Home Chess Day Of Daring Fights However Resting Zatonskih Nonetheless Leads

Day Of Daring Fights However Resting Zatonskih Nonetheless Leads

Day Of Daring Fights However Resting Zatonskih Nonetheless Leads


In a day of intense combating video games, contenders for the throne appeared on the horizon to problem the chief IM Anna Zatonskih by lessening her result in half a degree after the seventh spherical of the Cairns Cup 2023. As Zatonskih stayed on 4.5 factors (from six video games) after the seventh spherical along with her due relaxation day, GM Bella Khotenashvili (4 factors) and GM Irina Krush (3.5 factors) are poised to battle intensely for the title within the remaining two rounds, with all of them having two extra video games in hand to play. GM Elisabeth Paehtz, too, stays on 3.5 factors however with just one extra recreation to play, having a relaxation day on the day of the eighth spherical.

It was the fourth straight win for Khotenashvili and the primary win for Krush after three video games. It additionally proved to be a troublesome spherical for Paehtz and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, as they suffered defeats in opposition to Khotenashvili and GM Nana Dzagnidze and fell behind within the title race.

Whereas the GM Zhansaya Abdumalik vs. IM Gunay Mammadzada encounter resulted in a brief draw from a pointy Sicilian Protection, the opposite three video games noticed intense fights from the get-go, the place gamers with the white items appeared to have thrown warning to the wind in favor of taking part in for a win in any respect prices with sharp opening techniques. All of them additional progressed to sophisticated middlegames and, lastly, technical endgames, the place the higher sides had totally different ranges of benefit.

The Cairns Cup continues with spherical eight on Sunday, June 11, beginning at 11:20 a.m. Pacific/20:20 CEST.

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You’ll be able to watch reside video games of the Cairns Cup 2023 on our Occasions Web page. The rounds begin every day at 11:20 a.m. Pacific/20:20 CEST.

The day warmed up fairly early in St. Louis, because the spectators have been delighted to see a willingness for an all-out battle from the beginning in all of the video games of the day:

An early gamble of 4.e4!? from Dzagnidze.

A combating 15.a4!? by Krush in a non-standard Carlsbad place.

A theoretical however daring 7.e4 in a contemporary QGD construction by Khotenashvili.

A spectacular however theoretical 13.Rxd7 by Abdumalik.

“I’m shocked myself, however it feels actually good!” have been Khotenashvili’s phrases when she was requested about her fourth victory in a row on the post-game interview. This win was achieved primarily because of the power with which she carried out the sport, beginning with 7.e4, as proven above.

I’m shocked myself however it feels actually good!

Bella Khotenashvili on her fourth win in a row.

Dzagnidze vs. Kosteniuk

Dzagnidze had suffered three losses in a row earlier than the sport and seemed like somebody who was ready to do no matter it took to shrug off her detached type. She appeared to be dwelling dangerously from the opening phases and gained the sport, whereas Kosteniuk appeared to be having a troublesome day on the workplace:

After the sport, Dzagnidze revealed that she had nonetheless not overcome the impact of Humpy’s withdrawal from the event, “(After) I gained this recreation with Koneru (within the fourth spherical) (and) after three hours (when) I obtained the message from the chief arbiter that my end result (was) canceled, I used to be so shocked I wrote instantly that I did not agree (with) this and that is completely unfair….” She additionally expressed disappointment with the way in which she performed in opposition to Khotenashvili and defined, “I believe it was the affect of the day before today. After that… I’m attempting to outlive.”

Dzagnidze, nonetheless reeling below the impact of her win over Humpy not being counted for a degree within the event. Photograph: Austin Fuller/Saint Louis Chess Membership.

Afterward, she defined her standpoint much more elaborately: 

Krush innovated within the opening with 15.a4 and performed a near-flawless recreation in opposition to the formidable GM Harika Dronavalli. When IM Almira Skripchenko praised her opening idea as “mesmerizing,” Krush remarked, “The pc favored this transfer!” revealing that she had come well-armed for the sport. This significant victory is our Recreation of the Day, analyzed by GM Dejan Bojkov:

Krush: “Mesmerizing” preparation in her win in opposition to Harika. Photograph: Crystal Fuller/St. Louis Chess Membership.

Abdumalik vs. Mammadzada

Abdumalik tried a kind of sharp variations of the Sicilian Najdorf the place each gamers want to search out appropriate strikes to carry a draw by repetition after White’s alternate sacrifice. The sport was drawn simply after an hour of play. However the curious issue is that at the very least three video games have resulted in a draw with the identical strikes as the sport.

After three losses firstly of the event, this was the fourth attract a row for Abdumalik. She has solely a recreation left to play within the event within the subsequent spherical, in opposition to Zatonskih, as she has a free day within the final spherical. All in all, it seemed just like the teenager didn’t thoughts making such a brief draw.

With Mammadzada, it was anticipated that she would battle arduous on this recreation in view of her placement within the event’s standings and the truth that she is scheduled to play two robust opponents, Krush and Dzagnidze, within the remaining two rounds. However having performed a pointy variation of the Sicilian Najdorf, she in all probability did not have a lot alternative however to go along with a compelled sequence of strikes to permit the draw.

Mammadzada: Pressured to play a compelled sequence of strikes resulting in a draw. Photograph: St. Louis Chess Membership.

Outcomes – Spherical 7


Dzagnidze 1 – 0 Kosteniuk
Krush 1 – 0 Harika
Abdumalik 0.5 – 0.5 Mammadzada
Khotenashvili 1 – 0 Paehtz


The subsequent two rounds are going to be essentially the most fascinating. The chief Zatonskih with the white items within the penultimate spherical faces the tail-ender Abdumalik, whereas within the final spherical with the black items, she performs Krush, which is predicted to be an important recreation. With Black within the penultimate spherical, Khotenashvili performs Kosteniuk and with White will play Harika within the final spherical. Krush performs Mammadzada within the penultimate spherical. With all the probabilities which could happen within the subsequent two rounds, the Cairns Cup 2023 simply obtained extraordinarily fascinating for the spectators.

The Cairns Cup 2023 simply obtained extraordinarily fascinating. Photograph: Crystal Fuller/Saint Louis Chess Membership.

In a uncommon case of candor, even the chief arbiter (!) was unable to cover his glee in trying ahead to the subsequent two rounds:

Pairings – Spherical 8


Kosteniuk  –  Khotenashvili
Harika  –  Dzagnidze
Mammadzada  –  Krush
Zatonskih  –  Abdumalik

The Cairns Cup 2023 takes place June 3-13, 2023, on the Saint Louis Chess Membership. The format is a 10-player round-robin. Followers can stay up for a chess event comparable in type to the distinguished Sinquefield Cup with the ten finest feminine gamers from world wide competing within the World Chess Corridor of Fame for a $180,000 prize fund.

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