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Yifan Hou vs Viktor Laznicka
Aeroflot Open (2008), Moscow RUS, rd 2, Feb-15
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. l'Hermet Variation Berlin Wall Defense (C67)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-15-08  ghyanoki: Excelent Game by Hou Yifan
Feb-15-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wild Bill: This is a genuine masterpiece by the young lady.

Laznicka was a worthy opponent. The game is somewhere between equal and unclear until Black makes his fatal error with <28...Be7?>. This allows White time to build her attack. Black's better option is <28..Bb4!?> disrupting White's position. Now:

A. <29.Nd6+ Kf8 30.g6 Rxf4 31.Rxf4+ Kg8 32.Re8+ Rxe8 33.Nxe8> is unclear: Black has a bit more space but White has an exchange for a pawn.

B. <29.c3 Be7> and now: . . B1. <30.30.h4 a3 31.g6 Rf5 32.Ng3 Rd5> gives Black an extra pawn. . . B2. <30.Bxc7? a3! a3! 31.Nf6+ Kf8 32.Nd7+ Kg8 33.Rxf7 Kxf7> and Black wins.

Yifan stayed very cool as the a-pawn approached the end zone, without flinching from her mission. She made no effort to stop the pawn after it broke from the chain, but rather she played <30.g6!> concerning herself with pushing her own passed pawns. Finally, when the a-pawn queened, Yifan played <34.Rxe7+!!> This provided more cover to the approching g-pawn and confined the King to the back rank, in turn imprisoning the Black Rook to the queenside. It would take Black three moves to release the Rook (K-d8-c8-b7), and White only needs two to promote the g-pawn. Altogether, Yifan allowed Black to play a Queen to the good for five moves, yet had calculated that she had won the game throughout.

Rather than play <36...Qd5+>, Black might have gotten a more stubborn defense from <36...Qd2+ 37.Kh3 Qxe1>, but after <38.Rxe1 Kd7 h5> the outcome is not in doubt. In this line, it would be a mistake to paly <38.g8Q??>, for Black should win after <38...Kxe7! 39.Qxa8 Qe6+>.

From the final position, White wins by simply pushing her pawns and using her pieces to protect them as they advance.

Feb-15-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gilmoy: <Wild Bill: a Queen to the good for five moves> Only Q for R. In compensation, White's doubled Rs beats a Q, so the position reduces to Black's R vs. White's g7-pawn, and Black's K is in the way (and in fact is getting mated), so White is clearly winning that duel. Black has no mate threats, as its R+N are too far. So Black's Q is in the sad position of being a <blockader without the blockade>. White must have calculated that 37.Kh3 snuffs any perpetual, and 38.R1e6 collects the Q.
Feb-15-08  notyetagm: <Finally, when the a-pawn queened, Yifan played <34.Rxe7+!!> This provided more cover to the approching g-pawn and confined the King to the back rank, in turn imprisoning the Black Rook to the queenside. It would take Black three moves to release the Rook (K-d8-c8-b7), and White only needs two to promote the g-pawn. Altogether, Yifan allowed Black to play a Queen to the good for five moves, yet had calculated that she had won the game throughout.>

Wow, that was brilliant play by Hou Yifan. Magnificent calculcation.

Feb-17-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkThornton: I suspect that <22...Rf7>, giving up the h6 pawn, was a mistake. After the alternative, <22...Ke7>, White has

A) <23. Bc5+> Bxc5 24. Nxc5 b6 25. Rxb2 bxc5 Black has a very poor pawn structure, but it does include 2 extra pawns.

B) <23. f4!?> with unclear play.

Mar-08-08  Yuri Y: This game is annotated by Jonathan Berry in The Globe And Mail - Sunday, March 8, 2008
May-06-08  parmetd: strange game defies alot of the current Berling theory attempting to keep your bishops as long as possible while black throws them away like a rotten apple.
Oct-03-08
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Black could have held the position with 37...♔c8 38. g8(♕)+ ♕g8 39. ♖e8+ ♔b7 40. ♖g8 ♖g8 41. h5

Source: Anna Burtosova & Harald Fietz "Young Guns Dictate in Boomtown Moscow", "CHESS", May 2008

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