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Women's Candidates Round 3: Goryachkina and Dzagnidze in joint lead

by Shahid Ahmed - 03/06/2019

Round 3 in Women's Candidates saw all four games to have decisive results and surprisingly all of them were from white pieces. Gunina tricked her opponent Kosteniuk by opting for Scotch game. Kateryna Lagno missed multiple opportunities to save her game against the youngest player of the tournament Aleksandra Goryachkina. Former Women's World Champion Tan Zhongyi made a couple of lucky escapes as her opponent Anna Muzychuk suffered second consecutive defeat. Nana Dzagnidze accepted Mariya Muzychuk's pawn sacrifice early in the middle game and won comfortably. We have reigning Asian Women's Champion IM Padmini Rout analyzing Goryachkina and Lagno's game in this report. Photo: Anastasiya Karlovich and Shahid Ahmed

Four decisive results, White wins in all

Valentina Gunina managed to surprise her opponent Alexandra Kosteniuk by opting for Scotch Game | Photo: Anastasiya Karlovich

Kosteniuk in a post-match interview admitted that she was surprised by her opponent's choice of opening and in her opinion Scotch is a tricky opening.


Valentina Gunina - Alexandra Kosteniuk, Round 3

Surprising Kosteniuk with Scotch was definitely a good idea for Gunina

According to Kosteniuk, Gunina found an interesting idea here. Can you find it?

Black just played 15...Bb7. Find out the best continuation for White

Kosteniuk was surprised that Valentina castled in this position.

After 19...f6, Gunina played 20. 0-0. Can you find any other alternative for White?

As per the Chess Queen Kosteniuk, Gunina missed something here:

White just played 21.Bg4. Black cannot move the rook, so what should Black do here?

Kosteniuk says, "I think this was the key moment of the game", realizing what she missed here:

Kosteniuk played 22...Bxb5 which gave White the advantage she was looking for. What was the better move instead?

Kosteniuk considered e4 but she thought Bd6, Be5 might exchange the dark squares Bishops.

Black played 29...exf4. What would you have played here?
"For me it was easier to become World Youth Champion than to win the Russian Championship" - Alexandra Kosteniuk in her post-match interview | Video: FIDE Chess
Gunina analyzes her game | Video: FIDE Chess

Goryachkina is on a roll | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Aleksandra Goryachkina - Kateryna Lagno, Round 3

Padmini annotates that Goryachkina managed to surprise Lagno with 10.Ba3

White just exchanged Bishops with 24.Rxc5 and c6 is under attack. How should Black react?

Lagno makes a bad decision and plays 30...Kc7. What was the better option for Black here?

Black again made another mistake by misplacing the rook with 40...Rg4. What should have Black done here instead?

This is Black's last opportunity to save the game which Black missed. Can you find the correct way for Black?

Padmini Rout analyzes Goryachkina vs. Lagno from Round 3

Anna suffers second consecutive defeat of the tournament, this time against former Women's World Champion Tan Zhongyi | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Tan Zhongyi - Anna Muzychuk, Round 3

Anna got an interesting position after 20.Nb3. However she played 20...Bd3 which is not the correct continuation for Black here. Find out the better one.

Black has one last chance to cause damage. What should Black do here?

Critical choce to make: Should Black exchange the rooks or keep them?

Black has cute move to save the game and gain advantage. Can you find it?
Anna talks about why she did not opt for 22...Rxd5 and more | Video: FIDE Chess

Nana accepted Mariya's pawn sacrifice and the latter was unable to extract any compensation for it for the rest of the game | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Nana Dzagnidze - Mariya Muzychuk, Round 3

Mariya offered a pawn which was not a mistake but she was unable to gain any compensation for it
Mariya talks about the compensation in the game and more | Video: FIDE Chess

Monday 3rd June is a rest day. Round 4 will start on Tuesday 4th June 2019 at 3 p.m. local time, 5:30 p.m. IST. Here are the pairings:

Nana Dzagnidze — Valentina Gunina

Alexandra Kosteniuk — Tan Zhongyi

Anna Muzychuk — Aleksandra Goryachkina

Mariya Muzychuk — Kateryna Lagno


Since Round 1 there has been some issue with the music being audible from the playing hall

Australian legend GM Ian Rogers tweets about Round 1
This was tweeted during Round 3


We thank Padmini Rout for sharing her thoughts by sending us an annotated game. She will be annotating a game each round in Women's Candidates 2019 | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Watch all games live here from 5:30 p.m. IST


The organizers are FIDE, Russian Chess Federation, Government of the Republic of Tatarstan, Ministry of Sports of the Republic of Tatarstan, and city administration of Kazan. The tournament is sponsored by PJSC PhosAgro and Russian Railways.

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