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Goryachkina maintains her lead

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Goryachina maintains her lead

Aleksandra Goryachkina held Mariya Muzychuk to a draw in the seventh round to take her score to 5.5/7.  She maintained her 1.5 point lead over her nearest pursuers Kateryna Lagno and Nana Dzagnidze, who drew in their encounter.

Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia maintains her lead. Photo credit https://fwct2019.com
Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia maintains her lead. Photo credit https://fwct2019.com

Anna Muzychuk missed good winning chances against Alexandra Kosteniuk.

Valentina Gunina, defeated Tan Zhongyi, for whom it was her third consecutive loss in the Candidates. It turned out to be the only decisive game in the seventh round.

After seven rounds, half-way through the tournament, Goryachkina has 5.5 points. Dzagnidze and Lagno share second with 4/7. The Muzychuk sisters, Gunina, and Kosteniuk, have 3 points.  Tan Zhongyi has 2.5 points.

Mariya Muzychuk v Aleksandra Goryachina

Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia versus Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine. Photo credit https://fwct2019.com.
Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia versus Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine. Photo credit https://fwct2019.com.

Mariya Muzychuk attempted to break Goryachkina’s winning streak.  After numerous exchanges, the game transposed into a Rook and Knight vs Rook and Bishop ending. Mariya won a pawn on the way and had good practical chances to defeat her opponent. However, Aleksandra was defending well and found a way to save the game.

Aleksandra Goryachkina v Mariya Muzychuk

Alexandra Kosteniuk v Anna Muzychuk

Kosteniuk Muzychuk ended up with Alexandra’s exchange sacrifice, which led to a very difficult position.  According to Anna Muzychuk, she did not know 19.Ba4 and had problems finding the moves. The Ukrainian did not like her position after 23.d6 and kept on spending much more time than her opponent.  Alexandra lost track of the game and was already in trouble when she decided to sharpen the position by playing 28.Nd5.

Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia versus Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine. Photo credit https://fwct2019.com.
Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia versus Anna Muzychuk of Ukraine. Photo credit https://fwct2019.com.

“When I played 28.Nd5 it was the last chance to complicate the position, but I think I was losing after 28…Qf2. I was hoping for 28…Nd6 to happen as 29.Ne7 is a nice trick. Otherwise, I was unhappy about my play,” commented Alexandra after the game. The game finished in a draw after the first time control.

Alexandra Kosteniuk v Anna Muzychuk

Kateryna Lagno v Nana Dzagnidze

Kateryna Lagno of Russia versus Nana Dzagnidze of Georgia. Photo credit https://fwct2019.com.
Kateryna Lagno of Russia versus Nana Dzagnidze of Georgia. Photo credit https://fwct2019.com.

Kateryna Lagno went for a complicated position against Nana Dzagnidze in the Alapin Variation of the Sicilian. The Georgian player mobilised her pieces and sacrificed a pawn to get full control on the Queenside and in the Center.  Kateryna Lagno found an exciting opportunity to create counter-play on the Kingside, which balanced her chances in the game. After more than five hours of play, the game ended up in a draw.

Kateryna Lagno v Nana Dzagnidze

The charming Kateryna Lagno of Russia. Photo credit https://fwct2019.com.
The charming Kateryna Lagno of Russia. Photo credit https://fwct2019.com.

Valentina Gunina v Tan Zhongyi

Valentina Gunina (left) versus Tan Zhongyi. Photo credit https://fwct2019.com.
Valentina Gunina (left) versus Tan Zhongyi. Photo credit https://fwct2019.com.

Valentina Gunina obtained an advantage in her game against Tan Zhongyi right after the opening.  They reached a Rook and Bishop vs Rook and Knight ending.  Gunina then proved the Bishop’s superiority over the Knight with convincing play. Valentina Gunina created deadly threats to the Black’s King, and the ex-World Champion resigned on the 49th move.

Valentina Gunina v Tan Zhongyi

Some of the spectators who come to the venue. Photo credit https://fwct2019.com.
Some of the spectators who come to the venue. Photo credit https://fwct2019.com.

Links

Rest day at the Women’s Candidate Tournament.

Goryakina extends her lead in round 6.

Goryakina grabs the lead in the Women’s Candidate Tournament.

Promotional video for the 2019 Women’s Candidates Tournament done by Kim Bhari.

Opening ceremony video.

Article on the Opening Ceremony.

2019 Women’s Candidates Chess Tournament official website.

FIDE website.

Russian Chess Federation.

Draw of Women’s Candidate Tournament.