Thursday, 19 March 2015

Holding a draw

     The first mini-matches of the Women's World Chess Championship are coming to an end. It is the tie break day today, with 11(!) matches to be disputed.
     I was following closely the games, enjoying the commentaries of GM Miroshnichenko and GM Rogozenco. I must say that the organization seems to be really nice, many interviews, video translation, live commentary in both Russian and English... Every day I can't wait for the morning to pass faster :D (no exception today).
WGM Marrero Lopez Yaniet vs GM Elina Danielian
     As I had expected, there were a lot of interesting games and also some surprises. My feeling is that the biggest upsets of the first mini-match were: GM Elina Danielian (2488) knocked out by the Cuban WGM Yaniet Marrero Lopez (2322) and GM and ex European Champion Hoang Than Trang (2475) knocked out by GM Arakhamia Grant Ketevan (2379). Women's chess can be particularly unpredictable and it is vital to be at your best from the very beginning, as the distance is very short and one wrong move can be crucial.
     There were a lot of games worth mentioning but I will stop on the one of IM Mariya Muzychuk (2526) vs WIM Yuan Yuanling (2257), where Mariya managed to win the second game in order to even the score and continue the fight in the tie-break. I think it is quite representative.

White to move

     As we can see, a typical Dutch Defense structure is on the board, though the 3...g6 might be already inaccurate, which Mariya has successfully proven in the game. 3...d6 or 3... e6 were the alternatives. Another interesting fact is that Mariya herself likes to play Dutch from time to time, so, maybe the opening choice wasn't so inspired from this point of view as well...
     4.h4- Bg7 5.h5- Nxh5 6.e4!
Black to move

     This is the most principled way to make use of 3...g6.  It seems to me that black is already in big trouble. The opening battle is clearly lost by black.
     6...fxe4 7. Rxh5- gxh5 8. Qxh5- Kf8 9. Bh6- e6 10. Nxe4- Qe7 11.Bxg7- Kxg7 12.000-d6 13.Rd3
Black to move
IM Mariya Muzychuk
     Black's position is already hopeless due to the lack of development and the too exposed king.
     The game ended a few moves later with white claiming a win.

     The game looks very convincing and one may wonder why I've chosen it to analyze. The answer
is simple. It is very difficult from the psychological point of view to stay calm and just play chess
after you've lost the first game in the match and you must win the 2nd one. On the other hand, this game proves that it is also a challenge to stay calm after a win in the 1st game. As a friend told me- this kind of KO championships are about the ability to make a draw.

     Follow the games and the commentaries on the official site of the event:
(photos taken from: )

     May the best one win!

xoxo from Iasi ;)

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