Cairns Cup R6: Koneru Catches Ju, Yip Scores Again
Kosteniuk resigns her game with Koneru. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Saint Louis Chess Club.

Cairns Cup R6: Koneru Catches Ju, Yip Scores Again

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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18 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Humpy Koneru joined GM Ju Wenjun in first place at the Cairns Cup in St. Louis. The Indian grandmaster defeated Alexandra Kosteniuk from a seemingly dead drawn position. IM-elect Carissa Yip won her second game in a row.

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.

Results round 6 Cairns Cup
The Cairns Cup round-six results. Image: Spectrum Studios.

As IM Eric Rosen noted in his daily round-report for the Saint Louis Chess Club, Kosteniuk had never won a classical game yet against Koneru. After their round-six encounter, their mutual score is 5-0 in favor of the Indian lady!

Perhaps there was a bit of psychology involved in Kosteniuk losing this drawn knight-endgame. On a regular club night, most amateurs would have shaken hands around move 32 and headed for the bar instead, but as Koneru (and Kosteniuk!) showed, there was still something to play for:

Koneru Kosteniuk 2020 Cairns Cup
Koneru vs. Kosteniuk. Photo: Nigarhan Gurpinar/Chess.com.

Yip, who started so badly, recovered well with a second-straight win. She defeated Valentina Gunina and so both players still haven't drawn a game yet.

This battle went all over the place, with White doing well in an Alekhine's Defense, then Black taking over, but eventually Yip got a decisive attack shortly before the time control.

Carissa Yip Cairns Cup 2020
Carissa Yip. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Saint Louis Chess Club.

We pick a moment where she could have decided the game earlier with a brilliant move. She said she had looked at it but missed a detail and decided to play it safe.


Yip interviewed by Chess.com's Nigarhan Gurpinar. 

The seventh round will be played on Friday, 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.

Cairns Cup 2020 Round 6 standings
The standings after the sixth round. Image: Spectrum Studios.

Round 6 games

Cairns Cup round 7 pairings
The round seven pairings. Image: Spectrum Studios.

Previous reports:

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