Women's World Championship: Hou Yifan wins second game

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Women's World Ch: Hou Yifan wins second gameIn Anatakya, Turkey Hou Yifan took the lead in the Women's World Championship final against Ruan Lufei. The youngest of the two Chinese finalists won today with the black pieces, after the first game had ended in a draw yesterday.

General info

The 2010 Women's World Championship, organized by the Turkish Chess Federation, takes place December 2-25 in Antakya, Hatay, Turkey. The format is a knock-out competition with five rounds of matches, comprising two games per round, with the winners progressing to the next round. The 6th and final round will be played over four games and the winner will be declared Women’s World Champion. More info here.

Final, games 1-2

After the first and only rest day on Sunday, the Women's World Championship resumed yesterday with the first of four classical games of the final. (If the score ends in 2-2, also not two but four rapid games will be played in the tiebreak.)

Women's World Ch starts in Antakya

The final starts, with the first move made by Antakya mayor Lutfu Safas



The first game was quite an interesting draw. Ruan Lufei proved well prepared for the 3.f3 Caro-Kann, even though Hou Yifan had only played it once before - against former World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova earlier this year. At move 24 Ruan Lufei made an interesting decision to go for an ending with two minor pieces against rook and two pawns. It looked a bit better for White, and eventually ended in a draw on move 73.

Women's World Ch: game 1

Hou Yifan had some advantage in the first game



Today Hou Yifan got a little closer to the desired Women's World Championship title with a black victory against her compatriot. Ruan Lufei again did well in the opening and got a slight edge, but then did something similar as in the first game: she decided to go for an ending that looked promising at first sight, but in fact was a bit better for her opponent. Just before the time control things got worse, and Hou Yifan ended up with two extra pawns in a rook ending, which she converted at move 58.

Women's World Ch starts in Antakya

Ruan Lufei, playing the white pieces, loses the second game



Below our report on the semi-finals there's an ongoing discussion about our evalation of Hou Yifan's bishop sacrifice in her first game against Humpy Koneru, which was a beautiful idea executed at the wrong moment. In today's game something quite similar happened: Hou Yifan found a very nice way to win the rook ending, which, however, was probably better one move earlier. It doesn't make the concept less attractive, but we feel that this detail had to be mentioned anyway. Besides, the drawing lines are quite beautiful too - see the game viewer. (As always, corrections are welcome.)

Update: after a quick email back & forth endgame expert GM Karsten Mueller confirmed that the endgame analysis below is both amazing and correct. :-)

Tomorrow is the third game. If Hou Yifan wins, she will be crowned World Champion. If not, there will be a fourth game on Thursday and if needed a rapid and blitz tiebreak on Friday.

Games 1-2 final



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Women's World Championship 2010 | Round 6 (final)
Women's World Championship 2010 | Round 6 results


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Hou Yifan - a first step to the highest title?



Women's World Ch starts in Antakya

Ruan Lufei can't afford another loss



Photos © Turkish Chess Federation



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