giovedì 5 luglio 2018

Summertime

Ruslan Olegovich Ponomariov – 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán)
Rapid & Blitz World Chess Champions Showdown; match game 5 (15+10); 深圳 (Shēnzhèn), July 5, 2018
Catalan Opening E05

Nothing’s changed (but the season in the room) on the second day of 深圳 (Shēnzhèn)’s clash of genders, and after four draws Ponomariov maintained his lead – 4½–3½ – a point ahead of 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán). 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 0-0 6. 0-0 dxc4 7. Qa4 c6 8. Qxc4 b5 9. Qc2 Bb7 10. Bg5 Nbd7 11. Rd1 Qb6 12. Nc3 c5 13. Ne5 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Bxg2 15. Kxg2 Qb7+ 16. Kg1 Nd5 17. Bxe7 Nxe7 18. a4 a6 19. axb5 axb5 20. Rxa8 Rxa8 21. Qd3. Threatening both to give mate by Qd3-d8+ and also to capture the b5-Pawn. Luckily for her, Black may enjoy quite a good compensation for the Pawn. 21. ... h6 22. Nxb5 Rb8 23. Nc3 Nc6 (23. ... Qxb2?? 24. Rb1+−) 24. Qd6 Qb6. Probably after 24. ... Qxb2 25. Qxc5 White’s extra Pawn is not that meaningful, but understandably Black aims for something more dynamic (if controversial). 25. Na4 Qb5 26. Nxc5 Qxe2 27. Rf1 Qf3 28. Nd7 Rd8. Clearly not 28. ... Rxb2?? because of 29. Qf8+ Kh7 30. Nf6+! gxf6 (or 30. .. Kg6 31. Ne8+−) 31. Qxf7+ Kh8 32. exf6 and finis. 29. Qc7. 29. Rc1(!) was probably White’s best way of aiming for a favourable ending a Pawn up. 29. ... Kh7 30. h4 Qd5 31. Nb6 Qe4 32. Nd7. Not 32. Rc1? because of 32. ... Rd3! 33. Qxc6?? Rd1+! and Black wins.


32. ... Rxd7! The simplest and most elegant way to force a draw. 33. Qxd7 Nxe5 34. Qd1 Nf3+ 35. Kh1 Qg4 36. Kg2 Nxh4+ 37. Kh2 Nf3+ 38. Kg2 Nh4+ 39. Kh2 ½ : ½.

侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán) vs. Ruslan Olegovich Ponomariov. Today four-time Women’s World Chess Champion dressed in white and red, with a hymn to the summer printed on her T-shirt. Photos: 樊璐璐 (Fán Lùlù).

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