Counterattacks Prevail: Kashlinskaya’s 1st Win, Kosteniuk Still Undefeated

IM Alina Kashlinskaya scored her first victory in round five of the Munich FIDE Women’s Grand Prix, making an attacking comeback vs. GM Mariya Muzychuk after losing material early in the game. 

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk continues to lead by 1.5 points, drawing despite being down two pawns against GM Harika Dronavalli by creating compelling kingside counterplay. 

How to watch?
The games of the Munich Women’s Grand Prix can be found here. The rounds start each day at 6 a.m. Pacific/15:00 CEST.

Harika, one of the players tied for second, got her shot vs. Kosteniuk this round. Photo: David Llada/FIDE.

Kosteniuk made her first draw of the event, ending her perfect score but staying undefeated by holding the balance vs. Harika. The Indian grandmaster gained a comfortable edge out of the opening due to her centralized pieces and better pawn structure. In the middlegame, Harika won two pawns, both of which were passed, but Kosteniuk managed to drum up counterplay on the kingside in the nick of time and produce a perpetual check. 

Kashlinskaya scored the only victory of the round against GM Mariya Muzychuk. The Polish International Master fought back after losing a pawn in the opening and began aiming her pieces at the white kingside with the rook lift from e6-g6. After an inaccurate move by Muzychuk, Kashlinskaya discovered a tactical shot to seize the advantage. 

This fighting duel is our Game of the Day, annotated by GM Rafael Leitao.

After the game, Kashlinskaya shared her relief in the game outcome: “Yea, a long one and a tough one with a lot of emotions during the game because, obviously, I was lost from the opening.”

GM Humpy Koneru gained a substantial edge in the opening by sinking her knight into c3 vs. GM Nana Dzagnidze, utilizing her greater activity to win a pawn and press into the endgame. But the Georgian grandmaster was able to generate counterplay with an exchange sacrifice to create an influential passed pawn. 

Dzagnidze, ever the fighter. Photo: David Llada/FIDE.

GM Tan Zhongyi vs. WGM Dinara Wagner was a back-and-forth fight. Tan gained a sizeable edge in the Catalan due to her early queenside pressure but lost it back with her puzzling kingside pawn sacrifice 20.g4?! Wagner retaliated by activating her pieces and creating a passer on the c-file. In the midst of this tense battle, Tan neutralized the game with a perpetual check. 

Wagner was on the defeating one of the top seeds, Tan, today. Photo: David Llada/FIDE.

GM Anna Muzychuk and WGM Zhu Jiner played a fairly level game in the Taimanov Sicilian, opening lines in the center and trading down until drawing by repetition on move 38. GMs Zhansaya Abdumalik and Elisabeth Paehtz played into a perpetual check in just 30 moves in the Silician Sveshnikov. 


All Games – Round 5

The FIDE Women’s Grand Prix Second Leg (of four) takes place February 1-14, 2023, in Munich, Germany. The format is a round-robin tournament with 12 players. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, plus a 30-second increment starting on move one. The prize fund is 80,000 euros.

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