GM Anna Muzychuk reached the semifinals of the 2022-2023 Candidates Tournament after winner her tiebreak match vs. Humpy Koneru on Sunday. After three draws, the Indian grandmaster blundered a full piece and instantly got eliminated.
Muzychuk will now face GM Lei Tingjie in the semifinals, a match that starts on Tuesday, November 1 at 7 a.m. PT / 15:00 CEST.
You can watch the 2022-2023 FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament on our Twitch channel. Games from the event can be viewed on our events page.
Anna Muzychuk, the oldest of the two sisters from Ukraine, started Sunday’s tiebreak with a psychological advantage. She had been down a point after three classical games, and in the fourth, Koneru had been one move away from drawing.
Despite the tension, the first two games (another Petroff and another Semi-Tarrasch) were relatively quiet draws where no big mistake were made. The third game was quit different: a rollercoaster where first Muzychuk was winning, then Koneru could have gotten a big advantage, then Muzychuk was winning again, before she allowed a perpetual.
This game is an intense battle with many moments for readers who want to practice calculation or simply appreciate the beauty of tactical complications in chess.
After this fantastic battle, the tiebreak came to a sudden, premature end when Koneru blundered a full piece in the opening of game four. A heart-breaking moment, and the match deserved a better decisive game, but sometimes this is how it goes.
Monday is a rest day. The Lei-Muzychuk semifinals match starts on Tuesday, with Muzychuk playing the white pieces, which was determined in a drawing of lots that took place right after the tiebreak ended.
The 2022-23 Women’s Candidates Tournament is an elite event featuring eight top female players, who compete in a knockout format for their share of the €250,000 prize fund and the right to play the Women’s World Championship match against Women’s World Champion Ju Wenjun. The tournament’s first quarterfinals began October 25, with the final happening in the first quarter of 2023. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. A draw offer before move 40 is not allowed.