Koneru Misses Win On Day Of Draws
Humpy Koneru missed a chance to take a 2-0 lead. Photo: Michal Walusza/FIDE.

Koneru Misses Win On Day Of Draws

| 6 | Chess Event Coverage

On Wednesday GM Humpy Koneru missed a great chance to take a 2-0 lead in her match with GM Anna Muzychuk in the 2022-23 FIDE Women's Candidates Tournament in Monaco. The game ended in a draw, which also happened in GM Mariya Muzychuk vs. GM Lei Tingjie. The quarterfinals continue on Friday, October 28, starting at 6 a.m. PT / 15:00 CEST.

You can watch the 2022-2023 FIDE Women's Candidates Tournament on our Twitch channel. Games from the event can be viewed on our events page.

On the second day of play in Monte Carlo, the Muzychuk sisters both played had the white pieces and both faced the Petroff. The most interesting battle was between Anna and Koneru, a game that followed the latest theory and became quite sharp after 15.Bg5. Anna Muzychuk spent 39 minutes on it, but Koneru didn't think it was good. "I felt I was better after 18.Rxe6," she said.

White's decision on move 15 involved a piece sacrifice and two moves further, Black had a ton of possibilities so it made sense to spend some time on it. There was a flaw, though, and Koneru had actually seen the move 18...Ne5! but in the end decided on 18...Ne7 as she missed White's excellent move in the game, 19.Nh4!.

Things remained sharp, but neither player made further mistakes and the logical conclusion was a perpetual check. A great fight, as so often in the Petroff...!

Anna Muzychuk Humpy Koneru game 2 Monaco 2022
Anna Muzychuk and Humpy Koneru agree to a draw. Photo: Michal Walusza/FIDE.

Mariya Muzychuk chose an older line against the same opening, but this game was perhaps even more theoretical. Only on move 14, Lei deviated from a recent Fedoseev-Rapport game (Belgrade 2022). White kept a slight edge, but it was very difficult to make progress.

At some point, Lei made the excellent decision to trade on d5, even though this gave Muzychuk a passed d-pawn. A well-known adage in chess is that you need two weaknesses to win, and since Black didn't have any, there was no way get more than a draw for White.

Mariya Muzychuk Lei Tingjie game 2 Monaco 2022
Lei Tingjie was super-solid in her second game with Mariya Muzychuk. Photo: Michal Walusza/FIDE.

The 2022-23 Women's Candidates Tournament is an elite event featuring eight top female players, who compete in a knockout format for their share of the €250,000 prize fund and the right to play the Women's World Championship match against Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun. The tournament's first quarterfinals began October 25, with the final happening in the first quarter of 2023. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. A draw offer before move 40 is not allowed.

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