The rook is being transferred to the queenside. An attempt to block it by 26.Nd5 is met by 26...Rxd5! 27.Rxd5 Be1! The brilliant bishop move follows to 26.Rd3 as well. After 26.h3 Rh5 27.Qd3 Qe6 White is worse, but there is still everything to play for. Anna did not manage to overcome her difficulties and ended up under a crushing attack.
26.Nd3 Rg5 27.Qb3+ Kg7 28.Nxf2 Rxg2! (the simple 28...Rxf2 wins as well) 29.Qb7 Rxh2+. 29...Rgxf2 30.Re1 Re2 31.Rxe2 Qxc1+ 32.Kg2 Qf1+ 33.Kg3 Qxe2 wins quicker.
30.Kxh2 Rxf2+ 31.Qg2 h5, Black took the queen and gradually won the game.
Mariya Muzychuk was surprised by Nana in the Meran Variation. White made a rare but by no means unknown move 12.Ne2, which had been played dozens of times even at a high level (for instance, Goryachkina lost to it twice, although her losses had nothing to do with the opening), and in response the ex-World Champion gave away a pawn and the bishop pair. Further simplifications followed, the game transposed to an ending, and Dzagnidze slowly but surely converted her advantage.
Aleksandra Goryachkina convincingly won the first half of the short version of the Russian championship. She could have won all three games, but missed a clear goalscoring opportunity against Kosteniuk.
A. Kosteniuk – A. Goryachkina