Cairns Cup R7: Muzychuk Beats Gunina
Some Valentine decorations at the Saint Louis Chess Club. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Saint Louis Chess Club.

Cairns Cup R7: Muzychuk Beats Gunina

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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12 | Chess Event Coverage

It was not a great Valentine's Day for GM Valentina Gunina, who pressed too hard and lost her game to GM Mariya Muzychuk. With draws in the other four games, GM Humpy Koneru and GM Ju Wenjun continue to lead the Cairns Cup in St. Louis.

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.

The Cairns Cup round-seven results
The Cairns Cup round-seven results. Image: Spectrum Studios.

Still avoiding draws in this tournament, Gunina moved to a minus-three score on Friday. Last year's winner in St. Louis declined a draw offer from Muzychuk in a roughly equal endgame, but ended up losing it.

Gunina vs. Muzychuk Cairns Cup
Gunina vs. Muzychuk. Photo: Crystal Fuller/Saint Louis Chess Club.

Earlier, Muzychuk had reached a dream position out of the opening and it seemed she was getting the first win of the day, but Gunina showed her fighting spirit once again. "She doesn't like draws," Muzychuk said about her opponent, but it's hard to believe Gunina actually prefers to lose instead...


Muzychuk interviewed by Chess.com's Nigarhan Gurpinar. 

Ju had a very disappointing finish to her game with GM Nana Dzagnidze. In a winning position the women's world champion blundered a check from her opponent, and as it turned out, her king had nowhere to go:

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

The eighth round will be played on Saturday, 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 round 7 standings
The standings after the seventh round. Image: Spectrum Studios.

Round 7 games

Cairns Cup pairings round 8
The round eight pairings. Image: Spectrum Studios.


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