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Goryachkina wins Women's Candidates with two rounds to spare

by Shahid Ahmed - 15/06/2019

Goryachkina drew her game against former Women's World Champion, Tan Zhongyi with ease after the latter did not take the only chance she had. Thus Goryachkina wins the Candidates with two rounds to spare. She will face the reigning Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun in Women's World Championship Match. Gunina wins her second game in-a-row when she defeated Mariya Muzychuk, although Mariya had a fantastic position for some time. Anna Muzychuk defeated Kateryna Lagno emphatically to climb to second position. Nana Dzagnidze handed Kosteniuk her second consecutive defeat heading into the final rest day. Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Three decisive games, Anna climbs to second position

Gunina won her second consecutive game | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Gunina won another long game consisting of 81 moves. This one also had a lot of ups and downs.


Mariya Muzychuk - Valentina Gunina, Round 12

Mariya loosened the grip of the position with 32.Bg3. What was the better continuation for White here?

After 32...b6 Black is threatening to Play ...Rxd6 since c5 Knight is protected. Mariya went with 33.Rxc5 and slowly her position deteriorated
Gunina talks about her game, her plans once the tournament gets over and more | Video: FIDE Chess
Kosteniuk lost her second game in-a-row | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Kosteniuk placed her pieces in a bizarre fashion which was already cramped up. She went for a wrong break which cost her a pawn.


Nana Dzagnidze - Alexandra Kosteniuk, Round 12

Kosteniuk's 26...d5 break was incorrect

The reason behind her d5 pawn sacrifice was a double attack with 28...Rc2, but White has a defence. Find out White's correct continuation
Nana analyzes her game with Miroshnichenko, talks about the tournament and more | Video: FIDE Chess

With this draw against Tan Zhongyi, Goryachkina wins the Candidates with two rounds to go | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Goryachkina had no trouble equalizing against Tan Zhongyi in Caro-Kann Advance variation. However, Zhongyi got some chance that she needed to take.


Tan Zhongyi - Aleksandra Goryachkina, Round 12

After Goryachkina's 18...h5, Goryachkina needed to take a chance, but she did not. What do you think White should do here?

White has one last attempt left to bring winds of change. How?

In the end, Tan Zhongyi blundered here with 51.Bxd5. Find out why it is a blunder.

Goryachkina drew the game here with perpetual checks on g2 and e4. There is a win for Black here. Can you find it?
Post-match interview with Goryachkina (Russian audio) | Video: FIDE Chess

Mariya kept trying throughout the game but Lagno did not give her any chance | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Lagno tried to surprise Anna with 3...f5 to which Anna thought, which move she should make that her opponent has not prepared.

Anna Muzychuk - Kateryna Lagno, Round 12

Lagno tried to surprise Anna in the Ruy Lopez with 3...f5 but that backfired

Anna thought that her opponent will play an active move here. Find out the active move for Black here
Anna Muzychuk analyzes the game with the commentator Miroshnichenko | Video: FIDE Chess
Post-match interview with Kateryna Lagno (Russian audio) | Video: FIDE Chess


Goryachkina wins the Candidates after round 12 with a score of 9.0/12 with two rounds to go | Photo: Official site


The final rest day is on 15th June. Round 13 will start on Sunday 16th June 2019 at 3 p.m. local time, 5:30 p.m. IST. Here are the pairings:

Valentina Gunina — Anna Muzychuk

Alexandra Kosteniuk — Mariya Muzychuk

Aleksandra Goryachkina — Nana Dzagnidze

Kateryna Lagno — Tan Zhongyi


Watch all games live here from 5:30 p.m. IST


The organizers are FIDE, Russian Chess Federation, Government of the Republic of Tatarstan, Ministry of Sports of the Republic of Tatarstan, and city administration of Kazan. The tournament is sponsored by PJSC PhosAgro and Russian Railways.