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FIDE Candidates (Women) Tournament

Aleksandra Goryachkina9.5/14(+6 -1 =7)[games]
Anna Muzychuk8/14(+4 -2 =8)[games]
Kateryna Lagno7/14(+2 -2 =10)[games]
Tan Zhongyi7/14(+4 -4 =6)[games]
Nana Dzagnidze6.5/14(+4 -5 =5)[games]
Mariya Muzychuk6.5/14(+3 -4 =7)[games]
Alexandra Kosteniuk6/14(+3 -5 =6)[games]
Valentina Gunina5.5/14(+4 -7 =3)[games]
* Chess Event Description
FIDE Candidates (Women) (2019)

The FIDE Women's Candidates Tournament was an 8-player double round-robin taking place in the Nogai Hotel in Kazan, Russia from May 31 - June 17, 2019. The winner received 50,000 euros out of the 200,000 euros prize fund, but more importantly would play reigning champion Ju Wenjun in the next Women's World Championship match. The time control was 90 minutes for 40 moves, then 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30-second increment from move 1. A rapid playoff would only take place if players tied for 1st place were not separated by 1) their head-to-head result, 2) number of wins and 3) Sonneborn-Berger score. (1) Participants: Lagno, Mariya Muzychuk and Kosteniuk were selected as semifinalists of the Women's World Championship Knockout Tournament (2018). Anna Muzychuk, Gunina, Tan Zhongyi, Goryachkina (who replaced Yifan Hou, who declined the invitation) and Dzagnidze qualified by rating.

Aleksandra Goryachkina won with 9.5/14 and qualified for the Ju - Goryachkina Women's World Championship Match (2020).

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 1 Goryachkina 2522 ** ½½ 1½ 1½ 1½ ½0 ½1 11 9½ 2 Muzychuk A 2539 ½½ ** ½1 0½ 01 ½½ ½½ 11 8 3 Lagno 2554 0½ ½0 ** 1½ ½½ 1½ ½½ ½½ 7 4 Tan Zhongyi 2513 0½ 1½ 0½ ** ½1 ½0 ½1 01 7 5 Dzagnidze 2510 0½ 10 ½½ ½0 ** 1½ 01 10 6½ 6 Muzychuk M 2563 ½1 ½½ 0½ ½1 0½ ** 10 ½0 6½ 7 Kosteniuk 2546 ½0 ½½ ½½ ½0 10 01 ** 01 6 8 Gunina 2506 00 00 ½½ 10 01 ½1 10 ** 5½

Category: XII (2532). Chief arbiter: Hal Bond.

At the closing ceremony, a brilliancy prize was awarded to Mariya Muzychuk for M Muzychuk vs Goryachkina, 2019. Video:

Official site: Regulations: ChessBase: TWIC:


 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 56  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. V Gunina vs Lagno ½-½602019FIDE Candidates (Women)C75 Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defense
2. Kosteniuk vs Goryachkina  ½-½612019FIDE Candidates (Women)C60 Ruy Lopez
3. N Dzagnidze vs Tan Zhongyi ½-½322019FIDE Candidates (Women)C42 Petrov Defense
4. M Muzychuk vs A Muzychuk ½-½202019FIDE Candidates (Women)A29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
5. Lagno vs Kosteniuk  ½-½302019FIDE Candidates (Women)C77 Ruy Lopez
6. Goryachkina vs V Gunina 1-0922019FIDE Candidates (Women)E15 Queen's Indian
7. Tan Zhongyi vs M Muzychuk  ½-½452019FIDE Candidates (Women)D45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
8. A Muzychuk vs N Dzagnidze 0-1422019FIDE Candidates (Women)B31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
9. V Gunina vs Kosteniuk 1-0582019FIDE Candidates (Women)C45 Scotch Game
10. Goryachkina vs Lagno 1-0802019FIDE Candidates (Women)D85 Grunfeld
11. Tan Zhongyi vs A Muzychuk 1-0432019FIDE Candidates (Women)E60 King's Indian Defense
12. N Dzagnidze vs M Muzychuk 1-0602019FIDE Candidates (Women)D47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
13. N Dzagnidze vs V Gunina  1-0302019FIDE Candidates (Women)C01 French, Exchange
14. M Muzychuk vs Lagno 0-1562019FIDE Candidates (Women)C55 Two Knights Defense
15. A Muzychuk vs Goryachkina  ½-½372019FIDE Candidates (Women)C53 Giuoco Piano
16. Kosteniuk vs Tan Zhongyi  ½-½392019FIDE Candidates (Women)C43 Petrov, Modern Attack
17. V Gunina vs M Muzychuk  ½-½722019FIDE Candidates (Women)B40 Sicilian
18. Kosteniuk vs N Dzagnidze 1-0422019FIDE Candidates (Women)B22 Sicilian, Alapin
19. Goryachkina vs Tan Zhongyi 1-0622019FIDE Candidates (Women)E04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
20. Lagno vs A Muzychuk  ½-½312019FIDE Candidates (Women)C77 Ruy Lopez
21. A Muzychuk vs V Gunina  1-0452019FIDE Candidates (Women)B13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
22. M Muzychuk vs Kosteniuk  1-0492019FIDE Candidates (Women)A22 English
23. N Dzagnidze vs Goryachkina 0-1702019FIDE Candidates (Women)A06 Reti Opening
24. Tan Zhongyi vs Lagno 0-1722019FIDE Candidates (Women)D20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
25. V Gunina vs Tan Zhongyi 1-0492019FIDE Candidates (Women)C42 Petrov Defense
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 56  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <SChesshevsky> China also has its own traditional version of chess, xiangqi, which is a lot more fluid - for example, closed pawn structures are not possible.
Jun-08-19  SChesshevsky: <beatgiant> Excellent observation! I didn't know that.
Jun-10-19  botvinnik64: Tournament over just past the half-way mark? We never saw either of the sisters challenge, nor did the Chess Queen or any of the others make a move; this tourney belonged to the AG. I have not idea if she can threaten WenJun for the title, but it should be a great match.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Big matchup for Round 10. Goryachkina has black vs. her closest rival, Lagno. Lagno is 2.5 points behind. If Goryachkina wins, then she'll have at least a 3 point lead, with 4 rounds left.

It could be a 3.5 point lead with 4 rounds to go.

Jun-12-19  NrthrnKnght: so hou gave up her chair and goryachkina is making the most of the opportunity reminds me of when benko gave up his chair to a guy named fischer in the candidates and we all saw how that turned out..
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: If this were a KO everybody and his grandma would now be screaming that Goryachkina is a lucky undeserving winner. She <is> a surprise (almost by now) winner after all, and if it had be a KO, all surprises would be attributed to the format :D
Jun-12-19  stridergene: Its just a formality now. Goryachkina has this one in the bag now.
Jun-12-19  stridergene: Mathematically Lahno can still catch up. Practically speaking i don't see it happening.
Jun-12-19  botvinnik64: Cruise control - this 20 year old is for real whether Yifan comes back or not.
Jun-13-19  jphamlore: <Count Wedgemore: ... with many other strong Russian players, male and female, helping out before and during the match. This is what happened with Karjakin when he challenged Carlsen ...>

I don't know where this myth got started. Yes Karjakin got money, no, <none> of the top Russian players lifted one finger to help him prepare. Not a single one. Not Kramnik, not Svidler, not Grischuk, and so on down the line. Heck Nepomniachtchi would have been much more likely to have been <Carlsen's> second, not Karjakin's.

Karjakin gave his training money to Mamedyarov who used that money and resources to train Mamedyarov not Karjakin. Karjakin has said his opening preparation versus Carlsen was totally useless.

The only Russian who ever did anything to help Karjakin was Karpov's playing endless blitz games with him. That's it.

Jun-13-19  BUNA: < jphamlore: <Count Wedgemore: ... with many other strong Russian players, male and female, helping out before and during the match. This is what happened with Karjakin when he challenged Carlsen ...>

I don't know where this myth got started. Yes Karjakin got money, no, <none> of the top Russian players lifted one finger to help him prepare. Not a single one. Not Kramnik, not Svidler, not Grischuk, and so on down the line.> According to Karjakin the russian national team helped him during the match.

But we don't know to what extent.

Jun-13-19  botvinnik64: Have the venue and dates for the Women's WCC been set? Prize fund?
Jun-14-19  botvinnik64: Congrats to AG! I am looking forward to the WWCC match. When, where and for how much I do not know, but this kid looks very strong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: the muzychuk sisters rallied, but too late. It would appear that the youth has eclipsed Kosteniuk.
Jun-14-19  Damenlaeuferbauer: Congratulations to Sasha Goryachkina for winning the women's candidates tournament 2019! The super-strong positional play of this just 20 years old girl reminds me to the young Tolya Karpov at the same age (with 20 years he won the Alekhine Memorial in Moscow 1971 together with the Ukrainian Leonid Stein). It is not to early to predict that she will pulverize and whip out the reigning world champion Ju Wenjun in their coming match and will combat with Yifan Hou for the crown of women's chess at least in the next decade. I guess she will be the seventh-greatest female player in the history of the royal game after (chronologically) Vera Menchik, Nona Gaprinashvili, Maia Chiburdanidze, Judit Polgar, Xie Jun, and Yifan Hou. Tonight, a new champion was born!
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Don't get too carried off. Just 100 Elo points behind her, a new Chinese star is lurking (Zhu Jiner. 16 years old).
Jun-15-19  gokusano: Why is the distance so wide? Did she use an engine? I'm just joking. This woman is amazing indeed. Yifan Hou has all the reason to come out of semi-retirement. But of course Ju Wenjun first.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: If Sash G. puts up a primo performance perhaps Rex Sinquefeld would be enticed to put up prize money, a match between Yifan and Sasha?
Jun-15-19  BUNA: <alexmagnus: Don't get too carried off. Just 100 Elo points behind her, a new Chinese star is lurking (Zhu Jiner. 16 years old).> Goryachkina reached 2402 in January 2013 when she was 14 years and 4 month old. Zhu Jiner reached 2409 at the age of 16 years and 1 month. So Zhu Jiner's rating progress isn't something extraordinary so far.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: the Bangles return, after a long absence:


Jun-17-19  James J. Henderson: Can you imagine if the Muzychuk sisters had played to win against each other, and Anna Muzychuk had won both games? Then, going into the last day of the tournament, Anna Muzychuk would be one point behind Goryachkina and maybe could win the tournament depending on how the tiebreaks work. It raises some disconcerting ethical issues. Of course, one can also imagine different hypothetical scenarios where pro forma draws between the sisters enable one of them to win the tournament.

I'm not sure what you can do about this, though, since both Muzychuks are clearly deserving of a spot in this tournament.

Jun-18-19  Chicgirl: Earlier today, in the closing ceremony, FIDE awards the Brilliancy Prize to the Mariya Muzychuk-Aleksandra Goryachkina game.

08:00-11:20 08:00-11:20
The fact that FIDE spends nearly 5 minutes on this award in the closing ceremony is another sign of Arkady Dvorkovich's growing commitment to promoting women's chess. Not just money but the keen emphasis on the beauty and quality of the great games.

Jun-18-19  Chicgirl: Mariya & Miro¡¯s analysis of the M Muzychuk-Goryachkina game:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sargon: Greetings all, I wanted to make note of a rendering issue with the crosstable in the summary for FIDE Candidates (Women) (2019).

It's not showing properly on my iMac using either Safari or Firefox. It looks like an issue with the “1/2” character. The display is correct on Chrome and Opera, but inasmuch as Safari is the default browser for Mac computers, I thought it incumbent to report this...

Screen snap here:

Best regards,

Apr-30-20  James J. Henderson: It is apparently no longer possible for me to delete my Jun-17-19 comment, about which I now feel guilty. While there are, in principle, ethical issues worthy of discussion in the case of family members participating in the same tournament, I regret the accusatory undertone of my prior comment. It is clear from Anna Muzychuk's impressive decision in 2017 to abdicate her rapid and blitz championships (along with significant prize money) in protest over human rights violations that Anna and Mariya Muzychuk have profound ethical commitments. Both of them obviously earned their places in the Candidates Tournament. I think the Muzychuks and the organizers handled the situation about as well as it could possibly have been handled.
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