North Urals Cup 2008 - The Fourth Round: Peace to the World!
Saturday, 02 August 2008 08:16
Girls appeared to be very peaceful after the day-off. It seems as if the active rest demanded one more day of peace.
Today all four games ended with draws. But as it is always happens during women tournaments it was the result of long battles.
Only games of the tournament leader Antoaneta Stefanova with Anna Muzychuk and Xu Yuhua with Koneru Humpy ended rather quickly. Anna Muzychuk playing white could not take advantage in one of the variants of Scotch game. It quickly came to the endgame in which Stefanova gain the equal position with the help of accurate defense.
Xu Yuhua with Humpy Koneru seemed to have mood for the draw. Having played the opening the girls didn’t struggle too long and signed peace. Xu Yuhua playing white decided to stop the struggle for some reason. Maybe that’s oriental solidarity?
The game of Marie Sebag and Anna Ushenina was very interesting. Marie playing white sacrificed the piece in the Sveshnikov variant of Sicilian defense. In exchange for it she got three Pawns and great activity. It seemed as if this game will follow today’s draw trend . But the less time was left the more Marie Sebag was losing her advantage. Ushenina is famous for her strong defensive style. And it didn’t’ let her down. The piece had to be returned but at the same time the white attack stopped. The draw was fixed on the 48 move.
Natalya Pogonina playing black with Pia Cramling also had a very advantageous position. White played the opening without any claims for advantage. Evidently the Swedish player is pressed with her position in the tournament table. The Russian player used the opportunity and placed her pieces in a very active way. May be in some moment she could strengthen her position because white managed to exchange the attacking black pieces. Of course Pia appeared with the disadvantageous pawn structure but the defense resources of this position were enough for the draw.
We may consider this day as some “calm after a storm”. We have the same leader, but tomorrow there will be new battles!
Translation: Olesya Aleynikova
Press-attache of the “North Urals Cup 2008”