On this Wednesday 11th of August the Grand Prix of Ulaabaator has ended. The last round was played at 10.00 so that everyone could be ready for the closing ceremony which was planned for 16.00.

The decisive game was played this morning, opposing A. Stefanova to Hou Yifan who were ahead of the other players. For 1st place, Hou Yifan needed just a draw to be declared winner where as Stefanova had to defeat her opponent to gain the first place. As expected, both players fought strongly, nevertheless the game ended with a draw.

Hou Yifan, with 8 points, is then the proud winner of the Grand Prix of Ulaabaatar and she deserves it totally, being the only participant with no defeat at all.

Clear second place, with 7 and ½, went to Stefanova who, since the beginning appeared to be as one of the favourite of this tournament.

Both T. Kosintseva and Koneru were disappointed by their result, however they came just after Stefanova, with 6 and ½ point each.

The whole tournament has been a real success and the Mongolian Chess Federation should be warmly thanked.

Stefanova Antoaneta – Hou Yifan 1/2 – 1/2

From English opening the game shifted to New Indian opening. After some exchanges in the middlegame White gained a good position with a passed pawn on c6. White should have planned 18.Qf7, then Rac1, Kh1 instead of going 18.Qd4. After 21…e5 positions were equalized, and after series of exchanges a draw position developed in queen endgame. White tried to break this parity several times but failed, and the game ended in a draw.

Antoaneta: Opening was not bad for me. I do not know if I could play better, maybe I did not find right moves, especially in queen endgame. I must note that my opponent played impeccably and draw was a logical result. In any case, playing that early in the morning may have affected this game. But I would comment that Hou Yifan did not lose a single game and I congratulate her with the overall triumph in this tournament.

Q: Hou, congratulations to you on the winning and how do you describe your final game?

Hou: The opening play was good. After exchange of pieces I had chances to better my position, I settled for a draw which was perfectly good for me.

Q: How do you feel being the winner, Hou?

Hou: Every round was difficult and until the end of this tournament I was not sure about my victory.

Q: Antoaneta, how does it feel to be runner up, was it a good result for you?

Antoaneta: Of course, everyone strives to be the winner. But the second place is not bad either; anyway I had improved since my last Grand Prix appearance. Maybe I could have played more successfully this time, I do not know.

Q: After completing all 11 rounds, what do you think about the organization of this tournament in comparison with other Grand Prix tournaments?

Antoaneta: Generally, the organization of this tournament was good, and pleasant conditions for participants were created. However, I have one recommendation: please, set the time for final round at least at 12:00 o’clock.

Hou: Organization of this tournament was nice. Much attention was given to players’ needs, everyone was helpful, conditions were comfortable. I would like to thank everyone involved.

Kosintseva Tatiana – Yildiz Betul 1 – 0

Arkhangelsk variation of Spanish opening was played. In the middlegame players probed their respective positions. After 16.d4 White gained advantage and Black committed series of mistakes in timing, lost power and were defeated.

Tatiana: Spanish opening was played. Black played passive: maneuver Bb7-c8-e6 allowed to advance and I took the initiative. In timing pressure Black made several mistakes, I used my tactical opportunities to gain an advantage and won.

Betul: My move Bc8 was wrong. In the endgame my pawns c7-d6 were weakened and I lost.

Q: How would you describe this tournament?

Betul: In the first round I lost a game in the winning position. Then I made draws when had an advantage; my attention was somewhat distracted and I began to lost again. After I did not realize a winning position in the game with Maia, I lost motivation; the final part of the tournament I played badly.

Tatiana: This was a difficult tournament and I played different games. I made mistakes, I lost twice. I have to analyze my mistakes and learn more.

Chiburdanidze Maia – Shen Yang 1/2 – 1/2

Catalan opening developed through Queen Gambit. In the opening players did not take any risks and draw by repetition.

Maia: After yesterday’s regrettable defeat it was hard to play in terms of psychological state. Today I did not play well, and seeing that my opponent was not very motivated either, I decided the draw is a good option. Playing at 10 in the morning is also difficult.

Yang: At this tournament I played 1…d5 many times, so I decided to change my opening. Actually I was preparing King’s Indian, but my opponent countered with 1.Nf3, and since Maia is a very experienced player in such positions, I chose not to take risks, and we drew.

Q: Could you please express your opinion about the tournament?

Maia: I think I played well enough in this tournament having scored 6 points which is plus one. In Jermuk I played worse with overall “-2”. In Jermuk I made many blunders while here I played stable.

I was very pleased to play in this tournament and the organizers created excellent conditions for players. I liked very much the nature around here and felt myself very well. I was also pleased that Mongolians know me well; I have now many new Mongolian friends. Everyone at this tournament was caring and warm, including service personnel. This is the first major chess tournament in Mongolia and I hope that there will be more chess events in this country. Again I want to express my gratitude to all people of this tournament.

Yang: I was happy to be here and organization of this tournament was good. Besides playing interesting games in this tournament, Mongolia is a nice country and organizers showed us very interesting places. I just want to say thanks to all.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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