Munich GP: Kosteniuk leads, German players make unfortunate blunders

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
2/4/2023 – An entertaining second round at the Munich Grand Prix saw Alexandra Kosteniuk and Anna Muzychuk scoring wins with black, as they defeated local representatives Elisabeth Paehtz and Dinara Wagner, respectively. Three other games, albeit not decisive, were fiercely fought, with Humpy Koneru, Harika Dronavalli and Nana Dzagnidze showing great defensive skills to salvage half points. | Photo: FIDE / David Llada

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Sudden blunders, narrow escapes

Alexandra Kosteniuk won her first two games to grab an early lead at the Grand Prix in Munich. The former women’s world champion obtained a fine win over Alina Kashlinskaya on Thursday and defeated Elisabeth Paehtz in the second round. Unlike in her opening game, though, a good dose of luck was involved in her win over Paehtz, who blundered the game away in an imbalanced middlegame position.

A more convoluted story was seen in the other decisive game of the day, as Dinara Wagner first had a winning position, then gave it away, then regained drawing chances and then blundered again in her game with white against Anna Muzychuk. For Muzychuk, this might end up being a very valuable victory, since she kicked off the event with two blacks — albeit it was fully expected that she would sign a draw with her sister Mariya in the first round.

While the German players most likely finished the day regretting their blunders, Indian stars Humpy Koneru and Harika Dronavalli surely felt good after saving half points from inferior positions. In both cases, their opponents — Zhansaya Abdumalik and Zhu Jiner respectively — failed to find winning plans in clearly superior, yet double-edged, endgames.

The most quiet game of the day saw Tan Zhongyi holding Alina Kashlinskaya to a draw with the black pieces after 31 moves. Tan, who recently won the Women’s World Rapid Championship, remarkably went on to play at the play-in stage of the Airthings Masters (nine rounds of 10+2 online games against top opposition) right after her encounter in Munich.

Alina Kashlinskaya, Tan Zhongyi

Alina Kashlinskaya and Tan Zhongyi | Photo: David Llada

Paehtz hangs a piece


Elisabeth Paehtz, Alexandra Kosteniuk

Did Elisabeth Paehtz know she was going to hang a piece during the game? Alexandra Kosteniuk is now the sole leader in Munich | Photo: David Llada

Anna Muzychuk survives, then wins


Dinara Wagner, Anna Muzychuk

Anna Muzychuk defeated Dinara Wagner with the black pieces | Photo: David Llada

Imbalances galore in Koneru v Abdumalik


Humpy Koneru

Humpy Koneru | Photo: David Llada

Results - Round 2


Standings - Round 2


All games



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.