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Monaco GP R10: Advantage Goryachkina

by Shahid Ahmed - 14/12/2019

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.

Goryachkina extended her lead by a full point with 6.5/9 | Photo: Karol Bartnik / FIDE

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

Position after 11.h4

The game continued here with 12.e5 cxd4 13.cxd4 Nc6 14.h5 Qd5 to generate some counterplay

Position after 16.Rc1

Anna was not sure if 16...Rad8 was good, she thought maybe 16...Rfd8 is better.

Position after 17...Qa5+

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.


Position after 24...a5

In the game Anna went with 18...Nxe5 as she thought this was a safer choice.

Position after 18.Kf1

Black also considered 18...Nxd4 19.Nxd4 Qxe5 20.Rh4 Bf6 21.Qg4 Bxh4 22.Qxh4 and felt this is unpleasant for black.

Position after 23...Rc8

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.

Goryachkina has all the momentum on her side | Photo: Karol Bartnik / FIDE

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

Position after 8.b4

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.

Position after 17...Be6

White could have gone with 18.Nxe4 Nb6 19.Bb3 Bxb3+ 20.Qxb3+ d5 21.Be3 and white is ahead in development.

Position after 29...Ra4

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.

Humpy talks about her game against Cramling | Video: FIDE

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

Position after 21...c5

In the game, white continued with 22.Nc1, however there was a simpler continuation, can you find it?

Position after 22...a5

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.

Position after 23...Ba6

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

Position after 38.Bd5+

Find out the finish for Black.

Kosteniuk talks about being an ambassador for Peace and Sports and more | Video: FIDE

Paehtz vs Lagno, a short draw

Elisabeth Paehtz and Kateryna Lagno made a short draw in just 22 moves.

Lagno and Paehtz talk about what they do when things go wrong in tournament | Video: FIDE

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

Position after 7.e3

The main line is 7...Nd7 to prevent Ne5 and then black goes g6, but Mariya opted for 7...g6 directly

Position after 22.Nc3

Black missed a winning continuation here and played 22...Kh8 instead. Can you find the move which black missed?

Position after 33.Re2

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.

Zhao is fighting for every point | Photo: Karol Bartnik / FIDE

The eleventh and final round concludes on Saturday. The games start at 1:00 p.m. local time, 5:30 p.m. IST

Replay Live Stream

Live commentary by GM Iossif Dorfman and IM Almira Skripchenko along with WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili | Video: FIDE

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