mercoledì 16 maggio 2018

Nothing is Forever

谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) – 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn)
Women’s World Chess Championship match game 9; 重庆 (Chóngqìng), May 16, 2018
Nimzo-Indian Defence E37

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 Ne4 7. Qc2 c5 8. dxc5 Nc6 9. Nf3 Qa5+ 10. Bd2 Nxd2 11. Qxd2 dxc4 12. Qxa5 Nxa5 13. e3. If 13. Rc1 then 13. ... b5 14. cxb6 Bb7 15. bxa7 Rxa7 16. Ne2 Ke7 17. Nc3 Rb8 18. f3 Bc6 19. Nd1 Ba4 20. Nc3 Bc6 21. Nd1 Ba4 22. Nc3 Bc6 ½ : ½ 赵雪 (Zhào Xuě) – 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán), Women’s Grand Prix 2013–2014, sixth stage, Sharjah 2014. 13. ... b5!? The alternative 13. ... Bd7 can be regarded as one of the most sure ways towards a draw: 14. Nd2 Rc8 15. Nxc4 Nxc4 16. Bxc4 Rxc5 17. Bd3 Ke7 18. Ke2 Rhc8 19. Rad1 ½ : ½ Hort – Taimanov, October Revolution 50th Anniversary Chess Tournament, Leningrad 1967. From a theoretical standpoint, however, it might be better: 13. ... Nb3 14. Rd1 c3! as 15. bxc3? Nxc5 would lead to an advantageous ending for Black, Morcken – Porreca, 9th Chess Olympiad, Dubrovnik 1950. 14. cxb6 axb6 15. Nd2 b5 16. a4 Nb7 17. Ra3 Rxa4 18. Rxa4 bxa4 19. Bxc4 Bd7 20. Ne4. 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) plays with fire, probably because she desperately needs to win. 20. b3(!) seems much simpler, forcing the exchange of Pawns on b3 with equality. 20. ... Ke7 21. Ke2 Rb8 (Δ ... Nb7-a5) 22. Rb1 Bc6 23. Nc3 Nc5 24. f3 f5 25. Kd2 g5 26. Be2 h5 27. Kc2 g4 28. Rd1 Rg8 29. Rd4 gxf3 30. Bxf3 Bxf3 31. gxf3 Rg2+ 32. Rd2 Rg1 33. Rd4!? Still 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) pushes onward, almost risking being defeated. Objectively speaking, White had nothing better than repeating moves by 33. Rd1 (33. ... Rg2+ 34. Rd2). 33. ... Rf1 34. Nxa4 e5 35. Rh4 Rf2+ 36. Kd1 Nxa4 37. Rxa4 Rxf3 38. Ke2 Rh3 39. Ra6 Rxh2+ 40. Kf3 Rh3+!? 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn)’s second, 倪华 (Ní Huá), then suggested that 40. ... h4! might have offered Black far more winning chances, without running into the devilishly stalemate trap. It is hard, however, to blame 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) for playing such a natural move on the last move of the time control. 41. Kf2 Rh2+ 42. Kg3 Re2 43. Kf3 Rxb2 44. Rh6 Rh2. 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) must have felt good, but a fresh surprise awaits her...


45. e4!! A fantastic resource which ensures White a draw, in spite of her two Pawns less. From a psychological point of view, it’s a good half-point for 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí), who tomorrow will have to play all out for a win. 45. ... Rh4. The pretty pointe was 45. ... f4 46. Re6+! Kxe6 stalemate. 46. exf5 Rf4+ 47. Ke3 Rxf5 48. Ke4 Rg5. This is a theoretical draw, which, of course, 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) is able to demonstrate even on the board. 49. Ra6 Kf7 50. Ra7+ Kg6 51. Ra6+ Kg7 52. Ra7+ Kh6 53. Ra8 Rg7 54. Kxe5 Kg5 55. Ke4 Kg4 56. Ke3 Kg3 57. Ke2 Kg2 58. Rh8 Re7+ 59. Kd2 Re5 60. Rg8+ Kh3 61. Rg7 h4 62. Rg8 Kh2 63. Rg4 h3 64. Rg8 Re6 65. Rg7 Re8 66. Rg6 Ra8 67. Ke2 Ra2+ 68. Kf1 Rg2 69. Rf6 Rg5 70. Rf2+ Kh1 71. Rf6 Rg1+ 72. Kf2 Rg2+ 73. Kf1 h2 74. Rf8 Rg1+ 75. Kf2 Rg2+ 76. Kf1 Ra2 77. Rf7 Ra1+ 78. Kf2 Ra2+ 79. Kf1 Ra1+ 80. Kf2 Ra2+ ½ : ½.

谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) (left) vs. 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) (right). Referee Anastasia Sorokina is walking in the background. Photo: qipai.org.cn.

居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) closing her eyes to clear her mind. Photo: qipai.org.cn.

谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) pouring the coffee into her cup to stay awake. Photo: qipai.org.cn.

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