Dzagnidze Seizes Clear 2nd in Round of Combative Duels

Dzagnidze Seizes Clear 2nd in Round of Combative Duels


GM Nana Dzagnidze was the sole victor on a day of combative, sacrifice-laden games in round seven of the Munich FIDE Women’s Grand Prix. The Georgian grandmaster fought off IM Alina Kashlinskaya‘s aggressive attempts in the King’s Indian Defense. 

With this victory, Dzagnidze has moved into clear second place, gaining ground on the tournament leader, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk who continues to lead by a point after a turbulent draw vs. GM Mariya Muzychuk

The Munich FIDE Women’s Grand Prix continues Friday, February 10, 2023, at 6 a.m. PT/15:00 CET.

How to watch?
The games of the Munich Women’s Grand Prix can be found here

Kashlinskaya unleashed the notoriously aggressive King’s Indian Defense and launched the thematic …f5 thrust to create play on the kingside. Dzagnidze delayed castling until move 15 when she opted to send her king to the queenside―away from the fireworks Black set off on the other side of the board. Then, she locked the white queen into her kingside post with 18.g5!, soon forcing a trade into a winning ending. 

This heated matchup is our Game of the Day with annotations by GM Rafael Leitao.

Kashlinskaya played for blood today, but it was Dzagnidze who made it out alive. Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE.

The tournament leader survived yet another game on the ropes today. Mariya Muzychuk gained an edge out of the opening by tearing apart her opponent’s queenside structure. Kosteniuk replied by activating her pieces in the center and found the clever yet ultimately inaccurate 17…Ne3 shot. After Muzychuk missed a tricky tactical idea, the 12th women’s world champion counterattacked on the kingside to equalize the game. Can you find the challenging combination that the Ukrainian grandmaster overlooked?

Kosteniuk shared her perspective after the game: “Again somehow I didn’t do something right in the opening. I forgot what I had to do after 9.c3. Of course, I analyzed it at home, but there are so many lines that you need to prepare… In the game, as I was told, I was losing in one move, but it felt this way. It felt that the position is very shaky.”

GM Tan Zhongyi vs. GM Zhansaya Abdumalik featured a wild quarrel for the initiative throughout the middlegame, arising from the ambitious Fantasy Variation of the Caro-Kann. 

A thrilling battle between these two grandmasters. Photo: Mark Livshitz/FIDE.

GM Humpy Koneru vs. WGM Zhu Jiner was another fierce duel, stirred by Koneru’s back-to-back sacrifices starting with 19.Neg5!?

Despite the peaceful result, GM Harika Dronavalli vs. WGM Dinara Wagner both fought for the upper hand and were the last game to finish, agreeing to a draw with only kings and one rook pawn left on the board.

In a King’s Indian Attack, Harika drummed up pressure on the kingside by opening the f-file with 16.f4 stuck her opponent with an isolated pawn on f5. Wagner countered by seizing the advantage with play on the queenside. The players traded into an ending where Harika’s doubled rooks on the seventh rank compensated for Wagner’s extra pawn. 

Coming off their respective 31-move draws the previous game, GMs Anna Muzychuk and Elisabeth Paehtz drew by repetition in 30 moves this round. So far, Muzychuk has drawn every game that she’s played white in under 40 moves. 


All Games – Round 7

The FIDE Women’s Grand Prix Second Leg (of four) takes place February 1-14, 2023, in Munich, Germany. The format is a round-robin tournament with 12 players. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, plus a 30-second increment starting on move one. The prize fund is 80,000 euros.

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