Goryachkina loses the final game of the Candidates but still wins by 1.5 point margin

Aleksandra Goryachkina lost in the last round of the FIDE Women`s Candidates against Mariya Muzychuk. However, it didn`t influence her tournament situation as she had won the tournament with two rounds to spare. This means that in the next title match, Women`s World Champion Ju Wenjun will face Goryachkina. Anna Muzychuk made a relatively quick draw with Alexandra Kosteniuk and secured the second place in the tournament.

Kateryna Lagno held to a draw against Nana Dzagnidze and tied for the third place with Tan Zhongyi, who defeated Valentina Gunina.

The final standings: Aleksandra Goryachkina finished in first place with 9,5 points, Anna Muzychuk is in second place with 8 points. Kateryna Lagno and Tan Zhongyi shared third place with 7 points. Nana Dzagnidze and Mariya Muzychuk shared fifth place with 6,5 points, Alexandra Kosteniuk ended the tournament in seventh place with 6 points. Valentina Gunina is in eighth place with 5,5 points. The day started quietly with a draw between Anna Muzychuk and Alexandra Kosteniuk. Playing White Anna Muzychuk chose the Four Knights Defence, which usually leads to quiet positional play. Alexandra Kosteniuk had two extra knights on her ears in today's game. "That did not help me," smiled Alexandra in a post-game interview. After numerous exchanges the game was quickly transferred into the ending with an extra pawn for White but Black had enough compensation to keep the balance.
"In this tournament, only the first place really matters, but on the other hand when you start with -2, you can just dream of becoming 2nd in the end," said the runner-up Anna Muzychuk after the end of the tournament.

The Indian setup with double fianchetto for White appeared in the game Dzagnidze-Lagno. According to Nana, she could have created more troubles for Black, as in the game Kateryna managed to equalize and was never in real danger. After 43 moves the players signed the peace.

Aleksandra Goryachkina chose her main weapon Caro-Kann against Mariya Muzychuk. The Ukrainian player was well prepared in the opening and managed to increase her initiative taking advantage of her opponent who could not finish the development of the King`s side. Aleksandra had to defend her position but with a couple of tactical blows Mariya got a decisive advantage and converted it later into a full point.

The Italian Game appeared in the encounter between Tan Zhongyi and Valentina Gunina. After the opening battle neither player manage to get an advantage in the middle game and it was transferred into the equal ending. Valentina started to play imprecisely and gave a chance to her opponent to create dangerous threats against the black king. In the end Tan Zhongyi could have finished the game in couple of moves but chose to go into the winning rook ending.

Report by Anastasiya Karlovych
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