Women’s Candidates R11: Tan takes down Lagno, leads

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
4/18/2024 – Three games ended decisively in round 11 of the Women’s Candidates Tournament, with Tan Zhongyi beating Kateryna Lagno in a key matchup, Vaishali R taking down Aleksandra Goryachkina, and Humpy Koneru defeating Nurgyul Salimova. These results left Tan atop the standings, with a half-point advantage over Lei Tingjie. Goryachkina’s loss left her a whole two points behind Tan with only three rounds to go in Toronto. | Photo: FIDE / Michal Walusza

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A two-horse race

The Chinese domination in the Women’s World Championship cycle continues, as Tan Zhongyi and Lei Tingjie are the two clear contenders to take the title at the Women’s Candidates Tournament in Toronto. The winner of the event will face Ju Wenjun in the next match for the women’s world title — Tan was the world champion in 2017-18, while Lei was Ju’s latest challenger for the world crown.

In round 11, Tan achieved a great victory against Kateryna Lagno. Lagno was the only player who remained undefeated in the event, though she had only scored one victory in her first ten games — over Vaishali R in the sixth round.

The two remaining crucial encounters in the fight for first place favoured Tan’s chances of winning the event. Lei drew Anna Muzychuk with the white pieces, after the Ukrainian GM failed to find a difficult line that would have giver her a clear advantage amid a complex middlegame; meanwhile, Aleksandra Goryachkina, who entered the round in shared third place a full point behind Tan, was defeated by Vaishali — Goryachkina rejected implicit draw offers as she tried to create winning chances somewhat desperately.

With only three rounds to go, Tan has a half-point lead over Lei, while Goryachkina, Lagno and Humpy Koneru — who also scored a win on Wednesday — stand a whole 2 points behind the leader. Both Tan and Lei will play black in two out of their three remaining games.

Results - Round 11

Lei Tingjie

Lei Tingjie | Photo: FIDE / Michal Walusza

Tan 1 - 0 Lagno

Analysis by André Schulz

Tan Zhongyi

Tan Zhongyi | Photo: FIDE / Michal Walusza

Expert analysis by WIM Svitlana Demchenko

Vaishali 1 - 0 Goryachkina

Analysis by André Schulz

Vaishali Rameshbabu

Vaishali Rameshbabu | Photo: FIDE / Michal Walusza

Standings after round 11

All games

The intense clash of leaders

Two rare interviews!

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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.
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