Taizhou 03: Hou Yifan increases her lead

9/14/2013 – Hou Yifan played a classical Nimzo-Indian and had her opponent thinking for 40 minutes after move 15. World Champion Anna Ushenina did not find the right path and soon found herself in serious trouble. Her 19-year-old Chinese challenger took the initiative, played some precise moves and forced Ushenina's resignation after just 24 moves. Round three report with pictures and videos.

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Women’s World Chess Championship Match 2013 between the current World Champion Anna Ushenina of Ukraine and her challenger, Hou Yifan of China (former World Champion 2010-2012), is being played from September 11th to 27 in the Taizhou Hotel (Taizhou, China). The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. The games start at 3 p.m. local time. That translates to 09:00 a.m. CEST, 03:00 a.m. New York, 10:00 a.m. Kiev. You can find your local time here.

Round three report

World Champion Anna Ushenina in trouble for a second time in a white game

Challenger Hou Yifan playing with determination and precision

Black’s 15...Rc8 forced the World Champion to sink into deep thought. After 40 minutes
Anna came out with dubious decision which turned out to be the start of her troubles.

So that's where the spectators are: in the commentary room, adjecent to the playing hall

A mixed crowd, which includes FIDE dignitaries Ali Nihat Yazici, Jorge and David Jarett on the left...

... and a row of children behind them

The press conference with both players after the game...

... followed by youthful chess fans, of which there is a growing number in China

Round three game

[Event "WCh Women 2013"]
[Site "Taizhou CHN"]
[Date "2013.09.14"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Ushenina, A."]
[Black "Hou Yifan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E32"]
[WhiteElo "2500"]
[BlackElo "2609"]
[PlyCount "48"]
[EventDate "2013.09.11"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. e4 d5 6. e5 Ne4 7. Bd3 c5 8. Nf3
cxd4 9. Nxd4 Nd7 10. Bf4 Ndc5 {This is also a good way of playing the
variation.} ({This variation became somewhat popular in the early 2000s. The
idea to establish a strong pawn center is always a key feature of the
Nimzo-Indian, but it has been seen that Black can break it pretty quickly, at
least in this case. The remaining question then becomes how well White can
retain his remaining center, especifically his e5 pawn.} 10... Qb6 11. Nb3 Qc7
12. O-O Nxe5 13. Bxe4 dxe4 14. Qxe4 Bxc3 15. bxc3 f6 16. Rfe1 Qxc4 17. Bxe5
Qxe4 18. Rxe4 fxe5 19. Rxe5 {This endgame is not as unpleasant as it looks at
first for Black and ended in a draw in Anand-Kramnik, Moscow 2013}) 11. O-O
Bxc3 12. bxc3 Bd7 (12... Nxd3 13. Qxd3 b6 14. cxd5 exd5 15. Rad1 Qd7 {gave
Black a very good position in Holt-Onischuk, US Championship 2013}) 13. Be2 Na4
14. cxd5 exd5 15. c4 Rc8 {Strangely Ushenina sank into thought here, despite
the fact that this position ha been played before.} 16. Qb3 dxc4 $5 $146 {For
the first time it is Hou Yifan that uncorks an idea that is good and new.} ({
Previously Alekseev had proven that immediately placing the knight on c3 also
gave equality.} 16... Nac3 17. cxd5 Ba4 18. Qxb7 Rc7 19. Qa6 Qxd5 20. Be3 Qxe5
{And only Black can be better, although the game was eventually drawn.
Gundavaa,B-Alekseev, E Kazan 2013: 1/2 (46)-1/2 (67)}) 17. Bxc4 $2 {A mistake
already} (17. Qxb7 Nac5 18. Qb2 (18. Qxa7 $2 {is too greedy, the queen runs
out of squares.} Ra8 $1 $19) 18... Nd3 19. Bxd3 cxd3 {looks more pleasant for
Black in my opinion.}) 17... Nac3 $1 {White is surprisingly helpless against
the threat of Ba4, either distracting the queen from the defense of the bishop
on c4 or taking the knight on d4.} 18. a4 (18. Bxf7+ Rxf7 19. e6 {"I need to
check this line with my computer to have a final conclusion," said World
Champion.} Bxe6 20. Nxe6 Qf6 {is clearly better for Black, according to the
engines. Mainly White has a big issue to solve in how clumsy her pieces are
compared to the powerful knights that dominate the board.}) 18... Bxa4 $1 19.
Rxa4 Nxa4 20. Nf5 ({After} 20. Qxa4 Nc3 $1 {two white pieces are hanging, and
one of them will fall:} (20... Qxd4 21. Bxf7+ $18) 21. Qb4 (21. Qxa7 Rxc4)
21... Qxd4 22. Bxf7+ Rxf7 23. Qxd4 Ne2+ {and it's curtains for White.}) 20...
Nac3 {White simply doesn't have enough compensation for the material she has
lost.} 21. e6 $6 {Active, but immediately losing.} Rxc4 $1 {The Chinese
calculates accurately, and now it's all over.} 22. Qxc4 b5 23. Qb3 (23. e7 bxc4
24. exd8=Q Ne2+ 25. Kh1 Rxd8 {and the c-pawn will march to victory.}) 23... Qd3
{Setting up a deadly discovered attack with Ne2+. White is helpless.} 24. exf7+
Rxf7 {Losing with the White pieces after 24 moves with the amount of seconds
Ushenina has brought is a tough blow for her. She will have to start seeking
victories with both colors to catch up with the challenger.} 0-1

Game three impressions and interviews

Information and pictures by Anastasiya Karlovich, FIDE Press Officer


Players Rtng
Anna Ushenina 2500
Hou Yifan 2609


10th September Opening Ceremony
11th September Game 1
12th September Game 2
13th September Rest day
14th September Game 3
15th September Game 4
16th September Rest day
17th September Game 5
18th September Game 6
19th September Rest day
20th September Game7
21st September Game 8
22nd September Rest day
23rd September Game 9
24th September Rest day
25th September Game 10
26th September Rest day
27th September Tiebreak Games
28th September Closing Ceremony


The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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