Women's Speed Chess Championship: Lagno 1st Semifinalist

Women's Speed Chess Championship: Lagno 1st Semifinalist

| 5 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Kateryna Lagno is the first player to reach the semifinals of the FIDE Women's Speed Chess Championship. The reigning women's world blitz champion from Russia defeated Georgia's number-one female, GM Nana Dzagnidze, 14-8 on Thursday.

Lagno will now play the winner of GM Harika Dronavalli vs GM Anna Muzychuk, a match played on Friday at 7 a.m. Pacific / 16:00 CEST. We will see GM Hou Yifan vs IM Bibisara Assaubayeva at 4 a.m. Pacific / 13:00 CEST.

The live broadcast of the match.

Lagno took a big lead from the very start as she won the 5|1 segment 5.5-1.5, not losing a single game. The score was not really reflective of the play, though; Dzagnidze missed some big chances early on. For instance, she was completely winning for many moves in game five and ended up losing it:

However, in most cases, Lagno was tactically outwitting her opponent, even from a passive position like the following:

The first 3|1 game was the first win for Dzagnidze, who finally had a bit of fortune on her side. Lagno dropped a full queen in a winning position:

As if stung by a bee, Lagno furiously won four games in a row to increase her lead to seven points: 9.5-2.5. The match was still not decided, however, as Dzagnidze finished that 3|1 segment with two wins of her own, the last one very quickly:

"Already at the end of the match I was quite tired, I think Nana also, and the last 3|1 game showed it very clearly," Lagno would later say: "I missed ...Nf2+ and ...Qb6+. But it happens, I just try to stay focused till the end, and it worked out."

Lagno ended up winning all three segments as she scored 4.5-3.5 in the bullet. She will now play either Harika or (Anna) Muzychuk. Dzagnidze earned $2,000 for finishing in fifth-eighth place.

Dzagnidze said that after losing several games at the beginning, she spoiled some winning positions. However, she felt the winner was the right one: "Katya plays stronger online blitz than me, so the result speaks for itself."

Although she prefers over-the-board play, Dzagnidze has been more active online lately, like everyone: "Overall, online chess is not my cup of tea, but I am trying to improve. Recently I started to play regularly bullet and blitz games. I think I am improving, but this time it wasn't enough, I guess."

Lagno: "It was a tough match, and Nana was right; she was winning in several games. After I started to win game after game, it gave me some confidence."

All games

2021 Women's Speed Chess Championship results

The FIDE 2021 Women's Speed Chess Championship is an online competition for titled female players. The qualifiers for the event were held May 28-June 6, while the main event runs June 10-July 3. Players battle for their shares of a total prize fund of $66,000.

Previous reports:

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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