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Astana GP Round 9: Kateryna Lagno wins four in-a-row, emerges sole leader

by Shahid Ahmed - 28/09/2022

GM Kateryna Lagno has won four games in a row to emerge sole leader at FIDE Astana GP 2022. She defeated WGM Zhu Jiner (CHN) in a dicey game where she could have probably lost at some point. IM Polina Shuvalova also averted disaster as her opponent GM Tan Zhongyi (CHN) missed an opportunity to trap her opponent's queen. IM Vaishali suffered her second loss of the event, against the FIDE Women's World Cup 2021 winner, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk. Vaishali will face IM Polina Shuvalova in the penultimate round 10 which starts today at 2:30 p.m. IST. Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman

Exciting games

The ninth round had 50% decisive games including a Berlin draw. Nevertheless, the remaining five games were quite exciting. At least two decisive games could have gone their opponent's way, if they had spotted their opportunities at the right time.

GM Kateryna Lagno is certainly looking strong to win the entire tournament | Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman

Zhongyi - Shuvalova: 1-0

GM Tan Zhongyi (CHN, 2525) could have won her game against IM Polina Shuvalova (2510). The former Women's World Champion needed to spot her opponent's queen getting trapped.

Position after 32...b6

Black had a good position until she played 32...b6. White needed to go 33.f3 Bh5 34.g4 Bg6 35.Bf1 Qd5 36.Bc4 and the queen gets trapped. Well Black would have been forced to give up her bishop to prevent the queen from getting trapped. Eventually, White went for an incorrect exchange of pieces which gave her opponent a decisive advantage.

Polina Shuvalova: "I just want to play chess and enjoy it" | Video: FIDE

GM Tan Zhongyi (CHN) - IM Polina Shuvalova: 0-1 | Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman

Jiner - Lagno: 0.5-0.5

WGM Zhu Jiner (CHN, 2464) had one good opportunity against GM Kateryna Lagno (2547).

Position after 24...Rc6

There was nothing to worry about the c5-knight. White just needed to launch an attack of her own on the kingside. 25.f5 exf5 26.a4 Qa5 27.Nxd7 was certainly the best course of action. Instead, 25.Rc4 helped Black Bxc5 26.Bxc5 Rfc8 27.f5 f6 28.exf6 and now Black can simply take the bishop Rxc5. After 28...Nxf6 29.fxe6 Black got another opportunity Rxc5 this time she did not let it go, won the game in another three moves.

Kateryna Lagno: "First I could not believe it, thought maybe it's a trick" | Video: FIDE

WGM Zhu Jiner (CHN) - GM Kateryna Lagno: 0-1 | Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman

Kosteniuk - Vaishali: 1-0

IM Vaishali R (2449) had the difficult task to find a safe square for her queen against GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (2521).

Position after 26.Nxa6

26...Qb6 or Qe7 would have been better than the a4-square. Perhaps Vaishali wanted to remove the a2-pawn, for which she had to pay a heavy price as the position disintegrated.

Alexandra Kosteniuk: "I will try to do my best, especially tomorrow" | Video: FIDE

GM Kateryna Lagno - IM Elisabeth Paehtz (GER): 1-0 | Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman

Replay the live stream

Replay Live Commentary of Astana Women's GP Round 9 with GM Ilya Smirin and WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni | Video: FIDE

Replay all Round 9 games

Round 9 Results

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
GMTan Zhongyi0 - 1IMShuvalova Polina
WGMWagner Dinara½ - ½IMAssaubayeva Bibisara
IMPaehtz Elisabeth½ - ½IMKashlinskaya Alina
WGMZhu Jiner0 - 1GMLagno Kateryna
GMAbdumalik Zhansaya½ - ½GMGoryachkina Aleksandra
GMKosteniuk Alexandra1 - 0IMVaishali R

Round 10 pairings

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
IMShuvalova PolinaIMVaishali R
GMGoryachkina AleksandraGMKosteniuk Alexandra
GMLagno KaterynaGMAbdumalik Zhansaya
IMKashlinskaya AlinaWGMZhu Jiner
IMAssaubayeva BibisaraIMPaehtz Elisabeth
GMTan ZhongyiWGMWagner Dinara



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