Dzagnidze with a Deserved Victory

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[Ed note: this is the last of GM Bojkov's excellent three articles about the Grand Prix tournament in Jermuk. I apologize for publishing it so late, but we had a surfeit of articles to publish. It still remains an excellent, educational and entertaining piece, which I hope you'll enjoy! If you missed the earlier articles, you can read them at and]

After the “white” day the players had their only free one. They enjoyed the beauties of the mountains, took the lift to view Jermuk from above, visited an art gallery and made pictures in front of the local waterfall. All that ended with an exuberant lunch from the hospitable mayor of the town.

They were fresh and ready to resume the battles. Round seven saw Kosintseva’s full recovery. She created one of the most interesting, tactical games in the event, a true masterpiece:


However, Dzagnidze was fully mobilized and managed to outplay her compatriot Chiburdanidze as black. The next round practically gave the ultimate answer of the question-“Who will win the tournament?” Lilit Mrktchian obtained a large advantage against the leader, but then the Georgian showed nerves of steel:


Nana Dzagnidze was leading with the unbelievable 7.5/8, and her victory seemed indisputable!

The ninth round saw four decisive games. The leader slowed down a bit with a calm draw against Shen Yang, and this gave Tatiana Kosintseva the chance to come as close as one point near her with her third straight win, this time against Hou Yifan. Antoaneta Stefanova finally reached a positive score. But the most impressive game was between two former champions: 


The penultimate round was the most peaceful one-- five draws, a record for the event! Pia Cramling won her first game:


The most important encounter for the distribution of the prizes ended dramatically:


Thus,Tatiana missed a theoretical chance for the first place, and Ety missed the chance to create a true masterpiece in honour of Kasparian. Finally, there were three short draws, and three decisive games, all of them won by black! Cramling went to fifty percent, while Danialian and Stefanova ended on a plus two score, which secured them a shared 3rd-5th place.

Nana Dzagnidze won her first Grand Prix tournament in an impressive manner. She showed good preparation (this is the place to mention her trainer Zurab Sturua), excellent calculation skills, and above all-- strong will and nerves. Tatiana Kosintseva took clear second and produced many model games. The other players had their up and downs and we can only praise their will to fight till the end.

The next Grand Prix tournament is currently taking place in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Do not miss it!

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