venerdì 27 aprile 2018

Not Easy

王安妮 (Annie Wáng) – Irina Krush
58th U.S. Women’s Chess Championship; Saint Louis, April 26, 2018
2r2r2/q4p1k/3p2pp/BQ2p2n/3bP1R1/1P5P/P2N1PP1/5RK1 w - - 3 42

Position after 41. ... Bc5-d4

王安妮 (Annie Wáng) – literally Wáng Ānnī – 16 years old, continues to lead the 58th U.S. Women’s Chess Championship and, above all, to win even the almost lost games. In the position of the diagram, after reaching time control, she must invent something to prevent her titled adversary, the 7-time U.S. Women’s Champion Irina Krush, from quietly regaining her Pawn and then quietly converting her manifest positional advantage. 42. Nc4!? Kudos for the courage! Now, after 42. ... Rc5 43. Qb4 Ra8 White could do nothing but wait for worst consequences (44. Bb6 Rxc4!), but her tricky jump turns out to have a dramatic psychological impact on Irina, who sacrifices the Exchange – that’s probably not a mistake itself – for a grand attack on the dark squares. 42. ... Rxc4? 43. bxc4 Rb8 44. Qd5 Rb2. Yes, Black has still the better of it, but the situation is now far more unclear than before. 45. Bd8!? Again, the trickiest bet! 45. ... Qd7?! Both 45. ... Rxf2 and 45. ... Rxa2 were quite good and quite consistent. 46. Qa8 Ba7 47. Bh4 Rxa2? Krush finally disintegrates, and the tables turn drastically. 47. ... Rb8(!) was called for. 48. Qf8! Bc5? Tantamount to surrender, but also after 48. ... Rb2 49. Be7! Black is doomed. 49. Rb1! Ba7 50. Kh2! Mercilessly. 50. ... Ra4 51. Be7 Qe6 52. Rb7 Bxf2. 52. ... Ng7 53. Bf6! is not much better. 53. Rb8 1 : 0. For mate is unavoidable

王安妮 (Annie Wáng) (left) vs. Irina Krush (right). Photo: Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (@STLChessClub).

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