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Six White wins!

Kateryna Lahno versus Hou Yifan © official site
All the ninth round games were won by White, including Kateryna Lahno's defeat of World Champion Hou Yifan. Another notable result was Ekaterina Kovalevskaya's crushing win over top seed Humpy Koneru. Hou Yifan is still in first place, but now the lead has been cut to one point.

The leader, Hou Yifan, was facing a possible e3-e4 expansion and so aimed to complicate matters on the kingside. However this led to Kateryna Lahno obtaining strong threats, which then led to her opening Black's kingside. Her queen proved to be too strong for Hou Yifan's rooks.

Ekaterina Kovalevskaya chalked-up her first win after Humpy Koneru met the Russian's non-descript opening with the optimistic ...g5 followed by ...d5. This rebounded on her as the whole board opened up and Humpy Koneru's king proved to be too vulnerable.

Tatiana Kosintseva is now in second place after achieving her third win. White had the slightly better structure but, after Antoaneta Stefanova attempted to activate on the kingside, Black had weaknesses on every front. A tactical shot rapidly ended Black's resistance.

Nadezdha Kosintseva made it 2/2 for the Kosintseva sisters with a win over fellow Russian Alexandra Kosteniuk. In a complex middlegame, Kosteniuk angled to win a piece, but this led to her having kingside weaknesses which Nadezhda profited on after obtaining sustained pressure.

Elina Danielian had great activity plus the bishop pair as compensation for the pawn that she sacrificed in the opening. Lacking space, Alisa Galliamova aimed to create some freedom for her knights, and then boldly captured a second pawn, but this met with a tactical refutation.

Anna Muzychuk beat Ruan Lufei in a long Knight versus Bishop endgame. At one point, the players manoeuvred around with little progress being made, but Muzychuk found a way to grind down her opponent.

Round 9:

White Rating Result Black    Rating Moves Opening
 Anna Muzychuk 2538  1-0 Ruan Lufei 2479  62 Spanish 4.d3
Kosintseva Nadezhda 2560  1-0 Alexandra Kosteniuk 2497   52 Spanish Neo-Archangel
Elina Danielian 2521  1-0 Alisa Galliamova 2492  34 QGD Cambridge Springs
Ekaterina Kovalevskaya 2427   1-0 Humpy Koneru  2614  26 Anti-Sicilian
Tatiana Kosintseva 2557   1-0 Antoaneta Stefanova  2524  32   Caro-Kann Advance
Kateryna Lahno 2536  1-0 Hou Yifan 2575  41  Nimzoindian

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