Elshan on Khanty: Ju Wenjun Wins Vs. Krush

In my last report, I was so focused on the American players (including my fiance Sabina Foisor) I neglected to mention that Iranian WIM Mobina Alinasab beat IM Elisabeth Paehtz from Germany. Elizabeth, who crossed 2500 this year and is very close to the coveted GM title, lost with White against the Iranian talent in game one. Her endeavors in game two didn’t bear any result so Mobina proceeded to the 2nd stage. The eighteen year old Iranian kept stunning the field by yet another solid performance with black pieces against the experienced Polish GM Monika Socko. After a fine play out of the opening, Alinasab gradually neutralized White’s premature attack. Soon after, she obtained a technically winning position which she gradually converted.

[Event "FIDE Women's World Championship"]
[Date "2018.11.06"]
[White "Socko, Monika"]
[Black "Alinasab, Mobina"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D29"]
[WhiteElo "2463"]
[BlackElo "2236"]
[Annotator "GM Elshan Moradiabadi "]
[PlyCount "68"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Poland"]
[BlackTeam "Iran"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "POL"]
[BlackTeamCountry "IRI"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 {Funny! The Iranian youngster plays the same opening as
Irina Krush.} 3. e3 Nf6 4. Nf3 a6 5. Bxc4 b5 6. Bb3 Bb7 7. O-O e6 8. a4
b4 9. Nbd2 Nbd7 10. Qe2 (10. Re1 c5 11. e4 cxd4 12. e5 Nd5 13. Nc4 Nc5 14. Bg5
Qd7 15. Bc2 {and similar to the game Black has a good position after h6.})
10... c5 11. Rd1 Be7 12. e4 cxd4 13. e5 Nd5 14. Ne4 Qb8 {Everything is
according to theory so far.} 15. Ng3 d3 $1 {The right way to return the
pawn that was going to fall anyways. Black messes with White's piece
coordination.} 16. Qe1 $2 {cannot understand this move} O-O 17. Bc4 Nc5 18.
Bxd3 Nxd3 {Now white has no attack whatsoever. and her pawn on e5 is a target.
Black is already much better!} 19. Rxd3 Rc8 20. Ne4 a5 21. Bg5 Bf8 22. Rc1 h6
23. Bd2 Ba6 24. Rd4 Qb6 {Black's moves are simple and effective and white
starts to run out of feasible moves. Engines already believe that black is
winning.} 25. g4 $2 {Desperation.} Rxc1 26. Bxc1 Be7 (26... Rc8 27. g5 Be2 $1
28. Qxe2 Rxc1+ 29. Rd1 Nf4 30. Qd2 Rxd1+ 31. Qxd1 Qc6 32. Qe1 hxg5 33. Nexg5
Be7 34. Ne4 Qc2 {would have sealed the deal right away as white's pieces are
totally paralyzed now. However, this line requires a lot of calculation and
most importantly, seeing the move 27..Be2. Black's play is good enough to
maintain a winning position.}) 27. g5 h5 28. Ng3 (28. g6 {is last practical
chance.}) 28... g6 {with the  kingside sealed, White's position deteriorates very
fast.} 29. Ne4 Rc8 30. Rd1 Bb7 (30... Rc2 {is more direct.}) 31. h3 Rc2 32. Rd2
Qc7 33. Rxc2 Qxc2 34. Qd2 $4 {A blunder in a losing position.} (34. Nd6 Ba8 35.
Kh2 Nb6 $1 36. Nd4 Qc5 37. N6b5 Nxa4 {and white cannot survive many more
moves! An easy victory for the young talent.}) 34... Qxe4 0-1[/pgn]
Alinsab went on to win the second game too, to secure another match upset. She advances to round three! Our remaining player in round two, seven time US women’s champion, Irina Krush was up to a very difficult task, playing against the current world champion Ju Wenjun from China. Ju Wenjun, whose dramatic last round victory over Russia earned her team the first place and MVP title at the Olympiad, opted for her regular 1.d4. Irina caught her by a surprise with Queen’s Gambit Accepted (QGA) and almost equalized by move 13. Later on as the pieces disappeared one after the other, Irina got too comfortable with her position and let Ju Wenjun trade the last minor piece on the board. The reigning World Champ thus reached a rook endgame with a bind on the kingside. The Chinese GM kept pressing and despite Irina’s fierce defense showed great technique to convert the position into a full point.

[Event "FIDE Women's World Championship"]
[Date "2018.11.06"]
[White "Ju, Wenjun"]
[Black "Krush, Irina"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D20"]
[WhiteElo "2568"]
[BlackElo "2434"]
[Annotator "GM Elshan Moradiabadi "]
[PlyCount "99"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "China"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CHN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 $5 {Not sure if it is part of Irina's repertoire or she
just plays it occasionally. Being a versatile player, I find Irina
capable of playing all kind of positions.} 3. e4 e5 4. Nf3 Bb4+ $5 {solid
choice.} 5. Nc3 exd4 6. Qxd4 (6. Nxd4 {is the most principled way to play this
position but Ju Wenjun opts out of the main line.}) 6... Qxd4 7. Nxd4 Nf6 8. f3
Bc5 (8... a6 {is another possible choice.}) 9. Be3 Nc6 10. Nc2 Bxe3 11. Nxe3
Be6 12. Bxc4 Bxc4 13. Nxc4 O-O-O 14. Rd1 Nd7 15. Ke2 Nde5 (15... Nc5 {Followed
by a5-b6 and the idea of playing f5 was probably the best way to equalize.
Rhe8 is definitely needed as well.}) 16. Nxe5 Nxe5 17. f4 Nc6 18. Ke3 f6 19. h4
{White's moves are rather easy while black has a bit of difficulty to improve
but she has no weaknesses either.} Rxd1 20. Rxd1 Rd8 21. Rc1 Rd7 22. g4 h6 23.
Nd5 Ne7 $2 {The losing move probably.} (23... Nd8 24. Rg1 (24. b4 b6 25. b5 Kb7
) (24. f5 Nf7 {and the knight lands on e5 comfortably.}) 24... c6 25. Nc3 Ne6 {
And black has equalized.}) 24. Nxe7+ Rxe7 25. f5 $1 Kd8 26. g5 hxg5 27. hxg5
fxg5 {Not a good move but it is hard to any other move either.} (27... c6 28.
g6 Re8 29. Rh1 Ke7 30. Rh7 Kf8 31. Kf4 Rd8 32. Rh3 b6 33. a4 a5 34. Rc3 (34.
Rh8+ Ke7 35. Rxd8 Kxd8 36. e5 Ke7 {does not win.}) 34... Rc8 35. e5 {and white
is winning.}) 28. Rg1 Ke8 29. Rxg5 Kf7 30. Rg2 Rd7 31. e5 Rd1 32. Kf4 Rf1+ 33.
Kg5 Ke7 34. e6 c6 (34... c5 {is more active but it may not change the final
result either.}) 35. Kg6 Rf3 36. b4 $1 a6 37. Rd2 Rg3+ 38. Kh7 Rg5 39. Rd7+ Ke8
40. Rxb7 Rxf5 41. Kxg7 {The world champion converts with ease from this point
on.} Rf4 42. Kg6 Kd8 43. Kg5 Rf2 44. a4 Rf1 45. a5 Rf2 46. Rd7+ Ke8 47. Rc7 Kd8
48. Rxc6 Rb2 49. Rb6 Ke7 50. Kf5 1-0[/pgn]
Update: Ju Wenjun and Irina Krush drew in round two, eliminating our silver medalist from contention for the crown. Good game to our American players- I will continue to watch this tournament with anticipation. Follow along starting at 5 AM ET daily. Grandmaster Elshan Moradiabadi was born in Iran and is now based in North Carolina. Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/eli_1985_mor.

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