Women WCh 2015 - Quarterfinals (2)

The Benko gambit is rarely seen in top events; however Natalija needed a win with black. The usual pressure black has for the sacrificed pawn was tangible during the first 30 something moves, then at move 33 black got it back. Both players then decided to go for the kill with black having a slight upper hand which brought her the victory in the end. This match goes now into tie breaks.

[Event "WWCC2015"][Site "Sochi"][Date "2015.03.27"][Round "23.2"][White "Zhao, Xue (CHN)"][Black "Pogonina, Natalija (RUS)"][Result "0-1"][ECO "A58"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. cxb5 a6 5. bxa6 g6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. g3 O-O 8. Bg2 d6 9. Nf3 Nxa6 10. O-O Qb6 11. Re1 Nc7 12. e4 Nd7 13. a4 Ba6 14. Ra3 Rfb8 15. Qc2 Ne5 16. Nxe5 Bxe5 17. Nd1 e6 18. Bd2 Bd4 19. Bc3 e5 {black applies continuous pressure} 20. Bh3 Ra7 21. Bg4 Rab7 22. Be2 c4 23. Bxd4 Qxd4 24. Ra2 Ne8 25. Nc3 Rb4 26. Rd1 Qb6 27. a5 Qc7 28. Rda1 Nf6 29. Na4 Nd7 30. Nb6 Rb7 31. Ra4 Rxa4 32. Qxa4 Nxb6 33. axb6 Rxb6 {material is now equal again and black has a small advantage} 34. Rc1 Qc5 35. b3 Bb5 36. Qa8+ Kg7 37. bxc4 Ba6 38. Re1 Qb4 39. Kf1 Bxc4 40. Bxc4 Qxc4+ 41. Kg2 Rb1 {both players are going for the win} 42. Qa5 Qd3 43. Kh3 Rb2 44. Qc7 Rxf2 45. Qxd6 Qc3 46. Rb1 Qc8+

Women WCh 2015 - Quarterfinals (1)

Mariya had a rocky start against our fellow Canadian Yuan in round 1, while Humpy won all 3 matches so far with a 2-0 score. It is then unexpected to see Mariya surprising her opponent with a nice pseudo Queen sac and scoring the full point when black's King was left alone.

[Event "WWCC2015"][Site "Sochi"][Date "2015.03.26"][Round "22.1"][White "Muzychuk, Mariya (UKR)"][Black "Koneru, Humpy (IND)"][Result "1-0"][ECO "C45"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Be3 Qf6 6. c3 Nge7 7. g3 d5 8. Bg2 dxe4 9. O-O O-O 10. Nd2 Bb6 11. Re1 Nxd4 12. Nxe4 Qf5 13. Bxd4 Nc6 14. Bxb6 axb6 15. f4 Be6 16. b3 h6 17. h3 Ra3 18. Qd2 Qa5 19. b4 Qa4 20. g4 Rd8 21. Qf2 Rxa2 22. Rxa2 Bxa2 23. b5 Na7 {the black pieces have deserter their King } 24. g5 hxg5 25. Nxg5 f6 {now it is too late to put up a defence} 26. Qd2 Rf8 27. Bd5+ Bxd5 28. Qxd5+ Kh8 29. Qf7

Women WCh 2015 - round 3 (2)

Anna Muzychuk joined her sister Mariya into round 4 after a well played game. She won an exchange at move 29 and after Lela misplaced her knight at move 33, she proceeded to punish that methodically. We can replay, enjoy and learn from that last part of the game. Lesson: "how to win a won game"!

[Event "WWCC2015"][Site "Sochi"][Date "2015.03.24"][Round "19.3"][White "Javakhishvili, Lela (GEO)"][Black "Muzychuk, Anna (UKR)"][Result "0-1"][SetUp "1"][FEN "8/4k2N/4n3/5pp1/8/4B1P1/4rP1P/6K1 b - - 0 33"][ECO "E15"]33... f4 34. Bb6 Rb2 35. Ba5 f3 36. h3 Kf7 37. h4 g4 38. Bc3 Rb1+ 39. Kh2 Rf1 40. Nf6 Rxf2+ 41. Kg1 Rg2+ 42. Kf1 Rxg3 43. h5 Ng5 44. Nd7 Ke6 45. Nf8+ Kf5 46. Ng6 Rh3

Women WCh 2015 - round 3 (1)

Veteran GM Pia Cramling took the exchange offering of black and proceeded to convert the material advantage into a winning advantage. We have the final combination to enjoy, my first re-playable puzzle try here on the website. Hope you like it.

[Event "WWCC2015"][Site "Sochi"][Date "2015.03.23"][Round "18.6"][White "Cramling, Pia (SWE)"][Black "Gunina, Valentina (RUS)"][Result "1-0"][SetUp "1"][FEN "5rk1/5p2/6p1/p1PpQ2p/3Pn1P1/3q4/1R3PK1/1R6 w - - 0 33"][ECO "D18"]33.Rb8 f6 34.Qxd5+ Kg7 35.R1b7+ Kh6 36.Rxf8 f5 37.gxf5 Ng3 38.Rh7+ Kg5 39.fxg6+

Women WCh 2015 - round 2 (2)

Alexandra Kosteniuk protected her 1-0 match score by playing a simple second game with white and drew it by perpetual check. She was the first one to move to the third round; congratulations Alexandra!

[Event "WWCC2015"][Site "Sochi"][Date "2015.03.21"][Round "11.5"][White "Kosteniuk, Alexandra (RUS)"][Black "Shen, Yang (CHN)"][Result "1/2-1/2"][ECO "C84"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. a3 O-O 9. Nc3 Bg4 10. Be3 Nd4 11. Bxd4 exd4 12. Nd5 c5 13. Nxe7+ Qxe7 14. Re1 Nd7 15. h3 Be6 16. Ba2 Qf6 17. a4 Rfb8 18. axb5 axb5 19. Bxe6 fxe6 20. e5 dxe5 21. Qe2 Rxa1 22. Rxa1 Qf4 23. Ra7 Rd8 24. b3 h6 25. Qe1 b4 26. Qe2 Kh8 27. Rxd7 Rxd7 28. Nxe5 Qc1+ 29. Kh2 Ra7 30. Ng6+ Kh7 31. Qxe6 Qg5 32. Nf8+ Kh8 33. Ng6+