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Round 7: Status quo at the Lausanne Women’s Grand Prix

The free day definitely instilled fighting intentions to most players, as two games lasted more than 5 hours on Monday. Yet, as many as five games ended with a draw. Only Anna Muzychuk managed to earn the full point. She quickly got an edge in a queenless position of the Petrof, and skillfully increased the pressure. She convincingly converted the ensuing endgame with Bishop against Knight with an extra pawn. Her opponent Alexandra Kosteniuk is thus falling back to last place in this tough tournament. Both leaders managed to stay in front thanks to solid draws with the black pieces. The encounter between Antoaneta Stefanova and Alina Kashlinskaya finished very early, when the Bulgarian decided to repeat moves in a well-known line of the Catalan Opening. Mariya Muzychuk ventured the entertaining and aggressive Evans Gambit against Aleksandra Goryachkina. The Russian reacted well and achieved equality, after which the game was drawn in a Bishop endgame.

The longest game of the day brought together Marie Sebag and Ju Wenjun. The fight went deep into the endgame but never significantly shifted to one side or another. The world champion still struggles in Lausanne, as she has not yet won a single game and only has 3 points.
Harika Dronavalli did not achieve much against Zhansaya Abdumalik and even had to be careful, after Black found the ingenious move 16...e4. The Indian defended carefully and secured the draw on move 30.

The game between Pia Cramling and Nana Dzagnidze was balanced throughout the five hours. The Georgian sacrificed a pawn in order to simplify in an endgame, where all pawns were on the kingside. The Swedish legend pushed for a while, though without creating any serious chances.

Results of round 7:
Antoaneta Stefanova (BLG) – Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS) ½-½
Harika Dronavalli (IND) – Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ) ½-½
Anna Muzychuk (UKR) – Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) 1-0
Mariya Muzychuk (UKR) – Aleksandra Goryachkina (RUS) ½-½
Pia Cramling (SWE) – Nana Dzagnidze (GEO) ½-½
Marie Sebag (FRA) – Ju Wenjun (CHN) ½-½

Standings after round 7:
1-2. Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS) and Aleksandra Goryachkina (RUS) - 4½ points.
3.-6. Harika Dronavalli (IND), Anna Muzychuk (UKR), Nana Dzagnidze (GEO) and Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ) - 4 points.
7.-8. Pia Cramling (SWE) and Mariya Muzychuk (UKR) - 3½ points.
9. Ju Wenjun (CHN) - 3 points.
10.-11. Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL) and Marie Sebag (FRA) - 2½ points.
12. Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) - 2 points.

Program of round 8, 10 March at 3 pm:
Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS) – Ju Wenjun (CHN)
Nana Dzagnidze (GEO) – Marie Sebag (FRA)
Aleksandra Goryachkina (RUS) – Pia Cramling (SWE)
Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) – Mariya Muzychuk (UKR)
Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ) – Anna Muzychuk (UKR)
Antoaneta Stefanova (BLG) – Harika Dronavalli (IND)

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