Anybody’s Event: Chief And Prime Seed Each Fall


In spherical 9 of the Nicosia FIDE Girls’s Grand Prix 2022-2023, the rivals threw the destiny of the event into uncertainty. IM Gunay Mammadzada defeated the chief, WGM Dinara Wagner, whereas GM Bella Khotenashvili scored her first victory with convincing confidence excessive seed, GM Aleksandra Goryachkina.

With Wagner’s defeat, three gamers are tied for first: Wagner together with GMs Tan Zhongyi and Harika Dronavalli. As well as, a lot of the sector is now inside hanging distance simply half some extent or some extent away. And two of the leaders will face one another within the very subsequent spherical: Wagner and Tan. 

The FIDE Girls’s Grand Prix continues with spherical 10 on Friday, Might 26, beginning at 5:00 a.m. Pacific/14:00 CEST.

Tips on how to watch?

You’ll be able to watch reside video games of the FIDE Girls’s Grand Prix on our Occasions Web page. The rounds begin every day at 5:00 a.m. Pacific/14:00 CEST.

Mammadzada vs. Wagner

Mammadzada’s victory in opposition to the event chief is an unbelievable instance of flip a small edge right into a successful end by creating extra weaknesses and limiting an opponent’s items. In a Sicilian that transposed right into a French-like construction with a locked heart, Wagner provided an early commerce of queens, which allowed Mammadzada to create doubled remoted b-pawns in Black’s camp.

As the sport traded into an ending, the Azerbaijani worldwide grasp grew her benefit by concentrating on one other weak level in her opponent’s place.

Defensive Approach Puzzle: Mammadzada has simply set in movement a plan to win Black’s h4-pawn, beginning with Be1 after which shifting her king off the e1-h4 diagonal. Black has a option to save that pawn. Can you discover what Wagner ignored?

As soon as she was a pawn forward, Mammadzada displayed masterful endgame method. Regardless of being in a notoriously drawish opposite-color bishop ending, she induced weaknesses and lower off her opponent’s king with nice precision. Finally she created an out of doors passer and whereas Black’s king was tied down to stop promotion, her king was free to choose aside the remainder of her opponent’s place. 

Mammadzada shared about her upcoming participation within the Cairns Cup subsequent month: “It will be my first time [in the U.S.], and I count on to indicate the perfect video games. I am trying ahead to taking part in. […] St. Louis is Chess Metropolis, so I am trying ahead to be there and see chess sights.”

Shuvalova vs. Dzagnidze

IM Polina Shuvalova vs. GM Nana Dzagnidze was an interesting battle of concepts within the Caro-Kann Protection. With white, Shuvalova aimed to create a weak point in Black’s queenside construction with an early knight maneuver from f3-e1-d3. In response to White’s slower play, Dzagnidze seized the chance strike within the heart with 13…c5!? 

The middle quickly exploded with techniques from every of those dynamic gamers. Dzagnidze gained a pawn, utilizing a pin down the d-file, whereas Shuvalova countered with a found assault on the exact same file. With a key desperado tactic, the Georgian grandmaster solidified her materials edge. Can you discover it?

Though Dzagnidze had an additional pawn, Shuvalova’s energetic play stored her opponent’s scattered items preoccupied, and the 36-year-old competitor determined to go for a peaceable consequence. 

Khotenashvili vs. Goryachkina

Khotenashvili’s win vs. Goryachkina is a outstanding lesson in fearless pawn grubbing. The highest seed provided her opponent a free pawn on the often-poisoned sq. of b7, and Khotenashvili referred to as her bluff and dove into Black’s camp to seize it. As Goryachkina launched operations to encompass the black queen, the Georgian grandmaster countered by sending a lot of her military deep into the black queenside to assist her stranded empress. With an insightful tactical mixture, Khotenashvili freed her queen, escaping a transparent handed pawn forward. 

Ever the fighter, Goryachkina fought again, reaching a tense queen and bishop vs. queen and knight ending. Although nonetheless behind a pawn, the world number-two may pester the white king, which lacked sufficient secure pawn cowl. From right here, Khotenashvili needed to win the sport yet again, however she was up for the problem. She created weak factors in Black’s kingside and a handed d-pawn. 

As she pressed ahead together with her knight and queen, she additionally introduced her king into the middle the place her strongest items may assist shelter it. Rigorously weaving her king out of the black queen’s dangerous stares, Khotenashvili steadily pushed her passer till Goryachkina was restricted to passive protection and White’s threats could not be stopped. 

This tough-fought victory is our Recreation of the Day with annotations by GM Rafael Leitao.

After the sport, Khotenashvili shared her ideas: “It was a extremely powerful sport. After Bg4, I made a decision to tackle b7, and doubtless her plan was not likely good. I used to be barely higher after all of the difficult variations. With my time hassle, I used to be afraid to not blunder anyway, however after that, I had a strong benefit, so it was only a matter of time, I feel.”

Tan vs. Harika

This duel between the 2 gamers who had been tied for second was very evenly matched. With the white items, Tan gained an area benefit. As the middle opened up and exchanges passed off, the sixteenth ladies’s world champion took over the open d-file and introduced her rook to the seventh. Harika defended actively, watchful of her opponent’s concepts whereas creating counterplay. 

Within the stage rook ending, Tan continued to check her opponent, advancing her king to create difficult kingside threats whereas leaving her final queenside pawn hanging. But, Harika’s aware play together with her lively rook held off Tan’s concepts, sustaining the stability.

Two potent rivals, each undefeated and within the operating for first, face off. Picture: Mark Livshitz/FIDE.

Kiolbasa vs. Assaubayeva

IM Oliwia Kiolbasa and IM Bibisara Assaubayeva ventured right into a Sharp Sicilian Najdorf with the kings castled to reverse sides. Kiolbasa launched ahead on the kingside with an early g4 whereas her opponent held again White’s onslaught by establishing a protection on the darkish squares. Quickly, Assaubayeva started to fire up her personal play on the queenside with a b5-b4 advance. In the course of this difficult wrestle, with an enterprising alternate sacrifice on faucet, Assaubayeva provided a draw. Kiolbasa―characteristically down to a few minutes for the remaining 10 strikes till time management―accepted. Very like Fitzgerald’s unfinished final novel, the story is lower off midway by means of. 

Assaubayeva appears to share a typical chess participant superstition: She’s worn the identical inexperienced and blue shirt to her video games since she began successful in spherical seven. Did she supply a draw so she will be able to lastly change her apparel? Picture: Mark Livshitz/FIDE.

Lagno vs. Kosteniuk

GM Kateryna Lagno and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk drew within the opening, starting a three-time repetition on transfer 10. In consideration of this occasion alone, it is puzzling why Lagno would play for therefore little with the white items.

The draw is probably going aimed extra at Grand Prix factors. At present in fifth place, Lagno would achieve 80 factors if the event ended on Thursday. In distinction, her most important rivals—Goryachkina and Kosteniuk—would achieve a lot much less as they’re in ninth and tenth locations respectively. For the reason that Ukrainian grandmaster leads the qualification race comfortably, she did not wish to take any pointless dangers in her head-to-head in opposition to certainly one of her prime rivals. 

If Lagno continues to carry out solidly, Goryachkina and Kosteniuk should go GM Zhu Jiner (the Grand Prix chief earlier than this event) to remain in competition, that means Kosteniuk should end a minimum of seventh and Goryachkina a minimum of eighth.

Outcomes – Spherical 9


Kiolbasa 1/2 – 1/2 Assaubayeva
Lagno 1/2 – 1/2 Kosteniuk
Shuvalova 1/2 – 1/2 Dzagnidze
Mammadzada 1 – 0  Wagner
Tan 1/2 – 1/2 Harika
Khotenashvili 1 – 0 Goryachkina

Standings – Spherical 9

Two of the leaders will face off within the penultimate spherical. Wagner has the white items vs. Tan. Whereas they battle one another, Harika, the third chief, has her likelihood to edge forward with white vs. Khotenashvili.

Pairings – Spherical 10


Assaubayeva  –  Goryachkina
Harika  –  Khotenashvili
Wagner  –  Tan
Dzagnidze  –  Mammadzada
Kosteniuk Shuvalova
Kiolbasa Lagno

All Video games – Spherical 9

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