The chasing pack, slowed down by internal conflicts, was unable to catch up with the leader. Goryachkina has finally reduced her pace, however, three draws in a row made her unreachable with two rounds to go – an outstanding success!
Having White against Anna Muzychuk, Aleksandra employed a purely restricting strategy. In her two Black games, she successfully defended the Caro-Kann. Lagno went for a classical setup, only without h4-h5, but she delayed the typical knight jump to e5, allowing Black to equalize comfortably.
Tan Zhongyi's play was more ambitious, but she chose a conceptually wrong direction at the critical moment.