Annie Wang Earns IM Title & GM Norm in Bolivia [UPDATED]

In a stunning performance from August 1 to August 6 now IM Annie Wang won the Pan-American Junior Under 20 Championship in Cochabamba, Bolivia, earning an instant IM title and a GM norm. The 16-year-old newly crowned champion told CLO that her second round victory against Diego Saul Rodri Flores Quillas was her favorite, which she annotates below.

[pgn] [Event "2019 Pan-American Junior"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2019.08.02"] [White "Wang, Annie"] [Black "Flores Quillas, Diego Saul Rodri"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D46"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2019.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 e6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Be2 Bb7 11. Rd1 Qc7 12. Bd2 a6 13. Rac1 $6 {Not the most accurate. White should play b4 immediately here, instead of delaying it as I did in the game.} (13. b4 {White aims to stop Black's ...c5 pawn push, with the idea that after} Bxb4 {, there comes a tactic with} 14. Nxb5 axb5 15. Bxb4 {Quilte pleasant for White, due to her active pieces and Black's weak c6 pawn.} ) 13... Rac8 ({Black should have taken advantage of my delayed b4 pawn push to play} 13... c5 $1 14. dxc5 Qxc5 15. Be1) 14. b4 e5 15. h3 Rfe8 16. Bd3 {At this point, the game was pretty much equal. I'd been hoping, though, that my opponent would be unable to resist the urge of taking the b4 pawn, which would allow me to complicate the game with a strong kingside initiative.} Bxb4 ({ With a move like} 16... exd4 {, Black manages to retain equality.} 17. exd4 h6 18. Ne4 Nxe4 19. Bxe4 Nf6) 17. Ng5 {The only good move for White in this position, sacrificing the b4 pawn in exchange for an attack on Black's king.} ( {Unlike before, the} 17. Nxb5 {shot no longer works here. For instance, after} axb5 18. Bxb4 {, Black has the move} e4 $1 {, double-attacking White's bishop and knight.} 19. Bxe4 Nxe4) 17... h6 $2 {Inaccurate. The best choice for Black is to calmly bring the d7 knight back to f8 to defend the h7 pawn. By playing h6, my opponent allowed me to take advantage of his weakened kingside, driving his king out towards the center with} (17... Nf8 18. Nxb5 axb5 19. Bxb4 exd4 20. exd4) 18. Nxb5 axb5 {and} 19. Bh7+ {.} Kf8 (19... Kh8 {is impossible here, due to} 20. Nxf7#) (19... Nxh7 {, on the other hand, is clearly bad after} 20. Qxh7+ Kf8 21. Bxb4+) 20. Bxb4+ c5 21. dxc5 Bc6 {I thought that my position must be better here, since Black's king was in a precarious position on f8. During the game, though, I spent a lot of time trying to decide between 22. Nxf7 and the game continuation, 22. Nf3.} 22. Nf3 ({While 22. Nf3 seemed to be the simplest option, I thought that} 22. Nxf7 {looked interesting as well, with the idea of exchanging the knight and light-squared bishop for a Black pawn and rook.} Nxh7 (22... Kxf7 23. Bg6+ Kg8 24. Qb3+ Kh8 25. Bxe8 Rxe8) 23. Nd6 Nhf6 24. Nxe8 Rxe8 {In the end, though, I decided that my advantage here did not seem to be very large; although my opponent's king is weak, I couldn't see any way for me to effectively attack it.}) 22... e4 23. Nd4 Nxh7 ({The most challenging move was} 23... g6 {, which would eventually force White to give up his bishop for two pawns and an attack on Black's king.} 24. Qb2 Qb8 25. Ne2 Ne5 26. Bxg6 fxg6 27. Nf4 Kg7 28. Rd6 {With initiative.}) {I was very happy that my opponent chose the game continuation of 23...Nxh7, as I'd seen the tactic} 24. Nxc6 Qxc6 25. Rxd7 {, allowing me to regain the piece.} Nf6 ( 25... Qxd7 {is met with} 26. c6+ {, winning the queen with a discovered attack. }) 26. Rd6 Qc7 27. c6 Kg8 28. Qc5 {And my opponent resigned here, as I was threatening both to take the b5 pawn and to play Bc3, kicking his knight off of f6 and allowing me to play Rd7.} 1-0[/pgn]
  Wang told CLO about her experience in Bolivia during her triumphant result. "I took AP Spanish, so in theory, my Spanish should be pretty functional. However, since I haven't spoken or studied Spanish in a long time, I've forgotten a lot of it. My most-useful phrases were probably various iterations of "Where is (fill in the blank)?" I had a good experience in Bolivia; everything was very well-organized."

Next up for Annie: an all female IM norm tournament held at the Berkeley Chess School in California (August 16-20), which will also feature GM Irina Krush, IM Carolina Lujan, WGM Anjelina Belakovskaia and WGM Carla Heredia (livestream link here). See the full crosstable of Annie's performance on

IM Annie Wang gave a simul at the San Diego Surfers chess camp at Whittier High School just before leaving for the Pan-Ams. Photo courtesy Kele Perkins

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