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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Astana Chess Women's World Team Event R4: Top Match China-Russia Draw on Wins by Gunina, Kosteniuk

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2013

Hi everyone,

The fourth round ended "unpredictably" peacefully despite the fact that the fight lasted till the end on all the boards. Four out of five matches finished in a draw and the outcome of the last match Ukraine versus Turkey seemed equal as well. Anna Ushenina won against Betul Yildiz. Two other games finished in a draw, but Inna Gaponenko was still fighting for a draw against Selen Sop. It seems that after more than 100 moves and 6 hours of playing, talented Turkish player simply did not have the physical strength to win the position with a huge advantage. As a result, Gaponenko made a draw, Ukraine won the match +1.

A very tense struggle in the key match between the leaders China and Russia - all four games were decided. Velentina Gunina won against Ju Wenjun and 12th Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk defeated Huang Qian. In an equal position Natalia Pogonina went for a forced line and ended up in a lost position. Alisa Galliamova missed nice tactical blow 16. Bd5 and after that her opponent Qi Gou played precisely and won. The match was China-Russia draw.

Indian girls showed today that, despite the absence of Humpy, Harika and Sachdev, the team can fight with favorites. Eesha Karavade defeated Nana Dzagnidze, who normally plays very stable, but lost the second game in this event. Georgians immediately equalized the score due to victory of Bela Khotenashvili on the second board. On the fourth board Nino Khurtsidze had absolutely winning position but failed to find the direct win a few times. The victory of Georgia was so close in the match but it finished in a draw.

One more match Romania versus Kazakhstan finished peacefully. Irina Bulmaga got quite comfortable position in the middle game and managed to outplay Gulmira Dauletova. Two other games finished in a draw but Guliskhan Nakhbaeva showed self-possession and steel nerves once again – this time in the game against very experienced Romanian player Cristina Adela Foisor. She outplayed her opponent after long-lasted fight and saved the match for her team.

French team managed to make a draw in the match against the USA and finally gained so long-awaited first team point. After the fourth round Ukraine caught Russia and China and shares with them the first place. Georgia is 2 points behind.

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