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Kateryna Alexandrovna Lagno vs Ju Wenjun
Cairns Cup (2020), St Louis, MO USA, rd 5, Feb-11
Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. General (B30)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-12-20  Boomie: After 10. Be3

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Black took a poison pawn with 10...Bxc3 11. bxc3 Qxc3. Suddenly white is winning with 12. d5 exd5 13. Bd4 Nxd4 14. Nxd4 Bxe2 15. Qxe2+ Kf8 and it's open season on the black king.

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Sadly for Lagno, she blundered back immediately with 13. Qe5.

Feb-12-20  JimNorCal: Even at move 30, white looks winning with enough patience. A lucky break for the lady Champion!

A pretty though undeserved tactic at the end, perhaps a future Monday

Feb-12-20  Boomie: <JimNorCal: Even at move 30, white looks winning with enough patience.>

Black has two pawns for the exchange so material is even. White's exposed king gives black the advantage. The immediate problem for white is Rg4, pinning the queen. With the open files, one would think that the rooks should compensate. But white's exposed king is too big a liability.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: From the position after the minor piece exchange, the predominating factor is, indeed, the lack of safety for Lagno's king, as well as her inability to mount a counterattack with the heavy pieces.
Feb-12-20  Boomie: <Sadly for Lagno, she blundered back immediately with 13. Qe5.>

Oops. Typo alert. Should read 13. Qxd5.

Feb-12-20  JimNorCal: Boomie "Black has two pawns for the exchange so material is even."

You could be right but my experience is that the rook normally dominates the knight esp with pawns on both wings. With whites a-pawn solidly protected and no advanced black pawns, I like white's chances.

If white can consolidate, ouch! Ju has to play desperately and vigorously. She does! And she's successful. Also lucky.

Feb-12-20  SChesshevsky: A tough game for Lagno. After knowing she's better and spending about 30 minutes, 13. Qxd5 seems to indicate she just wasn't seeing it - feeling it this game.

Toughest of all might've been, when you're just not seeing it OTB, getting hit with an h3 sac opening up the king is the last thing you want to see.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: I don't think it's an undeserving tactic.

If one's winning or having any sort of advantage and loses by a tactic, there's no one else to blame because it's tougher for the other side to make any comeback in Chess.

Here, White has three major pieces but all get toyed around for last 15 moves or so because of an open King and the last two isolated pawns.

Black has created a nice position out of the Bishop and rook sacrifice in the middlegame. To me, Black has won from the middlegame onwards once the White misses early chances.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: And the final tactic is just an awesome way to force a Queen exchange for a Rook, because of the immediate Qd1 mate threat.
Feb-13-20  MordimerChess: One of the Bloodbath 5th Round of Cairns Cup 2020 held by St Louis Chess Club. No draws!

Can you believe that World Champion blundered here in the opening? But Lagno missed the continuation as <Boomie> mentioned before.

Enjoy the game with commentary:

And find quite cool tactic in the game.

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