Round 2: Valentina Gunina
becomes the sole leader

FIDE Vice-President and a great supporter of chess Mahir Mammedov paid a visit at the Skolkovo Women's Grand Prix, and made the first move in the game between World Champion Ju Wenjun and Indian player Harika Dronavalli. Mr Mahir brought equal luck to the players and the game ended up in drawish rook-endgame.
Valentina Gunina managed to win to her countryman Alexandra Kosteniuk with black pieces. Kosteniuk refused to go for the principal continuation, missed the winning move g5 twice, and the situation radically worsened when she blundered an exchange. Rapid activation of the black pieces brought whole point and sole-lead to Gunina. Later, at the press conference, Valentina admitted that she disliked her position at the beginning, later on, she even declined three times repetition. She added that having Women Grand Prix next to her home brings her great benefits. She shared her secret of stress-release are her lovely pets (a cat and a dog).

A spectacular game was played between in the other Russian derby, in which Alina Kashlinskaya's king was under heavy fire from Katerina Lagno, who obtained a significant advantage from her advances in the kingside. Black's attempt to grab the entire point was insufficient for victory. Kashlinskaya sacrificed a rook in return she guaranteed herself with perpetual check.

Aleksandra Goryachkina went to the Slav Defense Exchange Variation against Elisabeth Paethz. Black managed the mobilization of her pieces and equalized position, but on the move 21, Paethz captured automatically on c6 with a queen and found herself into hardship. The game lasted for 80 moves and ended up in a draw.
An interesting game was played between Pia Cramling and Antoaneta Stefanova. Cramling with white pieces had a decisive advantage, but she missed precise way 27.c4 Rb3 28. Bc5 +- to gain material advantage.

The game between French GM Marie Sebag and Indian number one female player Koneru Humpy was the rather quiet game of the round 2. The players handshake on the move 26.

The third-round games will be played on September 13, at 3 pm local time (GMT +3).

Spectators can follow the games with English and Russian commentaries:

Report: Keti Tsatsalashvili
Photos: David Llada