Sport

Saturday 19 October 2019

Nowadays, chess is more popular among girls and women than ever before and this is beginning to be reflected in the prize money in women's tournaments.

Alexander Baburin

Nowadays, chess is more popular among girls and women than ever before and this is beginning to be reflected in the prize money in women's tournaments.

For example, in the 1st Cairns Cup, a 10-player closed tournament which finished in St Louis yesterday, the total prize fund was $150,000. Russian GM Valentina Gunina won the top prize of $40,000, scoring seven points in nine games and finishing ahead of Russian GM Alexandra Kosteniuk and American GM Irina Krush, who scored 6.5 and 5.5 points respectively. The three winners received $40,000, $30,000 and $20,000 for their efforts.

If we look at the recent Gibraltar Masters Open, the first women's prize was £15,000, which attracted many strong female players from all over the world. Today I would like to show another interesting game from that tournament.

Chandra - Fenollar Jorda

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6

5.d3 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5

7.Nc3 d6 8.Nd5 h6

9.c3 0-0 10.Nxf6+ Qxf6

11.Bd5 Bd7 (D)

In this position chess engines suggest playing 12.0-0 with equal chances, but the young American GM came up with a much more interesting plan:

12.Rg1!?

White is going to open up the g-file with g2-g4-g5. Black had to fight this plan by playing 12...h5!, but he was not up to the task:

12...Kh7? 13.g4 Qd8

14.g5 h5?

Now Black is lost; 14...g6 15.gxh6 f6 was called for.

15.Nd4! Nxd4 16.Qxh5+ Kg8

17.g6 1-0

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