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Round 9: Maghsoodloo On His Way To The Title, Five Players in Lead At Girls Section
IMG 7282
Yesterday we asked if anyone can stop Parham Maghsoodloo. The question is still on but we now know that even if anyone can that player is not Awonder Liang as he lost from the black side of a King’s Indian Attack a game without much counterplay after opting for a wrong plan. Now Parham Maghsoodloo is at 8,5/9 points with a safe distance of 1,5 points from a pack of five players with 7 players. A draw in the last rounds will suffice for shared first and two draws or one win will mean that the Iranian will finish clear first. What an incredible run by Maghsoodloo! After his recent sensational 8/9 score at the very strong Sharjah Masters the Iranian continues to fly high!

In girls section things remained very much unclear, if anything this round muddied the waters even further. Khomeriki lost against Assaubayeva and since there was a draw on the first board we have now five players with 7 points who are followed by three with 6,5. The penultimate round will see many exciting games, that’s for sure.


We have already mentioned that Maghsoodloo won against Liang on first board. You can find this game with some light analysis here. Again Maghsoodloo was very efficient in realizing his big advantage but to be fair Awonder Liang also played much below his standard in this game. But it doesn’t matter for Darius, sorry, Parham the Great of Persia who just continues winning one battle after another, be it against Wang Hao in Sharjah or here against Liang.

It wasn’t a great day for Iran though since both Firouzja (against Puranik from India) and Tabatabei (against Christiansen from Norway) lost this round and are now left behind in the race for medals. Hakobyan won against Manuel Petrosyan in a good style -except for one slip- and managed to go forward before the last two rounds at the expense of his compatriot.

The other two players with 7 points are Maxim Vavulin of Russia and Bai Jinshi from China. Bai Jinshi’s rook endgame against Sindarov was finely played by the Chinese grandmaster but Sindarov could have made things much harder and eventually achieve a draw -perhaps- had he played something like 32…f6 instead of going back with king and losing tempi at the inavoidable rook vs pawns ending afterwards.

The most important matchups of 10th round are Maghsoodloo – Vavulin, Puranik – Bai Jinshi and Christiansen – Hakobyan. Maghsoodloo can settle for a draw if he doesn’t want to risk but if he wins he can already celebrate clear first place and in this form it is highly doubtful that he’ll play for a draw!


On top board, Maltsevskaya - Dordzhieva it was a game with many ups and downs so the draw in the end was a fair result probably. This meant if Khomeriki won against Assaubayeva she would be clear first but the Georgian player at no point came close to it. Still one should feel pity for Nino Khomeriki as she lost on time just before she could make her 40th move and the final position on the board was definitely unclear and even balanced according to computer. Another shaky win for Assaubayeva but as long as you have a full point at the end of the game probably anything goes.

If you look at the standings we see a big success for Russia. Maltsevskaya, Dordzhieva, Assaubayeva and Potapova have all 7 points and share the lead. The only non-Russian at 7 points is Uzbek WGM Tokhirjonova who will try to fight her way through to championship against Russian girls in the last two rounds. Khomeriki, Nurgali and Varshini are all at 6,5 points and they will try to win their last two games and then hope for the best.

The penultimate, 10th, round will start on September 14, at 15:00 local time. Don’t forget to follow the live broadcast and commentary by IM Ekaterina Atalık and FM Tarik Selbes!

You can find this game with some light analysis here.

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