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ecu 180
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Kashlinskaya Clear First Going Into Rest Day
IMG 6095
The round just before a rest day in the middle of the tournament is always an important one. It was especially so for Kashlinskaya and Guichard because in case of a win one of them would have been clear first. In the end it was Alina Kashlinskaya who managed to do so and she has every right to be satisfied with herself and have a fantastic rest day!

The game itself was for most of its course a one-way traffic. Against Guichard’s King’s Indian Kashlinskaya opted for Makagonov Variation with 5.h3. It is quite a tricky variation the way Kashlinskaya played it with g4-h4, mainly because the King’s Indian player who lives and dies for kingside attacks doesn’t get what she wants but quite the opposite! One needs to play very precisely in order not find herself without any play as black and Guichard obviously couldn’t handle it so. Probably her mistake came at this point:

Kashlinskaya - Guichard


So far both sides played logical moves and followed up their plans. The first instance Guichard deviates from the usual plan she finds herself in trouble:
15... a3?! [15...b5 is the move black was preparing all this time, why not to play it now? Another crucial idea is to play Rfc8 to make space for the black king, in order to secure an exit route so that the later tactics in the game won't happen.]
16.b4! [Kashlinskaya calculated the next few moves obviously and thus plays in the most forcing fashion]
16...Qxb4 17.Rb1 Qa5 18.h6! [Preparing the next move. Black king is running out of squares!]
18...Bh8 19.Nf5! [With the double threat of Ne7 mate and Nxd6]
19...Bxf5 [19...gxf5 20.Bxc5! with the deadly Qg5 threat]
20.gxf5 Nfd7 21.Nb5! [Suddenly all the weaknesses in black's position are beginning to be felt!]
21...Qb6 22.Bh3 [With the threat of fxg6 and Bxd7 -or even Be6–]
22...Qd8 23.Nxd6 Qe7 24.Nb5 Bf6 25.d6 Bh4+ 26.Ke2 Qf6 27.Nc7 Rac8 28.Rbc1 b6 29.Bg4 Kh8 30.Nd5 Qd8 31.f6 [A strange decision.]
[31.fxg6 was very simple and obvious. It's like checkers after this! 31...fxg6 32.Bxd7 Nxd7 33.Rxc8 Qxc8 34.Rxh4 A piece up! Better than mate]
31...Bg3 32.Ne7 Ra8 33.Rh3 Bf4 34.Bxf4 exf4 35.Qxf4 Ra4 36.Rc3 Qa8 37.Bxd7 Qa6+ 38.Kf2 Nxd7 39.Rh1 Rb4 40.Kg3 Rb2 41.Qe3 b5 42.Rc6 Qa5 43.Rhc1 b4 44.Nd5 Qa8 45.Nb6 Qe8 46.Nxd7 Qxd7 47.Qc5 Rd2 48.Rc8 Rd8 49.e5 1-0
Final position is picturesque:


With the completion of “V” the victory is achieved!
On second board Gaponenko played a good game against Khotenashvili. Her only mistake was actually agreeing to a draw and not thinking about the rook transfer to h-file by pushing her b-pawn. It’s quite a miss for the Ukrainian player and Khotenashvili probably felt very relieved after the draw.
On fourth board Danielian-Ushenina was more or less a well-played draw but on 3rd and 5th boards we saw two decisive results. On 5th board Goryachkina won against Balajayeva in Rubinstein/Capablanca style, a double rook endgame where she enjoyed a nice advantage which she managed to convert. This puts Goryachkina with 4,5 points at shared 3rd place going into rest day. Not bad after a slow start!

On 3rd board Sebag played very well against Salimova and after she managed to grab the advantage in the endgame -although the Bulgarian had chances for a draw- it always looked like the Frenchwoman will convert it. With this fine win Sebag moved to clear second with 5 points and she will play a crucial game against Kashlinskaya after the rest day.
The 7th round will start the day after tomorrow (April 18 Thursday) at 15:00 local time. We will see Sebag-Kashlinskaya clash on the top board. The next six boards will be between players with 4,5 points and it will be important for them at least not to lose in order not to fall out of competition for the title.Don’t forget to follow the live broadcast with excellent commentary of GM Ioannis Papaioannou & IM Can Arduman and Ivan Sokolov & Eva Repkova or a combination of those.
But for now let’s all have a rest tomorrow!

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