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Round 8 Yifan Wins Against Atal?k, Clinches the Shared First Place at Least

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Hou Yifan won against Ekaterina Atal?k to clinch the equal first place. While she won against one of her main rivals, her other rival Cramling lost against Javakhishvili so Yifan is leading with a one point gap with 6.5/8. Cramling has 5.5 while Atal?k has 5 points. Betül Cemre Y?ld?z lost swiftly against the Ukrainian IM Anna Ushenina. Zhu Chen won her second game in the tournament against Harika Dronavalli. Last but not least, Zhao won against Krush and she has 4.5 points.

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

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Chen Zhu gained a decisive material advantage in the earlier phase of the game and did not let any tactics to spoil her day. She won her second game in the tournament.


Irina Krush played in an unconventional way against Zhao Xue with f4-f5 in a tabiya with isolated d-pawn. She showed her interest in winning since she had many pieces working for the attack but white's lapses in the attack allowed black to neutralize. The three pawns for the knight was not enough for white to save the game.

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Left: Zhao Xue and Hou Yifan in the background Right: Irina Krush and Zhao Xue


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Hou Yifan on her way to clinch the top two spots against the local star Ekaterina Atal?k.

In the crucial game between Ekaterina Atal?k and Hou Yifan, the former chose a well-known contination. Everything was in order until b5 pawn was exchange for the b7 pawn. This caused black to have a lasting advantage on queen's side since white was never able to configure her pieces until the last game because of the queen's side weaknesses. The bishop pair of black dominating the queen's side and the white's misplaced knight on d1 caused insurmountable problems on white's part. Black won the game eventually which proved one of the decisive games in terms of determining the outcome of the tournament.

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The game between Cramling and Javakhishvili kibitzed by CEO of Global Chess, Geoffrey Borg.

It seemed like black was going to neutralize the isolated pawn of the opponent in the game beween Javakhishvili and Cramling. However, Javakhishvili was prepared for this and after executing a knight manaeuvre, white won a pawn. In the arising endgame black finally gained back the pawn but the arising position caused huge problems for black in the endgame with dark-squared bishops and one rooks.


White played 48.f5! here, 48...gf5 49.gf5 Kc8 50.h5 Bf8 51.Bf1 Kd7 52.Re1 and black resigned. This meant Yifan was alone at 6.5 points with one point gap before the last round.

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Anna Ushenina in pre-game meditation...Both of the players in action

The game between Ushenina and Y?ld?z, black has problems in the position where there was a telling space advantage and bishop pair for white's part while white launched a swift attack on the king that could not castle. The game ended with a nice tactical shot:


23.c6! 1-0 (23...Qc6 24.Rfc1 Qd5 25.Bc5)

 AWM 2008