Koneru Edges Out Dzagnidze: 'Everything Worked Out In The Bullet Games'

Koneru Edges Out Dzagnidze: 'Everything Worked Out In The Bullet Games'

| 1 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Humpy Koneru edged out GM Nana Dzagnidze in their round of 16 match of the FIDE 2022 Women's Speed Chess Championship on Wednesday. The match was so close that the score was still tied with just five minutes on the match clock. With superior focus and speed in the bullet segment, Koneru clinched the match with a three-point lead. 

The next round of 16 match, GM Harika Dronavalli vs. WGM Deysi Cori, begins on Thursday, July 7, at 6:30 a.m. Pacific / 15:30 Central European.

How to watch?
You can watch the 2022 FIDE Women's Speed Chess Championship on You can also enjoy the show on our Twitch channel and catch all our live broadcasts on The games can also be followed from our Events Page.

Live broadcast of the tournament, hosted by GM Irina Krush and WIM Anna-Maja Kazarian.

Blitz 5|1: Dzagnidze 4-4 Koneru

Dzagnidze claimed the first win with an attacking victory, utilizing the weak dark squares on Koneru's kingside. 

In game four, Koneru struck back, cleanly converting an extra exchange into a win through tactical awareness in the time scramble.

The 5|1 segment was very closely fought with the score hovering within a point of equal throughout. Koneru tied the score again in game six with powerful positional play on the queenside.

In the next game, Dzagnidze recovered the lead with her mighty knight on d6 leading her other pieces into Koneru's position. 

Koneru responded by winning the very next game with superior piece activity, yet again tying the score leading into the  3|1 segment. 

Blitz 3|1: Dzagnidze 4.5-3.5 Koneru

Dzagnidze took back the lead with a win in the first game, nursing a slight edge from the middlegame into a winning endgame.

Dzagnidze took over the first two-point lead of the match in the next game when Koneru lost on time with a slightly better endgame. In this time control, time management became a real struggle for Koneru. As commentator GM Irina Krush put it:

"Nana is just a little more practical. That is the thing. When you get down to that one-second increment, that's it. It's very likely that you're going to lose on time."

This turned into a three-game winning streak for Dzagnidze. In game four, Koneru responded with a time victory of her own, playing a shocking final move as Dzagnidze's clock neared zero.

Koneru brought the score back within one point with a win in game seven, utilizing a creative rook lift to take over on the queenside.

Bullet 1|1: Dzagnidze 2.5-6.5 Koneru

Dzagnidze kicked off the bullet portion with a victory, cleverly winning a pawn and soon promoting from an equal queen and minor piece ending.

In game three, in mutual time trouble in an equal rook ending, Koneru shockingly went for the win and managed to flag Dzagnidze. This tied up the score for the first time since the 5|1 segment!

After another win by Koneru, it was Dzagnidze's turn to tie up the score with powerful active piece play all over the board to sneak in a checkmating attack.

The match was so close that it was still tied with just five minutes left on the match clock. As the match clock ticked to four minutes, Koneru carried out a series of astute maneuvers to build up a vast amount of piece activity and sink into Dzagnidze's position. Koneru later shared her thoughts about this game: "I was just playing whatever was natural to me. I did not care about the material."

In the next game, Koneru sealed the match victory with a perceptive tactical combination in the penultimate game.

This was an incredibly close match with many lead changes and the tie hovering at tied most of the time. What won the match for Koneru was her ability to come through with clean focused play and excellent time management in the bullet segment. 

Koneru earned $2,020 in prize money for her victory while Dzagnidze took home $605 for her efforts.

In her interview, Koneru shared her thoughts about the match: "It was a neck-to-neck match. Most of the time, Nana was up one point... But when the 3|1 segment started, I was down by three points, so the comeback was very important and crucial for me. Everything worked out in the bullet games."

Everything worked out in the bullet games.

-GM Humpy Koneru

All Games - Round of 16

Women's Speed Chess Championship Bracket

The FIDE 2022 Women's Speed Chess Championship is an online event where titled women players will play a series of blitz and bullet matches for a share of the $70,000 prize fund. The qualifiers for the event took place on May 24-27, with the main event starting on June 13 and ending on July 21.

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