Women’s Candidates: Goryachkina Leads Against Kosteniuk

Women's Candidates: Goryachkina Leads Against Kosteniuk


GM Aleksandra Goryachkina defeated GM Alexandra Kosteniuk on Friday in what was the third game of their quarterfinal match in Pool B of the 2022-23 FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament. Kosteniuk now needs to win on demand to force a tiebreak on Saturday.

The match between GM Tan Zhongyi and GM Kateryna Lagno is still equal after three draws, but Lagno missed a chance in the third game. The fourth and final game of the quarterfinals, held in Khiva, Uzbekistan, starts at 2 a.m. Pacific / 11:00 CET on Saturday, December 3.

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You can watch the 2022-2023 FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament on our Twitch channel. Games from the event can be viewed on our events page.

Kosteniuk struggled but survived her first game on Tuesday and then drew her game with Black fairly comfortably the next day. After the rest day, the reigning women’s world rapid chess champion struggled again as White, and this time she ended up losing.

After the players followed a topical but quiet line in the Italian, White’s center provided her a slight edge but around move 30 it was roughly equal. Like in that first game, Kosteniuk then couldn’t find the right setup for her pieces and ended up in a slightly worse endgame where she got slowly outplayed.

It was a good positional game by Goryachkina, who commented: “All in all, today, despite the fact that I came out of the opening kind of unsure, the game went on and my opponent didn’t seem to figure it out very well. So I managed to win it somehow, despite the fact that in the previous two games I underperformed a little bit.”

Aleksandra Goryachkina chess
A good game by Aleksandra Goryachkina, who hopes to qualify for what would be her second world title match with GM Ju Wenjun. Photo: Timur Sattarov/FIDE.

The other quarterfinal is tied 1.5-1.5. It’s Lagno who has been having the best chances there, with a positional plus in her white game on Wednesday and an extra pawn in a rook endgame today. It was objectively drawn most of the time, but one moment she could have won:

Tan Zhongyi Kateryna Lagno Women Candidates 2022
Tan Zhongyi vs. Kateryna Lagno: still tied. Photo: Timur Sattarov/FIDE.

The 2022-23 Women’s Candidates Tournament is an elite event featuring eight top female players, who compete in a knockout format for a share of the €250,000 prize fund and the right to play in the Women’s World Championship match against Women’s World Champion Ju Wenjun.

Pool A was won by GM Lei TingjiePool B takes place November 29-December 11, 2022 in Khiva, Uzbekistan. The prize fund is 70,000 euros, while another 110,000 will be at stake in next year’s final. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. A draw offer before move 40 is not allowed.

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