Astana GP: Goryachkina and Paehtz attack and win

by Klaus Besenthal
9/19/2022 – In the first round of the tournament in the Kazakh capital, players who belong to the same federation had to play each other first. So, on Sunday, Dinara Wagner faced Elisabeth Paehtz in an all-German confrontation, with Paehtz finally grabbing the full point. Meanwhile, top seed Aleksandra Goryachkina defeated rising star Polina Shuvalova with the white pieces. The four remaining games finished drawn. | Photos: FIDE / Anna Shtourman

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Two winners

Since yesterday, the capital of Kazakhstan is called Astana again. The short phase in which the city was called Nur-Sultan is already over. The tough, long-lived ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev probably wanted to underline his family’s claim to rule over the country with this action, but after Nazarbayev’s time as ruler expired in 2019, this clan seems to have lost influence. So now it’s back to Astana.

The vast, sparsely populated Kazakhstan, sandwiched between Russia and China, may be thought by most readers to be a purely Asian country, but in fact the westernmost tip of Kazakhstan lies west of the Urals and north of the Caucasus — in other words, in Europe. Astana, however, is deep in Asia.

Strong local representatives: Bibisara Assaubayeva and Zhansaya Abdumalik (draw)

There was also a draw between Russian-born Alina Kashlinskaya (representing Poland since 2022) and Alexandra Kosteniuk (playing under the FIDE flag since May 2022)

Two strong players from China: Tan Zhongyi and Zhu Jiner

Kateryna Lagno and Vaishali Rameshbabu

The game between Dinara Wagner and Elisabeth Paehtz was not a straightforward affair. When Wagner had just recovered from a bad position, she made a simple oversight that allowed Paehtz to claim the win in a few moves.


The tournament is about to start!

Polina Shuvalova had probably relied on activating her c and d-pawn duo in her game against Aleksandra Goryachkina, but this idea did not bear fruits during the game.


Aleksandra Goryachkina and Polina Shuvalova

Round 1 results


Standings after round 1


All games



Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.