2019 Cairns Cup Recap

2019 Cairns Cup – Round 9

Almost all the rounds of this event had a lot of excitement, so it wasn’t a surprise that the last one didn’t disappoint.  In the battle for first place, GM Gunina had an advantage most of the game against GM Kosteniuk, but Alexandra fought back and even had winning chances at some point before the game finally ended in a draw.  Krush completely dominated Harika to secure 3rd place, and Dzagnidze won an all-Georgian matchup to move into 4th. 

2019 Cairns Cup – Round 8

Round eight had plenty of fighting chess, but only one player was able to secure a victory.  French GM Marie Sebag scored her first win of the tournament against GM Irina Krush. IM Zhansaya Abdumalik came close to knocking off the tournament leader but stumbled just before making time control.  GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, on the other hand, had plenty of chances against Dzagnidze before the Georgian GM managed to hold her to a draw.

2019 Cairns Cup – Round 7

The 7th round saw two decisive results, but they were crucial ones.  Gunina won a 4th game in a row and moved into clear first place, while Kosteniuk drew the worse side of a french and fell back to 2nd.  The 3rd place player, GM Irina Krush, lost in convincing fashion to GM Bela Khotenashvili. Abdumalik-Dzagnidze and Paehtz-Sebag also could have seen White victories, but both players were unable to convert. 

2019 Cairns Cup – Round 6

Today’s round was a truly insane.  Krush and Kosteniuk drew an unclear game where both had chances, and the games Gunina-Paehtz, Dronavalli-Abdumalik, and Dzagnidze-Zatonskih all had many changes in evaluation throughout the game.  Watching it live was a real edge-of-your-seat experience!

2019 Cairns Cup – Round 5

The 5th round certainly didn’t lack excitement, and the three leaders continued to show their fine form by extending their respective leads.  Valentina Gunina won a spectacular game, Irina Krush won an efficient one, and Kosteniuk won after an absolutely crazy battle. Anna Zatonskih recovered from a terrible pawn blunder, leaving Harika with a 5th draw in a row.

2019 Cairns Cup – Round 4

Similar to the opening round, round four saw four decisive results, with most of the victories coming with Black.  Kosteniuk extended her lead by defeating GM Marie Sebag, but Gunina and Krush also won, so her lead is only by half a point.  It was a dramatic day, with lots of pressure and more blunders than normal, but there was also lots of strong play.

2019 Cairns Cup – Round 3

The third round had both of the extremes:  Two games ended peacefully in short order, while the other three were quite complex.  Former Women’s World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk showed her class with a nice victory over young IM Zhansaya Abdumalik, pulling ahead of her rivals with a score of 2.5/3.  IM Anna Zatonskih and GM Nana Dzagnidze also picked up their first wins.

2019 Cairns Cup – Round 2

Today’s round was far less bloody than the first round, but it was certainly not short of interesting games.  There were time scrambles, advantages passed back and forth, and plenty of other action. In the end, only GM Khotenashvili was able to break through and score a victory, thus bouncing back from her loss on day one. 

2019 Cairns Cup – Round 1

At the opening ceremony of the Cairns Cup Tuesday evening, the players promised to do all they could to play fighting chess.  They certainly didn’t disappoint. The first round of the Cairns Cup was a bloody affair, with most of the players taking lots of risk and playing aggressive chess.  There was only one draw, and black had a good day, scoring three wins to white’s one. Here are the results of the round, along with a summary of what went down in each game.