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Women's Candidates 2024 R11: Vaishali dashes Goryachkina's hopes

by Shahid Ahmed - 18/04/2024

GM Vaishali R won her second game in-a-row in Round 11 of FIDE Women's Candidates 2024. Vaishali's third win of the event was against GM Aleksandra Goryachkina. The FIDE Women's World Cup 2023 winner lost her second consecutive game by blundering in the endgame. Although Vaishali gained a significant positional advantage in the middlegame. She allowed her opponent to get back in the game by misplaying a little. GM Koneru Humpy scored her second win of the tournament. This time it was against IM Nurgul Salimova (BUL). GM Zhongyi Tan (CHN) defeated GM Kateryna Lagno to regain her sole lead. GM Anna Muzychuk (UKR) missed a difficult win against GM Tingjie Lei (CHN). Round 12 starts today at 2:30 p.m. local time, 12 a.m. IST. Photos: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Zhongyi regains her sole lead

The eleventh round of FIDE Candidates 2024 witnessed three decisive games in both Open and Women's events. While Aleksandra Goryachkina has mathematical chances to catch up with Zhongyi Tan or surpass her, realistically it seems insurmountable. As of now, the race towards the finish line is between Zhongyi and Tingjie Lei, unless something drastic happens in the last three rounds.

GM Vaishali scored her second win in-a-row against GM Aleksandra Goryachkina who lost her second consecutive game of the event

Vaishali - Goryachkina

Position after 27...Qd7?

GM Aleksandra Goryachkina (2553) made a positional mistake 27...Qd7? which gave GM Vaishali R (2475) a substantial positional advantage. 28.Rxc2 Rxc2 29.hxg6 fxg6 30.Nf4 Rc6 31.Rd3 Qf7 32.Qh4 Nd7 33.Rh3 Nf8 34.Be7 Qf5. White missed quite a few good plans and eventually sacrificed an exchange which allowed her opponent to get back in the game.

Position after 64.Qf4

64...Qb6 or Qe1 keeps the game going. However, just like the previous game, Goryachkina once again blundered in the endgame 64...d4?? 65.Qe5+- d3+ 66.Kf3 Kf7 67.d7 Qb7+ 68.Qe4 d2 69.d8N+ Kf6 70.Nxb7 and White won.

Vaishali takes down top seed Goryachkina, Wonderful fan interaction with her mother Nagalakshmi | Video: ChessBase India

GM Vaishali's mother Nagalakshmi is delighted after her daughter defeated the FIDE Women's World Cup 2023 winner - GM Aleksandra Goryachkina

Humpy - Nurgyul

Position after 28...Re8?

29.e4 Bf4 30.e5 Qb6? 31.Bxf4 gxf4 32.Qf2 Rd8 33.Rc1 Qb4 34.Bxc4 dxc4 35.Qxf4 and GM Koneru Humpy (2546) won a long endgame battle after another 55 moves.

GM Koneru Humpy scored her second win of the event

Zhongyi - Kateryna

Position after 28...Bxb3??

28...Bxb3?? is not a good tactic for Black. In fact, it is just the inverse. GM Zhongyi Tan (CHN, 2521) seized her opportunity 29.Rxd8+- Bxd8 30.Qxa7 Bd1 31.Nc6 Bf6 32.Bxf6 Qxf6 33.Qd7 Bh5 34.Rxf5 Qa1+ 35.Kh2 and White won the game in another dozen moves.

Post-game Press Conference with Zhongyi Tan | Video: FIDE

GM Zhongyi Tan (CHN) regained her sole lead by scoring a win against GM Kateryna Lagno 

Tingjie - Anna

Position after 42.Qf6+

The natural move is 42...Bf7 which is what GM Anna Muzychuk (UKR, 2520) played in the game. Unfortunately, that does not help Black to win. Computer recommends 42...Ke8 running the king to the queenside and returning one of the bishops is the best way. It is nearly impossible for a human to come to that conclusion. Black thought for a long time before playing 42...Bf7 which lead to a draw.

Tingjie Lei: "When I get in front of the board, and I just follow my heart, I play normal chess" | Video: FIDE

GM Anna Muzychuk (UKR) had chances in the endgame against GM Tingjie Lei (CHN) but it was not easy

Time control

The time control for each game 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 1.


The total prize fund is €250000. The top three prizes are €24000, €18000 and €12000. All prize money shall be divided equally among the players with the equal score after 14 rounds regardless tie-break results. In addition, each player gets €1750 euros for every half point scored.

Replay Round 11 live stream

FIDE Women's Candidates 2024 Round 11 Live Commentary by Amruta Mokal, IM Sagar Shah, GM Sethuraman S P and GM P Magesh Chandran | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 11 games

Round 11 results

Round 11 results | Photo: FIDE


Standings after Round 11

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
GMTan, ZhongyiCHN25217,539,0050
GMLei, TingjieCHN2550737,0040
GMLagno, KaterynaFID25425,529,2510
GMKoneru, HumpyIND25465,528,7520
GMGoryachkina, AleksandraFID25535,528,5020
GMMuzychuk, AnnaUKR25204,524,2500
IMVaishali, RameshbabuIND24754,521,2530
IMSalimova, NurgyulBUL2432423,5010


Round 12 pairings

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
IMSalimova, NurgyulGMTan, Zhongyi
GMLagno, KaterynaGMLei, Tingjie
GMMuzychuk, AnnaIMVaishali, Rameshbabu
GMGoryachkina, AleksandraGMKoneru, Humpy



Official site

Tournament Regulations

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