Women’s Candidates R9: Tan beats Vaishali to regain the sole lead

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
4/15/2024 – After Lei Tingjie inflicted Tan Zhongyi’s first defeat on Saturday, Tan regained the sole lead by beating Vaishali Rameshbabu in Sunday’s round 9. Tan stands a half point ahead of Lei and Aleksandra Goryachkina, who are set to face each other on Monday. | Photo: FIDE / Michal Walusza

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Tan’s immediate comeback

Right after Tan Zhongyi lost her long-standing sole lead by losing with the white pieces against Lei Tingjie, the 32-year-old, a former women’s world champion, immediately regained her spot as sole leader. Tan got the better of an out-of-form Vaishali Rameshbabu, who has now lost four games in a row.

Lei and Aleksandra Goryachkina, who entered the round as co-leaders, both drew their games, against Nurgyul Salimova and Anna Muzychuk, respectively. Out of a Berlin Defence, Goryachkina got small winning chances with black, but failed to find a strong, backward knight jump on move 33.

33...Nd8 leaves White struggling to find ways to continue — e.g. 34.Rc8 Kf7 or 34.a4 Ne6 both allow Black to make progress with her extra piece.

Goryachkina played 33...Ra8 instead, and after 34.Rxc6, there is no way to defend both the pawn on c5 and the one on g6. The game continued until move 45, when the contenders agreed to split the point.

Results - Round 9

Anna Muzychuk, Aleksandra Goryachkina

Anna Muzychuk v. Aleksandra Goryachkina | Photo: FIDE / Michal Walusza

Vaishali 0 - 1 Tan

Analysis by André Schulz

Vaishali Rameshbabu

Vaishali Rameshbabu | Photo: FIDE / Michal Walusza

Standings after round 9

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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