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Yifan Hou vs Monika Socko
"Hou My Gosh!" (game of the day Nov-19-2012)
Women's World Championship Knockout Tournament (2012) (rapid), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 2, Nov-16
Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation. Traditional (B25)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-16-12  Jamboree: Keeee-runch!

Monica really socked it to her this time!

28. ...d5!, 29. ... Ba8!! and 34. ... Bd5! were all brilliant. You Hifan managed to technically save her knight, but it didn't matter, as the knight was rendered impotent and she was essentially playing a piece down for the crucial phase of the game.

Nov-16-12  Jamboree: Also worth noting is 41. ...Kd7!, which is as close to a textbook example of a zugzwang waiting move as you can find in a real game.

White then faces zugzwang:
Any move by the knight loses it.
Any move by a Q-side pawn allows black to take it and get a queen. Any move by a K-side pawn allows Kc7, winning the pawn and the game. And any move by the king to any square other than c1 allows the black pawn to queen.

So white is in total zugzwnag and has no choice but to play 42. Kc1, which allows 42. ... Bf3!, winning both pawns on the Q-side and starting an unstoppable queening run by the h-pawn.

Put this one in your zugzwang training course!

Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: Be Great to see how far MS goes in this one...
Nov-17-12  capafan: After 31...exd the WN is lost...Black need only to march his K over to take it. The move c3 is a weak attempt to foil this but it only allows Black to obtain connected passers. A dubious trade.
Nov-19-12  Conrad93: The pun is racist! Remove it now!
Nov-19-12  Kinghunt: <Conrad93> No it isn't, unless you're claiming that any pun relying on some basic phonetic similarities between a name and an English word is racist. I honestly don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about here.
Nov-19-12  Robespierre: <The pun is racist! Remove it now!>

Are you being facetious (if so, you should add some sort of emoticon), Conrad93, or do you REALLY mean that it's racist. If so, please clarify. I've tried looking at the words for 10 minutes & I see nothing in the least verging on the offensive.

Nov-19-12  Naniwazu: Very fine endgame technique by Monika Socko!
Nov-19-12  Abdel Irada: <Kinghunt>, <Robespierre>: Consider the source.

It has long been known that <Conrad93> comments here only during periodic brief emergences from his home under the <> bridge, to which he hastens to return at the least hint of the "trip-trap *trip-trap* TRIP-TRAP" of approaching gruff billy-goats.

Nov-19-12  rilkefan: Thank the FSM and the admins here for the ignore list.
Nov-19-12  Abdel Irada: Why ignore trolls when you can laugh at them?
Nov-19-12  wildrookie: Why didn't Hou take that knight on her 18th move. What problem, apart from doubled pawns, would it have caused?
Nov-19-12  paavoh: @wildrookie: You must have meant Socko?
18.Nd5 exd5 19.Qxd5+ and Ra8 falls.
Nov-19-12  Castleinthesky: I question the categorization of the opening as a "Closed Sicilian." It looks like a transposed "Taimanov" after move 8.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black bishop is MVP-knocked off white pawns on the king side and obstructs the ones on the queen side.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Fabulous play by Monica Socko. It was amazing how the bishop was able to boss the knight around.

29... Ba8 !!! Wow.

Nov-19-12  haydn20: IMVHO 12. e5 puts a crimp in Black's game she would have found hard to straighten out. Also, 30 exd5 may be the losing move. After 30. Rd4 one line goes 30....dxe4 31. Rxb4 exf3 32. gxf3 Rd2 33. Rc4 Bxf3 34. Rc7+ =. I think maybe after 29. Nxa5 Ba8 White realized her Knight was dead weight and panicked a bit. Once the mistake was made, Socko showed no mercy.
Nov-19-12  Drakodan: <Conrad93: The pun is racist! Remove it now!>

Because every pun previously used that referenced a player's name was racist to whatever nationality they were, right? Come on.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Can anyone with a functioning cerebellum give credence to a poster who refers to Efim Geller as a 'patzer'?

Efim Geller

Premium Chessgames Member
  ajk68: At move 26, white embarked on a flawed strategy.
Nov-19-12  Tigranny: I love games like this when a bishop beats a knight.
Nov-19-12  Fanques Fair: Very subtle and strong play by Black ! I wonder why Hou didn´t play 17- Qd6 ! or the same move 20-Qd6 ! , when White would be better ...
Nov-19-12  rilkefan: <Fanques Fair>, I wondered as well about 17.Qd6. Stockfish prefers 17.Nd5 (...Qc5 18. b4 Qa7 19. Ne7+ Kf7 20. Nf5 with almost a pawn edge, or ...Qd8 18.a3 and about half a pawn advantage, presumably because black is a bit tied down). Stockfish doesn't like the game line losing the option of c3, and it really doesn't like doubling on the d-file losing control of e4. The problem with Qd6 is that the rook doesn't do anything useful on d6 and white can't increase the pressure.

SF likes a move I wondered about, 12.g3, but prefers Be3. Now ...b5 loses to 13.Nd5, and black has to play carefully to avoid falling too far behind in development.

Nov-20-12  Fanques Fair: Rilkefan, I don´t agree with Stockfish, as after 17- Qd6, Qxd6 18- Rxd6 the rooks will double on d-file , and the e4 pawn can be defended by f3, while the d-7 pawn has to be defended by pieces ... Besides the gain of space by White, Black would have difficulties in dealing with the eternal weak d- pawn. For example 18-...,Kf7 19-Red1 , Ke7 20 -Rb6 Black is in a strategically difficult position ...
Nov-20-12  rilkefan: <Fanques Fair>, in that line black just plays ...Ra7, ...Bb7, ...f5, and is equal - stockfish thinks this is 0.00 at a depth of 27.

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