Taizhou 06: Hou Yifan wins, leads by three points

by ChessBase
9/18/2013 – It's all but over. Challenger Hou Yifan won her third black game in a row to take a commanding lead over reigning world women's champion Anna Ushenina, who must now contrive to win three of the remaining four games just to stay in the match. It looks very much as if the 19-year-old Chinese GM will regain the title she first won at sixteen. Report and analysis.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


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 six report

Things couldn't be more dire at the moment for defending World Champion Anna Ushenina. In round six she was quickly surprised out of the opening, as it was clear from her time consumption that she was unfamiliar with the specific variation Hou Yifan prepared for this game. With equality on her hands in a still dynamic position, Yifan pressed forward but an inaccuracy allowed her opponent to regain the balance. The game was tense but Ushenina's time management ultimately cost her the game as a blunder close to move 40 gave away an exchange and any hopes of salvaging the game.

The current situation will demand risks from the Ukraine player as Hou Yifan is one win (or two draws) away from winning the World Championship.

One point away from the title: Chinese GM Hou Yifan...

... plays a Queen's Indian and scores for a third time in succession with black

In dire straits: reigning women's world champion Anna Ushenina, whose mood is wonderfully
captured in the following series by Anastasiya Karlovich – pictures that require no captions.

Round six game

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.09.18"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Ushenina"]
[Black "Hou Yifan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E17"]
[Annotator "Abrahamyan, Tatev"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2013.09.11"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 {deviating from Nimzo, which has brought nothing but
trouble to Ushenina} b6 4. g3 Bb7 {this would be the first time Hou Yifan has
tried this move. Usually she goes for the more popular 4...Ba6. Seems like
suprising the opponent early on is the theme of the match.} 5. Bg2 Be7 6. Nc3
O-O 7. Qc2 c5 8. d5 exd5 9. Nh4 (9. Ng5 h6 10. Nxd5 (10. h4 {has been tried by
Grischuk and Ponomariov, but doesn't lead to much after} Na6 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12.
cxd5 Bd6 {and it's not easy for White to castle}) 10... Bxd5 11. cxd5 hxg5 12.
d6 Nc6 13. dxe7 Qxe7 14. Bxg5 d5 {with a playable position for both sides})
9... Nc6 (9... b5 {has been tried several times} 10. cxd5 b4 11. Nf5 d6 (11...
bxc3 $6 12. Nxe7+ Qxe7 13. d6) 12. Ne4 Nxd5 13. O-O {and White has good
compensation for the pawn since the d6 pawn is a huge weakness and it's hard
for Black to untangle}) 10. cxd5 Nd4 11. Qd1 Ne8 12. Nf3 Nxf3+ 13. Bxf3 d6 14.
O-O Nc7 15. a4 a6 {all of this has been played before and it looks like that
White didn't achieve anything out of the opening} 16. Rb1 (16. Qb3 {going
after the b6 pawn can lead to trouble} Qd7 17. Qxb6 Rab8 18. Qa5 Bd8 {and the
white queen can't be very comfortable}) 16... Bf6 {now we have a Benoni like
position where Black is going to get in b5 and the d6 weakness is not easy to
target} 17. Bd2 {a little too passive, but Ushenina is probably hoping to get
in b4 somehow} (17. Bf4 {is a better square of the bishop}) 17... b5 18. axb5
Nxb5 $6 ({I don't see what's wrong with the simple} 18... axb5 {this looks
like a dream Benoni position with the open a-file and no threats to Black's
position} 19. b4 c4 $15 {and now it's hard for white to take advantage of the
weakness of the c6 square, since it's not clear how the Knight will reach d4.
Black has the simple idea of Qd7, Ra3 and doubling the rooks ont he a file.})
19. Bg2 Bc8 20. Ne4 Re8 21. Nxf6+ {no need to rush with this capture. The
Bishop is not going anywhere. White can better prepare with} (21. Re1 {first})
21... Qxf6 22. e4 a5 23. Ra1 Bd7 {it's still easier to play with Black. If
White's b pawn gets traded with the a pawn, the c pawn will become a strong
passed pawn. White's Bishop pair is irrelevant in this position since the g2
Bishop is locked in by her own pawns} 24. Ra2 {Anna doesn't want to allow the
trade so easily} (24. Rxa5 Qxb2) 24... a4 25. Re1 h6 26. Be3 a3 27. Qd2 (27.
bxa3 $4 Nc3) 27... axb2 28. Rxb2 Nc3 29. f3 Ra3 30. Bf2 Nb5 31. Reb1 (31. f4
$142 {now the g2 Bishop can move}) 31... c4 32. Rxb5 Bxb5 33. Bd4 $4 {going
for activity, but alas missing the Black's move} (33. Qb4 Ra2 34. Qxb5 Rxe4 35.
Rf1 Ree2 36. Qxc4 Qb2 37. Qc8+ Kh7 38. Qf5+ {and everything holds together
tactically}) (33. Rxb5 $4 Ra1+ 34. Bf1 Qxf3 {and the combination of the strong
c4 pawn, White's vulnerable King and the weakness of White's pawns is going to
be devastating}) 33... c3 $19 34. Qf2 Qg5 35. f4 (35. Rxb5 Qc1+ 36. Bf1 Qd1 {
and the c pawn runs}) 35... Qg4 36. Re1 Rea8 37. h3 Qc8 38. e5 Ra1 39. exd6 c2
40. Bxa1 {The World Champion made her 40th move on the board but lost on time. Hou Yifan wins with black for the third time. One more win will clinch her the title with 3 rounds to go! It will be interesting to see what Ushenina is going to try next} 0-1

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

Lost on time in a lost position: the clock at the end of game six

Game six 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.

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register