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Women's World Championship 2017
Round 1.2 February 12: Zhou - Pogonina

Game 1 was drawn -- see http://chess.ca/newsfeed/node/934 -- so the winner of this game would advance to round

2.

"Now the coaches and jounalists who were sent to WWCC by some countries look very nervous now. [before the game] Qiyu went outside for a walk as usual."

- Penny Zhou (Qiyu's mom, who also supplied the photo above)

The Game
Qiyu was well-prepared, playing the first 17 moves in minus-4 minutes (thanks to the 30s increment) while her opponent took 25. It was a typical d3 Lopez, where White could try to create weak queenside squares but hadn't ruled out kingside play. Pogonina played ...Be6, accepting doubled e-pawns, but Qiyu missed her (one?) chance to break in at move 24. After that, it was around equal, with no obvious plan for either player. But Qiyu unnecessarily sidelined a N at move 44 and 46, after which Black had all the play, and won smoothly, despite serious time pressure for both players. Pogonina advances, Qiyu goes home.

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 Round:  Result:
[Event "WWCCh 2017"][Site "?"][Date "2017.02.12"][Round "1.2"][White "Zhou, Qiyu"][Black "Pogonina, Natalija"][Result "0-1"][ECO "C84"][WhiteElo "2247"][BlackElo "2447"][Annotator "John Upper"][PlyCount "138"]1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 (5... Be7 {We transpose tothis game at move 15, but in Zhou-Pogonina White is a tempo up} 6. Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8. h3 Bb7 9. d3 d6 10. a3 Na5 11. Ba2 c5 12. Nbd2 Nc6 13. Nf1 Bc8 14.c3 Be6 15. Bxe6 fxe6 16. Ng3 Nd7 17. Be3 d5 18. exd5 exd5 19. a4 Rb8 20. axb5axb5 21. b3 Ra8 {½-½ (21) Kasparov,G (2804)-Topalov,V (2757) Linares, 2005.})6. Bb3 Bb7 7. d3 Be7 8. Nc3 O-O 9. Re1 d6 10. a3 {[#]} Nb8 (10... Na5 $5 {could lead to the Kasparov-Topalov game (above).}) (10... Qd7 11. Ne2 Nd8 12.Ng3 g6 (12... Ne6 13. Ba2 Rfe8 14. Ng5 d5 15. Nxe6 Qxe6 {Unclear.} {0-1 (40) Caruana,F (2808)-Carlsen,M (2853) Saint Louis, 2015.}) (12... c5 $5 {N}) 13. c3 c5 14.Ba2 Ne6 15. b4 Rac8 16. bxc5 Nxc5 17. Bh6 Rfe8 18. d4 Ne6 19. Ng5 $2 (19. Rc1$142 $11) 19... Nxg5 (19... Rxc3 $4 20. Nxe6 fxe6 21. dxe5 dxe5 22. Qxd7 Nxd723. Bxe6+ $18) 20. Bxg5 Rxc3 21. Ne2 Rc7 22. Ng3 Qg4 23. Qd2 $2 Nxe4 {Only move.} $19 24.Qa5 (24. Nxe4 Bxe4 25. f3 Bxg5 $19) 24... Nxg3 $19 25. hxg3 Rec8 26. Bxe7 Rxe727. dxe5 dxe5 {Black is up two pawns and won easily.} 28. Rad1 Kg7 29. Qb6 h530. Qd6 Rce8 31. Rc1 Qd4 32. Qb4 Qxb4 33. axb4 Rd8 34. Rc5 Rd2 35. Bb3 Rd4 {0-1 (35) Wei,Y (2706)-Zhou,J (2635) Shenzhen, 2016.}) 11. Ne2 {Both sides hasplayed quickly up to here, possibly because they were following this Pogoninagame from last year's Russian Women's Team Championship:} (11. a4 b4 12. Ne2Nbd7 13. Ng3 Nc5 14. Bc4 Re8 15. a5 Rb8 16. c3 bxc3 17. bxc3 Bf8 18. Ba3 Ne619. Qd2 Bc6 20. d4 exd4 21. cxd4 d5 22. Bxf8 Rxf8 23. Bxa6 dxe4 24. Ne5 Ba8 25.Rad1 Qd6 $6 26. Bc4 g6 27. Qh6 Qe7 28. f4 $2 (28. Nxg6) (28. h3 $142) (28. a6$142) 28... exf3 29. gxf3 (29. Nxg6 $2 f2+ $1 $19) 29... Nd5 30. Ne4 Rb2 31.Bxd5 Bxd5 32. Nd7 $4 Bxe4 $19 33. Nxf8 Qg5+ $4 (33... Ng5 {Only move.} $19) 34. Qxg5 Nxg535. fxe4 $11 Nf3+ 36. Kf1 Nxh2+ 37. Kg1 Nf3+ 38. Kf1 Nh2+ 39. Kg1 Nf3+ 40. Kf1Nh2+ 41. Kg1 Nf3+ {½-½ (41) Shuvalova,P (2320)-Pogonina,N (2490) Sochi, 2016.}) 11... c5 12. Ng3 Nc6 13. c3 Bc8 14. h3 Be6 15. Bxe6 fxe6 {[#] This is thesame position as Kasparov-Topalov (note to move 5), but there it was Black tomove. The difference is that Topalov played ...Na5, and White saved his B withBa2, which cost him a tempo when he then exchanged with BxBe6.} 16. b4 $1 (16.d4 exd4 17. cxd4 e5 18. d5 Nd4 19. Nxd4 cxd4 20. Bd2 Rc8 $11 21. Rc1 (21. Nf5Rf7 {then ...Bf8.}) 21... Qd7 {½-½ (76) Kallio,H (2502)-Vajda,L (2539)Budapest, 2002.}) 16... Qd7 17. Qb3 Rab8 {Qiyu had been playing almostinstantly up to here, and now had 94 minutes on the clock (4 more than shestarted with), while Black was down to 65. However, a series of long thinks oneach of her next three moves gave back most of that time advantage...} 18. Be3Rfe8 19. Reb1 Bf8 20. a4 cxb4 {After this, times were now 49m v 43m.} 21. axb5axb5 22. cxb4 d5 23. Rc1 $14 d4 (23... Nxb4 $2 24. Nxe5 Qd6 25. Nf3 {threatening forks with e5 and Bc5.} Nd7 26. Ra5 $14 {with pressure on theb-pawn.}) 24. Bd2 {Not bad, but White had better:} (24. Ra6 $1 Rec8 (24... dxe325. Rcxc6 $16) (24... Nxb4 $2 25. Nxe5 {Only move.} Qe7 26. Nf5 {Only move.} $18 Qb7 27. Rxe6 $18)25. Bd2 {[#] Threatening Rcxc6 then Nxe5.} Kh8 (25... Qe8 26. Ng5 $1 Nd8 27.Rxc8 Rxc8 28. f4 $1 (28. Nxe6 $2 Nxe6 29. Qxe6+ Qxe6 30. Rxe6 Rc2 {with counterplayr.}) (28.Nf5) 28... exf4 29. Ne2 $1 {an with the pawns broken up, White's Ns run riot.})26. Rcxc6 Rxc6 27. Nxe5 Rxa6 {Only move.} 28. Nxd7 Nxd7 29. Ne2 $16) 24... Ra8 $1 $14 {Preventing Ra6 as in the note above.} 25. Ng5 Rxa1 26. Rxa1 h6 27. Nf3 Qb7 {The big island of pawns in the center keeps White's B inactive and leaves fewgood squares for any of the Ns. The isolated pawns on e6 and b4 are thenatural targets, but both can be sufficiently defended. Maybe White shouldconsider moving her Ng3 to g4: Ng3-f1-h2-g4. Black could kick it away with ...h5, but that weakens g5. It's a slow maneuver, but this is a nearly closedposition, so everything is slow.} 28. Ne2 Nd7 29. Ne1 Bd6 30. Nc2 Nf8 31. Qa2Rb8 {[#]} 32. f4 $6 {This undoubles Black's e-pawns and gives her an outposton e5. If Black puts a N on e5 then her d4-pawn could be weak; though it isnot vulnerable now because of the pin on b6-g1 diagonal. It doesn't give Blackan advantage, but it looks like an unwise attempt at activity, when theposition would be slightly better (and unloseable) with queenside maneuvering.}(32. Nc1 Qe7 33. Qa3 Rb7 34. Qa6 Nb8 {White's not making any progress, buthasn't given Black anything to hope for either.}) 32... exf4 33. Nxf4 (33.Ncxd4 $4 Qb6 $19) 33... Qe7 34. Qa6 Qc7 35. Ne2 Qd7 36. Qa2 Kh7 37. Qb2 Bc7 {Black threatens ...Ng6 then ...Qd6 with strong control of the dark squares.}38. Bf4 Rd8 39. Rf1 Ng6 40. Bxc7 Qxc7 $15 41. Na3 Qe7 42. Nxb5 {[#]} Nge5 $1 (42... e5 $1 {gets the pawn back immediately:} 43. Na3 (43. Ra1 Nxb4 44. Ra7 $2Qc5 $19 {Black wins a piece.}) 43... Nxb4 44. Qd2 (44. Nc1 $2 Nf4 $17) 44...Ra8 45. Nc4 Ra2 46. Qd1 $15) 43. Nf4 Rb8 44. Na3 $2 (44. Nxd4 Qa7 (44... Rxb4$2 45. Nxc6 Nxc6 46. Qc3 $14) 45. Nfxe6 {Only move.} Rxb4 (45... Re8 46. Qf2 $16 (46. b5$1 $18) 46... Nxd3 $2 47. Qf5+ g6 48. Nf8+ $18) 46. Qc3 {Only move.} Nxd4 47. Qxb4 Nxe6+(47... Ndf3+ $5 {is exciting, for a few moves:} 48. Kh1 Nxd3 {Only move.} 49. Nf8+ {Only move.} Kh850. Ng6+ {Only move.} Kh7 {Only move.} 51. Nf8+ {Only move.} $11) 48. Kh1 Nxd3 49. Qd6 $11 {possibly morefun to play as Black, but objectively equal.}) 44... Rxb4 45. Qc2 Rb7 46. Nb1$2 (46. Nc4 $142 $11 Nb4 47. Qd2 Nxc4 48. dxc4 {the pawn on d4 looks moredangerous than it is.} Qg5 (48... e5 49. Nd5 $11) 49. e5 $11 (49. Qd1 $11))46... Nb4 $1 $15 47. Qf2 Qd6 48. Qg3 Rf7 49. Nd2 g5 $1 $17 50. Nh5 $6 {Afterthis, times were: 1 min vs 4 min; but even with an hour, White could spend thetime only hoping for a miracle.} (50. Ne2 Rxf1+ 51. Nxf1 Nbxd3 $17) 50... Rxf1+51. Nxf1 Nbxd3 $19 52. h4 Qe7 53. hxg5 Qxg5 54. Qxg5 hxg5 {White's only hopeis to trade her Ns for Black's pawns, but there's no realistic way that canhappen.} 55. Nd2 (55. Nf6+ Kg6 56. Ne8 Nc4 $19 {is no better.}) 55... Kg6 56.Ng3 Nf4 57. Kf1 Ng4 58. Ne2 Ne3+ 59. Kf2 Nxe2 60. Kxe2 Nxg2 61. Nf3 Nf4+ 62.Kd2 d3 63. Ne5+ Kh5 64. Ke3 g4 65. Nc4 g3 66. Kf3 g2 67. Kf2 Kg5 68. Nd2 Kg469. Nf3 g1=Q+ $1 {Deflection sac to promote the d-pawn. Pogonina advances toround 2: 1.5 - 0.5.} 0-1
merida
46

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