Albertan: Here is some analysis I have done of this game:
Hou,Y (2509) - Vitugov,N (2604) [B42]
Aeroflot Open 2007 Moscow (1), 14.02.2007
[Analysis by Albertan,Rybka 2.2, Hiarcs 10]
WGM Hou Yifan of China is now the second-highest rated girl in the World,the third highest woman in China,the 18th highest-rated player in China and the 637 highest-rated player in the world. (In terms of girls she is second in rating only Humpy Koneru has a rating higher than Yifan). In this game Yifan plays 20 year old GM Nikita Vitugov of the Republic o fRussia.Vitugov is the 29th highest rated player in the Republic of Russia, and the 132nd highest rated player in the world.When he was a junior he was one of the strongest junior players in the Repubic if Russia.Vitugov was the runner up to Zaven Andriasian in the 2006 World Junior Chess Championship. Opening:Sicilian Defense:Kan variation ECO:B42
The Sicilian Defense.
Allowing for rapid development of the kingside,and also influencing the key d5-square.
3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6
This move is characteristic of the Kan variation of the Sicilian Defense.
This move defines the variation of the Kan,for obvious reasons it is called the 5.Bd3 variation.The bishop now protects her e--pawn.
Attacking his knight,winning a tempo unless she now plays 6.Nb3. I recall that Judit Polgar played this continuation, in a game, and in the annotations for the game, the GM gave an unfavorable impression of this variation for Black. According to my chessbase program opening book,the Elo performance of this move is 2447 ( the rating a player would have achieved in a fictitious tournament playing the move in all her or his games.) In recent top level chess, the likes of Kramnik,Ivanchuk,Svidler, and Topalov have used this variation for Black. [ Analysis:The main continuation is: 5...Nf6 and play most often continues: 6.0-0 Qc7 7.Qe2 d6 8.c4 g6 9.Nc3 Bg7 10.Rd1 0-0 11.Nf3 Nc6 12.h3 Nd7]
Returning to the moves played in the game,she next played:
The main continuation,winning a tempo. Perhaps this is why the GM who analyzed the game involving Polgar I mentioned,dislikes this 5....Bc5, as Black is forced to lose a tempo in the opening.
The lost tempo. [ Analysis:(a)According to my database, it is more popular for Black to play 6...Ba7 which gives the bishop more activity than it has on e7.; (b)Black has also used the move 6...Bb6 in this position.]
The game continued with her playing:
7.0-0 The main continuation for White.
The most popular continuation for Black,creating a "little pawn center" . Now his formation resembles the Scheveningen variation of the Sicilian Defense.
The most popular continuation,clamping down on the center.By playing this move she prevents him from gaining queenside counterplay with 8...b5.
His next move was:
Behind in the development of his minor pieces,he tries to catch up to her.This is the most popular continuation for Black in this position.
A move almost always played by White in this position,continuing with the development of her minor pieces.
Developing another minor piece, which increases his influence on the e5 and c5-squares. [ Analysis:The main line of this variation continues: 9...b6 10.f4 Nbd7 11.Qe2 Qc7 12.Bd2 Bb7 13.Rae1 Rd8 14.Rf3 Nc5]
Returning to the game,which continued with her playing:
The most popular move in this position,gaining space on the kingside, intending to move her queen to f3 to connect her rooks.
This pawn advance is the most popular move for Black in this position in my database.He increases his influence on the c5 square. This pawn advance also allows him to fianchetto his bishop to b7.