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First tie break game went to Hou Yifan
September 12, 2008

Koneru had the courage and determination to repeat the Spanish Breyer variation in the first tie break game today. However, she cleverly diverted from the previous c5 and Nh5 moves and selected a continuation with Re8. When Hou closed the center with 16 d5, Koneru got a chance to take the initiative by pushing with 17...c6 (see position below).




Then followed 18 c4 Nh6 19 Rb1 Qc7 20 dc Bc6 and the two strong bishops on the Black side ensured an equal position in the game. After Hou placed her Knight 25 Nc1, Koneru did not use the slight chance to grab initiative again with Qb2 but continued the game with 25...Qb6 27Nd3 Bd4 28 Qe1 a5 which just maintained the balance.

Nearing the final phase of the game, the time pressure has been increased - first of all on Koneru.

In an equal (or somewhat better position for Black), she let the White Queen to break into the Black camp 34 h4 h5 35. Qf3 Ke7 (here Bd4 could have prevented Qe3) 36. Qe3 Qd4 37 Qh6 Be4 and misplaced her King with 38 Qh7 Kd6? (Ke8 ensures the draw) 39.c5 and White won.

Peter Rajcsanyi
Press Director

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Round 5. Tie-breaks. Press Conference
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