International Chess Federation
Tuesday, 10 Mar 2020 23:26
WGP Round 08: Fighting day in Lausanne

The 8th round was extremely hard-fought in Lausanne. Only two games were drawn, and the longest battle concluded after six hours. Nana Dzagnidze joins Aleksandra Goryachkina in the lead.

The symbolic first move was made by Jacky Delapierre, Executive Director of Athletissima. This charismatic and popular figure in Lausanne founded the famous athletics meeting in 1977, which now belongs to the Diamond League. He opened 1.e4 for Zhansaya Abdumalik, and the young Kazakhstani went on to castle long against Anna Muzychuk’s Sveshnikov Sicilian. The Ukrainian sacrificed two pawns to develop an attack on the king, but White found a way to force a draw by repetition, constantly attacking the opponent's queen.

Alina Kashlinskaya, one of the two leaders before this round, got clearly caught off balance by Ju Wenjun’s opening choice. The Russian found herself under pressure and blundered an exchange. The World Champion did not ask for more in order to score her first victory in this tournament. In her commentary afterward, the World Champion expressed her relief to finally win a game in this very strong field.

Nana Dzagnidze won her game against Marie Sebag after the French strangely forgot that White could exchange her bishop on move 23. Thanks to this third victory, the Georgian moves to joint first place with 5 points out of 8. Aleksandra Goryachkina has the same score after she drew a 129-move-long marathon which lasted over 6 hours. She squeezed an edge out of nothing in a symmetrical position, but Pia Cramling defended well. The Swedish legend was so exhausted after the game that she even packed a white Bishop with other belongings in her handbag. The arbiter discovered the disappearance of the piece only later and managed to convince Cramling to give back the prisoner over dinner.

The miseries of Alexandra Kosteniuk do not seem to end, as she lost her game to Mariya Muzychuk and remains on clear last place. The Ukrainian wins her first game in this event and moves to 4,5 points. Same luck for another former World Champion. Antoaneta Stefanova slowly outplayed Harika Dronavalli and won after 95 moves.

Results of round 8:

Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS) – Ju Wenjun (CHN)  0-1
Nana Dzagnidze (GEO) – Marie Sebag (FRA)  1-0
Aleksandra Goryachkina (RUS) – Pia Cramling (SWE)  ½-½
Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) – Mariya Muzychuk (UKR)  0-1
Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ) – Anna Muzychuk (UKR)  ½-½
Antoaneta Stefanova (BLG) – Harika Dronavalli (IND)  1-0

Standings after round 8:

1-2. Nana Dzagnidze (GEO) and Aleksandra Goryachkina (RUS) - 5 points
3-6. Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS), Anna Muzychuk (UKR), Mariya Muzychuk (UKR) and Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ) - 4½
7-8. Harika Dronavalli (IND), Pia Cramling (SWE) and Ju Wenjun (CHN) - 4
10. Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL) - 3½
11. Marie Sebag (FRA) - 2½
12. Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) - 2

Program of round 9, 11 March at 3 pm:

Harika Dronavalli (IND) – Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS)
Anna Muzychuk (UKR) – Antoaneta Stefanova(BLG)
Mariya Muzychuk (UKR) – Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ)
Pia Cramling (SWE) – Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS)
Marie Sebag (FRA) – Aleksandra Goryachkina (RUS)
Ju Wenjun (CHN) – Nana Dzagnidze (GEO)

Follow all the action live with commentary by grandmasters Mikhail Gurevich and Keti Tsatsalashvili on the tournament website

Pictures in high resolution are available for the press at our official Flickr account.

Text: Yannick Pelletier
Photos: David Llada