Every loss by a World Champion must make headlines and we shall not go against this rule. White’s position did not look that promising at first sight, but as Harika Dronavalli explained in her post-game interview, she had small elements to play for. Having the better Bishop, she maneuvered skillfully in order to get rid of her doubled pawns on the kingside. Her technique worked wonders as she managed to create a passed pawn there, after which Ju Wenjun could only resign. With hindsight, it is hard to pinpoint any real mistake by the Chinese.
Anna Muzychuk scored an easy victory when Marie Sebag erred after the opening. The decisive mistake came as early as on move 14, after which the French could not avoid material loss. The third winner of the day is Alina Kashlinskaya, who overcame her countrywoman Alexandra Kosteniuk. The latter appeared much better prepared, as witnessed the respective time consumption of both players in the opening phase. It is unclear whether Kosteniuk forgot the details of her preparation or got surprised by the exchange on g5 followed by 18...f6. In any case, it seems as if retreating the Bishop all the way to c1 would have been better than 19.Bd2, in order to disrupt the later defensive resource Ne7. Kashlinskaya took over and never looked back.
The three winners of the day join Nana Dzagnidze and Aleksandra Goryachkina, who drew their respective games. The Georgian ventured a daring exchange sacrifice against Antoaneta Stefanova, which set the board on fire. The fight became very complicated with inevitable mutual inaccuracies. But one gets the impression that Dzagnidze is the one who got closer to a win. Zhansaya Abdumalik made a quick draw with White. She seemed surprised, perhaps even disappointed, that her opponent Aleksandra Goryachkina chose a Berlin Defense. After her loss on the previous day, the youngest participant in Lausanne decided to play it safe and offered a theoretical draw by repetition of moves.
The encounter between Mariya Muzychuk and Pia Cramling was fairly balanced, and both players agreed to a draw on move 45.
Results of round 3:
Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) – Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS) 0-1
Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ) – Aleksandra Goryachkina (RUS) ½-½
Antoaneta Stefanova (BLG) – Nana Dzagnidze (GEO) ½-½
Harika Dronavalli (IND) – Ju Wenjun (CHN) 1-0
Anna Muzychuk (UKR) – Marie Sebag (FRA) 1-0
Mariya Muzychuk (UKR) – Pia Cramling (SWE) ½-½
Standings after round 3:
1-5. Dronavalli Harika (IND), Nana Dzagnidze (GEO), Anna Muzychuk (UKR), Aleksandra Goryachkina (RUS) and Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS) - 2 points
6.-8. Pia Cramling (SWE), Mariya Muzychuk (UKR) and Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL) - 1½ points.
9-11. Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ), Ju Wenjun (CHN) and Marie Sebag (FRA) 1
12. Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) - ½ points.
Program of round 4, 5 March at 3 pm:
Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS) – Pia Cramling (SWE)
Marie Sebag (FRA) – Mariya Muzychuk (UKR)
Ju Wenjun (CHN) – Anna Muzychuk (UKR)
Nana Dzagnidze (GEO) – Harika Dronavalli (IND)
Aleksandra Goryachkina (RUS) – Antoaneta Stefanova(BLG)
Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) – Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ)
Follow all the action live with commentary by grandmasters Mikhail Gurevich and Keti Tsatsalashvili on the tournament website http://wgp2019.fide.com.
Pictures in high resolution are available for the press at our official Flickr account.
Text: Yannick Pelletier
Photos: David Llada