Taizhou 02: Draw after 33 moves

by ChessBase
9/12/2013 – The second game of the Women's World Championship that is being currently played in China was a Sicilian Pelikan/Sveshnikov that followed theory for 17 moves. Challenger Hou Yifan seemed unfamiliar with the position and decided to simplify the position quickly to obtain a draw rather than allow complications that could turn against her. Commentary and pictures.

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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 two report

In what was basically a repeat of yesterday's events until a certain point, Ushenina was able to obtain everything she wanted from the opening. Hou Yifan showed almost no understanding of the position in this specific variation of the Sveshnikov and Black obtained excellent counterplay with a simple queenside advance. Fortunarely for the Chinese player she was able to bail out with a simplification into a drawn endgame right as the game started to look positionally dicey.

Even though only two rounds have passed so far, it is obvious that the Ukrainian team has come with stronger preparation. The questions now are if this will be sufficient for Ushenina to overcome the playing strength difference and if the Chinese team will pull out some aces out of their sleeves.

The incumbent, Anna Ushenina, ready to do battle

The challenger Hou Yifan arrives, accompanied by arbiter Carol Jarecki

Yifan takes her seat for round two...

... and Chief Arbiter Panagiotis Nikolopoulos starts the clock

Some press, but not a whole lot of public at the World Championship

The Chinese delegation – essentially there are only persons directly involved
in the Championship present at the venue

The second stongest female in the history of the game, 19-year-old Hou Yifan...

... and the reigning Women's World Champion, 28-year-old Anna Ushenina from Ukraine

Round two under way in the luxurious convention center of the Taizhou Hotel

Round two game

[Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.09.12"] [Round "2"] [White "Hou Yifan"] [Black "Ushenina"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B33"] [Annotator "Abrahamyan,Tatev"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2013.09.11"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 {So far this year Ushenina has been playing the Najdorf almost exclusively, but it's understandable why she would opt out for a quieter line after a tough loss.} 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5 {the quieter move. Bf6 is a whole other huge theoretical line} Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c3 ({Lately} 11. c4 {has become the newest trend in this line. So after something like} b4 12. Nc2 a5 13. g3 O-O 14. Bg2 Bg5 15. O-O { we arrive at a typical position for this move, where White has even more control of the d5 square but gives up the d4 square somewhat}) 11... Bg5 12. Nc2 Ne7 {not the most popular move, but tried both by Carlsen and Radjabov. The other main options are:} (12... O-O 13. a4 bxa4 14. Rxa4 a5 15. Bc4 Rb8 16. Ra2 Kh8 17. Nce3 g6 18. h4 Bxh4 19. g3 Bg5 20. f4 {happened in the famous Kramnik-Van Wely game from Wijk Aan Zee in 2005 where White managed to launch a powerful king side attack and swing over his a2 rook}) (12... Rb8 13. a4 bxa4 14. Ncb4 Nxb4 15. Nxb4 Bd7 16. Bxa6 {with a playable position for both sides.}) 13. Ncb4 O-O 14. Be2 (14. a4 bxa4 15. Rxa4 a5 16. Nxe7+ Qxe7 17. Nd5 Qb7 {and even with the nice knight on d5 and al of Black weak pawns, due to White's underdevelopment, Black gets enough counterplay by quickly attacking White's queen side} 18. Ra2 Be6 19. Bc4 Rfc8) 14... a5 15. Nxe7+ Qxe7 16. Nd5 Qb7 { this is a great square for the queen: keeping an eye on the d5 knight, discouraging the a4 pawn push and supporting the b4 push for Black} 17. Qd3 b4 18. h4 {usually h4 played in type of positions where the black Bishop is forced to go to h6 and is out of the game. Here, it doesn't make as much sense since the bishop can swing over to b6} Bd8 19. g3 Be6 20. Rd1 bxc3 21. bxc3 Bb6 ({here, I already prefer Black's position. The c3 weakness counters the d6 weakness, and after the d8 Bishop goes to b6, Black can start thinking about f5.} 21... Rc8 {is a better try to keep the game going}) 22. Nxb6 {Good decision. Otherwise, White can end up in a very unpleasant position} Qxb6 23. Qxd6 Qxd6 24. Rxd6 Bxa2 {now things simmer down pretty quickly} 25. Kd2 Rfb8 26. Ra1 Rb2+ 27. Ke3 Rc8 28. c4 Kf8 29. Rd2 Rxd2 30. Kxd2 Bxc4 31. Rxa5 Bxe2 32. Kxe2 Rc2+ 33. Ke3 f6 {So far, we've been seeing Ushenina getting better positions out of the opening but not being able to utilize them. If this trend continues, she's very likely to even out the score of the match very soon. The day after tomorrow will be another exciting game as she has the White pieces.} 1/2-1/2

Tatev Abrahamyan

Born in 1988 in Yerevan, Armenia, the Women's Grandmaster now lives in Glendale, California and is one of the strongest players in the American women's olympic team.

After graduating in 2011 from California State University, Long Beach with a double major in psychology and political science, Tatev focused on becoming a full time chess professional. She recently scored her second IM norm and is already qualified for the next Women's World Championship


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


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