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Round 1 game 1 of the 2017 Women's World Championship was played today in Tehran.

It is a 64-player knock-out tournament for the Women's World Championship. Format: Two game matches,

one game per day, followed by rapid tie-breaks (if neceesary) on the third day. After 5 rounds, the two finalists will play a best-of-four match.

2016 Canadian women's Champion WIM Qiyu Zhou is playing.
In round 1, Qiyu is paired against GM Natalija Pogonina (RUS), who was the runner-up in 2014 to the winner, Mariya Muzychuk. It's a tough, but not impossible pairing for Qiyu. In 2014, Canadian Yuanling Yuan won her first match game against the eventual winner, Mariya Muzychuk, but lost the second game and the tie-break to the eventual World Champion.

Round 1

"Round 1 started on time with FIDE president on site, and visited every board.

Every board has one individual place with the big portrait of the two players on the wall above them, and is supervised by one International Arbitor. Spectators are not allowed in after the first 10 mintues. Coffee, tea, water and snacks are provided to players. No pens, watches, and communication devices are allowed in."

- Penny Zhou (Qiyu's mom)

Qiyu was responsible for one of the upsets: holding 2014 runner-up Natalia Pogonina to a draw with Black!!
Game with notes below. Photos and other media will be on the CFC Newsletter facebook page later today.

Round 1: game 2: February 12, 2017: Zhou - Pogonina


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 Round:  Result:
[Event "WWCCh 2017"][Site "?"][Date "2017.02.11"][Round "1.1"][White "Pogonina, Natalija"][Black "Zhou, Qiyu"][Result "1/2-1/2"][ECO "E49"][WhiteElo "2487"][BlackElo "2287"][Annotator "John Upper"][PlyCount "121"]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Nge2 c5 8. a3Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 b6 10. O-O Ba6 {There are a few hundred games in the MegaBasefrom here. White scores well, but this may be because White's basic plan --push in the center with Re1, Rf1 and play f3 and e4 -- makes it easier to playthe game than Black, who has to prepare to react to all of White's maneuvers.}11. f3 Re8 12. Ng3 Bxd3 13. Qxd3 Nc6 14. Bb2 Rc8 (14... h5 $5 15. Rae1 cxd4 (15... Ne7 16. e4 h4 17. Nh1 Qd7 18. e5 Nh5 19. f4 g6 20. Qf3 cxd4 21. cxd4 Rac822. g4 hxg3 23. hxg3 f5 (23... Rc2 24. g4 Rxb2 25. gxh5 Rc8 $132) 24. Re2 $13 {0-1 (40) Gerzhoy,L (2481)-Hansen,E (2596) Montreal 2014}) 16. cxd4 g6 17. Nh1Qd7 18. e4 h4 19. Nf2 Nh5 20. Qd2 Na5 21. Ng4 Nc4 22. Qc1 Rac8 $11 {0-1 (40)Jakovenko,D (2732)-Maze,S (2591) Gibraltar 2016}) 15. Rae1 {A very common pawnstructure from the e3 Nimzo (see the survey in Chess Canada, Chess Canada 2015.09). Black should use her Rs to pressure White's center, and prepare the Ns toblockade on any central square that becomes available. When White plays e3-e4is it very dangerous for Black to capture the center pawns (with ...cxd4 and ...dxe4) when White's central duo is both well-supported and mobile, since thismakes it very hard, if not impossible, to prepare good squares for the Ns inresponse to both d4-d5 and e4-e5. Two 1952 games from in this line demonstrateBlack's difficulties, and show White getting a crushing attack, seemingly "outof nowhere".} Rc7 (15... cxd4 16. cxd4 Qd7 17. e4 dxe4 18. fxe4 Ne5 {(issimilar to Pogonin-Zhou)} 19. Qd1 Nc4 20. Bc1 Qc6 (20... Kh8 $142) 21. e5 Nd522. Qf3 f6 $2 23. Nh5 $1 $18 Rf8 24. Qg3 Qc7 25. Bh6 $1 Rf7 26. Qf3 Rd8 27.Nxg7 Rxg7 28. exf6 Rgd7 29. f7+ $1 {1-0 (29) Averbakh,Y-Golombek,HSaltsjobaden 1952} (29. f7+ Rxf7 30. Qxd5 $1 $18)) (15... h6 16. e4 cxd4 17.cxd4 dxe4 18. fxe4 Ne5 19. Qd1 Nc4 20. Bc1 Nh7 21. e5 Re6 22. Re4 Nf8 23. Nf5Kh8 24. Qh5 $18 {and Black is busted.} Rc7 25. Rh4 Nh7 26. Nxg7 Kxg7 27. Bxh6+Kg8 28. Rg4+ Rg6 29. e6 {1-0 (30) Kotov,A-Unzicker,W Saltsjobaden 1952}) ({Black should probably allow White to push e5, and aim for counterplay on thec-file -- and NOT close the c-file with ...c4 (as in Botvinnik-Capablanca,AVRO).} 15... Qc7 16. e4 Ne7 17. e5 Nd7 18. a4 (18. f4 cxd4 19. cxd4 Qc2 $132)18... cxd4 19. cxd4 Qc2 20. Qxc2 Rxc2 21. Ba3 g6 22. Rc1 Ra2 23. Bxe7 Rxe7 24.Ra1 Rxa1 25. Rxa1 f6 26. f4 Nf8 27. Rc1 Ne6 $11 {½-½ (64) Eljanov,P (2739)-Wang,Y (2737) Baku Ol, 2016.}) 16. e4 dxe4 17. fxe4 Ne5 18. Qd1 (18. Qe2 {looks more natural, but White is aiming for Qb3xf7.}) 18... cxd4 $2 (18... Rd7$1 19. d5 (19. Qe2 cxd4 20. cxd4 Rxd4 $1 $14) 19... c4 $1 $11 20. Bc1 $1 (20.a4 $2 Nd3 $17) 20... h6 $14 (20... Nd3 21. Bg5 $1)) 19. cxd4 Ng6 $6 (19... Nc420. Bc1 $16) 20. Qb3 {15minutes on this} (20. Nf5 $1 $18 Rxe4 21. Rxe4 Nxe4 22.d5 Rd7 23. Qd4 Nf6 24. Nxg7 Nxd5 25. Nh5 f6 26. Qc4 $1 $18) 20... Rce7 (20...Rd7 21. e5 Nd5 22. Ne4) 21. d5 $6 {Timid!} (21. Rxf6 $1 {"Is just part ofchess culture", is what I can hear Kasparov saying; meaning, you play thismove automatically, and calculate the variations afterward. Black just getskilled on the dark squares:} gxf6 22. Qf3 Rd7 (22... Re6 23. Rf1 $1 {aimingfor Nh5 or Nf5.}) 23. Nh5 Rd6 24. Rf1 b5 25. d5 Qb6+ 26. Kh1 $18) 21... Ng4 (21... Nd7 22. Nf5 Rxe4 23. Rxe4 (23. Qc3 $2 f6 $15) 23... Rxe4 24. d6 $1 (24.Bxg7 $16) 24... Ndf8 $2 25. Nh6+ $1 $18) (21... Nxe4 22. Nf5 $8 $16) 22. h3 (22. Nf5 Rxe4 23. Rxe4 Rxe4 24. d6 $140 $1 (24. Qf3 $2 Rf4) 24... a5 $2 {just a random move to demonstrate the threat} 25. Qf3 Rf4 26. Ne7+ $1 $18)22... N4e5 23. Nf5 Rd7 24. Qg3 f6 $1 25. Rc1 Kh8 (25... b5 26. Rc5 Qb6 27. Bd4)(25... Qb8) 26. a4 b5 27. axb5 Qb6+ 28. Bd4 Qxb5 29. Rc3 h5 $2 30. Rfc1 Qe2 31.Bxe5 $2 {White used 2 of her remaining 9 minutes on this. Black had 2.} Nxe5 $832. Rc7 Red8 (32... Rxc7 33. Rxc7 g5 $8 34. Qe3 Qxe3+ 35. Nxe3 Ra8 36. d6 Rd837. Nf5 a5 {Black should draw.}) 33. Qe3 Qxe3+ 34. Nxe3 Kg8 (34... Kh7) 35. Nf5Kf8 (35... g6 $142 36. Nd4 Rxc7 37. Rxc7 Ra8 38. Ne6 a5 (38... Nf7 $5) 39. d6Ra6 $8 $11) 36. Nd4 {both players under 2 minutes.} Rxc7 37. Rxc7 Rd7 $1 {Qiyu now ahead on the clock.} (37... Ra8 {is too slow with the K on f8.} 38.Ne6+ $18) 38. Rc8+ Kf7 (38... Ke7 39. Nf5+ Kf7 40. Rh8 a5 41. Ra8 g6 42. Nd4Nc4 43. Rc8 (43. Kf2 f5 $1 $11) 43... Nd6) 39. Ne6 a5 40. Ra8 Nc4 {Timecontrol made by both players, who now have an extra 30 min (+30s/move) tocomplete the game.} (40... Nc6 $4 41. dxc6 Rd1+ 42. Kf2 Kxe6 43. c7) 41. Kf2 g6{20 minutes on this. Black had a very interesting alternative in ...f5. It's apawn sac that gives Black enough activity or targets no matter which way Whitetakes.} (41... f5 42. exf5 Rxd5 (42... h4 $1 {Stockfish =}) 43. g4 hxg4 44.hxg4 Kf6 45. Kg3 (45. Kf3 g5 46. fxg6 Rd3+ $11) 45... g5 46. fxg6 Rd3+ $8 47.Kh4 Ne5 $8 $11 48. g7 $140 $4 Ng6+ 49. Kh5 Rh3#) (41... f5 42. Rf8+ Ke7 43.Rxf5 a4 {deflecting the white R makes Black's a-pawn dangerous enough to draw.For example:} 44. Rg5 a3 45. Rxg7+ Kd6 46. Rxd7+ Kxd7 47. Nc5+ Kd6 48. Nb3 a249. g4 (49. Kf3 $4 Nd2+ $19) 49... hxg4 50. hxg4 Nd2 51. Na1 Nxe4+ $11) 42. Ra6f5 (42... Rd6 $1 43. Ra7+ Ke8 44. Ng7+ (44. Rg7 Rb6 $1 45. Rxg6 a4 46. Rxf6 Ke747. Rh6 (47. Rf8 $2 Rxe6 $15) 47... a3 48. Rh7+ Kd6 49. Ra7 Ke5 $11) 44... Kd8$11) 43. exf5 gxf5 44. Nf4 h4 45. Rh6 a4 46. Rxh4 a3 47. Rh7+ Ke8 48. Rh8+ Ke749. Ra8 Rb7 $11 50. Ke2 Rb5 51. Nd3 {Each player had only 2 minutes here.} Rxd5$11 {...and Qiyu went down to 32 second before capturing here.} 52. Ra4 Rxd353. Rxc4 $8 (53. Kxd3 $4 Nb2+ $19) 53... Rb3 54. Ra4 Kf6 55. h4 Kg6 (55... Rb2+56. Kf3 a2 57. Ra6+ Kg7 58. g3 Rh2 59. Kf4 Rf2+ $11) 56. g4 fxg4 57. Rxg4+ Kh558. Ra4 Rb2+ {Gives White a chance to lose by going to the back rank.} (58...Rh3) 59. Kd3 Rh2 60. Kc3 Rxh4 61. Rxa3 1/2-1/2
merida
46

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