Astana GP Round 1: Vaishali makes a solid start
IM Vaishali R made a solid start at Astana GP. She drew her first round game against the former World Rapid and Blitz Women champion, GM Kateryna Lagno. Former World Women's Championship Challenger GM Aleksandra Goryachkina and Germany no.1 woman, IM Elisabeth Paehtz scored the only two wins of the first round against IM Polina Shuvalova and WGM Dinara Wagner respectively. Reigning World Blitz Women's champion, IM Bibisara Assaubayeva had an interesting opportunity against compatriot, GM Zhansaya Abdumalik. Vaishali will face IM Alina Kashlinskaya in Round 2 which starts today at 2:30 p.m. IST. Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman
Goryachkina and Paehtz score a win
IM Vaishali R faced GM Kateryna Lagno for the first time in a rated game. Previously they played only once in an online game which Vaishali won in 2020. A solid draw against the former World Rapid and Blitz Women's champion is certainly a good start for Vaishali.
Kateryna - Vaishali: 0.5-0.5
GM Kateryna Lagno (2547) and IM Vaishali R (2449) had a relatively calm draw arising out of Sicilian Accelerated Dragon.
Bibisara - Zhansaya: 0.5-0.5
Reigning World Blitz Women's champion, IM Bibisara Assaubayeva (KAZ, 2443) had an interesting opportunity against her fellow compatriot, GM Zhansaya Abdumalik (2503).
16...0-0 is a relatively safer choice for Black. 16...Bd6 allows 17.Nxf7 an exciting option for White. 17...Kxf7 18.dxe6+ Black is almost forced to play Kxe6 19.f4 and the position certainly looks a lot promising for White and Black is in quite a bit of trouble. Anyway, White opted for 17.Bf4 Bb8 18.dxe6 Qxe6 and Black managed to evade all danger.
Dinara - Paehtz: 0-1
WGM Dinara Wagner (GER, 2358) made a strange king move when she could have seized her opportunity using tactics against IM Elisabeth Paehtz (GER, 2477).
25.Ba7 could have given White an edge. 26.Qa3 could be a reply to both 25...a4/Nc5. Instead, White went for the dubious 25.Kf1. Black got the opportunity she needed 25...Qh2 and turned things in her favor.
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Round 1 Results
|1||1||2579||GM||Goryachkina Aleksandra||1 - 0||IM||Shuvalova Polina||2510||12|
|2||2||2547||GM||Lagno Kateryna||½ - ½||IM||Vaishali R||2449||11|
|3||3||2491||IM||Kashlinskaya Alina||½ - ½||GM||Kosteniuk Alexandra||2521||10|
|4||4||2443||IM||Assaubayeva Bibisara||½ - ½||GM||Abdumalik Zhansaya||2503||9|
|5||5||2525||GM||Tan Zhongyi||½ - ½||WGM||Zhu Jiner||2464||8|
|6||6||2358||WGM||Wagner Dinara||0 - 1||IM||Paehtz Elisabeth||2477||7|
Round 2 pairings
|1||12||2510||IM||Shuvalova Polina||IM||Paehtz Elisabeth||2477||7|
|2||8||2464||WGM||Zhu Jiner||WGM||Wagner Dinara||2358||6|
|3||9||2503||GM||Abdumalik Zhansaya||GM||Tan Zhongyi||2525||5|
|4||10||2521||GM||Kosteniuk Alexandra||IM||Assaubayeva Bibisara||2443||4|
|5||11||2449||IM||Vaishali R||IM||Kashlinskaya Alina||2491||3|
|6||1||2579||GM||Goryachkina Aleksandra||GM||Lagno Kateryna||2547||2|