WWCh G1: Koneru presses, Hou holds

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

The first game of the Women's World Championship match between Humpy Koneru (as White) and Hou Yifan (as Black) ended in a draw. The match is played over 10 classical games and if necessary there will be a rapid (and possible blitz) tie-break. The event takes place in Tirana, Albania.

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov making the first move | all photos © FIDE by Anastasiya Karlovich

EventWomen's World Championship | PGN via TWIC
DatesNovember 13th-30th, 2011
LocationTirana, Albania
System10-game match, tie-break if necessary
PlayersReigning World Champion Hou Yifan (China) and Challenger Humpy Koneru (India)
Rate of play90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one

On Monday the first game of the FIDE Women's World Championship ended in a draw. The first move 1.d4 of Humpy Koneru was done by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and with Hou Yifan's  1…Nf6 the President of the Albanian Chess Federation Rezart Taci responded.

Although there are no anti-draw rules in effect and the players can agree to a peaceful result anytime, Hou Yifan and Humpy Koneru played until the late endgame. The Indian chose a rare line (12. a4) in a Catalan and reached a pleasant position. Later in the game many exchanges in the centre simplified the position. In time trouble, Hou Yifan confidently went for a rook ending a pawn down, and then showed that indeed it was easy to hold it.

Game 1

[Event "WCh w"]
[Site "Tirana ALB"]
[Date "2011.11.14"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Koneru, Humpy"]
[Black "Hou, Yifan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E06"]
[WhiteElo "2600"]
[BlackElo "2578"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "159"]
[EventDate "2011.11.14"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 {The solid Catalan.} d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. O-O
dxc4 {Not a suprise - this has been Hou Yifan's main way of dealing with the
Catalan in recent years.} 7. Qc2 a6 8. Qxc4 ({We can expect the major
alternative} 8. a4 {later in the match as against that move Hou Yifan has had
more trouble.}) 8... b5 9. Qc2 Bb7 10. Bd2 Be4 {A well-known invitation to
repeat moves which is often accepted by White players.} ({Recently the World
Champion played for a win successfully here with} 10... Bd6 11. Nc3 Nbd7 12.
Rad1 c5 13. Bg5 Qb6 14. e4 cxd4 15. Nxd4 h6 16. Be3 Bc5 17. h3 $6 (17. b4 $1
Bxb4 18. Ndxb5 Qc6 19. Qb2 $1 {is about equal}) 17... Rfd8 18. Nce2 Rac8 19.
Qb1 b4 {Black is clearly better already.} 20. Rd2 a5 21. Rfd1 Ne5 22. b3 Rd7
23. Kh1 Ba6 24. Qa1 Rcd8 25. f4 Bxe2 26. fxe5 Bxd1 27. exf6 Bh5 {0-1 Tan
Zhongyi (2429)-Hou Yifan (2578)/Shenzhen CHN 2011}) 11. Qc1 Bb7 {(1/2-1/2
Dzagnidze-Hou Yifan, Jermuk 2010!)} (11... Qc8 12. Nc3 Bb7 13. Qc2 c5 14. dxc5
Bxc5 15. Rac1 Nbd7 16. Bf4 Qd8 17. Ne5 Bxg2 18. Kxg2 Qb6 19. Nxd7 Nxd7 20. Ne4
Qb7 21. f3 {with a slight edge for White in Hoang Thanh Trang-Hou Yifan,
Kallithea 2008}) 12. a4 $5 ({The immediate} 12. Bf4 {is more popular but
following this move Hou Yifan managed to draw with Black against Laznicka,
Korchnoi and Nielsen. Humpy's novelty makes sence, first weakening the c4
square.}) 12... b4 13. Bf4 $146 (13. Bg5 Nbd7 14. Nbd2 c5 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16.
dxc5 Rc8 17. Nb3 Nxc5 18. Nxc5 Qe7 19. Qf4 Qxc5 {Saulin,D (2400)-Novikov,M
(2515)/Tula 2005}) 13... Nd5 14. Bg5 Nd7 ({After} 14... Bxg5 15. Qxg5 {White
keeps an edge even without queens on the board.}) 15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. Ne5 $1 {
Despite the doubled pawn this is probably the only way to keep some pressure.}
Nxe5 17. dxe5 a5 18. Nd2 Ba6 19. Nc4 (19. Nb3 $5 {was an interesting
alternative.} Bxe2 20. Re1 {followed by 21.Nd4 gives good compensation.}) 19...
Qc5 20. Ne3 Qe7 (20... Qxc1 21. Rfxc1 {is clearly better for White.}) 21. Rd1
Rad8 22. Nxd5 exd5 23. Qc6 Bxe2 24. Rxd5 Rxd5 25. Qxd5 {White has a slight
edge here but it's not too serious.} c5 26. Re1 Bg4 27. Rc1 Rc8 28. Qc4 h5 29.
Bd5 Qd7 30. Re1 Rd8 31. e6 fxe6 (31... Qxd5 $2 32. e7 $1) 32. Bxe6+ Bxe6 33.
Rxe6 Qf7 (33... Qd5 {looks like an equalizer.}) 34. h4 Rf8 35. Qe2 Qf3 $5 {
Going for a rook ending a pawn down, but with a very active rook.} 36. Qxf3
Rxf3 37. Re5 c4 38. Rxa5 Rb3 39. Rc5 Rxb2 40. Rxc4 Kf7 {Time control reached.
It's almost impossible to win this with White, but one can always try.} 41. Kg2
b3 42. Rb4 g6 43. Kf3 Ra2 44. Rxb3 Rxa4 45. Re3 Kf6 46. Re4 Ra3+ 47. Kf4 Ra2
48. f3 Ra5 49. Rc4 Rf5+ 50. Ke3 Re5+ 51. Re4 Ra5 52. Rf4+ Kg7 53. Rc4 Ra6 54.
Rc5 Kf6 55. Rd5 Ra3+ 56. Ke4 Ra6 57. Rd4 Re6+ 58. Kf4 Ra6 59. Rb4 Rc6 60. g4
hxg4 61. Kxg4 Rc5 62. Rb6+ Kg7 63. Re6 Kf7 64. Re4 Ra5 65. f4 Ra1 66. Re3 Kf6
67. Rb3 Rg1+ 68. Rg3 Ra1 69. Rg2 Rb1 70. Rh2 Rg1+ 71. Kf3 Kf5 72. h5 gxh5 73.
Rxh5+ Kf6 74. Ra5 Rf1+ 75. Ke3 Re1+ 76. Kf2 Rb1 77. Kg3 Rg1+ 78. Kf3 Rf1+ 79.
Kg4 Rg1+ 80. Kf3 1/2-1/2


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