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Women's World Chess Championship 2011 (3)

Hou Yifan takes Women's World Championship lead with win in game 3

Hou Yifan of China takes the lead. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich and Anna Burtasova with kind permission of FIDE.

Hou Yifan of China takes the lead. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich and Anna Burtasova with kind permission of FIDE. |

Hou Yifan took an early lead in the defence of her Women's World Chess Champion title by winning game three of her match against Humpy Koneru. Hou allowed Koneru's rook into her king position whilst she took queenside pawns and almost complete charge of the light squares which proved to be Koneru's downfall in the end. A very interesting and impressive win.

Handshake at the start

Handshake at the start. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich with kind permission of FIDE.

Anastasiya Karlovich, FIDE Press officer reports:

In the third game of the match for the World Championship rested participants entered into an intense and sharp struggle. Humpy Koneru who played with white pieces, went out of the opening with the slight advantage. The Chinese, though, was precise in her queenside and center activity that opened a path for a win for her.

Humpy Koneru

Humpy Koneru. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich with kind permission of FIDE.

"I took my time to think about taking the pawn on a2", - said Hou Yifan after the game, - "My king could get in trouble, but I decided to go for this principal continuation".

Humpy Koneru against Hou Yifan Game 3

Humpy Koneru against Hou Yifan Game 3. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich with kind permission of FIDE.

"I had a good position, but I was making not good moves", - commented Koneru on her play in the middle game.

The World champion did not let her opponent off the hook, her only mistake happened on the 25th move when Black could finish it off immediately with a tricky move 25...Rd8! and if 26.Bxf7+ (26.Rf2 Qb6 27.Qd2 Bxe4), simply 26...Kg7, and the threats of Black meet no real reply.

Humpy Koneru

Humpy Koneru. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich with kind permission of FIDE.

Instead, Hou Yifan attacked the rook 25. ... Kg7 26.Rf2 Qb6 27.Qd2 Rd8. This position, however, remained in a big favor of Black. But the further mistakes from the side of Koneru made the game finish very soon. After the game Hou Yifan confessed that she did not see 25. …Rd8 during the game.

After three games, Hou Yifan is leading 2-1 and in the 4th game on the 18th of November she will play with white.

Post Game interview

Post Game interview. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich with kind permission of FIDE.

Koneru,Humpy - Hou Yifan [D38]
WCh w Tirana ALB (3), 17.11.2011

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 c5 8.e3 c4 9.Be2 g5 10.Bg3 Ne4 11.Rc1 Qa5 12.Ne5 Bxc3+ 13.bxc3 Nc6 14.0-0 0-0

[14...Nxc3 15.Rxc3 Qxc3 16.Bh5 0-0 17.Qf3 Nd8 18.Qf6 Qc2 19.Ng4 Bxg4 20.Be5 Qh7 21.Bxg4 Ne6 22.f4 Qg7 23.Qe7 Rae8 24.Qd7 Qh7 25.fxg5 f5 26.Qxh7+ Kxh7 27.Bxf5+ Rxf5 28.Rxf5 c3 29.gxh6 b5 30.Bd6 a5 31.Ba3 b4 32.Bc1 a4 33.Rf7+ Kxh6 34.Rb7 Nf4 35.exf4 Re1+ 36.Kf2 Rxc1 37.Rxb4 Ra1 38.Rb6+ Kg7 39.Rc6 Rxa2+ 40.Ke3 Rxg2 41.Rxc3 Rxh2 42.Rc6 a3 43.f5 Rh6 44.Rc1 Ra6 45.Kd3 a2 46.Ra1 Kf6 47.Kc3 Kxf5 48.Kb2 Ke4 49.Re1+ Kxd4 50.Ka1 Kc3 51.Rc1+ Kd2 52.Rc2+ Kd3 53.Rc3+ Ke4 54.Rh3 d4 55.Rh4+ Kd3 56.Rh3+ Kc4 57.Rc3+ Kd5 58.Rh3 Rb6 59.Kxa2 Kc4 60.Rh1 Kc3 0-1 Topalov,V (2775)-Aronian,L (2808)/ Monaco MNC 2011/The Week in Chess 855]

15.Bf3 Nxg3 16.fxg3 Nxe5 17.dxe5 Be6 18.Bh5 Qxa2 19.Rf6

Whilst the rook seems threatening black has everything under control.

19...Qb2 20.Rxh6 Bf5 21.Rf6 Be4 22.Bf3 Bd3 23.Qe1 Rae8 24.Bxd5 Rxe5 25.e4?!

Hou Yifan


Humpy Koneru

Position after 25.e4?!

Maybe an error. White's light squared bishop and e-pawn both cause her problems from now on but may this is unavoidable anyhow. In which case white's troubles may go a lot further back in this position.

[25.Rf2 Qb6 26.e4 and possibly this is a slightly better version than the game.]

25...Kg7 26.Rf2 Qb6 27.Qd2 Rd8 28.Qb2 f5! 29.Qxb6 axb6 30.Bxb7 fxe4

Now if black can drive the bishop off the h1-a8 diagonal the advance of the e-pawn will just win for black.

31.Rb2 Re7 32.Bc6 Rd6 33.Ba4

Hou Yifan


Humpy Koneru

Position after 33.Ba4

[33.Ba8 Ra7 traps it.]

33...e3 34.Re1 e2 35.Bc2 Rf7 36.Bxd3 cxd3 37.Rd2 Rdf6 0-1

WCh w Tirana
Koneru, Humpy - Hou, Yifan ½-½ 80 E06 Catalan
Hou, Yifan - Koneru, Humpy ½-½ 42 C42 Petroff's Defence
Koneru, Humpy - Hou, Yifan 0-1 37 D38 QGD Ragozin

WCh w Tirana (ALB), 14 - 30 xi 2011
Name Ti NAT Rtng 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Perf
Hou, Yifan g CHN 2578 ½ ½ 1 . . . . . . . 2 2725
Koneru, Humpy g IND 2600 ½ ½ 0 . . . . . . . 1 2453

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