Women’s Candidates R2: Tan wins again, Goryachkina beats Muzychuk

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
4/6/2024 – Tan Zhongyi scored two wins in as many games to become the early leader at the Women’s Candidates Tournament in Toronto. After beating Lei Tingjie in the first round, Tan got the better of Vaishali R on Friday to keep her perfect score. Now in sole second place stands Aleksandra Goryachkina, who defeated Anna Muzychuk with the white pieces. | Photo: FIDE / Michal Walusza

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The Chinese domination continues?

At 32, Tan Zhongyi is already one of the most experienced elite players in the women’s chess circuit. Back in 2017, Tan became the women’s world champion by winning a 64-player knockout tournament in Tehran. In 2023, she reached the final of the Candidates Matches, which she lost to her round-1 opponent in Toronto, Lei Tingjie. 

The players in the Women’s Candidates are fighting to gain the right to face Ju Wenjun in the next match for the world title. In the latest match, Ju faced Lei in an all-Chinese confrontation — as mentioned above, the finalists in the Candidates both hailed from China as well. Though the likes of Aleksandra Goryachkina, Humpy Koneru and Kateryna Lagno have maintained ratings similar to those of their Chinese colleagues, the players from China have lately been doing better in the official World Championship cycle.

Tan is now the sole leader in Canada, as she beat Lei and Vaishali R to keep a perfect score after the first two days of action. This is a long tournament, though, so her rivals have more than enough time to recover.

Besides Tan’s victory over Vaishali, one more game ended decisively on Friday, with Goryachkina getting the better of Anna Muzychuk with the white pieces.

In round 3, both Tan and Goryachkina will play black, against Muzychuk and Lei respectively.

Results - Round 2

Candidates Tournament 2024

The playing hall in Toronto | Photo: FIDE / Michal Walusza

Tan 1 - 0 Vaishali

Analysis by Klaus Besenthal

Tan Zhongyi, Vaishali Rameshbabu

Tan Zhongyi facing Vaishali Rameshbabu | Photo: FIDE / Michal Walusza

Expert analysis by WIM Svitlana Demchenko

Goryachkina 1 - 0 Muzychuk

Analysis by Klaus Besenthal

Aleksandra Goryachkina

Aleksandra Goryachkina | Photo: FIDE / Michal Walusza

Standings after round 2

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.
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