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Hou and Kosteniuk won the first games of the semi-final
September 10, 2008

The young strength of the Chinese player and the fighting spirit of the Russian contender prevailed today.

In the Spanish Breyer variation, the game was quite equal after the opening. Both players followed the main lines of theory and with that went into the middle game. Koneru opened the b-line and had a pawn on the a-file but the pawn proved to be weak and White gradually gained advantage. The end game was lost for Black.

As a kind of surprise, Cramling has chosen the French defense with a rare line of Nc6. However, she did not find the proper structure for the defence. First, she almost excluded her Knight from the game putting it on a7, then opened the position with c5. After exchanging the Queens, White`s position was much better and Kosteniuk has not let such an opportunity lost during this Championship. The game finished at the 35th move.

Peter Rajcsanyi
Press Director

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Round 5, game 1.
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