News
News
Kosteniuk Goes 3-0, Extends Lead to Full Point
With eight rounds left, who will give the Chess Queen a run for her money? Photo: David Llada/FIDE.

Kosteniuk Goes 3-0, Extends Lead to Full Point

NM_Vanessa
| 15 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk increased her lead in the Munich FIDE Women's Grand Prix to a full point, reaching 3-0 by defeating WGM Dinara Wagner in a dynamic battle.

WGM Zhu Jiner scored her first victory by gaining the upper hand in a tactical Sicilian duel vs. GM Zhansaya Abdumalik.

How to watch? The games of the Munich Women's Grand Prix can be found here. The rounds start each day at 6 a.m. Pacific/15:00 CEST.

GM Humpy Koneru gained a comfortable position from the Four Knights Game vs. GM Mariya Muzychuk. In the endgame, Koneru's bishop pair compensated for her doubled, isolated f-pawns. After a tussle for activity, a slew of exchanges took place that led to an opposite-color bishop ending when the players soon agreed to a draw. 

In the post-game interview, Koneru explained her rook blunder in her miracle-save previous round: "I was completely better. I was always looking at this queen battery on h7. That was my mistake, which consumed a lot of time. Probably I should've just demolished with the bishop at f6 and play Rc7, which is a fully controlled position. I was trying to finish off with some tactical thing, which is not possible in that position. ... Then, all of a sudden, I thought Rb6 I could pressurize something. But after making the move, I realized my rook is getting trapped."

GM Anna Muzychuk obtained a Maroczy Bind structure from a Bb5 Sicilian. In a maneuvering middlegame, she gained space on the queenside while GM Nana Dzagnidze prepared for the thematic ...d5 center break. After the Georgian grandmaster achieved the thrust, some exchanges took place along the now-open center files. Although still in the middlegame with an extra pawn for White, the players agreed to a draw on move 31.

In a Sicilian Sveshnikov, despite being Black, Zhu declined a repetition draw offer from Abdumalik. The Chinese competitor then built up pressure on the queenside and broke through in the center, gaining open lines to create threats against her opponent's king. This attacking victory is our Game of the Day, annotations by GM Rafael Leitao.

GM Rafael Leitao GotD

GM Harika Dronavalli, pressing in the queenless middlegame vs. IM Alina Kashlinskaya, came up with a creative rook lift from d4-c4 and gained an extra pawn. But Kashlinskaya escaped to a drawish opposite-color bishop ending, and the game resolved peacefully on move 63. 

Kosteniuk and Wagner fought for the initiative after Black's ...d5 break in the Maroczy Bind, which burst open the position in the middlegame. Despite the mutual activity, Kosteniuk prevailed because she had fewer weak points, gaining two pawns and trading into a winning rook ending. 

GM Elisabeth Paehtz sacrificed a pawn in the opening to rip open the center and aim down the board toward her opponent's king. GM Tan Zhongyi responded with an unorthodox king maneuver, castling by hand even though both kingside and queenside castlings were possible. Paehtz recovered her pawn, and the players traded into an ending where the German grandmaster had the edge due to her bishop pair on the open board. Tan sacrificed a pawn to eliminate Black's most powerful passer and held a draw. 

With this draw, Tan joins Dzagnidze and Anna Muzychuk in a tie for second. Photo: David Llada/FIDE.

Crosstable

All Games - Round 3

The FIDE Women's Grand Prix Second Leg (of four) takes place February 1-14, 2023, in Munich, Germany. The format is a round-robin tournament with 12 players. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, plus a 30-second increment starting on move one. The prize fund is 80,000 euros. 

Previous coverage:

More from NM NM_Vanessa
Webster Extends Winning Streak, Dallas Grows Comeback

Webster Extends Winning Streak, Dallas Grows Comeback

Perfect Scores By Harsha, Bok Lead Webster, Saint Louis To The Top

Perfect Scores By Harsha, Bok Lead Webster, Saint Louis To The Top