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Borya Ider vs Yifan Hou
"This Won't Borya" (game of the day Mar-31-2017)
Gibraltar Masters (2017), La Caleta GIB, rd 7, Jan-30
Indian Game: Capablanca Variation (A47)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jan-31-17  luzhin: wtpy, after 51.Qh7+ Bh5 Hou has complete shelter from checks and if then 52.Kxf1 Rb8 wins.
Jan-31-17  dehanne: Three pieces vs queen and offside bishop. Black never looked in trouble.
Jan-31-17  Moszkowski012273: Isn't 15...Nc5 quite a bit stronger?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: Great game by Yifan Hou!
Feb-07-17  Mudphudder: I didn't even consider that this entire game was figured out by her over the board. Even more remarkable! Hou really plays some enterprising chess!!! She deserves to joint the ranks of the 2700 players without doubt.
Feb-09-17  FairyPromotion: Considering that this game is a superb one featuring a brilliant queen sacrifice, adding the fact that she is the Women's World Champion, who won't defend her title, plus keeping in mind the way she exited the tournament, I think I have the perfect pun for this game...

GotD: Runaway Bride

Feb-17-17  morfishine: <FairyPromotion> Spare us the dumb comments you asinine fairy: You wouldn't know a pun if it was staring you in the face
Mar-06-17  ColeTrane: <Morfishine> there you go again....well then what's YOUR suggestion...???
Mar-06-17  ChessHigherCat: It's amazing how all seven of the possible squares for white's rook lose the exchange on move 29. At first I thought Rb1 was a safe square but 29..Nf3+ 30. Kh1/g2 and white is forked again with Nd2!
Mar-07-17  Pasker: Brilliant game by Hou YiFan. But I doubt if it works against a strong GM. Seems like Hou took the gamble against the poor IM.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Pasker....Seems like Hou took the gamble against the poor IM.>

'Poor' IM?

All the IMs I faced in my playing days were quite competent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Alex Schindler: Unbelievable over the board calculation. (Or intuition, considering how deep some of the lines go at a material disadvantage?) That f3 bishop is more of a pope, dominating the board like some divine emissary. The sacrifice of a queen for two minor pieces and an amazing initiative reminds me of the game of the (last) century, though I feel the positional compensation here and less immediate tactical followup makes it a more sophisticated queen sacrifice to recognize than Fischer's.

I'm curious whether the only computer assessed imperfections in her game, moves 37-40,reflect a rush to conclude the brilliancy with more time to think.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: 45...Nxf1 allowed a double check with Rook and Queen. Black allowed a double check. Unbelievable.
Mar-31-17  ChessHigherCat: Hence the famous quote: Take the rook, I'der (Y'Hou)
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Amazing. I remember when this was played, the event. You don't forget games like this. Reminds me of stuff by shirov and Morozevich, the long hunt that takes 15 moves or more.
Mar-31-17  protonchess: Despite the sparkling ending, this game was not mostly a tactical matter. It was about WK hemmed in by his own pieces, WB being totally winterized (TM) and not enough open lines for the WQ to make her mark. I admire this kind of sacrifice much more than the tactical kind because it requires courage, something mostly absent from most modern games (IMO).
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: winterized?
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: "This Won't Borya"? No, I don't think Ider was bored. My guess is that he was sweating bullets.

Beautiful game by Yifan Hou (Hou Yifan?). I love the way Ider's queen was trapped by his own pawns and Hou's minor pieces for much of the middle game, as well as Hou's king walk starting on move 26.

Mar-31-17  morfishine: With all due respect to the powerful Hou, I'm surprised Ider let this one slip away, certainly a draw was in hand


Mar-31-17  belgradegambit: Reminiscent of this GOTD D Mackenzie vs D Pruess, 2006. I've had 2 blitz games where I had 2 minors plus 2p for my queen. In both my opponent had "trapped" my queen but I won both because of more active minors and a safer king. These games are worth study.
Apr-02-17  protonchess: @HeMateMe:

W Winter vs Capablanca, 1919

May-15-17  Isilimela: I would have titled this "Queen
t-hou-gh Queenless" !
Jul-12-17  The Kings Domain: Impressive victory by Hou, her best yet. The admirable foresight of the queen sacrifice early in the game is very Karpovian; I didn't know she had it in her.
Premium Chessgames Member

2:06-08 ;>D

[Fritz 10]: 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 b6 3. Bf4 Bb7 4. e3 g6 5. h3 Bg7 6. Be2 d6 7. c4 Nbd7 8. Nc3 0-0 9. 0-0 e6 10. Qc2 [last book move] Nh5 11. Bh2 f5 12. d5 e5 13. g4 fxg4 14. hxg4 Nhf6 15. Ng5 Nxd5 16. Ne6 Nxc3 17. Nxd8 Nxe2+ 18. Qxe2 Bf3 19. Qd3 [19. Qd2 Raxd8 20. Bg3 Rf7 =] Nc5 [ ⩱] 20. Qa3 Rfxd8 21. e4 [21. b4!? and White hangs on Ne4 22. Rfc1 =] Rf8 [ ∓] 22. Rae1 [22. Qe3 Nxe4 23. Bg3 Nc5 ∓] Bh6 [-+] 23. b4 Ne6?? [23 ... Nxe4 24. Rxe4 Bxe4 ∓] 24. c5 [=] Nd4 [Weaker is 24 ... Bxg4 25. f3 Bh3 26. Rf2 ±] 25. Qd3 [25. cxd6 cxd6 26. b5 Rf6 =] b5 26. Bg3 Bg5 [26 ... a5 27. g5 Bxg5 28. a4 bxa4 29. Qc4+ Rf7 30. b5 ⩱] 27. a4 a6 28. Qa3 Bxg4 29. Rd1 [29. cxd6 Nf3+ 30. Kh1 cxd6 ⩲] Nf3+ [29 ... Bxd1!? looks like a viable alternative 30. Rxd1 Kg7 =] 30. Kg2 [ ⩲] dxc5 31. bxc5 h5 32. Qa2+ Kh7 33. Qd5 [33. axb5!? axb5 34. Qb2 =] Rae8 [ ⩱] 34. Qc6 [34. Qb7 Re7 ⩱] Re7 35. Rd3 h4 36. Bh2 [36. Qxa6 bxa4 37. Qxa4 Ref7 -+] bxa4 [36 ... Nxh2 37. Kxh2 Be2 38. Rdd1 Bxd1 39. Rxd1 ∓] 37. Qxa4 Kh6 [37 ... Nxh2 38. Kxh2 Be2 39. Rdd1 -+] 38. Qa3 [38. Qa2 Ref7 ∓] Ref7 39. Qb2 Re7 [39 ... a5!? ∓] 40. c6 a5 41. Rb3 [41. Kh1 Re6 =] Kg7 [41 ... Nd2 42. Kg1 Nxf1 43. Kxf1 a4 ⩱] 42. Rb5?? [42. Ra1 the rescuing straw Ref7 43. Bxe5+ Nxe5 44. Qxe5+ Bf6 45. Qxa5 =] h3+ [-+] 43. Kh1 Nxh2 44. Rxe5 [44. Rg1 Bf4 45. Rb3 Bf3+ 46. Rxf3 Nxf3 47. Qa3 Nxg1 48. Qxe7+ Rf7 49. Qa3 -+] Bf3+ 45. Kg1 Nxf1 46. Rxe7+ Kh6 47. Qg7+ Kh5 48. Qh7+ Kg4 49. Re8 Rxe8 50. Qd7+ Kh4 51. Kxf1 [51. Qh7+ does not solve anything Bh5 52. Qxh5+ gxh5 -+] Rd8 52. Qh7+ Kg4 0-1.

Yifan Hou is the #1 female player in the world and the only woman in the FIDE top 100, causing inevitable comparisons to Judit Polgar while bringing back the age-old men-women debate in chess. Hou's career has already featured major controversy about tournament pairings Yifan Hou vs B Lalith, 2017 and revisits questions about separate women's titles and events and prizes.

Black's double fianchetto set-up scores well against the London System, then this game has an interesting unbalanced Queen sacrifice gaining two active minor pieces. Black had several opportunities to win the exchange, yet the Bf3 rules the light squares near White's King until the h Pawn gets involved. Fritz makes lots of suggestions for such a sharp game, but Black's position is far easier to play in real time, especially with the clock ticking. How often has any of us given up a full Rook with Double Check (46. Rxe7+) calculating it out to a win?

Some insightful commentary:

<To me this game has conceptual similarities to the Caruana-Nakamura brilliancy in the recent London Chess Classic: Caruana vs Nakamura, 2016 In both games the Queen is sacrificed for two pieces - Bishop & Knight - and long term positional compensation. And in both cases the long term positional compensation consisted of weak squares around the opponents king. I don't know what the engines say - but in human praxis these sacrifices (more often than not) turn out to be fully compensated>

<There is one huge difference between this game and the positional Q sac played by Caruana against Naka. That one was home preparation. Hou Yifan's brilliancy was found at the board, with no help from a computer. She therefore deserves the greatest praise.>

<all her moves were sound - she was never worse, although it seems like she lost most of her advantage around moves 37-41. The engine thought she needs to win the exchange (which Ider offered many times) and keep an important plus. Apparently before 42.Rb5, which loses, white holds. Of course, this is based on chess24's online engine, which is probably weaker than Hou's calculation in this game. I find it quite likely her choice to keep all her minor pieces around the king is not only practically correct, but also objectively.>

<Unbelievable over the board calculation. (Or intuition, considering how deep some of the lines go at a material disadvantage?) That f3 bishop is more of a pope, dominating the board like some divine emissary. The sacrifice of a queen for two minor pieces and an amazing initiative reminds me of the game of the (last) century, though I feel the positional compensation here and less immediate tactical follow-up makes it a more sophisticated queen sacrifice to recognize than Fischer's. I'm curious whether the only computer assessed imperfections in her game, moves 37-40, reflect a rush to conclude the brilliancy with more time to think.>

Great game!

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: ♫♪♫ Hou do you think she does it? I don't know, what makes her so good . . . ♫♪♫
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