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Mariya Muzychuk vs Yifan Hou
Muzychuk - Hou Women's World Championship Match (2016), Lviv UKR, rd 6, Mar-09
Italian Game: Italian Variation (C50)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Mar-09-16  capafischer1: Hou yifan is simply a much better player. She calculates deeper and blunders less. Great game
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: pfff, Hou won the game and the match. Congrats
Mar-09-16  JASAHA: Computer analysis at Chessbomb was showing that 22 f6 was better than Qe4 and would give white almost a "pawn" advantage. I agree that Qe4 was ok and that the subsequent Be2 by white seemed misguided.
Mar-09-16  GiuocoPianoMan: Would someone please post the analysis after 19f6. I dont see the clear advantage that others are talking about.
Mar-09-16  luftforlife: <>: Thanks so much for the (delayed) live coverage, and for the wonderful opportunity to kibitz with others during the games. It's challenging and fun and a great learning experience.
Mar-09-16  Mudphudder: How could Mariya have allowed 35...f2!!! I don't get it. This was certainly the nail in the coffin.
Mar-10-16  Eduardo Leon: <Mudphudder> Her position was already very difficult at that point.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Mudphudder,

Going over the game from move 23 onwards White appears to have lost the thread of what was happening and had a crisis of confidence. (I've been there, worn the t-shirt etc...)

After every move it seems like you are staring a new position, nothing gels.

In that mode a mistake is just waiting happen. If she had kept the Bishop on the a2-g8 diagonal then as I've shown the 35...f2 idea gets mated.

Hope her aids are telling her she is playing OK and getting good positions and if she sees a chance to enter a hand to struggle she must take it. She is still a very good chess player.

Mar-10-16  kamagong24: awesome play by Hou Yifan!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<devere> It seems as though White could have taken a significant advantage with 19.f6!. I wonder why she didn't play it.>

Probably because it's not a legal move. With White's king on g1 then after 18...Bc5, 19.f6 would put White's king in check.

Mar-10-16  AzingaBonzer: <AylerKupp>I think you confused f6 with f3.
Mar-10-16  GiuocoPianoMan: <AylerKupp> You need to check the position again. There are TWO pawns on the g file and 19.f6 was a legal move.
Mar-10-16  optimal play: <eternaloptimist: I like the aggressive play from Hou in this game by pushing her g♙ & h♙.>

Very risky whenever Black pushes both the g&h pawns after O-O since the K becomes exposed.

White failed to exploit that vulnerability in overlooking 19.f6!

Mariya will be kicking herself for losing this game.

Mar-10-16  xanadu: Ok, Mariya was "timid", but...
The blunder was 31.f3??
Instead, 31.Bc2 holds the position.

The real problem for Mariya in this match is how to play against an opponent that is an excellent tactician which is 150 ELO above you. It seems to me that under these boundary conditions to go for a tactic game, where you have to calculate complicated variants in each move, is not the best strategy: you have more probabilities of mistakes than your adversary.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: It's funny how the mind (or at least my mind) works. <devere> mentioned that <White> could have taken a significant advantage with 19.f6 (not 19...f6> and so my mind immediately turned the "6" into a "3". And I checked it several times because I found it difficult to believe that <devere> would not have seen that, and that others would not have pointed that out. So, even after checking it several times, my minds say "19.f3" and not "19...f6".

I think it's time to take a break.

Mar-10-16  optimal play: <AylerKupp> You've totally confused yourself!

At move 19 White should have played the pawn from f5 to f6

That gives White a winning game!


Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: Thank you everyone for the comments and the lines, this is a very interesting game than actually I Thought playing through.

Thanks specially to <Sally Simpson> for the hard work on bringing up multiple boards and the lines. Sweet Sweet.

Mar-11-16  Ayaend: Nice game and win the title by Hou ! I was glad cause I see the 22.f6 for White piece and I prefer it, anyway good play by these players.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <optimal play> Well, there's one thing that I was not confused about; it was certainly time to take a break! And a deep breath.
Mar-15-16  spazzky: <SallySimpson> from your position after ...e4 28 Qd2 Qxh4+ 29. Kg1 Bxg3

click for larger view

You missed the continuation 30. Qh6+ Nh7 31. fxg3 Qxg3 32. Qxh5 and white is better

Mar-15-16  spazzky: 22. f6 is good:

click for larger view

after ..Qxf6, Qxg4 and white is out of the mess

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi spazzky,

Thanks for the comment.

Here - White to play.

click for larger view

It looks like a 6 and two 3's position, it does not matter which order you play the moves in, my 30 fxg3 or your 30 Qh6+, but it does.

I gave 30 fxg3 Qxg3 (only move) 31 Qh6+ and White is looking good.

Playing 30 Qh6+ first gives Black's Queen other moves.

from the above diagram.

30. Qh6+ Nh7 31.fxg3 ....

click for larger view

31...Qxg3 would transpose back into the 30.fxg3 line but instead of taking back on g3 Black has 31...Qg5 31..Qf6 31...Qe7 all too messy to look at and more importantly write about.

You see like all good kibitzers the first trait you must have is laziness. (the others being a thick skin, a spell checker, and a well thumbed book of chess quotations. The only chess skill you need is a quick eye for the basic two move trick and a minor ability to judge when a player is better.)

Suggesting 30 fxg3 leaves Black only one move 30...Qxg3. thus only one variation to look at and one can jump out with, as I did, "White is looking good".

Your 30 Qh6+ Nh7 31. fxg3

click for larger view

Leaves the Black Queen other moves which means other variations to look at and tidy up. (remember laziness is the key.)

Now maybe 31...Qg5 31..Qf6 or 31...Qe7 can all be met with cute White wins, though 31...Qg5 looks just too unclear to call. (another kibitzer skill I will pass on. if it looks to tough to call then say nothing. If you guess and guess wrong some engineer with his toy computer will gleefully slaughter you.)

But why go that way looking at all the other Queen moves when there is a single path I can go with (I cannot emphasis enough how important skilful laziness is to a kibitzer. ) and since no engineer has appeared saying White is not better after my line then I'm OK.

Thanks again for reading my post, you seem like a good diligent type of fellow, but you may have to drop the diligent bit and concentrate more on laziness. In the above example you could be asked to clear up 31...Qg5 31..Qf6 or 31...Qe7 and that sounds like far too much hard work.

Happy kibitizing my friend. Think of lazy days and Sunday afternoons.

Apr-13-16  Aleman: Surely 14. ne3 is a blunder. Black can win a pawn by taking the knight. Amazing overlook from both sides.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Black giving up the dark square Bishop for a pawn?

Is it worth it?

14...Bxe3 15.fxe3 Qxe3+ 16.Bf2 Qg5 17.g3

White gets compensation (imo) in spite of the pawn minus.

(semi open f-file, the Bishop pair, and with Black's King suffering from some exposure it could spell trouble.)

But maybe I'm missing something.

Some feedback would be appreciated.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <chancho> There is an alternative as well in 14....Nxg3 15.hxg3 Bxe3 16.fxe3 Qxe3+ 17.Kh2; though White gets play for the pawn in each case, I am not sure why Hou rejected these possibilities.
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