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Yifan Hou vs Mariya Muzychuk
"That's Why the Lady is a Champ" (game of the day Dec-03-2017)
Muzychuk - Hou Women's World Championship Match (2016), Lviv UKR, rd 2, Mar-03
Spanish Game: Open Variations. Main Lines (C80)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-03-16  luftforlife: Yes, <whiteshark>, White's Bb3 was decisive. I had been hoping White would capitalize on the dsb exchange and threaten Black's queen on the sixth rank, given the handy relative pin of Black's pawn at c6 by White's rook at a6, but such measures proved unnecessary in the end.
Mar-03-16  ndg2: That was fast at the end, but Mariya had run out of time.
Mar-03-16  luftforlife: Thanks to <> for the feed, and for uploading <whiteshark's> worthwhile submission, D Kokarev vs Short, 2015.
Mar-03-16  JASAHA: Muzychuk was behind on time and tried an adventuresome approach which didn't pan out. Moral; watch your clock. Otherwise she was doing ok.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Moral who?
Mar-03-16  devere: Black's play from move 17 on was timid, and she got comprehensively outplayed.

17...Na5 gives Black a slightly better position, since if 18.Qa7 c5 the White Queen gets trapped.

click for larger view

The Open Defense to the Ruy Lopez isn't for timid players; Mariya better try the Berlin if she's playing for a draw against an opponent she thinks is stronger than she is. If certainly worked for Kramnik against Kasparov.

Time pressure is an obsolete excuse with a 30 second per move increment. And if you have a bad game plan no amount of time is likely to help.

Mar-03-16  lost in space: not only that it locked good, white won a few moves later. Nice!
Mar-03-16  rookpawn101: nice analysis <devere> . You make perfectly valid points. Being a practitioner of the Open Defence to the Ruy Lopez i'd say that this game isn't a good reflection of the soundness of the variation. Black lost the way once white's idea of f3-f4-f5 began to materialize.
Mar-03-16  john barleycorn: <devere: Black's play from move 17 on was timid, and she got comprehensively outplayed.

17...Na5 gives Black a slightly better position, since if 18.Qa7 c5 the White Queen gets trapped. ...>

Yes, c5 is vital for black and it is known for more than 100 years. how she probably missed it?

Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: To er is human
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <Black's play from move 17 on was timid, and she got comprehensively outplayed. 17...Na5 gives Black a slightly better position, since if 18.Qa7 c5 the White Queen gets trapped.>

Muzychuk was actually asked directly about the possibility of 17...Na5! in the press conference (, when she said she started to dislike her position after 17.Qe3. She said she didn't like 18.b3 (preventing Nc4) 18...c5 19.a4 Nc6 20.axb5 axb5 21.Ra6 (and a key point is that 21...Ra8 fails to 22.Qd3! g6 23.Rxa8 Rxa8 24.Qxd5). However, Black has in this line the strong 19...c4! (e.g., 20.axb5 cxb3 or 20.b4 Nc6 21.axb5 axb5 22.Ra6 Ra8 and now Black is perfectly fine).

Mar-04-16  dehanne: Why not 19...b4?
Mar-04-16  dunkenchess: GM Hou Yifan will win.
Mar-04-16  SometimesGood: <EightxEight: Hou is this possible?> This is Hou it works:)
Premium Chessgames Member
  JointheArmy: <SometimesGood> Who, What, When, Why, Where, Hou?
Mar-04-16  Ulhumbrus: Instead of 15...Rad8, 15...Bc5 clears the e7 square for Black's knight
Mar-05-16  MCDreamz: Yifan Hou bought Hou bad. That would be nice.
Mar-05-16  leow: Ivamhoe
Mar-05-16  xanadu: Muzychuck played this variation many times in 2015. To repeat it in a match is a mistake. After she exchanged her QBishop, her White squares became weak. Note that the pieces of Hou Yifan were placed on White squares, her pawns were attacking white squares, and the diagonal b1-h7 was the permanent motive. All the following moves were played on white squares: -23.Qe2
-24 Qg4
-26 Ra6
-27. fxg6
-29 Rxd5
-32 Qxe6
Impressive to me!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: Another way to win is by 31 Be5.

click for larger view

Dec-03-17  JimmyRockHound: Great pun!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: The 2016 Women's World Chess Championship was a bit like a famous Laurel and Hardy routine: Hou's on first.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Breunor: According to Stockfish, black was OK until 27 ... Bc5. Instead, Bxg3 leaves white with about a .3 advantage.
Dec-03-17  Petduhovi: Threatening the white rook without a capture was the final nail in Muzychuk's coffin. A checkmate possibility to the same end could have been:

31. Rd6, Bxg3
32. Bxe5+, Kh8
33. Qh3+ (looks strong for white, but wait), Rh7

34. Qxg3, Qf1#

Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: white powers into a win.
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