04 July 2014

Commentary: Lopota Women's Grand Prix - Round 5 (an English trio)

The recently-completed Lopota FIDE Women's Grand Prix tournament featured fighting chess, an outstanding performance from GM Hou Yifan, and a number of games of direct interest to me.  Out of the six games in round 5, three of them saw wins in the English Opening.  The first saw eventual champion Hou strategically outplay her opponent, GM Antoaneta Stefanova, and achieve a central dominance leading to a quick victory.  In the second game, Ju Wenjun simply kept pushing on the kingside until her opponent buckled under the pressure, showing the power of the initiative and threats even in objectively balanced positions.  Finally, the third game, a loss by GM Humpy Koneru, offers some useful insight into what works well (and what does not) for both sides in typical English formations, with a turning point that occurs due to a tactical complication typical of those faced by Class players, not just 2600+ GMs.

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