Monaco GP R10: Advantage Goryachkina
Anna Muzychuk held Goryachkina to a draw. Goryachkina takes a full point lead to the final round where she faces Humpy. Pia Cramling held Humpy to a draw. Kosteniuk checkmated Harika and now she is tied at the second place along with Humpy. Lagno made a short draw with Paehtz. Cramling, Harika, Lagno and Anna Muzychuk are tied at the fourth place for now. Gunina broke her losing streak in the tournament by holding Mariya Muzychuk to a draw. Nana Dzagnidze and Zhao Xue had a marathon draw of 99 moves. The final round will determine the winner for Monaco GP | Photo: Karol Bartnik / FIDE
Goryachkina takes on Humpy in the final round
The penultimate round of the tournament had only one decisive game and five draws. Goryachkina was held to a draw by Anna Muzychuk, Humpy also could not overcome the challenge of Pia Cramling. They will face each other in the final round to determine the winner in a virtual final.
Anna holds Goryachkina to a draw
In Gruenfeld Defence, Goryachkina decided to keep her king in the center and launch an attack on A Muzychuk's castled kingside with 11.h4. Anna thought whether to play h5 or allow it. She decided to play in the spirit of Gruenfeld and continued with 11...Bb7
Goryachkina - A Muzychuk
The game continued here with 12.e5 cxd4 13.cxd4 Nc6 14.h5 Qd5 to generate some counterplay
Anna was not sure if 16...Rad8 was good, she thought maybe 16...Rfd8 is better.
Black thought that Goryachkina might play 18.Bd2 Qa3 19.Rc3 but she didn't like the position for black. There was also an interesting variation with 18...Nxd4 which she calculated as 19.Bxa5 Nxf3+ 20.gxf3 Rxd1+ 21.Rxd1 Bxf3 22.Bb4 Bxh1 23.Bxf8 Bxf8 24.Rd7 a5.
In the game Anna went with 18...Nxe5 as she thought this was a safer choice.
Black also considered 18...Nxd4 19.Nxd4 Qxe5 20.Rh4 Bf6 21.Qg4 Bxh4 22.Qxh4 and felt this is unpleasant for black.
The game continued for another eleven more moves before the reached to an opposite color bishop endgame where no side had any chances left for win.
Cramling held Humpy to a draw
In the opening, Humpy played quite passively which gave Cramling an opportunity to gain huge space advantage.
Cramling - Humpy
Instead of going with 18.Qb3 and exchanging a bunch of pieces which led to an equal draw-ish endgame, what Cramling could have done was keep the pieces and look for chances at the center of the board.
White could have gone with 18.Nxe4 Nb6 19.Bb3 Bxb3+ 20.Qxb3+ d5 21.Be3 and white is ahead in development.
Humpy felt that after 29...Ra4 she should be better here and she failed to convert the advantage.
Pieces got exchanged at regular interval till move 27, the game arrived at an equal rook and two minor piece endgame and a draw was agreed after 48th move.
Kosteniuk checkmates Harika
Harika opted for Scotch Game with the white pieces and within 21 moves the game reached to an equal rook and two minor piece endgame.
Harika - Kosteniuk
In the game, white continued with 22.Nc1, however there was a simpler continuation, can you find it?
This is a critical moment in the game. If white makes an incorrect capture then things will turn into black's favor. Find out the best continuation for white.
Harika had one last chance to save the game. She missed and played the uber passive 24.Bf1 instead. What did she miss? 24.f4
Find out the finish for Black.
Paehtz vs Lagno, a short draw
Elisabeth Paehtz and Kateryna Lagno made a short draw in just 22 moves.
Gunina ends her losing streak
After suffering six consecutive losses in the event, Gunina finally put an end to her losing streak by drawing with Mariya Muzychuk in the penultimate round of the tournament.
Gunina - M Muzychuk
The main line is 7...Nd7 to prevent Ne5 and then black goes g6, but Mariya opted for 7...g6 directly
Black missed a winning continuation here and played 22...Kh8 instead. Can you find the move which black missed?
Black needed to make an effort to save the protected passed pawns on the queenside with 33...Be6 but black played 33...Be3 instead which led to the loss of b6-pawn and soon afterwards all advantage along with it.
Dzagnidze had a marathon draw with Zhao
Dzagnidze had the longest game of the day against Zhao and the game ended up in a draw after 99 moves. Both players tried their best to push their passed pawn and promote it but neither player was able to break their opponent's defence.
The eleventh and final round concludes on Saturday. The games start at 1:00 p.m. local time, 5:30 p.m. IST
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