martedì 20 novembre 2018

Physics of Ice

Ekaterina Aleksandrovna Lahno – 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn)
Knockout Women’s World Chess Championship Tournament; match game 2; Khanty-Mansiysk, November 20, 2018
Catalan Opening E04

Lahno changed her strategy in the second game, coming back to her positional embroideries and playing White exactly what her opponent usually does. 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c5 4. 0-0 Nc6 5. d4 e6 6. c4 dxc4 7. dxc5 Qxd1 8. Rxd1 Bxc5 9. Nfd2. The alternative is 9. Nbd2 c3 10. bxc3 0-0 11. Nb3 Be7 12. c4 [12. Nfd4 Nxd4 13. cxd4 Nd5 14. Bd2 f5 15. Na5 Bf6 16. e3 b6 17. Nc6 Bb7 18. Nb4 Rfd8 19. Rac1 Rac8 20. Kf1 Kf7 21. Nxd5 Bxd5 22. Bxd5 exd5 23. Ke2 Be7 24. Kd3 Ba3 25. Rxc8 Rxc8 26. f3 Ke6 27. Re1 Be7 28. e4 fxe4+ 29. fxe4 Bf6 30. e5 Be7 31. Rb1 Rc4 32. Bc3 Ra4 33. Rb2 Ra3 34. h3 Kd7 35. g4 Kc6 36. Rc2 Kd7 37. Rb2 a5 38. Rb3 Rxb3 39. axb3 Bd8 40. Bd2 Ke6 41. Be3 Be7 42. Bd2 h6 43. Bc3 Bf8 ½ : ½ 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) – 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí), 11th Women’s World Blitz Chess Championship, ar-Riyāḍ (Riyadh) 2017] 12. ... Bd7 13. Bb2 Rfd8 14. Nfd4 Rac8 15. Nb5 b6 16. Nd6 Bxd6 17. Rxd6 Be8 18. Rxd8 Rxd8 19. h3 h6 20. Rc1 Nb4 21. a3 Na6 22. c5 Ba4 23. cxb6 axb6 24. Bb7 Nb8 25. Nd4 Nfd7 26. Rc7 Nc5 27. Bg2 Bd7 28. f4 Rc8 29. Rxc8+ Bxc8 30. Kf2 Kf8 31. Ke3 f6 32. g4 Ke7 33. Bc3 Bd7 34. h4 Nba6 35. Nc6+ Kd6 36. Nb4 Nc7 37. g5 hxg5 38. hxg5 e5 39. fxe5+ fxe5 40. Nd3 Nxd3 41. Kxd3 Bb5+ 42. Ke3 Nd5+ 43. Bxd5 Kxd5 ½ : ½ 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) – 郭琦 (Guō Qí), 11th “映美杯” (“Yìng Měi Cup”) Chinese Chess League, 杭州 (Hángzhōu) 2015. 9. ... Na5 10. Na3 Bxa3 11. bxa3 0-0. If 11. ... Bd7 there might follow 12. Bb2 Rc8 13. Bc3 b6 14. Rdc1 0-0 15. Bxa5 bxa5 16. Nxc4 with a slight edge for White, 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) – 郭琦 (Guō Qí), 2nd China Women Grandmaster Basque Chess Tournament, 扬州 (Yángzhōu) 2016. 12. Ne4 e5!?TN (12. ... Nxe4 13. Bxe4 e5 14. Bb2 Re8 15. Bc3 Nc6 16. Rab1 h6 17. f3 Re7 18. Kf2 f6 19. Bd5+ Kh7 20. Be4+ Kg8 21. Bb4 Rc7 22. Bd6 Rd7 23. Bd5+ Kh8 24. Bxc4 Nd4 25. Bc5 Rc7 26. Bxd4 Rxc4 27. Be3 b6 28. Rd8+ Kh7 29. Rc1 Rxc1 30. Bxc1 Bb7 31. Rxa8 ½ : ½ Karjakin – Anand, 80th Tata Steel Chess Tournament, Wijk aan Zee 2018) 13. Bd2 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 Nc6 15. Bc3 Be6 16. Bxc6 bxc6 17. Bxe5 Rfd8 18. Bc3 f6 19. f3 Kf7 20. Kf2. The ending is theoretically a little better for White, but usually Black manages to save a draw. Playing on inertia — as the actual game shows — does not seem recommendable. 20. ... Rxd1 21. Rxd1 Rb8 22. g4! c5 23. h4 h6 24. a4! Ke7 25. a5 Rb7 26. Rg1! Lahno initiates an impressive series of Rook’s moves which quickly put 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) on the defensive on both wings. 26. ... Rd7 27. g5 hxg5 28. hxg5 Kf7. 28. ... Rd6(!) seems to offer better chances for a less constrained defence. 29. gxf6 gxf6 30. Rh1 Kg7 31. Rb1! Kf7 32. Rb5 Rc7 33. Rb8 Re7 (33. ... Bc8!?) 34. Rh8 Kg6 35. Rf8 Rf7 36. Rg8+ Kh7? Move by move Black’s position becomes more and more difficult. Here it was worth considering 36. ... Rg7 in order to reply 37. Rd8 with 37. ... Rd7 (Δ 38. Rc8? Rd3!=). 37. Rd8 Kg6 38. Rd6 Re7. Black cedes the c-Pawn, still hoping to hold the position. 39. Rc6 Kf7 40. Rxc5 Rd7 41. Rc6 f5? If there existed some drawing chances, Black surely didn’t take advantage of it. The text move — which gives White a highway on the dark squares — simply means surrender to Lahno’s elegant technique. 42. Ke3 Re7 43. Kf4 Rd7 44. Rc5 Rd8 45. Rb5 Rd7


46. a6! Kg6 47. Ke5 Re7 48. Rb7 Re8 49. Rxa7 Bf7+ 50. Kd4 Rxe2 51. a4 Re6 52. Kc5 Be8 53. Rg7+ Kh6 54. a7 Ra6 55. Re7 Rc6+. Desperation, but 55. ... Bxa4? 56. Re6+! did not give any hope either. 56. Kb4 Rc8 57. Rb7 Ra8 58. Rb8 Bc6 59. Rb6 1 : 0. “Probably, my opponent thought that she could make draw in any way, because she played very quickly. Perhaps, she didn’t see the threat in this position. But soon it became very hard to defend it”, Lahno finally said.

Ekaterina Aleksandrovna Lahno vs. 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn). Photo © Press service of the Women’s World Championship 2018.

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