Goryachkina dominates Women’s Candidates
Leads by 2.5 points!
Fresh from her blistering 8 points from 9 games earlier this spring at the Astana World Team Championships, this 20-year old Russian is the new face of Russian Women’s Chess.
With just 4 rounds to go in Kazan, it seems assured that Goryachkina will qualify for the upcoming Women’s World Championship. Her lead of 2.5 points is simply insurmountable. All she needs do is draw the remaining games, but she won’t: Alexandra is a risk taker!
It very much seems as though the new generation is taking over in Russian Chess. Lagno at 29, Kosteniuk at 35 and Gunina at 30 have performed brilliantly when in their early 20’s, but age and motherhood have taken a toll on their recent results. Time is rarely kind to female chess players.
Former World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk
We also see this trend amongst the men players as well. Twenty-something stars such as Dubov, Artemiev and Nepo‘ will soon be a permanent fixture on the Russian National Team, taking over from Kramnik (who retired recently), and most probably also Grischuk and Svidler who are both approacing the 40-years old mark.
Former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik
Even so, all of this metamorphisis bodes well for Russian Chess, which will likely only see China as its competitor for the big team championships. As for the classical Men’s World Championship, unless FIDE changes the match rules, Carlsen might be able to draw his way to a modern record comparable only with Steinitz and Lasker, both of whom held the World Title for decades.