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Yifan Hou vs Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Championship Knockout Tournament (2008), Nalchik RUS, rd 6, Sep-14
Spanish Game: Closed. Suetin Variation (C90)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-17-08  Whitehat1963: Hou was backpedaling very early in this one, and Kosteniuk never let up, converting relentless pressure into a win.
Sep-17-08  Ezzy: Hou,Yifan (2557) - Kosteniuk,Alexandra (2510) [C90]
FIDE WCC Women Nalchik/Russia (6.1), 14.09.2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.a3 <Magnus Carlsen is one of the top players who has dabbled with this move.> 8...d6 9.c3 Bg4 10.d3 Na5 11.Bc2 c5 12.h3 <Novelty. 12 Nbd2 13 Nf1 is usually played in this position.> 12...Bd7 13.d4 Qc7 14.d5?! <Closing the position seems to favour black because he now has the c5 square available.> 14...c4 15.Nbd2 Nb7 16.Nf1 Nc5 17.g4 <With the center temporarily closed and black's better placed pieces on the queenside, it would seem white should try to make progress on the kingside, but kingside pawn advances are not normal in the Lopez especially when whites pieces aren't developed yet and are not placed for such a plan.> 17...h5 18.N3h2 hxg4 19.hxg4 Qc8 <Another interesting plan for black would be to try to exchange whites 'good bishop' by 19...Nh7 20...Bg5.> 20.f3 Nh7 21.Ng3 Bg5 22.Nf5 <With the idea 23 Bxg5 Nxg5 24 Ne7+ winning the queen >22...Qd8 23.Kg2 g6 24.Ng3 Kg7 25.Rh1 Rh8 26.Nhf1 Qf6 27.Be3 Bxe3 28.Nxe3 Ng5 <Black threatens 29...Rxh1 30 Nxh1 Rh8 Threatening 31,,,Nxf3 32 Qxf3 Rh2+! winning.> 29.Qe2< Only move. How sad does the white bishop look.> 29...Rag8 30.Raf1 Qf4 31.Rxh8? <Perhaps white should just tread water for the time being, probably with 31 Rd1 covering the d3 square, but black still has a strong initiative. >31...Rxh8< With the idea 32...Rh3! >32.Rh1 Rxh1 33.Nxh1 Nd3< Black is technically lost now.> 34.Bxd3 cxd3 35.Qf2 d2 36.Ng3 Nxf3 37.Qxf3 Bxg4 38.Qf2 d1Q 39.Nxd1 Bxd1< Black simply threatens 40...Qc1 41...Bc2 and mops up whites queenside pawns>. 40.Qe1 Bf3+ 41.Kg1 f5 42.exf5 gxf5 43.Qf2 Kg6 44.b3 e4 45.c4 bxc4 46.bxc4 Qg5 47.c5 f4 48.cxd6 fxg3 0–1

Yifan Hou went into this opening game ‘Gung Ho’ style. Kosteniuk waited patiently for the weaknesses to occur, and then placed her pieces where white was weak. Hou never got going. A dominant opening performance by Kosteniuk.

Sep-17-08  PinkPanther: This game was absolutely garbage from white in the opening. Honestly, what is the point of all those little pawn moves? The moves a3 and c3 being played together smacks of patzer to me.
Sep-17-08  Xeroxx: a3 and c3 have been played by patzers like Ponmariov, Carlsen, Topalov and N.Short
Sep-17-08  Xeroxx: Also <Closing the position seems to favour black because <he> now has the c5 square available.>

Kosteniuk is not a <he> hahaha :D :D :D

Sep-17-08  Xeroxx: Oh yes and Ponmariov is not a patzer but Ponomariov is! :D

Hahaha I noticed the mistake before someone else :D

Sep-17-08  Ezzy: <Xeroxx: Kosteniuk is not a <he> hahaha :D :D :D> Lol. Well spotted. I'm so used to analysing mens games that I forgot. How could I ever forget the beautiful Kosteniuk. Shame on me :-)
Sep-18-08  ingberg: <a3 and c3 have been played by patzers like Ponmariov, Carlsen, Topalov and N.Short>

I've never heard of those patzers before.

Seriously though I did think Yifan was slightly nervous in this opening.

Sep-18-08  PinkPanther: <Xeroxx>
That still doesn't mean it's a principled way to play the opening. Besides, from my brief look at the games those players played with this system, they only managed like 50%, which is hardly inspiring.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Kosteniuk wins the 2008 women's world championship in this decisive game with the demolition combination 36...Nxf3! .

Also winning would have been 36...Bxg4!
37. fxg4 Nxe4! .

Sep-18-08  kozo: 8.a3! is a 'sophisticated waiting move' that simultaneously avoids theory and provokes black into choosing a losing plan, as in Carlsen vs Aronian, 2008 and Suetin vs A Lukovnikov, 1978
Sep-18-08  PinkPanther: "Sophisticated waiting move" is a fancy way of saying this move serves no real purpose. Besides, if you want to "avoid theory" why are you playing the closed Ruy Lopez in the first place?
Sep-19-08  kozo: <"Sophisticated waiting move" is a fancy way of saying this move serves no real purpose>I was trying to be sarcastic (white actually scores less than 50% in this database). Maybe i should have put a !! or something. But in the games i posted, black looked for an outright refutation and ended up losing.

<Besides, if you want to "avoid theory" why are you playing the closed Ruy Lopez in the first place?> There are other weird attempts to play the white side of the Ruy Lopez, like the Worwall (Qe2 instead of Re1), which has been played by patzers like Carlsen, Short, and Yifan Hou

Sep-19-08  PinkPanther: <kozo>
Qe2 isn't the closed Ruy Lopez. When somebody says "closed Ruy Lopez", the first thing that comes to mind are the lines where white plays Re1, c3, h3, etc.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: See Shipov's excellent commentary on this game (and the others between Hou Yifan and Kosteniuk) at

Worth considering this game for GOTD.

Sep-27-08  melianis: the three mate squares:
49.Qe1 Qh4 50.Qxg3+ Qxg3+ 51.Kf1 Qg2+ 52.Ke1 Qe2#
49.Qc2 Qh4 50.Qg2 Bxg2 51.Kxg2 Qh2+ 52.Kf1 Qf2#
49.Kf1 gxf2 50.Kxf2 Qd2+ 51.Kf1 Qg2+ 52.Ke1 Qe2#
49.Qb2 Qh6 50.Qf6+ Kxf6 51.Kf1 Qh1#
Jan-26-11  jmactas: I submitted "I'm Gonna Take My Talents To South Beach" as a pun because Kosteniuk lives in Miami and if you live in America the reference is very easy.
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