Cairns Cup: Khotenashvili wins again, Humpy withdraws

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
6/8/2023 – Before round 5 of the Cairns Cup began, the organizers announced that Humpy Koneru had to withdraw due to medical issues. Humpy’s games in the first four rounds will not be counted in the tournament standings, though they will be rated by FIDE. In the fifth round, Bella Khotenashvili scored a third consecutive victory, as she defeated Nana Dzagnidze after the latter failed to make the most of a deadly kingside attack. | Photo: Crystal Fuller

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Humpy withdraws due to health reasons

Only nine players will get to finish the third edition of the Cairns Cup. Before the start of round 5, the organizers announced that Humpy Koneru had withdrawn from the competition due to medical issues (not covid-related, they noted). Since the event’s half-point had not been reached, the results of Humpy’s previous games will be nullified in the standings. The games, however, will be FIDE rated.

The two players who were the most inconvenienced by this development were Alexandra Kosteniuk and Nana Dzagnidze, who had both defeated Humpy in rounds 1 and 4, respectively. In rounds 2 and 3, Irina Krush and Harika Dronavalli had drawn the Indian so, although they will not see their place in the standings affected, they will also not get the extra rest day that the remaining participants will get in the coming rounds.

Three out of the four games played on Wednesday finished drawn, as sole leader Anna Zatonskih split a point with Harika.

The one decisive game of the round was an exciting affair. The all-Georgian clash between Dzagnidze and Bella Khotenashvili saw the former generating a deadly attack but failing to find the killer shot at a critical juncture. After surviving the onslaught, Khotenashvili emerged with a superior position, which she converted into what was her third straight win in St Louis.

Zatonskih is still leading the standings, and will face Gunay Mammadzada with black in Friday’s sixth round. Thursday is a rest day.

Anna Zatonskih

Still in the lead — Anna Zatonskih | Photo: Crystal Fuller

Nana Dzagnidze, Bella Khotenashvili

The two Georgian representatives in Saint Louis | Photo: Crystal Fuller

Results - Round 5

Standings - Round 5

Cairns Cup 2023

All games

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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.