On Sunday the second half of the FIDE Women's Candidates Tournament started in Kazan, which means the players will face the same opponents with reversed colours. Aleksandra Goryachkina defeated her teammate Alexandra Kosteniuk to increase her tournament lead to 2 points. The youngest participant in the Candidates scored an impressive +5 and shows a 2786 performance. Kateryna Lagno made a draw against Valentina Gunina and remained in the second place. Tan Zhongyi, who lost three games in a row, struck back in the game against Nana Dzagnidze. Anna and Maria Muzychuk drew their second game in the tournament.
After eight rounds Goryachkina has 6,5 points, Kateryna Lagno is on the second place with 4,5 points, Nana Dzagnidze is on the third with 4 points. Tan Zhongyi, Valentina Gunina and the Muzychuk sisters have 3, 5 points, and Alexandra Kosteniuk has 3 points.
In the Vienna Variation of the Queens Gambit, Aleksandra Goryachkina got a comfortable position against Aleksandra Kosteniuk. It seems the former Women's World Champion lost track of the game after Goryachkina went for a principal line 26.e5. "Even though my position was unpleasant, I think I had some chances, but I just couldn't do anything", said Alexandra Kosteniuk after the game. The leader of the tournament increased her initiative move after move and grabbed yet one more victory in this Candidates.
Valentina Gunina chose a rare line in Ruy Lopez and even though she was had prepared it, she got confused and was not sure how to follow after 7.a4. Nevertheless, both players seemed satisfied with their position and play in the middlegame. Katerina Lagno went for numerous exchanges and the situation remained balanced also in the endgame, and just before the first time control the draw was agreed. "Yesterday's game against Nana was really tough and long, so I decided to play safe today", explained Kateryna regarding her approach for the game against Valentina.
It seems not only Katerina Lagno felt tired after her encounter in the round seven. Nana Dzagnidze claimed the same in the today's post-game interview. Against Tan Zhongyi, she went for a position with Rook and Bishop vs Queen, trying to prove she had enough of compensation, but a few moves later blundered a simple tactic, which led to a completely lost position. "I missed the 30.Rg6 and 31.Qc4 idea; I saw this line on the previous move, and then I absolutely forgot about it. I could have played 28...a5 instead of 28…Rb1 and the game would have continued after that."