Ekaterina Aleksandrovna Lahno – 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn)
Knockout Women’s World Chess Championship Tournament; tie-break game 3 (10+10); Khanty-Mansiysk, November 23, 2018
King’s Indian Attack A08
In a tense atmosphere, made easier by the presence of high officials such as Arkady Vladimirovich Dvorkovich (FIDE President) and Andrey Vasilievich Filatov (Russian Chess Federation President), 17th Women’s World Chess Champion 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) succeeded in defending her title from Ekaterina Aleksandrovna Lahno thanks to two wins in their two ten-minute tie-break games. In both games Lahno committed serious mistakes, thus paying a nervous price commensurate with her particularly exhausting path to the final. 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 c5 4. 0-0 Nc6 5. d3 g6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. e4 dxe4 8. dxe4 Bg4 9. Be3 Nd7 10. h3 Bxf3 11. Bxf3 0-0 12. Bg2 Nb6 13. Bxc5 Nc4 14. Nd5 Nxb2 15. Nxe7+ Nxe7 16. Qxd8 Rfxd8 17. Bxe7 Rd2 18. Rac1 Rc8 19. Bg5 Rdxc2 20. Rxc2 Rxc2 21. Rc1 Rxc1+ 22. Bxc1 Bd4 23. Bf1? Lahno does not want to “play” the Armageddon cacophony, but, objectively speaking, White had nothing better to do than continue on to the trickle by 23. Bxb2 Bxb2 with a deadly drawn Bishops of opposite colour endgame in prospect. 23. ... Nd1! 24. Kg2 Nxf2 25. Kf3 Nd1 26. Bc4 Nc3 27. Bd2 Na4 28. Bd5 b6 29. Bf4 Nc3 30. Bb3 Kg7 31. e5 a5 32. e6 fxe6 33. Bxe6 b5 34. Bc7 Kf6 35. Bd7. After all, despite her minus Pawn White keeps retaining high drawing chances, at least until her Bishops are able to neutralise Black’s Queenside Pawn majority. Here 35. Bg8 a4 36. Ba5 seems to be also a drawish line. 35. ... a4. 35. ... Ke7 36. Bc6 a4 37. Ba5 Nxa2 38. Bxb5 a3 39. Bc4 Bc3 40. Bxa2 Bxa5 leads to only a Bishops of opposite colour ending a Pawn up.
36. Ba5? Lahno eventually loses her nerve and her way. With 36. Bd6(!) Be5 37. Ba3 White would get very close to a draw. 36. ... Nxa2 37. Bxb5. 37. Ke4 Bc3 38. Bd8+ Kg7 makes very little difference to the outcome of the game. 37. ... a3 38. Ke4 Bb2 39. Bc4 Nc1! 40. Bd2 a2 41. Bxa2 Nxa2 42. Kd3 Bc1 43. Ba5 Ba3 44. Kc2 Bb4 45. Bd8+ Be7 46. Ba5 Nb4+ 47. Kd2 Bd6 48. g4 Nc6 49. Bb6 Kg5 0 : 1.
Ekaterina Aleksandrovna Lahno (standing) and 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) (seated) playing the tie-break. Photo: Eteri Kublashvili/Russian Chess Federation.
居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) – Ekaterina Aleksandrovna Lahno
Knockout Women’s World Chess Championship Tournament; tie-break game 4 (10+10); Khanty-Mansiysk, November 23, 2018
8/2pn1pk1/1p1npq2/6p1/3P4/2P2NP1/1P1NQP2/7K w - - 1 31
Position after 30. ... Nf5-d6
The fourth and last ten-minute tie-break game ended with Lahno melodramatically blundering her Queen: 31. Ne5 Qh6+ 32. Kg2 Nf6 33. Ndf3 Nfe4 34. Nh2 Qg6?? 35. Nxg6 1 : 0. “Preparation takes a lot of time and it is very tough for me. But when I am playing I just think about chess. The situation for me here was tough but I enjoyed my games, and that is the important thing”, 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) finally said.