Women's Candidates: Nana Dzagnidze alone on top

by André Schulz
6/5/2019 – Nana Dzagnidze is having a dream tournament in Kazan, as she now leads the Candidates Tournament on 3½/4 points — her victim in round four was Valentina Gunina. The other winner of the day was Kateryna Lagno, who defeated Mariya Muzychuk and is now in fourth place on a 50% score. Alexandra Kosteniuk drew Tan Zhongyi and Anna Muzychukk split the point with Aleksandra Goryachkina. | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

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The first sole leader in Kazan

Nana Dzagnidze played the Exchange Variation of the French Defence against Valentina Gunina and, given the Russian's active style, was able to positionally get the upper hand in the middlegame. White then turned her positional advantage into a tangible edge — her central advance bore fruit by move 24:

 

Gunina pinned the d5-pawn with 24...ad8 only to find herself vulnerable to a dangerous discovered attack after 25.a1.

Nana Dzagnidze

Nana Dzagnidze has been ruthless so far in Kazan | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

The second win of the day was achieved by Kateryna Lagno, who had the black pieces against Mariya Muzychuk. From an aggressive setup of the Two Knights Defence, Black gave up an exchange and went on to get an attack:

 

With 33...d3, Black got the advantage. There followed 34.b1 f2+ and Black had won a pawn. The material advantage was enough to get an eventual win, the first one for Lagno in the tournament.

Mariya Muzychuk, Kateryna Lagno

Mariya Muzychuk v Kateryna Lagno | Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Standings after Round 4

 

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.

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