European Women's Ch: Kashlinskaya tops five-way tie

by Macauley Peterson
4/22/2019 – Inna Gaponenko took a half point lead into the final round, but she was stopped by former Women's World Champion Antoaneta Stefanofa, who scored a clutch win to join a five-way tie for first with the finally tally of 8.0/11 along with Alina Kashlinskaya, Marie Sebag, and Elisabeth Paehtz. | Photos: Kasia Selbes Photography / eiwcc2019.tsf.org.tr

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Stefanova takes five straight to join winners

Russia's Alina Kashlinskaya had led the field quite confidently until the eighth round, but she stumbled in round nine, thanks to poor handling of the endgame against Inna Gaponenko. With 7½ points, Gaponenko was in sole first place. But in Monday's final round eleven, it was Gaponenko's turn to falter, allowing Kashlinskaya, Marie Sebag, Elisabeth Paehtz and Antoaneta Stefanova to pull equal.

After round nine, Marie Sebag from France trailed in second with 7 points after beating Bela Khotenashvili (Georgia). Another half point back was the German number one, Elisabeth Paehtz, who won her game against Polish Zawadzka.

Top results of Round 9

 
 

Gaponenko

Inna Gaponenko took the sole lead

In the tenth round, Gaponenko and Sebag drew on board one, giving Gaponenko a half point lead heading into the final round. Her qualification to the World Cup was assured.

Kashlinskaya bounced back from her loss by beating fellow-Russian IM Anastasia Bodnaruk in a rook and bishop endgame.

Antoaneta Stefanova scored her fourth win in a row, beating IM Maria Guseva with Black.

 

Material is equal, but White's rook on a2 is awkwardly placed in defence. Guseva tried to activate it at the cost of the b2 pawn with 32.a1. Now 32...♜xb2 would allow 33.♖d1, so Stefanova correctly played 32...ad8 first, when after 33.e1 xb2 comes with the other rook prepared to double on the second rank. White's days are numbered.

Top results of Round 10

 

In Monday morning's final round, Gaponenko played a French Defence against Stefanova, who gradually built up a better position, and won a pawn, before expanding her advantage thanks to a nice tactic:

 

Stefanova liquidated into a winning queen ending with 30.xd6 xd6 31.xf5 xd3 32.xe7+ f7 33.xf4.

Elisabeth Paehtz was the other player with a win on the top boards, capping a strong 3½/4 points run. She kept her wits about her in a tense rook and bishop endgame, to capitalize on a slip up from Ekaterina Atalik.

 

Black would be better after 51...♜d2, preparing to get behind the passed a-pawn, but Atalik tried 51...e5 to target the h-pawn, only to reverse course when she realized after 52.a5 that the pawn is quite quick. 52...d5 and the game turned in Paehtz's favour. 

Paehtz

Elisabeth Paehtz

Top results of Round 11

 

All players with 7½ safely qualified to the Women's World Cup.

Final standings (top 25)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Kashlinskaya Alina 8,0 2420
2 Sebag Marie 8,0 2406
3 Paehtz Elisabeth 8,0 2395
4 Gaponenko Inna 8,0 2386
5 Stefanova Antoaneta 8,0 2346
6 Guichard Pauline 7,5 2404
7 Fataliyeva Ulviyya 7,5 2402
8 Ushenina Anna 7,5 2381
9 Tsolakidou Stavroula 7,5 2373
10 Dzagnidze Nana  7,5 2365
11 Zawadzka Jolanta 7,5 2355
12 Cramling Pia 7,5 2354
13 Bodnaruk Anastasia 7,5 2327
14 Socko Monika 7,5 2310
15 Paramzina Anastasya 7,0 2403
16 Brunello Marina 7,0 2394
17 Atalik Ekaterina 7,0 2383
18 Mamedjarova Turkan 7,0 2373
19 Goryachkina Aleksandra 7,0 2358
20 Salimova Nurgyul 7,0 2338
21 Mammadzada Gunay 7,0 2337
22 Belenkaya Dina 7,0 2325
23 Houska Jovanka 7,0 2316
24 Matnadze Ana 7,0 2312
25 Semenova Elena 7,0 2279

All available games

 

Klaus Besenthal contributed reporting

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Macauley is Editor in Chief of ChessBase News in Hamburg, Germany, and producer of The Full English Breakfast chess podcast. He was an Associate Producer of the 2016 feature documentary, Magnus.
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GM77251 GM77251 4/23/2019 10:16
Haha - I thought, at first glance, your top photo included all the women in the five way split, in which case I concluded something fishy was going on...
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