A Story of Three Sicilians: Wagner Takes Clear Lead

WGM Dinara Wagner leapt to the clear high of the scoreboard by defeating fellow chief, GM Kateryna Lagno, in a tactical slugfest on the Nicosia FIDE Girls’s Grand Prix 2022-2023 in spherical seven. With this victory over the world quantity 5, Wagner has gained 24 FIDE score factors to this point, rising two extra spots within the reside rankings into the highest 30 ladies. 

GMs Harika Dronavalli and Tan Zhongyi are tied for second, chasing the brand new chief by half some extent.

In our Sport of the Day, IM Bibisara Assaubayeva scored her first win by overcoming GM Alexandra Kosteniuk in a fierce battle for the initiative. As well as, GM Nana Dzagnidze defeated IM Oliwia Kiolbasa in a double-edged recreation that culminated in a shocking tactical shot.

Fascinatingly, all three of in the present day’s victories have been from the black aspect of the Sicilian Protection. 

The FIDE Girls’s Grand Prix continues with spherical eight on Wednesday, Might 24, beginning at 5:00 a.m. Pacific/14:00 CEST.

How you can watch?

You may watch reside video games of the FIDE Girls’s Grand Prix on our Occasions Web page. The rounds begin every day at 5:00 a.m. Pacific/14:00 CEST.

After their peaceable day without work within the Mediterranean, the gamers returned with recent verve for the second half of the occasion. 

Kiolbasa vs. Dzagnidze

In a extremely dynamic Sicilian duel, Kiolbasa expanded aggressively on the kingside and sacrificed a pawn on the queenside to loosen her opponent’s darkish squares. Within the spirit of the place, Dzagnidze countered by providing the pawn again to generate her personal strain. Whereas the 23-year-old worldwide grasp loaded up her heavy items to barrel down on Black’s kingside, the skilled grandmaster arrange a tactical shot that blazed onto the board like a lightning bolt. Can you discover it?

Lagno vs. Wagner

Lagno selected the Rossolimo in opposition to Wagner’s Sicilian, steering away from the Open Sicilian to extra positional territory however preserving some dynamic prospects. Within the middlegame, the latent combative potential erupted as Lagno burst open the middle with 34.e5! and started circling the black king together with her items.

In tune with the energetic nature of the place, Wagner warded off her opponent’s threats whereas activating her personal items. On the final transfer earlier than time management, Lagno blundered. Prepared to change gears from defensive to tactical, Wagner rapidly noticed the flaw behind White’s transfer. Take a look at your individual tactical consciousness beneath:

After the sport, Wagner shared that she felt invigorated by the sport’s complexity: “With Black often, I am proud of a draw. However when issues grew to become actually sophisticated, I assumed: That is my probability. Possibly I can spice issues up.”

 I assumed: That is my probability. Possibly I can spice issues up.

-Dinara Wagner

Kosteniuk vs. Assaubayeva

Assaubayeva gained her first win of the event convincingly vs. Kosteniuk. The Swiss grandmaster sacrificed a pawn to realize higher piece exercise and create strain on Black’s f7-pawn. Regardless of having much less growth, Assaubayeva discovered a possibility to shake her opponent’s energetic items and acquire the higher hand. How did Assaubayeva wrestle the initiative from the twelfth ladies’s world champion?

Up a handed pawn with the bishop pair, the Kazakhstani worldwide grasp transformed cleanly, regardless of Kosteniuk’s makes an attempt to fire up counterplay. Assaubayeva’s cool-headed victory is our Sport of the Day, analyzed by GM Rafael Leitao.

Exhibiting no signal of her difficult earlier rounds, Assaubayeva was in glorious kind in the present day. Picture: Mark Livshitz/FIDE.

Mammadzada vs. Goryachkina

Dominating the middle together with her leaping knights, IM Gunay Mammadzada gained a commanding middlegame place vs. the world quantity two. With eager tactical consciousness on the pivotal second, the Azerbaijani worldwide grasp adopted this up by profitable her opponent’s queen with a strong found assault with 28.Qc5!

But, down a queen for a rook and knight, GM Aleksandra Goryachkina coordinated her forces to create nagging counterplay in opposition to White’s king and weak pawns. Ultimately, overwhelmed by Black’s energetic items and superior passer, Mammadzada settled for a perpetual test. 

No queen? No downside. Goryachkina fought for the initiative together with her different forces. Picture: Mark Livshitz/FIDE.

Tan vs. Khotenashvili

GM Bella Khotenashvili additionally survived being down a queen to a rook and a minor piece. Within the opening, Tan created a dominating middle with pawns on d5 and e5, supported by pawns on c4 and f4. Enhancing her place transfer after transfer, Tan’s area edge grew to overwhelming proportions.

Within the vital place, the sixteenth world champion transformed her huge positional benefit to a fabric one however allowed Khotenashvili counter-chances within the course of. With no opposing counterpart, Black’s light-squared bishop may solidify one coloration of the board, stopping White’s pawns of their tracks. As well as, with fewer items for either side, the Georgian grandmaster had extra probability to get her related queenside passers rolling down the board. In the end, Tan additionally took the chance to attract with a perpetual. 

Shuvalova vs. Harika

IM Polina Shuvalova and Harika gave the impression to be testing one another’s opening preparation within the 4 Knights Sport. Of their extremely theoretical recreation, Harika sacrificed two pawns and two exchanges to go right into a pressured perpetual test. Shuvalova completed the sport with six extra minutes than she began with, whereas Harika used solely 13 minutes, exhibiting that a lot forethought for either side should’ve gone into navigating such a posh place. 

Fesults – Spherical 7


Kosteniuk 0 – 1 Assaubayeva
Lagno 0 – 1 Wagner
Kiolbasa 0 – 1 Dzagnidze
Mammadzada 1/2 – 1/2 Goryachkina
Shuvalova 1/2 – 1/2 Harika
Tan 1/2 – 1/2 Khotenashvili

Standings – Spherical 7

Wagner has the possibility to increase her lead in spherical eight with the white items vs. Shuvalova. But, the 22-year-old worldwide grasp has been a relentless fighter this event. Maybe she’s going to attempt to catch the chief and play for a win herself. 

Two heavyweight matchups are additionally on deck: Goryachkina vs. Tan and Dzagnidze vs. Lagno. Will any of them acquire floor on the chief?

Pairings – Spherical 8


Assaubayeva  –  Khotenashvili
Goryachkina  –  Tan
Harika  –  Mammadzada
Wagner  –  Shuvalova
Dzagnidze Lagno
Kosteniuk Kiolbasa

All Video games – Spherical 7

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