Nana Dzagnidze tried an unusual line of the English opening against Anna Muzychuk. It looked quite good for White until Dzagnidze allowed her center to collapse. She lost track of the game and even blundered an exchange. It took around 40 moves for Muzychuk, but she finally converted the game into a full point.
The sharpest opening was seen in the game between Russian players Alexandra Kosteniuk and Kateryna Lagno. Black sacrificed a pawn and then, surprisingly, castled long. However, Alexandra did not pursue an attack but opted for a Queens exchange to calm the pace and transfer the game into the ending with an extra pawn. Kosteniuk's plan was based on creating a passed pawn on the queenside. Lagno, on the other hand, attempted to maintain an active counterplay with her Rooks and Bishop. It seems Kosteniuk missed a good chance to seize an advantage on several occasions, but to her credit, the position was very complicated with many tactical possibilities for Black. With a stubborn defense, Katerina Lagno was able to hold a draw.
The leader of the tournament Aleksandra Goryachkina will face her nearest rival Katerina Lagno in the 10th round. Despite 2,5 points difference, Katerina Lagno said she still believes in miracles and will keep on fighting.
Tuesday is a rest day. Wednesday, June 12th at 15:00 local time the tenth round will be played with the following pairings:
Alexandra Kosteniuk — Valentina Gunina
Kateryna Lagno — Aleksandra Goryachkina
Anna Muzychuk — Tan Zhongyi
Mariya Muzychuk — Nana Dzagnidze
Report by Anastasiya Karlovich