Counterattacks Prevail: Kashlinskaya's 1st Win, Kosteniuk Still Undefeated
IM Alina Kashlinskaya scored her first victory of the Munich FIDE Women's Grand Prix in round five, 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.
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 were passed. However, Kosteniuk managed to drum up counterplay on the kingside in the nick of time and produce a perpetual check.
In the only victory of the round, Kashlinskaya defeated 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 at the game's outcome: "Yeah, 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, gaining a substantial edge in the opening by anchoring her knight onto c3, used her greater activity to win a pawn and press into the endgame vs. GM Nana Dzagnidze. But the Georgian grandmaster was able to generate counterplay with an exchange sacrifice to create an influential passed pawn.
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.
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 Sicilian Sveshnikov.