Thoughts Video games And Shut Calls: Shuvalova Unnerves Wagner

It was a day of slender escapes in spherical eight of the Nicosia FIDE Girls’s Grand Prix 2022-2023. WGM Dinara Wagner maintained her lead, navigating her manner out of an in depth name vs. IM Polina Shuvalova, who ready a shrewd psychological shock for the match chief.

GMs Harika Dronavalli and Tan Zhongyi proceed to chase Wagner, trailing by half a degree. Tan survived an endgame wrestle vs. GM Aleksandra Goryachkina. Harika endured a fabric deficit vs. IM Gunay Mammadzada, discovering an escape hatch by buying and selling into an opposite-color bishop ending. 

Down however not out, IM Oliwia Kiolbasa had GM Alexandra Kosteniuk on the ropes in a dynamic Sicilian ending. As well as, GM Kateryna Lagno fought with verve to carry a pawn-down ending vs. GM Nana Dzagnidze

Profitable a second recreation in a row, IM Bibisara Assaubayeva was the one victor of the day. She defeated GM Bella Khotenashvili convincingly within the Grunfeld, cautious to not permit her opponent a miraculous save like within the earlier spherical. 

The FIDE Girls’s Grand Prix continues with spherical eight on Thursday, Could 25, beginning at 5:00 a.m. Pacific/14:00 CEST.

The right way to watch?

You’ll be able to 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.

Wagner vs. Shuvalova

Shuvalova arrived on the board armed, not simply with sturdy opening preparation however with fascinating thoughts video games prepared for her opponent. Flipping the script on the normally well-prepared Wagner, Shuvalova headed straight into the Catalan variation that Wagner used to defeat Goryachkina in spherical one. Luring Wagner right into a place the place she has a pleasing reminiscence of her upset victory vs. the highest seed, Shuvalova shocked her with a fancy alternate sacrifice. 

This technique set Wagner off stability. She gave up a pawn and burned far more time than her opponent to navigate the opening, preventing for a draw with the white items. Shuvalova pressed relentlessly, activating her items and attempting to set her handed pawn in movement. Finally, as a result of her glorious kind and preventing spirit, the match chief was in a position to save the sport. She arrange a blockade of Shuvalova’s passer and used tactical means to incite exchanges right into a drawn ending. 

Goryachkina vs. Tan

One of many top-tier matchups was Goryachkina vs. Tan: the highest seed confronted the sixteenth girls’s world champion. With White, Goryachkina went for the lengthy squeeze in a Catalan endgame with a greater pawn construction and good knight vs. tied-down bishop. Regardless of having a barely worse place for a lot of the sport, Tan stayed cognizant of the subtleties of the ending, capitalizing on the important thing moments to enhance her items and stop White’s progress till she neutralized Goryachkina’s benefit. Can you discover the transfer that sealed equality?

Main in Grand Prix factors, Goryachkina is the frontrunner for the Candidates qualification spots. Photograph: Mark Livshitz/FIDE.

Assaubayeva vs. Khotenashvili

Dealing with the Grunfeld, Assaubayeva opted for the thematic a2-pawn sacrifice to attract the black queen distant from the remainder of the motion and acquire time to construct up kingside play with f4-f5. Khotenashvili tried to create counterplay on the queenside however struggled within the face of White’s threats in opposition to her king and the disconnected nature of her forces.

Quickly, Assaubayeva seen the chance to win materials. Can you notice how?

With a snug materials edge and her persevering with grip on the kingside, Assaubayeva added to the stress by activating her rook to the seventh rank and sinking her queen onto Black’s weak darkish squares. Khotenashvili’s restricted forces have been unable to carry again all of White’s threats.

This attacking victory is our Recreation of the Day, analyzed by GM Rafael Leitao:

After the sport, Assaubayeva admitted with a smile that her opponent’s miraculous save in spherical seven did cross her thoughts:

“I noticed yesterday’s recreation, and I used to be slightly bit nervous about this as a result of I believed: if it might be a second day in a row, it might be incredible for her.”

After a rocky begin, Assaubayeva has begun to seek out her stride. Photograph: Mark Livshitz/FIDE.

Kosteniuk vs. Kiolbasa

Regardless of struggling for a lot of this match, Kiolbasa practically scored her first win in the present day vs. the twelfth girls’s world champion. Maybe after seeing yesterday’s slew of Sicilian victories, Kiolbasa determined to attempt for her share of glory within the counterstrike-laden opening. From the black aspect of the Lowenthal, the Polish Worldwide Grasp took cost of the place with the middle break 9…d5!?, capitalizing on her opponent’s slower improvement. Kiolbasa gained nice exercise, particularly her knights, which discovered potent posts within the heart.

Because the gamers traded queens, Black elevated her grip on the queenside, sinking certainly one of her knights into the outstanding c4-outpost. Although all of her items have been higher positioned than their counterparts, Kiolbasa missed her alternative to focus on Kosteniuk’s backward pawn, selecting as a substitute to repeat thrice and draw. Whereas Black continues to be clearly considerably higher within the closing place, Kiolbasa was probably keen to interrupt her four-game shedding streak. It may be psychologically difficult to take a danger in opposition to such a outstanding participant after so many losses. 

In her interview, Kiolbasa shared her perspective on the difficult occasion she’s had:

“It is a fully new occasion for me. I have not performed this sturdy of a match the place each participant is solely extraordinarily sturdy. I’ve performed with a few of them, however normally, we additionally had some simpler video games throughout the match. Now it is merely robust, and it is an important expertise. I feel lots of gamers went by way of the identical within the Grand Prix collection. […]

I am simply going to deal with this as a studying alternative. That is displaying lots of locations for enchancment.”

I am simply going to deal with this as a studying alternative. That is displaying lots of locations for enchancment.

-Oliwia Kiolbasa

Kiolbasa is approaching her match with a development mindset, a key software within the enchancment course of. Photograph: Mark Livshitz/FIDE.

Harika vs. Mammadzada

Mammadzada’s management of the middle and stress on her opponent’s isolani gained her a pawn within the middlegame. The Azerbaijani worldwide grasp pressed, however Harika steered the sport into an opposite-color bishop ending. With the bishops dashing across the board on solely totally different realms, Harika sacrificed a pawn to create counterplay and provoke pawn trades. Ultimately, she was in a position to maintain off Mammadzada’s materials edge on the sunshine squares. 

Dzagnidze vs. Lagno

After yesterday’s loss, Lagno seemed to be concerned with a sharper recreation in the present day, creating ambitiously and shaking the middle within the opening with 11…d4!? This set off a desperado sequence that traded away a lot of the minor items, queenside pawn construction, and shortly the queens, leaving Dzagnidze with an additional pawn. The Georgian grandmaster tried to create probabilities within the arising ending, however Lagno made it as robust as doable, discovering more and more energetic posts for her items and creating counterpressure on White’s remoted a-pawn. 

To flee the stress, Dzagnidze traded right into a rook ending with 4 pawns vs. three on the kingside. Lagno arrange a sturdy defensive place and had no hassle holding the draw.

Outcomes – Spherical 8


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

Standings – Spherical 8

Tan and Harika, the 2 rivals in second, get their probability to interrupt the tie subsequent spherical. Moreover, Lagno and Kosteniuk, the gamers (together with Goryachkina) closely in competition for qualification for the Candidates, will face one another. 

Pairings – Spherical 9


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

All Video games – Spherical 8

Earlier Protection: