Cairns Cup R5: New Leaders After Round Without Draws
Spectators watching Krush vs. Yip. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Saint Louis Chess Club.

Cairns Cup R5: New Leaders After Round Without Draws

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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15 | Chess Event Coverage

GMs Ju Wenjun and Alexandra Kosteniuk took over the lead from GM Nana Dzagnidze at the Cairns Cup in St. Louis. After a round with only decisive games, the players can enjoy a rest day on Wednesday. 

You can follow the tournament here as part of our live portal. Chess.com is offering a daily, live-commentary broadcast with GM Robert Hess, IM Hans Niemann, GM Roeland Pruijssers, WFM Anna Cramling, WFM Alessia Santeramo and WIM Jesse Nikki February on Chess.com/tv. The rounds start at 1 p.m. local time which is 11 a.m. Pacific and 20:00 Central European Time, with rounds on Feb. 7-11 and 13-16.


The official broadcast has WGM Jennifer Shahade, GM Yasser Seirawan, and GM Alejandro Ramirez, and there's a Russian-language broadcast with IM Almira Skripchenko and WGM Anastasiya Karlovich, on www.uschesschamps.com.

Cairns Cup round 5 results 2020
The Cairns Cup round five results. Image: Spectrum Studios.

It was Humpy Koneru who brought down the tournament leader in a long game that had a brief tactical phase, and then a long technical one. With Morphy's rook lift still active in this author's brain, let's focus on a moment where Black could have followed in his footsteps:

Two world champions took over the lead. The reigning champ, Ju, did so with a topsy-turvy victory against Kateryna Lagno. In the opening, the Chinese GM got away with snatching a poisoned pawn and then made a good practical decision to give up an exchange for two pawns and an enduring attack on the white king. The final move was quite elegant:

Lagno Ju Wenjun Cairns Cup
Lagno vs. Ju Wenjun. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Saint Louis Chess Club.

Former world champion Kosteniuk won an excellent game against Mariya Muzychuk and now ties for first place with Ju. Valentina Gunina won with her typical, uncompromising style against Harika Dronavalli using the Closed Sicilian. (Find those games in the game viewer below.)

Gunina Harika Cairns Cup
Valentina Gunina. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Saint Louis Chess Club.

Wearing a Chess.com hoodie, Carissa Yip scored her first win in the tournament. (Her connection with our site is that she has recorded videos for ChessKid two years ago.) In a game that deserved to end in a draw as Irina Krush failed to capitalize on her opening advantage, the seven-time U.S. Women's Champion overpressed:

Carissa Yip Chess.com hoodie Cairns Cup
Carissa Yip wearing what could become a lucky hoodie. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Saint Louis Chess Club.

Want to see Carissa present some of her best games?

Check out her popular videos on ChessKid.com including her first win over a GM!

Watch!

The sixth round will be played on Thursday, starting at 1 p.m. local time, which is 11 a.m. Pacific and 20:00 Central European Time. The tournament is a 10-player round-robin with a prize fund of $180,000.

The standings after the fifth round. Cairns Cup
The standings after the fifth round. Image: Spectrum Studios.

Round 5 games

Round 6 pairings Cairns Cup 2020
The round 6 pairings. Image: Spectrum Studios.

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