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Round 6: Khomeriki Unstoppable, Sindarov Joins Maghsoodloo in the Lead
Photo by Amruta Mokal / ChessBase India

Georgia has been a superpower in women chess for quite some time and it seems soon a new name will be added to the list of countless elite players they produced: Nino Khomeriki. She has an unbeliavable perfect score with 6/6 and already has already managed to put -a quite significant- gap of 1 point between herself and the three Russian musketeers:  Maltsevskaya, Dordzhieva and Paramzina. If anyone will be able to stop WIM Khomeriki in the next rounds remains to be seen, but if other players have dreams of becoming champion they better hurry before Khomeriki escapes with the title!

In the open section Parham Maghsoodloo could also keep his perfect score if he beat his compatriot Firouzja but as the game reached a friendly outcome he has 5,5 points and shares the lead with the Uzbek prodigy IM Javokhir Sindarov who has won a fine game against IM Christiansen of Norway. For sure a lot will be on stake in the game between the two leaders next round. The future of Uzbek chess definitely looks to be bright with shining young stars such as IM Sindarov and GM Abdusattorov. Of course Iran is also on course to become a great force in chess world with such young talents like Maghsoodloo, Firouzja, Tabatabaei.


The game on first board between two Iranian players have seen points split quite friendly in an uneventful manner as already mentioned. Sindarov-Christiansen on second board however provided great entertainment, unless you’re a Norwegian obviously. It seemed that Christiansen wasn’t ready for Sindarov’s idea. Although he drifted into a type of position where he had an unpleasant defence in front of him, there was certainly no need to allow the obvious 19. Rxf6 exchange sacrifice, destroying the black kingside completely after which Sindarov easily rounded up the full point. A great result for Sindarov, a win tomorrow against Maghsoodloo and who knows; we might have the second youngest grandmaster in history!

In the all German game Donchenko – Kollars, Black misplayed in the opening and ended up being pawn down with only slight compensation. But inaccuracies of Donchenko led to the escape of Kollars and the game was drawn. On fourth board Santos Ruiz – Esipenko, the Russian player held perhaps a slight advantage most of the game but it never turned into anything tangible and players agreed to a draw just before it fizzled out to a drawn rook endgame.

Possibly the game of the round was played on fifth board between two Indian players: Aravindh-Venkataraman. Scheveningen is a very complex system in Sicilian with lots of nuances and it seemed IM Venkataraman had a better understanding of the position. It was a near perfect effort by Black, combining defense with destruction of white center after which black rooks infiltrated white ranks with decisive effect. Truly in the style of Garry Kasparov, the greatest expert of Scheveningen; probably even now.

Other players with 5 points are GM Tabatabei of Iran who managed to beat Indian IM Bharathakoti after the latter made a great mistake on 45th move in a totally equal position and IM Vavulin of Russia who won a game of twists and turns according to Tartakower’s maxim: The game is won by the player who made the next-to-last mistake.

Besides Maghsoodloo-Sindarov the other most important matchups of 7th round are Firouzja – Vavulin and Venkataraman – Tabatabei in the open section.


It’s becoming more and more a one man show or in this case a one girl show rather. Khomeriki played another high-class game, this time in the ultra-theoretical and sharp Meran against Bulgarian FM Antova, and scored another nice win to keep her perfect score. The accuracy of Georgian so far has really been above the others and that shows itself in the standings as well. Very impressive!

On second board Maltsevskaya played another fine game against Assaubayeva but being in mutual zeitnot she couldn’t calculate a win and opted for a draw. A good result for FM Assaubayeva who couldn’t show her strength in this particular game.

On third and fourth boards Russian girls WIM Dordzhieva and WGM Paramzina win with white pieces against Haussernot and Sliwicka respectively. Dordzhieva – Haussernot was pretty fun to watch with mutual mistakes in a very complex position which finally ended in favor of the Russian. Paramzina – Sliwicka was a more one-sided and correct effort but it had another interesting feature. Sliwicka played the same idea Khomeriki used to beat her yesterday with black pieces but the Polish player lost again! Losing two games in a row in almost the same position both as white and black must feel upsetting. Still Sliwicka showed her strength in the rounds before and best of luck to her in the rest of the championship!

Finally the story of the round! On fifth board IM Tsolakidou was playing with white against WFM Hilario of Peru. Although she missed an opportunity for getting a big advantage by playing 8.a3 -instead she chose 8. Qc2- according to her trainer Ioannis Papaioannou, she still managed to get a playable position. However no one could expect that the game would end on 12th move! Tsolakidou took the black knight with 12. Nxd5 and after 12…Nxd5 or 12…exd5 the game would have continued. Instead of taking back the knight however the Peruvian player touched her c-pawn, after which she had no choice but resign! A very unfortunate event for Hilario and a very precious gift for Tsolakidou.

In 7th round Dordzhieva – Khomeriki and Maltsevskaya – Paramzina will definitely be the games to follow as well as Gorti – Tsolakidou and Antova – Assaubayeva.

The 7th round will start on September 11, 15:00 local time. Don’t forget to follow the games and live commentary of IM Arduman & FM Selbes with the always entertaining and instructive GM Papaioannou as the guest commentator.

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