Hoang Trang drew with Salome Melia today, again in an endgame, just this time, unlike the others, with a peaceful outcome. Melia with this draw gained her second GM norm in 9 rounds and rating performance of 2641 points.
The game on the second board between Alexandra Kosteniuk and Anna Muzychuk also finished as a draw. It seemed Kosteniuk had some advantage after the opening, but Muzychuk defended well, and in the end the game finished with kings and 2 knights on the board.
Monica Socko played a very good game with white against Valentina Gunina. She punished Russian's mistakes, and outplayed her in 26 moves.
Viktorija Cmilyte defeated Ekatarina Kovalevskaya in a very long and militant game. Ekatarina made few mistakes in a bishop-knight endgame, which turned out to be fatal.
Natalia Zhukova outplayed Serbian Marija Rakic after a very sharp opening. Another Serbian player Irina Chelushkina defeated Maria Kursova, and now she is the best ranked Serbian player in the tournament. In the next round, she will face Marina Romanko from Russia.
Two Turkish representatives achieved important victories against better ranked opponents.
Kubra Ozturk defeated Sabrina Vega, and Betul Cemre Yildiz defeated Cristina-Adela Foisor.
After 9 rounds, Hoang Trang is in sole lead with 7.5 points, followed by Melia, Kosteniuk, Cmilyte and Socko with 7 points, etc.
Our today's Guest of the day was Salome Melia, and there is one special reason why she was with us tonight. Not only that she drew with black, with the leading Hoang Trang, but with this draw she gained her second GM norm, with 7/9 and rating performance of 2641 points.
Salome, what are your impressions about this achievement?
I think if a player is playing well, then norms and titles will come. Of course, this second GM norm is important for me, and I am very happy.
You were a player of attractive style. Even nowadays in analyses you seem to suggest moves which others don't see. Many people respect you for this.
I wouldn't say so. Every person has their own moment of lucidity. Even a chess player who is objectively considered as a weaker player can have ingenious ideas. The only question is if he will use that moment of lucidity to make a good result worth of that ingenious idea. During my chess development, when there were no computers to rely on their suggestions, I was trying to get to know the secrets of chess with all my being and capacities I had. There is a difference when you see some picture on the screen, and you remember it, or when you come to that picture by deduction and logical thinking.
Hoang Thanh Trang defeated Valentina Gunina on the first board, in the decisive game of the 8th round. Valentina started with 1.Nf3, and Trang decided to go for 1...d5, instead of her typical answer 1...f5, and the game went to Reti. Very quickly, they exchanged the material, and the game shifted to an endgame, where Trang had a dominating bishop against white's knight, and had no difficulties to win.
Anna Muzychuk had quite an advantage with white against Natalia Pogonina, but at some point she lost it, and after the material was reduced, it was clear that game will have a peaceful outcome.
In Georgian clash on the third board, Salome Melia defeated Nana Dzagnidze in a very sharp game.
Another Georgian clash between Khotenashvili and Arabidze finished as a draw, after quite interesting game. Further analysis will show if there was other way to proceed for both of them.
Two Lithuanian players played against each other - Daulyte and Cmilyte, in which older and more experienced one - Viktorija scored with black.
Alexandra Kosteniuk played a good game with black against Nino Khurtsidze. In a sharp line of Nimzo-Indian she used the advantage of her position and captured a pawn. In the end Nino helped her with the blunder, after which she had to resign.
Marija Rakic, the best Serbian ranked player in the tournament so far, lost to Ekatarina Atalik. Ekatarina used well her space advantage, which eventually she turned into material advantage, and won in the endgame.
A win of Baira Kovanova against GM Katherina Lagno is certainly worth to mention.
After 8 rounds, Hoang Trang is in sole lead with 7 points, followed by Melia and Kosteniuk with 6.5.
Three more rounds to go, with very exciting and decisive games. Who has the most strength to make it till the end?
Today, our Guest of the day was GM Hoang Trang, who defeated Valentina Gunina with black, and took the sole lead in the tournament. After sharing some impressions about the game, she answered a few questions.
Trang, we have noticed that you played a few endgames in the tournamet, and you showed quite an understanding and good techniques. Is it just a coincidence, or you enjoy playing endgames?
I enjoy playing endgames and I feel very comfortable.
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