Tan Zhongyi Knocks Out Kateryna Lagno In Women’s Candidates Quarterfinals

GM Tan Zhongyi defeated GM Kateryna Lagno in Sunday’s tiebreak of their FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament quarterfinal. Tan won the first of four rapid games, after which the remaining three ended in draws. The 31-year-old Chinese GM will now face GM Aleksandra Goryachkina in the semifinal, which starts at 2 a.m. Pacific / 11:00 CET on Tuesday, December 6.

How to watch?
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.

After the four classical games were all drawn, Sunday’s tiebreak saw a decisive game right away. In a position where Lagno was doing quiet well with the black pieces, she went for the somewhat strange rook maneuver Ra8-a5-c5 which didn’t work out very well. A few moves later she seemed forced to damage her pawn structure (which the engine manages to avoid with tactical means!) after which her position was impossible to hold. 

“I feel that I was very lucky in the first game and managed to obtain an advantage in the match,” said Tan.

The start of the Tan-Lagno tiebreak. Photo: Timur Sattarov/FIDE.

In the remaining games, Lagno failed to level the score and with three draws, Tan emerged as the winner. Whereas games two and four were fairly balanced (but tough battles!), Lagno’s big chance came in the third game. She was winning out of the opening, but later also losing.

Tan: “In the third game I got into real trouble and I was lucky to survive. There were many twists and turns. I also had a little hope to finish the match in that third game, but I felt a little tired.”

Here’s that spectacle, which was clearly the Game of the Day:

Tan Zhongyi chess
Tan Zhongyi can start preparing for her match with Aleksandra Goryachkina, which starts on Tuesday. Photo: Timur Sattarov/FIDE.

The 2022-23 Women’s Candidates Tournament is an elite event featuring eight top female players, who compete in a knockout format for a share of the €250,000 prize fund and the right to play in the Women’s World Championship match against Women’s World Champion Ju Wenjun.

Pool A was won by GM Lei TingjiePool B takes place November 29-December 11, 2022 in Khiva, Uzbekistan. The prize fund is 70,000 euros, while another 110,000 will be at stake in next year’s final. 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.

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