The key game of the fifth round was the encounter between number one and number two in the tournament, Hou Yifan and Anna Muzychuk. The Slovenian player outplayed Hou Yifan and shares the first place with Ukrainian Kateryna Lahno, who drew her game against Anna Ushenina.
Two Russian players, Alexandra Kosteniuk and Olga Girya, lost their games against Bela Khotenashvili and Ju Wenjun, respectively. Another Russian, Tatiana Kosintseva, had a winning position against Tuvshintugs Batchimeg, but missed her chances a few times. Viktorija Cmilyte and Nana Dzagnidze were the last ones to finish; their game ended in a draw after 72 moves.
Tuvshintugs -Kosintseva 1/2-1/2
One of the theoretical lines of the Ragozin appeared on the board, and in the middlegame, White transferred his knight to f2 by playing Nd2-f1-g3-h1-f2. The position was about equal but White missed a chance to play 32.d6 and blundered 33…Bh5. Black had a huge advantage and missed a direct way to win a few times. 39…Rg2! could have finished the game immediately after 40.Kg2 Rg8 31.Kf1 Qf3. Tatiana played differently, but the position was still absolutely winning. After 44…Nf4, the evaluation of the position went from -5 to 0 according to Houdini. From that moment on, Black did not have real chances to fight for more than a draw.
Anna Ushenina surprised her opponent with Ne7, so Kateryna Lahno decided to go into a sharp position after Qb3-Qb7. The World Champion spent a lot of time and found a nice idea, 23…c5 cutting the diagonal for the bishop. Despite the fact that White had an extra pawn, Black got good compensation and after a threefold repetition, the game between the Ukrainians finished in a draw.
The game finished in a draw but only after both players got some winning chances. Nana Dzagnidze sacrificed an exchange and. according to Cmilyte, the position on the board was easier for Black to play. However, White found a good opportunity to activate his pieces and after Rh7, it was White the one trying to play for more than a draw. According to Viktorija Cmilyte, f6 was a mistake. Black received good counter chances but did not manage to win.
In the King’s Indian, the Russian player got an extra pawn and Black had to prove he had enough compensation. Following the best King’s Indian traditions, Ju Wenjun brought all her pieces to the kingside and sacrificed another pawn. The computer defends White’s position but it is hard to stay calm playing such a position with White. Olga Girya made a mistake with 29.Qb2 and it cost her the full point. Ju Wenjun finished the game with a direct attack against the white king.
In a variation of the Catalan, the players went into a sharp position. After the provocative 20…f5, White got a quite strong initiative. At the press-conference, the players agreed that it was a mistake to take 26.Qh5 and allow Black to change the bishop for the strong knight on e6. “I just missed White’s strong move Qe2”, said Bela Khotenashvili. Just a few moves later, Black made a mistake with Qf3 and got a lost position. “At this moment, I just could not calculate anything. I was surprised Black was not losing immediately”, said Alexandra Kosteniuk. The endgame was technically winning for White, but the Georgian did not play precisely and the former world champion could have held a draw after 56…Kb2.
Standings after 5 rounds: