Goryachkina Leads after Five Rounds in Women’s Candidates

Aleksandra Goryachkina leads the 2019 Women’s Candidate Tournament after five rounds with a score of 4/5, a half-point ahead of Nana Dzagnidze. Dzagnidze appeared to be running away with the tournament after her fourth round win over Valentina Gunina, but she was brought back to earth today after her defeat at the hands of Alexandra Kosteniuk.

Round 4

Nana Dzagnidze — Valentina Gunina | 1 — 0
Alexandra Kosteniuk — Tan Zhongyi | draw
Anna Muzychuk — Aleksandra Goryachkina | draw
Mariya Muzychuk — Kateryna Lagno | 0 — 1

Entering the day’s play tied for first at 2.5/3, Nana Dzagnidze handled Valentina Gunina’s surprise – a French Defense, something not seen in her practice since 2010 – with aplomb, getting a good position out of the opening and then taking advantage of Gunina’s ill-placed queen.


Dzagnidze-Gunina (photo Kublashvili / FIDE)

Kateryna Lagno (photo Karlovich / FIDE)

Kateryna Lagno took the other full point of the round, sacrificing an exchange on move 11 and gaining a decisive advantage with 33. …Nd3! This was Lagno’s first win of the tournament.

Round 5

Valentina Gunina — Mariya Muzychuk | draw
Alexandra Kosteniuk — Nana Dzagnidze  | 1 — 0
Aleksandra Goryachkina — Tan Zhongyi | 1 — 0
Kateryna Lagno — Anna Muzychuk | draw

With her draw in round 4, coupled with Dzagnide’s victory, Aleksandra Goryachinka entered today’s play a half-point back of the leader. But after Goryachinka’s win over Tan Zhongyi and Dzagnize’s loss to Kosteniuk, the two Russians have flip-flopped, with Goryachinka taking sole possession of first place, and Dzagnidze moving into clear second, a full point ahead of Kosteniuk, Tan, and Lagno.

The Dzagnidze game was first to finish, with Kosteniuk defeating her in 42 moves.

Kosteniuk analyzed her game with IM Elisabeth Paehtz afterwards on the livestream, and it is archived at the FIDE YouTube Channel:

Goryachkina continued to exhibit impressive endgame skill, downing Gunina in another rook endgame.

Play continues tomorrow at 3pm Kazan time, or 8am EDT. GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko and IM Elisabeth Paehtz offer live commentary via the FIDE YouTube Channel. Rounds will be played daily through June 17th, with rest days on June 7th, 11th, and June 15th. Tie-breaks, if needed, will be contested on June 18th along with a Closing Ceremony.

A complete set of games is available at Chess24 (with embedded YouTube coverage) and at The Week in Chess. Popular Twitch streamer Alexandra Botez is also offering a livestream of each round’s games.

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