USA's Top Daily Chess News Blog, Informative, Fun, and Positive

hosted by Chess Queen™ & 12th Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kosteniuk wins First ACP Women World Rapid Cup

Hello everybody!

The First ACP Women's World Rapid Chess Cup is over and now I have some time to tell you more about this interesting event.

As you may know the ACP (the Association of Chess Professionals) holds the ACP men and women chess tournament series. That means that almost all important chess tournaments are taken into account and the winners of these events get points which are later used to determine the top players of the year. Some time ago I made a post about the winners of the 2008/09 women's chess series. The top 8 ladies were invited to take part in the first ACP women's world rapid chess cup, together with 3 local players and one ACP nominee. Natalia Pogonina who recently gave birth to a son decided not to take part in this competition and was replaced by Monica Socko.

We played on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of December. The time control of the tournament was 20 min + 5 sec per game. There were 4 rounds on the first day which I started very well and won each game. Four more rounds on the second day which happened to be the most difficult day for me in the competition as I lost my only game in the tournament to my compatriot Tatiana Kosintseva and was very close to losing to Pia Cramling. We finally played 3 more games on the last day. All the regulations of the tournament, together with the final cross-table, perfomance of the participants and photos of the organizers can be found on the official web-site.

I won this tournament with the impressive result of 10 out of 11 and my rating perfomance was 2746!

Here are my chess impressions of the tournament. As I posted after the first day I started the tournament with 4 out of 4 with wins in a pretty convincing style over Monica Socko, Natalia Zhukova, the local Turkish girl Menzi Ezgi and Nadezhda Kosintseva. Especially I liked my game against Nadezhda Kosintseva where after a mistake from Nadezhda I managed to find the most precise way to finish the game.

After Black's mistake on the 16th move Ne7? I played 17. dxe5 and after Bxe3 we reached the following position. Before playing dxe5 I was planning to play here 18. Nxf7? with the idea after Rxf7? 19. Bxf7 Kxf7 to play 20. exf6! and get a winning position similar to the one that I got in the game. But when I was calculating this variation I suddenly noticed that after 18. Nxf7 Black has the very strong intermediate move 18. ... Bxf2+! and after 19. Kxf2 Nxe4+! and it's White who needs to think about equality here. That's why I found another move to continue the game with and this move is 18. Bxf7+! and after 18. ... Rxf7 19. Nxf7 I won in convincing style.

[Event "First ACP Women World Rapid Cup"]
[Site "Konya"]
[Date "2009.12.1"]
[Round "4"]
[White "GM Kosteniuk Alexandra"]
[Black "IM Kosintseva Nadezhda"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "C78"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 7.c3
d6 8.d4 Bb6 9.a4 Rb8 10.a5 Ba7 11.h3 O-O 12.Be3 Ra8 13.Nbd2 Bb7
14.Re1 Re8 15.Ng5 Rf8 16.Nf1 Ne7 17.dxe5 Bxe3 18.Bxf7+ Rxf7 19.Nxf7
Bxf2+ 20.Kxf2 Qf8 21.Nh6+ gxh6 22.exf6 Qxf6+ 23.Kg1 Ng6 24.Ne3
Re8 25.Nd5 Qe5 26.Qd4 c5 27.Qxe5 Rxe5 28.Rad1 Kg7 29.Ne3 Bxe4
30.Rxd6 1-0

During the third round a very interesting endgame arose in the game between Pia Cramling and Ozturk Kubra.

Pia is playing with white and despite being a Rook up White is not able to win the game. The game continued for quite a while but at the end White had to agree that it's a draw.

Event "First ACP Women World Rapid Cup"]
[Site "Konya"]
[Date "2009.12.1"]
[Round "3"]
[White "GM Cramling Pia"]
[Black "WIM Ozturk Kubra"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

111.Ke4 Re7+ 112.Kf4 Rd7
113.Rh2+ Ke1 114.Rh1+ Ke2 115.Ke4 Re7+ 116.Kd4 Rd7+ 117.Kc4 Rc7+
118.Kd5 Rd7+ 119.Ke6 Rd3 120.Kf5 Rd8 121.Kf4 Rf8+ 122.Ke4 Re8+
123.Kd4 Rd8+ 124.Kc3 Rc8+ 125.Kb3 Rb8+ 126.Kc4 Rc8+ 127.Kd5 Rd8+
128.Ke6 Rd3 129.Ke5 Rd8 130.Rh2+ Ke1 131.Rh1+ Ke2 132.Rh2+ Ke1
133.Rh1+ Ke2 134.Rh4 Re8+ 135.Kf4 Rf8+ 136.Ke5 Re8+ 137.Kd4 Rd8+
138.Kc3 Rc8+ 139.Kd4 Rd8+ 140.Ke4 Re8+ 141.Kf4 Rf8+ 142.Ke5 Re8+
143.Kf6 Rd8 144.Ke7 Rd3 145.Ke6 Rd8 146.Rh2+ Ke3 147.Ra3+ Kf4
148.Rf2+ Kg4 149.Rg2+ Kf4 150.Rf2+ Kg4 151.Rxd2 Rxd2 1/2-1/2

The last game to finish on the first day was the encounter between Viktorija Cmilyte and Tatiana Kosintseva. The last 25 moves were played with seconds on the clock for both players but nevertheless both players played pretty well. At the end Viktorija was more precise and won this exciting game.

The position before the 28th move of White. White played 28. Rxe4!?

[Event "First ACP Women World Rapid Cup"]
[Site "Konya"]
[Date "2009.12.1"]
[Round "4"]
[White "IM Cmilyte Viktorija"]
[Black "GM Kosintseva Tatiana"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qa4+ Nc6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3
Ne4 8.Bb2 O-O 9.e3 Qe8 10.Qc2 Na5 11.Bd3 dxc4 12.Bxe4 f5 13.a4
fxe4 14.Qxe4 Bd7 15.Ba3 Rf6 16.Ng5 Rg6 17.f4 Bc6 18.Qc2 Bxa4
19.Qe2 Bc6 20.e4 Rf6 21.O-O h6 22.Nh3 Nb3 23.Rae1 b5 24.f5 exf5
25.e5 Rf7 26.e6 Rf6 27.Qe5 Be4 28.Rxe4 fxe4 29.Rxf6 gxf6 30.Qxf6
c5 31.Qxh6 Qf8 32.Qg6+ Qg7 33.Qxe4 Re8 34.d5 b4 35.d6 Nd2 36.Qd5
Qxc3 37.e7+ Kh8 38.Qh5+ Kg7 39.Qg5+ Kh7 40.Qf5+ Kg7 41.Qg5+ Kf7
42.Qh5+ Kg7 43.Qxe8 Qa1+ 44.Kf2 Qf1+ 45.Kg3 Ne4+ 46.Kh4 Qf6+
47.Kg4 Qe6+ 48.Kf4 Qxd6+ 49.Kxe4 Qe6+ 50.Kf3 Qf5+ 1-0

The second day started pretty badly for me. I lost to Tatiana Kosintseva, by overlooking a very nice combination.

I just played 26. ... Rae8? (26...g5 was better) and Tatiana found a nice way to finish the game 27. Qxe4! it turns out that I will be checkmated after dxe4 28. c4! Qb4 29. Rgh1 and I can defend from checkmate only by giving away my Queen. That's why I didn't take the Queen on e4 and tried to complicate the game after 27. ... f5 but I don't have enough compensation and soon I needed to resign.

[Event "First ACP Women World Rapid Cup"]
[Site "Konya"]
[Date "2009.12.2"]
[Round "5"]
[White "GM Kosintseva Tatiana"]
[Black "GM Kosteniuk Alexandra"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "C43"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.Bd3 d5 5.dxe5 Nc5 6.Nc3 Nc6 7.Bb5
a6 8.Bxc6+ bxc6 9.Nd4 Bd7 10.O-O Ne6 11.f4 Nxd4 12.Qxd4 Bf5 13.Na4
Qb8 14.Be3 Qb5 15.b3 Ba3 16.c3 O-O 17.Rad1 Rfd8 18.Rf2 a5 19.h3
h5 20.Kh2 Be7 21.Rg1 g6 22.g4 hxg4 23.hxg4 Be4 24.Kg3 Rf8 25.Rh2
f6 26.e6 Rae8 27.Qxe4 f5 28.Qd4 Bf6 29.Qd2 Rxe6 30.Bd4 Rfe8 31.Bxf6
Re3+ 32.Kh4 Kf7 33.Kg5 d4 34.Rh7+ Ke6 35.Qxd4 fxg4+ 36.Nc5+ 1-0

But Viktorija Cmilyte with whom I was sharing the first place after the first day also lost the 5th game to Pia Cramling, so after the 5th rounds there were 4 players (me, Cmilyte, T. Kosintseva and M. Socko) with 5 out of 6. In the 6th round I got lucky since Pia in our game forfeited on time in a won position.

After lunch we continued the second day. I could manage all the worries after the rather shaky morning's games and won two games pretty easily.

Here is one more nice small combination by Tatiana Kosintseva against Menzi Ezgi.

It's White to move, try to find the best continuation for White.

In the 8th round Tatiana met her sister Nadezhda and as usual they agreed on a draw while I won my game and so after the second day I was leading alone with 7 out of 8.

In the 9th and 10th rounds I won two games. While my followers were losing points in their direct encounters.

This is the game between Tatiana Kosintseva and Monica Socko. It's Black to move. Try to find the best move for Black.

In the last round I was playing against Cmilyte. I was in a pretty comfortable tournament situation. I had 9 out of 10 and she was following me with 8 out of 10. So she needed to win in order to play the tie-break for the first place. After the opening I got a very good position and had a tremendous time advantage but at some point lost concentration and gave my opponent some counter-chances which she could have used at one point. But all is well that ends well and I managed to win this game and took 10 out of 11.

After the end of the tournament the organizers created for us a short touristic trip to the center of Konya. Konya is a city in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey. It is the capital of the Konya Province, and had a city population of 980,973 in 2008. Konya has the reputation of being one of the more religiously conservative metropolitan centers in Turkey. We had time to visit the Mevlana Museum which is the mausoleum of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a Sufi mystic also known as Mevlâna or Rumi and even got a permission to take some photos inside this building.

Immediately after the visit to the historical part of Konya we got back to the wonderful 5-stars hotel Rixos Konya where we were staying and had the closing ceremony.

I got the gold medal and a very nice cup. The second place with 8 points out of 10 was awarded to Viktorija Cmilyte and the bronze went to Tatiana Kosintseva who finished the tournament with 7.5 out of 11.
From left to right: Ali Yazici, Tatiana Kosintseva, Viktorija Cmilyte and Alexandra Kosteniuk.

At the end of this post I'd like to thank the organizers of the event, the Turkish Chess Federation and its President Mr. Ali Yazici for making this final tournament of the ACP women's series 2008/09 possible and I'm sure we will meet many more times in Turkey in the future! Thank you and see you next year, Turkey!

All the participants and the organizers of the first ACP Women's World Rapid Chess Cup.

Posted by: Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion

Labels: , ,


  • At December 4, 2009 at 1:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Alexandra, congratulations!

    9 of 10 is a fantastic result. You added an another jewel to Chessqueen crown.

    I guess your Moscow experience has helped you a lot.
    Your ELO performance is telling the truth... :-) And it seems for me that 20m + 5s suit you, Alexandra, better than 3m + 1s.

    P.S. Most obvious surprise on the photos is the height of Victoria... You and Tatiana look splendid, but she is catching the eye instantly. :-)Is she really so tall? I might say that she is 1.85 meters (more than 6 feet)...

  • At December 4, 2009 at 9:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Alexandra, warmest congratulations!
    A really interesting tournament and thank you for your very complete narration.

  • At December 4, 2009 at 4:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Congratulations again. And it was 10 out of 11, in fact.

    Pity that my compatriot - Monika wasn't on the podium.

  • At December 4, 2009 at 5:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hello Alexandra,

    Considering your game against Tatiana, 27..f5 is looking to complicate black fate further due to
    28. Bd4...
    So may be is better. It looks like it prolongs game a little

    P.S. Yes, it is my fault -- for some reason i've remembered 9 of 10 instead of 10 of 11...

  • At December 7, 2009 at 5:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    thanks, nice review

  • At December 7, 2009 at 9:23 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

    Great resuslts as you said...
    personally i liked the very interesting response to the face the spanish classic variation after 6...Bc5... congratulations!


  • At December 30, 2009 at 3:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Great result, congratulations!


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home