Hou Yifan wins CEZ trophy in tiebreak

6/14/2013 – After three very close games, the players went out for blood in their final standard time control confrontation. Navara deviated early in the Scheveningen. Yifan outplayed the Czech for the majority of the game, but misplayed the endgame and was lucky that Navara could not finish her off in time trouble. She won the blitz tiebreak to take the title. Final report with GM analysis of a very interesting game.

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The CEZ Chess Trophy 2013 pitted the world's number two female player, 19-year-old Chinese GM Hou Yifan, against the best Czech GM David Navara. Hou Yifan was the Women's World Chess Champion in years 2010-2012 and is the current challenger for the title.

CEZ trophy ends in a hard fought tie

[Event "Czech Chess Trophy 2013"] [Site "Prague"] [Date "2013.06.14"] [Round "4"] [White "Navara, David"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B84"] [WhiteElo "2707"] [BlackElo "2595"] [Annotator "Ramirez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "102"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [EventCountry "CZE"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 {Yifan is one of the grandmasters who is not scared of the Keres attack. Many players nowadays choose the Najdorf moveorder to avoid it, but then they also have to deal with some important lines, mainly those involving 6.Bg5.} 6. Be3 (6. g4 h6 7. h4 e5 8. Nf5 Nc6 {was Harikrishna-Hou Yifan from earlier this year, where the Chinese talent took the game in a fascinating struggle.}) 6... a6 7. Be2 Qc7 8. a4 b6 $5 {The subtleties in the Scheveningen are endless. Playing b6 before developing the knight to d7 allows White some interesting possibilities, while disallowing some others. I will not delve into what exactly this entails but I'm sure both players knew what they were doing.} 9. f4 Bb7 10. Bf3 Nbd7 11. Qe2 e5 12. O-O-O {An incredible move. White simply leaves his knight en prise! This must be Navara's improvement over... his own game with Iordachescu! Except in that game Navara was black.} (12. Nf5 g6 13. fxe5 dxe5 14. Nh6 Bc5 { Iordachescu-Navara, 2012.}) 12... Rc8 {Yifan is not going to be bullied into playing a passive position up a piece.} (12... exd4 13. Bxd4 Rc8 14. e5 Bxf3 15. Qxf3 {is for maniacs and silicon brains. Although to be fair it might also be just bad for Black.}) 13. Rhe1 h5 14. fxe5 dxe5 15. Nd5 Qc4 16. b3 Qxe2 17. Nxf6+ Nxf6 18. Nxe2 {with the exchange of queens, Black has solved many of her opening problems. The only issue now is that b6 is a bit loose, but besides that she has a pretty good Sicilian endgame.} Ba3+ 19. Kb1 Nxe4 20. Bxb6 Bb4 21. Rg1 {a sad move, but rather forced.} g5 $5 {Black loses no time in expanding on the kingside, which will force some concessions from White. Immediately he will have to relinquish the bishop pair.} 22. Kb2 g4 23. Bxe4 Bxe4 24. c3 Rh6 $1 25. a5 Rd6 $1 {These precise rook maneouvers allowed her to basically save a tempo.} 26. Rxd6 Bxd6 27. c4 Ke7 28. Kc3 Ke6 29. b4 f5 { Black's pair of bishops gives her the upper hand in the ensuing pawn race. White still has many tricks up his sleeve, but the position is not pleasant.} 30. c5 Be7 (30... f4 $5 31. Nxf4+ $1 exf4 32. Kd4 Bxg2 $1 {is a crazy line that is still quite unclear if Black is fully winning.}) 31. Re1 h4 32. g3 hxg3 33. hxg3 {Black's pawns have been halted for now.} Kf6 $6 {not so hot, the White's king should not have been allowed to c4, where it can support b5.} ( 33... Bg5 $1 34. Kc4 $4 (34. b5 $5 axb5 {would have at least given Black a material advantage, though its unclear if she will win the endgame.}) 34... Bd2 $19) 34. Kc4 Bb7 35. b5 axb5+ 36. Kxb5 Bc6+ 37. Kc4 Rh8 $2 {This move and the idea behind it are too aggressive. Yifan can't afford to move the rook to the second rank as she will have no targets and the a-pawn is going forward.} 38. a6 (38. Nc3) 38... Rh2 39. a7 (39. Bc7 $5 {both players missed this very strong move, which probably would have won the game for White. The idea is to vacate the b-file for a subsequen rook lift, supporting the a-pawn.} Ba8 40. a7 {and Black's out of moves.} Rh7 41. c6 $1 Bxc6 42. Bxe5+ $1 $18) 39... Kf7 40. Nc1 Rc2+ {With the rook's activity, Black can hold the pawns without any issue. } 41. Kb4 Bf6 42. Nb3 e4 43. Na5 Ba8 44. c6 Bc3+ 45. Kb3 Bxe1 46. Kxc2 Ke7 ( 46... Bxg3 47. c7 {is not good for Black.}) 47. Nc4 Bxc6 48. Ne3 Ke6 49. Bc7 Bb4 50. Bb8 Bc5 51. Kd2 Bxe3+ {Black's up a pawn, but she can't advance her passers and the a-pawn is too powerful, so she decided to force the draw immediately. A very interesting game.} 1/2-1/2

Spectators watching the game in the playing hall

Commentary hall where the very exciting fourth game is being analysed by GM Robert Cvek

In two blitz tiebreak games the players once again scored 1-1, so that an armageddon game was needed to decide the winner. This was won by Hou Yifan, who was thus declared the overall winner of the CEZ Chess Trophy 2013.

All photos in this and previous reports by Anežka Kružíková


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Topics CEZ, Prague
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