Kosteniuk still leads after another draw
September 16, 2008

In another Spanish party, Kosteniuk had to be satisfied with a draw in a position where she had material advantage (one pawn up) but there was no way to force a win.

Hou diverted from the structure she built last time, avoided a3 and relied on the d3-h3 moves. Kosteniuk placed her Bishop on b7 and pushed the d-pawn immediately to d5. After the exchanges, the game was balanced. Then she started to increase pressure on Hou who offered a Queen exchange (just as it happened in the previous game) but Black got a slight advantage after 25 Nd2 Be5 26 Rc2 Be6 27 Ne4 c4. Kosteniuk was able to increase the advantage within the next ten moves. 

The game went on as 28 dc Rc4 29 Rc4 bc 30 Rd1 Rb8 31 b3 cb 32 ab Rb3 and Black had a better position. However, Hou managed the endgame very well and the parties had to agree on a draw at the 72nd move.

The game tomorrow could be a decisive one for the Championship. Please, follow the game on the official website.

Peter Rajcsanyi
Press Director