2020 Cairns Cup #2 | A Visual Blog Post
GM Humpy Koneru receives her prize from Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield and Rex Sinquefield. | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar.

2020 Cairns Cup #2 | A Visual Blog Post


Hello everyone! I am back with the second and final part of my visual blog post series from 2020 Cairns Cup, one of the highest rated all-female tournaments in chess history! The field included reigning world champions of classical (Wenjun), rapid (Koneru) and blitz (Lagno) chess as well as three former world champions. GM Humpy Koneru of India emerged as the champion with an impressive 6/9 while GM Ju Wenjun took the second place with 5.5/9 and GMs Alexandra Kosteniuk and Mariya Muzchuk shared the 3-4th places with 5/9. The first part is this series can be found over here. Let's dive in to my own personal experience from the tournament with more photos and videos!


The Champion of 2020 Cairns Cup, GM Humpy Koneru | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar
After her defeat against Carissa, the reigning world champion beat GM Alexandra Kosteniuk and prevented a potential tiebreak.| Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar
GM Alexandra Kosteniuk. | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk was in must win situation against GM Ju Wenjun at the last round of the tournament. We would have seen a rapid & blitz playoff between Koneru and Kosteniuk If she had won in the last round.

GM Mariya Muyzchuk. | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar

GM Nana Dzagnidze. | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar
GM Nana Dzagnidze from Georgia has a pretty solid start to the tournament, but she had three losses in the second half.
Sensation of the tournament, IM-Elect Carissa Yip. | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar

Carissa started the tournament out with 0/4 score yet she was "unbowed, unbent, unbroken" in the second half and she managed to score 4/5. Among her victims were the reigning world champion GM Ju Wenjun. 

GM Valentina Gunina. | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar
Things did not go smoothly for last year's champion GM Valentina Gunina as she suffered severe jet lag and sleep deprivation. She only drew one game. This was an epic 74-move game that ended in a King vs King position, which was later referred as the "longest one second all time" by WGM Jennifer Shahade at the closing ceremony. 
WGM Jennifer Shahade in the closing ceremony: "...special thank you to Valentina for making that the longest second of all time... and ultimately proving that chess is truly the game of queens" | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar
GM Harika Dronavalli | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar

Despite suffering from illness, which she made sure was not the "virus", GM Harika Dronavalli ended the tournament with 7 draws, 1 win and 1 defeat.  

GM Kateryna Lagno. | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar

Reigning Women's World Blitz Champion GM Kateryna Lagno 

GM Irina Krush. | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar
7-time US Champion GM Irina Krush was the first but not the last victim of the youngster Carissa Yip, ended the tournament strongly by defeating GM Nana Dzagnidze in the final round.
Ju Wenjun at the closing ceremony. | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar
GM Mariya Muyzchuk at the closing ceremony. | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar

Carissa was happy about the friends she made. | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar

GM Humpy Koneru was all smiles during the closing ceremony. | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar

GM Humpy Koneru seemed very happy and cheerful once all the stress is over. When I was trying to photograph her before the rounds, I could clearly see that she was fully concentrated.

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk aka Chess Queen during the closing ceremony. | Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar


This tournament was special to not only because it had an amazing, inspirational line up but also because it was my first attempt to interview players with me in the interview. Oh boy, was it difficult? Yes it was. Was it nerve wracking? Yes it was. Was it worth it? Totally. Well, anyhow, here are my interviews. Hope you like them.

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