win for the lowest rated player of the tournament by a creative attack.  She won her first game in this tough tournament.

Today, the two Turkish players are facing each other which is their first meeting on board.

Y?ld?z,Betül Cemre  (2207) - Krush,Irina (2473)
Isbank Ataturk Women Masters Istanbul (5), 14.03.2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.c3 Nf6 6.Re1 0-0 7.h3 d5 8.e5 Ne8

One of the basic routes for the knight in this variation is e8-c7-e6

9.d4 c4 10.b3 cxb3 11.axb3 Nc7 12.Bf1

This position seems to be equal but black's pieces are more reserved. In the positions when black bishop on g7 is controlled by the central pawn chain ending on e5, white generally has slight advantage.

[There was another game where white played 12.Bd3 beforehand. 12.Bd3 b5 13.c4 bxc4 14.bxc4 dxc4 15.Bxc4 Nd5 16.Bxd5 Qxd5 17.Nc3 Qc4 18.Ra4 Nb4 19.Na2 Bd7 20.Rxb4 Qxa2 21.d5 a5 22.Rb7 Rfd8 23.Qd4 Be6 24.Rxe7 Qxd5 25.Qh4 Rd7 26.Rxd7 Bxd7 27.Ng5 h5 28.Qf4 Be6 29.Bb2 a4 30.Ne4 a3 31.Ba1 Qc4 32.Rc1 Qa4 33.Qe3 Qb3 34.Rc3 Qa2 35.Rc1 Qb3 36.Rc3 Qd1+ 37.Kh2 Qxa1 38.Nf6+ Bxf6 39.exf6 Kh7 40.Qf3 a2 41.Rc5 Qxf6 42.Qxf6 a1Q 43.Re5 Ra5 44.f4 Rxe5 45.fxe5 Qe1 46.Qg5 Qf2 47.Kh1 Bd5 48.Kh2 Kg7 49.Kh1 Qf1+ 50.Kh2 Qxg2+ 51.Qxg2 Bxg2 52.Kxg2 g5 53.Kf3 Kg6 54.Ke4 g4 55.hxg4 hxg4 0-1 Ahmed,E-Holmsten,A/Cairo 2002/CBM 87 ext]

12...b5 13.Be3 a5 14.Nbd2 Ba6 15.h4 Ne6 16.h5

White's plan is quite logical. White is going to play through h file and capturing, though the suggestion by the computer , still would not change the general evaluation of the position. Black is intending to play in the queen's side. Black, indeed played logical moves throughout the game but  apparently white has the easier and the better game.

16...Qc7 17.g3 Rfd8

There is an inhuman suggestion by Mr.Junior, which does not seem very convincing 17...gxh5 18.Nh4 b4 19.c4 dxc4 20.Nxc4 Rad8 21.Nf5] 18.hxg6 [18.h6 is another way to continue the game. Still white would have retained some advantage but the text is also quite logical.

 18...hxg6 19.Bh3

Betül says here that she is already planning to play on h-file. Black is definitely going to play on queen side fixing the pawns by playing b4 and looking for holes.

19...Bc8 20.Kg2

With the intentions on playing on h-file.
20...b4 21.cxb4 Nxb4 22.Rc1 Qb7 23.Rh1 Bd7 24.Qg1 f6 25.Bxe6+

25.Nh4 would be another way to continue the game but getting rid of the bishop and removing some defensive pieces is quite logical way to continue.

25...Bxe6 26.Bh6 Kf7

Another option would be keeping the white bishop in the path of heavy pieces but it does not seem to bring happiness to black: 26...Bh8 27.Qh2 Kf7 28.exf6 exf6 29.Bf4 Both the open h-file and ideas like Rc7 are very dangerous for black.



A spectacular sacrifice not objectively winning according to Mr.Junior but nevertheless difficult to refute on board.

27...fxg5 28.Nf3 Bxh6


There seems to be the only defence. If the second knight comes to g5 then black's king would be in a big trouble. Therefore, black should find a way to prevent this, apparently giving back the extra piece looks like the only logical way to do it. 28...Bf6!! 29.exf6 exf6 30.Bxg5 Rh8

29.Rxh6 Ra6

This seems to be the decisive mistake. Computers suggest a better defence here might be 29...Qb6 30.Nxg5+ Ke8 however, white can still maintain the initiative and the upper hand. 31.Qh2 This is a multi-task move, getting the queen into the play. The queen is now supporting the rook on h file and the idea is that white can capture g6 pawn without having to worry about discoreved checks on h3. (31.Rc5 Nd3 32.Rc3 Bf5 33.Rh8+ Kd7 34.e6+ Bxe6 35.Rxd8+ Rxd8 36.Rxd3 Bf5) 31...Kd7 32.Rxg6 Rh8 (32...Bh3+ 33.Qxh3+) 33.Rh6 Rxh6 34.Qxh6; 29...Kg7 30.Nxg5 Kxh6 31.Qh2+ Kg7 32.Qh7+

30.Qh2 Rg8

[30...Ke8 and trying to escape does not save the game either. 31.Nxg5 Bg4 the other moves fail to Qh3 (31...Rc6 32.Nxe6 Rxe6 33.Qh3; 31...Nd3 32.Nxe6 Rxe6 33.Qh3) 32.Qh4 Bf5 33.g4 Be4+ 34.f3 and now e6 is coming so black has huge problems.]

31.Rh8 Ke8 32.Nxg5 Rxh8 33.Qxh8+ Kd7 34.Nh7

Now there is no accurate defense against the devastating check on f8


[34...Ra8 fails to 35.Nf6+ exf6 36.Qg7+ and the black queen falls.]

35.Nf8+ Kc7 36.Nxe6+ Kb6 37.Qd8+


An inspiring attack by the Turkish player against a much higher rated opponent.
A happy day for Betül Cemre Y?ld?z and local followers...Betül won a nice game against Irina Krush  who is rated 267 points higher than the player from Izmir.

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Left: The pencil box of Pia Cramling. Right: Harika Dronavalli...Did you know that Harika (but you should pronounce a longer than actual) means "wonderful" in Turkish! What a big coincidence!

Cramling,Pia - Dronavalli ,Harika
Isbank Ataturk Women Masters Istanbul (5), 15.03.2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 c5 8.Be3 Qa5 9.Bd2 0-0 [Another possibility is 9...cxd4 10.cxd4 Qd8] 10.Be2 cxd4 11.cxd4 Qd8 12.Rc1 [Another well-known path shown by Cramling during the press conference on Playchess is : 12.Be3 Qa5+ 13.Qd2 Qxd2+ 14.Kxd2 Rd8; A further possibility is sacrificing the exchange and playing with active minor pieces and holes on dark squares for black. 12.d5 Bxa1] 12...Bg4 [12...Bxd4 does not work due to 13.Rxc8 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxc8 15.Qa1 While black pieces are yet to be developed white's pieces are ready to start attacking. We did not even mention the material balance for white.] 13.d5 Nd7 14.h3 Bxf3 15.Bxf3 Rc8 16.0-0 Rxc1 17.Qxc1 f5 18.exf5 Ne5 [18...gxf5 would not be that good since white would easily make her own two bishops work efficiently. 19.d6 exd6 20.Bxb7] White has to keep her two bishops. White is intending to transfer her bishop to the a2-g8 diagonal. 19.Bd1 gxf5 [19...Qxd5 of course fails to 20.Bb3; A better way to continue would be getting the rook in the play and placing the knight at f7 blocking the vital diagonal and later transferring the knight to d6. 19...Rxf5 20.Bb3 Nf7] 20.Bb3 [20.Qa3 Nc4] 20...Qd6? This is a decisive mistake on black's part. In the post-mortem black showed she was afraid of [20...Kh8 21.Bc3 (21.Bh6) 21...Qd6 22.Re1 Rc8 23.Qe3 Nf3+ 24.Qxf3 Rxc3 (24...Bxc3 25.Re6) 25.Qxf5 Wite has the upper hand but it is still lesser evil than the game.] 21.Bf4 Qf6 [21...Qg6 22.Qe3 Nf7 23.Qxe7] 22.Bg5 [Another path to the victory for white would be 22.Bxe5 Qxe5 23.Re1 Qd6 24.Re6 Qd8 25.Rxe7] 22...Qd6 [22...Qg6 23.Bxe7 Nf3+ 24.Kh1 would not make much different.] 23.Bxe7 Qxe7 24.d6+ 1-0

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Left: Atal?k on her way to her way to the third win. Right: Spectators kibitzing the local hero's game.

Ushenina,Anna - Atal?k ,Ekaterina
Isbank Ataturk Women Masters Istanbul (5), 15.03.2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Qe2 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 7.0-0 0-0 8.d3 d6 9.c3 h6 10.Rd1 Re8 11.h3 Bb6 12.Nbd2 Be6

In this position black has an easy game since Nh5-Nf4 is perfectly possible. Our silicon friends say exchanging the bishop is a better way to continue but nevertheless it is difficult for white to play d4 here and play for the centre. Apprarently, there does not seem to be a very good and effective maneouvre in the closed position.

13.Bc2 Nh5 14.Nf1 Qf6 15.N3h2 Ne7 16.Qf3 Nf4 17.Bxf4 exf4 18.a4 Ng6 19.d4 Qg5


Now black has even better position, very close to win a pawn after Nh4. White tries to make it difficult for black to achieve more.

20.Qd3 Nh4 21.g4 fxg3 22.Qxg3 Bxh3 23.Ne3 Be6 24.Nhg4 Ng6 25.axb5 axb5 26.Rxa8 Rxa8 27.Nf5 Re8 28.Bd3 Bd7 29.Kf1 d5 30.f3 dxe4 31.fxe4 Bxf5 32.exf5 Nh4 33.Kf2 Nxf5 34.Nxh6+ Qxh6 35.Bxf5 Qf6 36.Qf3 b4 37.Rh1 g6 38.Bd3 Qxf3+ 39.Kxf3 bxc3 40.bxc3 Kg7 41.Bb5 Ra8 42.Ke4 f5+ 43.Kd5 Rd8+ 44.Ke5 c5 45.dxc5 Bxc5 46.Bc6 Bf2 47.Rh3 Bb6 48.Bd5 Bc7+ 49.Kd4 Bb6+ 50.Ke5 Re8+ 51.Kd6 Kf6 52.c4 Be3 53.Rh7 f4

According to Bologan who was following the game with us at this point said immediate f4 is not most the accurate plan here since black should place the connected passed pawns on light squares. [53...Rf8 54.Rd7 With the idea of advancing c pawn since  (the immediate 54.c5 fails to 54...Rd8+ 55.Kc6 Rc8+ 56.Rc7 Rxc7+ 57.Kxc7 Bxc5) 54...g5 55.c5 Bf4+ 56.Kc6 g4 would be one way to continue following the advice in this position.]


Nevertheless black still finds a way to advance her connected passed pawns and won her third game in the tournament.

54...Rc8 55.Rf7+ Kg5 56.Kd7 Rb8 57.Kc7 Rb6 58.Re7 Rf6 59.Bf3 Kh4 60.Re5 g5 61.c5 g4 62.Bd1 Bxc5


Black can now sacrifice her bishop for the pawn since her pawns are sufficiently advanced, her king is very active and supporting those pawns together with the rook while white king is misplaced away from the heat of the battle.

63.Rxc5 f3 64.Rc4 Kg3 65.Kd7

[65.Rc3 Kh2 66.Rc2+ Kh3 67.Rf2 Kg3 should be easily winning for black.]

65...Rf4 66.Rc1 f2 67.Be2 Re4 68.Bb5 Re1 69.Rc3+ Kh4 70.Kd6 f1Q 71.Bxf1 Rxf1 72.Ke5 g3 73.Rc2 Kh3 74.Ke4 0-1

P.S.: Thanks to Victor Bologan and David Pruess for their help.
 AWM 2008