Women's Candidates Tournament starts peacefully Print
Friday, 31 May 2019 17:48
s 20190531 Kazan Women Candidates R01021-272 Anna Mariya Muzychuk UKRAINE

The FIDE Women's Candidates Tournament started today, May 31st, with all four games ending in draws. Despite the peaceful result, the most dramatic games happened in the Russian derbies Gunina-Lagno and Kosteniuk-Goryachkina. The games between Muzychuk sisters and Nana Dzagnidze-Tan Zhongyi were more quiet and finished before the time control.

Round 1 results:

Valentina Gunina — Kateryna Lagno | ½ — ½
Alexandra Kosteniuk — Aleksandra Goryachkina ½ — ½
Nana Dzagnidze — Tan Zhongyi | ½ — ½
Mariya Muzychuk — Anna Muzychuk | ½ — ½

The game between sisters Anna and Mariya Muzychuk finished quickly in a draw, and both players came to the media centre to share their impressions on the event and the city with local and foreign journalists. "Of course, it's a great event, the strongest women's tournament in chess history and I was looking forward to it. I have good memories about Kazan since 2012 when I tied for the first place in Grand Prix event together with Humpy Koneru. I'm glad to be back, "said Anna. Even though Mariya Muzychuk won the Women's World Champion title in 2015, she still finds the motivation to fight: "It's such kind of a tournament where the winner takes it all. Either you win this tournament, or you don't, as only if you win, you have a chance to fight for the World Championship title."

Tan Zhongyi managed to surprise Nana Dzagnidze with Petrov's Defence, and the Georgian player chose a rare line which led to a somewhat equal position. Even if White had some hopes for a slight advantage, all expectations were ruined by a strong 20...Ba6, which Nana overlooked during the game.

According to Dzagnidze, she was considering to keep on playing after 28. f4. However, she was not sure if she had anything substantial and decided to go for a three-fold repetition.

A real thriller happened in the game Gunina-Lagno, where White got a clear advantage in Ruy Lopez and had a comfortable and smooth play. According to Gunina, she lost the track before the time control, and it was already Black, who was fighting for the victory in the game.

DIAGRAM - Ra1 Gunina

After a brilliant 46.Ra1 White is back to the game and forcing perpetual check after 48...Qa1! Katerina Lagno missed a quiet 55.g3 at the end of the forced line and was happy Black is not losing but forcing a draw after 55...Bg5.

The last game to finish was Kosteniuk-Goryachkina. The Women's ex-world champion felt she had missed her advantage after the opening and was not sure if the decision to change the Queens was the right one. "I thought I would have a better position at the endgame, but in fact, I didn't manage to demonstrate anything there. In contrary, I missed the transfer of her knight to c4 and felt anxious after that," said Alexandra Kosteniuk after the game. The youngest participant of the tournament Aleksandra Goryachkina avoided the repetition of moves after the time control, believing her chances in the endgame were better. After 43.b4 Black had a significant advantage, however, Goriachkina didn't manage to find the precise way and to transfer it into a full point.
Moreover, after the first round, the tournament has no leaders nor tail-enders.

The second round will be played tomorrow, Saturday June 1st, at 15:00 local time:

Kateryna Lagno — Alexandra Kosteniuk
Aleksandra Goryachkina — Valentina Gunina
Tan Zhongyi — Mariya Muzychuk
Anna Muzychuk — Nana Dzagnidze

Official website: http://fwct2019.com

Photos: Eteri Kublashvili, Anastasya Karlovich, David Llada. 

m 20190521 R01  6536Anastasya Karlovichm 20190531 Kazan Women Candidates R01021-272 Anna Mariya Muzychuk UKRAINEm 20190531 Kazan Women Candidates R01021-356 Kateryna Lagnom 20190531 Kazan Women Candidates R01021-363 Anna Muzychuk
m 20190521 R01 528 Tan Zhongyi CHINA Eteru Kublashvili
m 20190521 R01 3506 broadcast room Eteri Kublashvili
m 20190521 R01 531 Nana Dzagnidze GEORGIA Eteru Kublashvilim 20190521 R01 3501 Elisabeth Paehtz Evgenij Miroshnichenko Eteri Kublashvili
m 20190521 R01 539 Eteri Kublashvilim 20190521 R01 544 Eteri Kublashvili
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