Lei Tingzhi reaches halfway; Anna Muzychuk Hits Back To Force Tiebreak | So Good News


GM Anna Muzychuk lost GM Humpy Koneru On Saturday, the fourth game of their Women’s Challengers quarter-final was forced to a tiebreaker on Sunday. The winner will face GM Lei Tingjie, who reached the required draw against GM Maria Muzychuk. The quarter-final tiebreak begins Sunday, October 30, 7:00am PT / 3:00pm CEST.

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After Thursday’s two draws, as covered in our last report, the third day of play saw the same story: draws in both games. To start, we’ll look at Koneru and Anna Muzychuk, a game that ended with 18 walks in the last Sevian-Niemann US Championship! Surprisingly, the ladies came to Monaco very well prepared.

Leigh and Maria Muzychuk also saw a queenless middle game, with more pawns and quieter maneuvers on the board. The former world champion from Ukraine was playing very well, but missed an opportunity to equalize in the match:

Lei Tingjie Maria Muzychuk
Maria Muzychuk missed a big chance in the third game. Photo: Michal Walusza/FIDE.

As on day two, the Muzychuk sisters both faced Petroff with white pieces on Saturday. The difference was that both of them had to win on demand and only Anna did.

“It was a tough match,” Leigh said after another draw against Maria. – Yesterday I was very lucky, today’s game was also very difficult.

Women's Candidates Chess Monaco 2022
The two Petroffs appear once more. Photo: Michal Walusza/FIDE.

In her first white game, Anna Muzychuk lost a move, but the Ukrainian CEO must have noticed an improvement earlier because she repeated the same line anyway. Koneru was the first to fold, but after White ran his h-pawn to h6, he was still under pressure.

The Indian major-general sacrificed his c-pawn to play against the queen, but it backfired. White was active on both wings, gaining a monster bishop on f6, then sacrificing the exchange to gain a winning position.

The famous 40th move could have changed everything: Muzychuk allowed an instant equaliser, but with seconds ticking on the clock, Koneru missed out on a place in the semi-finals.

Muzychuk said he was “tired” after the difficult game: “I don’t know what’s going on in time-difficulty. It’s a difficult game.”

Anna Muzychuk Koneru game 4 Monaco 2022
Immediately following the game was the draw for Sunday’s tiebreaker. Photo: Michal Waluza/FIDE.

The 2022-23 Women’s Challenger Tournament is an elite event featuring eight top female players competing in a knockout format for their share of the €250,000 prize pool. The The first quarter-finals of the tournament will begin on October 25, and the final will be held in the first quarter of 2023. Time control 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, then 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with 30 second increments for each move from the first move. No raffle offer is allowed before the 40th promotion.

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