Ivanchuk beats Hou Yifan 3 - 1

by Liang Ziming
4/10/2017 – After three games, Vassily Ivanchuk held a one game lead over Hou Yifan. In the event of a draw after four classical games, there would be a series of playoff games, but Ivanchuk was not to be denied as he took game four in just 20 moves and ended the match 3.0 - 1.0. The organizers have also announced a series of other matches to come. Report and analysis.

The time control for the four games is 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 30 minutes and a 30-second increment as of move one. Draws cannot be offered before move 30, and if the match ends in a 2-2 tie, a blitz tiebreak will take place at the rate of 5 minutes plus 3 seconds. If even this is tied, then a special super-bitz game will be used to decide the winner. This is not an Armageddon game. Instead, a single blitz game at the rate of 5 minutes plus 2 seconds will be played with the following condition: if it ends in a draw, the clock times are left as they are, the colors are reversed, and the players start a new game with those times left. This will continue until the tie is broken.

Game four

Vassily Ivanchuk was in excellent form throughout the match

After the game, Hou Yifan commented, “My play in this game was just not good. I was a little bit anxious and impetuous. I tried to complicate the game but Vassily played very accurately and I never had any winning chances.”

Hou Yifan vs Vassily Ivanchuk

[Event "King and Queen Summit Match 2017"] [Site "Shenzhen"] [Date "2017.04.08"] [Round "4"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2649"] [BlackElo "2732"] [Annotator "A. Silver"] [PlyCount "40"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventCountry "CHN"] [SourceTitle "playchess.com"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. O-O d6 6. c3 O-O 7. a4 a5 8. Bg5 Ne7 {An interesting novelty that more or less screams 'take me'. Black invites White to take and give up the bishop pair, in exchange for a slightly worse pawn structure and potential kingside initiative. Hou Yifan has always been a very aggressive, so it is not impossible that Vassily prepared this specifically for her.} (8... h6 $11 9. Be3 Bxe3 10. fxe3 Be6) 9. Nh4 $6 { Frankly, this looks a bit precipitated. Ivanchuk isn't about to be mated by just the knight and queen, so why not complete the development?} d5 {Standard, and would make Nimzowitsch proud.} 10. Bb3 ({Theoretically,} 10. exd5 $11 { is better. The problem is that White'has no intention of allowing a series of easy piece exchanges after} Nfxd5 11. Nd2 f6 {and the dark squared bishop cannot avoid being exchnaged with} 12. Be3 Bxe3 13. fxe3 {but after} Kh8 { Black has not only equalized, but might be on the verge of being better.}) 10... dxe4 $15 {Threatens to win with ...Bg4.} 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. Nd2 Ng6 13. Nxe4 $11 Be7 14. Nxg6 (14. Nf3 $11) 14... hxg6 $15 15. Qd2 f5 {Black already stands clearly better. White's pieces are being expulsed from their squares.} 16. Qh6 $2 {[#]} (16. Ng3 $1 $15) 16... Ra6 $1 $19 ({Stronger than} 16... fxe4 17. Qxg6+ Kh8 18. Qh6+ (18. Bxf7 $2 Qd6 19. Rae1 Qf6 20. Qh5+ Kg7 $19) 18... Kg8 19. Qg6+ (19. dxe4 $2 Qd6 20. Qe3 Qg6 $19) 19... Kh8 20. Qh6+ (20. Bxf7 $2 Qd6 21. Rae1 Qf6 22. Qh5+ Kg7 $17) 20... Kg8 21. Qg6+ $11 (21. dxe4 $2 Qd6 22. Qxd6 Bxd6 $19)) 17. f4 $2 (17. Rad1) 17... fxe4 {Black is clearly winning.} 18. dxe4 Bc5+ 19. Kh1 Be3 20. Rad1 Qe7 0-1

There were several activities held in parallel to help promote chess in the region

Chief Arbiter Zhu Jiaqi presents the prizes to the players

While Ivanchuk took home US $18 thousand for his win, Hou Yifan left with $12 thousand

Liang Ziming has been a chess journalist since 2003 and the New Officer for the Chinese Chess Association since 2011. In 2007, he translated Kasparov's book "How Life Imitates Chess" into Chinese together with the former Women World Champion Xie Jun.
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KyleReese KyleReese 4/11/2017 09:27
Hou Yifan doesn't have the mental strength or stamina to compete at the very highest levels against men. She will never be like Polgar.
Pieces in Motion Pieces in Motion 4/11/2017 11:25
Not a surprising result, Ivanchuk has been playing with a bit of his old fire lately.
diegoami diegoami 4/11/2017 02:17
The better player won. But Hou can still improve, I hope.
ChessHulk ChessHulk 4/12/2017 01:07
"expulsed"? I like it! lol