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Astana GP Round 4: Vaishali splits the point with Tan Zhongyi

by Shahid Ahmed - 22/09/2022

IM Vaishali R made a solid draw against GM Tan Zhongyi (CHN). The India no.3 woman drew her game as she had very less time on the clock against the former women's world champion. GM Alexandra Kosteniuk suffered her second loss out of four games at FIDE Astana GP. This time she lost to WGM Dinara Wagner (GER). WGM Zhu Jiner (CHN) defeated IM Polina Shuvalova to become coleader with GM Aleksandra Goryachkina at 3/4 each. IM Bibisara Assaubayeva (KAZ) and GM Kateryan Lagno trailing them by a half point at 2.5/4. Vaishali is now at 1.5/4. She will battle against WGM Dinara in the fifth round which starts today at 2:30 p.m. IST. Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman

Zhu Jiner and Goryachkina in the lead

The fourth round witnessed two decisive games. Former Women's World champion, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk is certainly showing some rust in her form. She lost her second game out of four. Both losses were with white pieces. It is difficult to recollect when was the last time the inaugural Women's World Cup winner had such a difficult start.

IM Vaishali played well against IM Bibisara Assaubayeva | Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman

Shuvalova - Jiner: 0-1

IM Polina Shuvalova (2510) first got an opportunity against WGM Zhu Jiner (CHN, 2464) in the major piece endgame.

Position after 34...Re8

White needed to push f6 here whether before or after trading the queens is irrelevant. 35.Qxd5 Rxd5 36.f6+ Kg8 37.Rh6 Rexe5 38.Reh1 is one of the ways to seize the advantage. The game eventually liquidated into a rook endgame.

Position after 61...Kg8

White can save the game by making sure she has Kg5 when the rook is on a6 and king is at h7. Thus, taking the h6-pawn is not a realistic possibility as a5-pawn will drop. Failing to figure out the correct correspondence squares will result in White's loss which is what happened in the game. It is like one of those 4x4 or 5x5 tile puzzles where you can only move one tile at a time, one wrong move and you mess things up further. In this case, a wrong move immediately makes it losing for White. 62.Rg4+ Kh8 63.Ra4 Kh7 now White cannot play Kf5 as the pawn is no longer tactically defended and Kg5 is met by Ra6. Thus, 64.Ra1 a4 65,Ra3 Kg8 and White lost the game in the next few moves.

Interview with WGM Zhu Jiner | Video: FIDE

IM Polina Shuvalova - WGM Zhu Jiner: 0-1 | Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman

Kosteniuk - Dinara: 0-1

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk is having a tough form in this tournament. Not playing a lot of Classical games for the better part of the year is certainly affecting her performance.

Position after 19...Qxc3

It is not everyday that you see a player of Kosteniuk's calibre, do not manage to convert advantages like she had in the above position. 20.Ne6, Rae1 moves flow naturally. Black's kingside is quite exposed and something seems like will go in White's way. The game continued 20.Bd6 Rf7 21.Rae1 Rd8 and soon things turned completely in Black's favor. WGM Dinara Wagner seized her opportunity and went on to win the game.

Interview with WGM Dinara Wagner | Video: FIDE

Alexandra Kosteniuk suffered her second loss of the event out of four games | Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman
Interview with IM Vaishali R | Video: FIDE

Replay the live stream

Replay Live Commentary of Astana Women's GP Round 4 with GM Ilya Smirin and WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni | Video: FIDE

Replay all Round 4 games

Round 4 Results

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
IMShuvalova Polina0 - 1WGMZhu Jiner
GMAbdumalik Zhansaya½ - ½IMPaehtz Elisabeth
GMKosteniuk Alexandra0 - 1WGMWagner Dinara
IMVaishali R½ - ½GMTan Zhongyi
GMGoryachkina Aleksandra½ - ½IMAssaubayeva Bibisara
GMLagno Kateryna½ - ½IMKashlinskaya Alina

Round 5 pairings

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
IMKashlinskaya AlinaIMShuvalova Polina
IMAssaubayeva BibisaraGMLagno Kateryna
GMTan ZhongyiGMGoryachkina Aleksandra
WGMWagner DinaraIMVaishali R
IMPaehtz ElisabethGMKosteniuk Alexandra
WGMZhu JinerGMAbdumalik Zhansaya



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