February 23, 2012 10:17

Dzagnidze beats Cramling in playoff, wins ACP Women Cup

Dzagnidze beats Cramling in playoff, wins ACP Women Cup

Nana Dzagnidze of Georgia won the ACP Women Cup in Tbilisi, Georgia on Tuesday after beating Pia Cramling of Sweden in a blitz playoff. Both ladies had finished on 8/11 in the rapid event, half a point ahead of Kateryna Lahno. 

Nana Dzagnidze receives the first prize - here together with (L-R) President of ACP, Emil Sutovky, Director General of SOCAR Energy, Georgia Mahi Mammedov and Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Lado Vardzelashvili | Photos © Anastasya Karlovich for the official website

Event ACP Women Cup | PGN via TWIC | Details at Chess-Results
Dates February 17th-21st, 2012
Location Tbilisi, Georgia
System 12-player round robin
Players Anna Muzychuk, Kateryna Lahno, Nadezhda Kosintseva, Nana Dzagnidze, Antoaneta Stefanova, Tatiana Kosintseva, Anna Zatonskih, Viktorija Cmilyte, Maia Chiburdanidze, Pia Cramling, Alexandra Kosteniuk and Zeinab Mamedyarova 
Rate of play 20 minutes plus 5 seconds increment
Prize fund The total prize fund is US $40,000 with a US $10,000 first prize 
Tiebreaks In case of a tie there will be a blitz playoff. In case of tie for any place except the first, the prize money will be shared equally

We'll pick up the tournament where we left it: after five rounds, when Anna Muzychuk was leading the field with 4.5 points. In the sixth round, Muzychuk managed to keep her small lead. Nana Dzagnidze, who had started with 0.5/3 but then won two games, continued her rise to the top as she profited from a huge blunder by a former World Champion.

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When they have to play each other, the two Russian sisters Nadezhda and Natalia Kosintseva often agree to a draw before the game and this time they picked a well-known line in the Ruy Lopez Exchange to achieve the desired result.

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In the 7th round Muzychuk lost her first game. It can be included in a new collection of 'good knight versus bad bishop' examples.

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Tatiana Kosintseva vs Anna Muzychuk, 1-0

Kateryna Lahno grabbed sole lead in this round thanks to the following victory.

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Nana Dzagnidze won her fifth consecutive game in round 8.

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Daznidze was now in third position with 5.5/8, half a point behind Kateryna Lahno and Pia Cramling. The latter was having a very solid tournament thus far, with four wins and four draws. (She would finish with two more draws and another win.)

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Pia Cramling would only lose one game in Tbilisi: the Armageddon

Dzagnidze caught Cramling in first place in the final round.

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Zeinab Mamedyarova lost her first ten games (!) but could finish the event with a smile:

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ACP Women Cup 2012 | Round 11 standings




According to the regulations, a blitz playoff between Cramling and Dzagnidze would decide who would win the US $10,000 first prize. The first two games (4 minutes + 2 seconds increment) ended in a draw (and were not saved for eternity, it seems - we cannot find them anywhere) and so the tournament ended with an Armageddon game. White got 5 minutes on the clock, Black only 4 but with draw odds. (The 2-second increment after move 61 was not relevant this time.)

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Local hero Nana Dzagnidze with the trophy

The ACP Women Cup was organized by the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) and the Georgian Chess Federation. It was the final tournament of the ACP Women Series 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 and was held February 17-22 at the Sheraton Hotel, in Tbilisi, Georgia. The time control was 20 minutes and 5 seconds increment on the clock. The ACP Women Cup was one of the strongest rapid events for women ever held, with a prize fund of US $40,000.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Thomas's picture

"this time they (the Kosintseva sisters) picked a well-known line in the Ruy Lopez Exchange to achieve the desired result"
And at four earlier occasions in 2010 and 2011:

Peter Doggers's picture

Wow! Makes it an even bigger story.

Thomas's picture

It may be a bigger "cumulative" story, but at this occasion becomes less newsworthy for those who knew about the "habits" of the Kosintseva sisters - it would have been 'new' if they had chosen a different line (several other ones are available).

The Kosintsevas aren't the only ones, for example GM Daniel Fridman used this variation at the 2011 Politiken Cup to draw against IM/WGM Anna Zatonskih - not exactly his strength, but they are married to each other ... . I don't think organizers can do anything against such prearranged draws, or even against (hopefully less common) prearranged decisive games: in that case, they need to prove that one player blundered, lost on time, arrived too late at the board, forgot to switch off his mobile phone ... on purpose.

brabo's picture

I thought that game/ result arrangements are illegal. Why is this allowed?

Anonymous's picture

While if they pretended they were playing would be better ... Let alone, that if the one sister won, people would always suspect that she was given the game for some reason (having to do with standings,qualifications etc). I think it is more honest for siblings of similar strength, making unplayed draws (I have in mind other siblings as well).

Lee's picture

This is a fair point.

I wonder if there would be an outcry if the sisters legitimately played to a decisive outcome in favour of whichever sister was sitting better in the tournament standings. I don't really follow their results enough to know if this has happened in the past or not.

People will look hard to find fault with anything that looks fishy - however innocuous. Damned they you do, damned if they don't...

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