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Natalia Pogonina vs Pia Cramling
Women's World Championship Knockout Tournament (2015) (rapid), Sochi RUS, rd 5, Mar-31
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation (B47)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Nice game by Pogonina to grind down Cramling and advance to the finals of the WWCC.

The finish: 116...Bxh8 117.Rd8+ Kg7 118.b8=Q Rxb8 followed by the expected but totally winning and kind of neat move: 119.Rxb8, and black is in zugzwang, as the king is forced away from the defence of the bishop, and being up a rook and bishop is an easy elementary mate. For some reason, being up a RB vs. B seems like a hard win to me. :|

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Pedro Fernandez> You see? Pogonina was able to defeat Cramling in their second Rapid game tie breaker even though in this position she played 52.Re8:

click for larger view

If instead she plays 52.Re7+, Black can resign immediately since after 52...Kg8, 53.Re8 wins the queen and probably one of Black's two bishops as well since if 53...Be3 Stockfish says that White has a mate in 13 after 54.Rxf8+ Kxf8 55.Qf6+. And, of course, either 52...Qxe7, 52...Qg7, or 52...Kh8 are hopeless.

Maybe she got her move order reversed or she meant to move 52.Re7+ but moved her rook one square too far. But she still had a won game afterwards, it just took her a little bit longer. Well, actually, quite a bit longer, but I am sure that both she and Cramling were tired, and it is hard to see the best moves in a Rapid game when you are both tired and short of time.

So tomorrow a rest day and then the following day the start of the final 4-game match with M.Muzychuk. And, since you say that I am a living biblioteca (Google helps a lot!), here is how they compare ratings-wise (Classical, Rapid, Blitz):

N.Pogonina: 2456 2404 2427

M.Muzychuk: 2526 2459 2430

So it looks like, ratings-wise, M.Muzychuk has an edge (M.Muzychuk's 70-point Elo rating advantage at Classical time controls represents a P(Win) of 0.60). But again, that is statistics; in a short match, anything can happen. And if they get to the second set of tie breakers then the chances will truly be even, statistically-speaking.

Apr-03-15  Ulhumbrus: How does one deal with the Bastrikov variation?

Pogonina's answer is 9 Na4 which frees the c pawn to move and so prepares to transform the Bastrikov variation into a Maroczy bind against the Hedgehog formation by 10 c4.

This suggests 9...b5

One alternative to 15...Rd8 is 15...Bb7 with the idea of the plan of ...Kg8, ...Rg8, ...g5, ...Rg6 and ...Rag8 as in the games J Soruco Garcia vs Fischer, 1966 and Fischer vs Ulf Andersson, 1970

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This game is type: RAPID. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

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