Goryachkina Strikes Back in World Champs: Yip Annotates

Aleksandra Goryachkina, Photo fide.com
In round four of the Women’s World Championship (Jan 4-26) , reigning champ Ju Wenjun struck first blood, with an instructive victory in a queen endgame. Carissa Yip annotated the victory here. After a rest day, Aleksandra Goryachkina notched a huge comeback with a win in round five. Carissa Yip annotates that dramatic game, as well as a tense round six draw. The match now moves to Vladivostok, Russia, where play will resume on Thursday for rounds 7-12.

[Event "FIDE Women's World Championship"]
[Site "Shanghai, China"]
[Date "2020.01.11"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Goryachkina, Aleksandra"]
[Black "Ju, Wenjun"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A18"]
[WhiteElo "2578"]
[BlackElo "2584"]
[Annotator "yip"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[EventDate "2020.??.??"]

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. e4 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. e5 Ne4 6. Nf3 Bf5 7. d3 Nxc3 8.
bxc3 c5 9. d4 Qa5 10. Bd2 Nc6 11. c4 Qd8 12. Qb3 Be4 {First novelty of the
game.} ({Previously played was:} 12... Be6 13. Qxb7 Rc8 14. Ng5 Nxd4 15. Nxe6
fxe6 16. Rb1 Be7 17. Bd3 {And White got a fine position in Nepomniachtchi,I
(2768)-Anand,V (2771) Batumi 2018.}) 13. Qxb7 Rc8 14. Bg5 (14. Ng5 {Another
alternative, which is the main move after 12...Be6.} Be7 15. Nxe4 dxe4 16. d5
Nxe5 {Black is fine; her pieces are centralized and active, which neutralize
White's two bishops. There's play for both sides.}) 14... Be7 15. Bxe7 Nxe7 16.
Qb5+ Qd7 $6 {Allowing White to grab the initiative and advantage. Black has
two other options, both of which I believe lead to a fine position.} (16... Nc6
17. cxd5 (17. Qxc5 Nxe5 18. Qa3 Nxc4) (17. dxc5 Bxf3 18. gxf3 O-O) 17... Bxf3
18. gxf3 Qxd5 19. Qxc5 Qxc5 20. dxc5 Nxe5 {Black has the better pawn structure
and will gain the pawn back. The position is tricky for both sides, since the
passed c pawn can either become an advantage or weakness. Play could continue:}
21. Rc1 O-O 22. Be2 Rc6 23. Bb5 (23. f4 Nd7) 23... Nxf3+ 24. Kf1 Rc7 $13) (
16... Rc6 17. cxd5 Bxd5 18. Be2 O-O (18... c4 $5 {Another interesting option,
where Black has a nice bind on the light squares in the center albeit being
down a pawn.}) 19. dxc5 Qc7 {And Black will win back both the pawns.}) 17. cxd5
Bxd5 18. Qxd7+ Kxd7 19. Bb5+ Ke6 ({Better was:} 19... Nc6 20. Rc1 (20. O-O-O)
20... Ke7 21. dxc5 Bxf3 22. gxf3 Nxe5 23. Ke2 {Unpleasant, but at least Black
has hope to regain the pawn on c5.}) (19... Bc6 $6 20. a4 Rhd8 21. Ke2 Ke8 22.
Rhc1 {Is pretty unpleasant, especially considering Black is already down a
pawn.}) 20. Ng5+ $1 Kf5 21. h4 cxd4 {More or less forced; at least Black can
hope for some play with the passed d pawn here.} (21... Rhd8 22. Bd3+ Kg4 23.
Rh3 {And Black's kingside pawns are just dropping like flies.}) 22. Bd7+ Kxe5
23. Bxc8 Rxc8 {While Goryachkina has won the exchange, it's still a tricky
position to navigate. White's knight on g5 is a bit misplaced and the bishop
on d5 is very strong. That being said, White definitely has major winning
chances.} 24. O-O {A bit inaccurate.} (24. Kd2 $1 {White should keep the king
in the center to deal with the d pawn. It also has an added bonus of stopping
the rook from entering the second rank.}) 24... Kd6 25. Rfe1 Rc2 26. a3 {
A critical juncture, in which Black has to find a plan. Almost all of Black's
pieces are placed ideally, except for the knight. Therefore, Black's best
course of action is to bring it in the game with Ng6.} h6 $2 {Ju chooses the
wrong plan of exchanging pieces; Black's bishop is superior to White's knight.}
(26... Ng6 $1 27. g3 {Otherwise Nxh4 or Nf4, but the light squares are weak
now.} (27. Rad1 Nf4) 27... Ne5 $11) 27. Ne4+ Bxe4 28. Rxe4 Nc6 29. h5 $1 g6 $2
{Unnecessarily creating a weakness.} ({Ju should've activated her king.} 29...
Kd5 $1 {If White continues with her plan, Black is fine.} 30. Rg4 (30. Re8 $1 {
The best move for White to play for the win, but not the most obvious. Black
should've gone for this, as it's still much better than what happened in the
game.} d3 31. Rd1 Kd4 $13) 30... d3 {And the pawn is too fast.} 31. Rd1 d2 32.
Kh2 Ne5 33. Rxg7 Kd4 $11) 30. Rf4 gxh5 31. Rxf7 $2 (31. Rd1 {Goryachkina
needed to keep the d pawn under control.} Ke6 32. Re1+ Kd6 33. Rf6+ Kd5 34.
Rxf7 d3 35. Rd7+) 31... d3 32. Rd1 d2 33. Rf3 Ne5 {In allowing the pawn to
reach d2, White's lost nearly all of her advantage. Black's pieces are on
their way to their ideal positions; the king will come up, the knight will
eventually end up on c4, and it'll be hard for Goryachkina to make progress.}
34. Rf4 Nc6 $4 {The final mistake, after which White is completely winning.} (
34... Nc4 $3 {The drawing move, as White's king is too slow. For instance:} 35.
Kf1 Ke5 36. Rh4 Nb2 37. Rxh5+ Ke4 38. Ke2 Nxd1 39. Rh4+ $1 Kf5 40. Kxd1 Ra2 41.
Rxh6 Rxa3 42. Kxd2 a5 {The rook endgame should be a draw thanks to Black's
active king.}) 35. Kf1 Ke5 36. Rf3 Na5 37. Ke2 $18 {White's king finally finds
its way back to the center, after which Goryachkina demonstrates nice
technique to finish the game cleanly.} Nc4 38. Rh3 Ra2 39. Rxh5+ Kd4 40. Rh4+
Kc5 41. Rh3 a5 42. f4 Kd5 43. Rf3 {A nice maneuver to get the rook behind the
passed pawn.} Ke6 44. g4 a4 45. Rh3 Kd5 46. f5 Ke5 47. Rc3 Nxa3 48. Rc5+ Kd6
49. f6 Nc2 50. Rc4 Na3 51. Rf4 Kd5 1-0 [/pgn]

[Event "FIDE Women's World Championship"]
[Site "Shanghai, China"]
[Date "2020.01.12"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Ju Wenjun"]
[Black "Aleksandra Goryachkina"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2584"]
[BlackElo "2576"]
[Annotator "yip"]
[PlyCount "210"]
[EventDate "2020.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 Nxe5
8. Rxe5 O-O 9. d4 Bf6 10. Re1 Re8 11. c3 Rxe1 12. Qxe1 Nf5 13. a4 d5 14. a5 Be7
{This time, Goryachkina is the first one to divert.} ({Previously seen:} 14...
c6 15. Nd2 Nd6 16. Nb3 Bf5 {1/2-1/2 (29) Karjakin,S (2748)-Giri,A (2779) Riga
LAT 2019}) 15. Nd2 Bd6 16. Nf3 Ne7 17. b3 $6 {I'm not the biggest fan of this
plan with fianchettoing the bishop. But of course, it's hard to find a good
square for the dark squared bishop.} ({Which is why I thought this would be
better:} 17. Ne5 Bf5 18. Bf4 Ng6 (18... f6 19. Nd3) 19. Bg3 {More or less
equal because of the symmetrical pawn structure, but I think it's better than
what Ju went for in the game.}) 17... Bf5 18. c4 c6 19. Bb2 a6 20. Ne5 Qf8 21.
Qc3 Rd8 {While objectively equal, the problem is that it's much easier for
Black to play. There's a clear plan of attacking the kingside; knight to g6
with or without f6, a possible h pawn push if White ever goes to g3, etc.
Meanwhile, White has nearly no play on the queenside since it's hard for her
to put significant pressure on the b7 pawn.} 22. Nd3 Ng6 23. g3 Be4 24. Bg2
Bxg2 25. Kxg2 Ne7 26. c5 $6 {White fixes the pawns on the queenside, but this
ensures that there will be no pawn breaks. Moreover, this leaves Black with a
better bishop because all of White's pawns are on dark squares.} ({Better was
the noncommital and improving move:} 26. Re1 Re8 (26... Nf5 $6 27. cxd5 cxd5
28. Nc5) 27. Ne5 Rd8 28. Qd3 (28. Nd3 {White at least has a draw.}) 28... f6
29. Ng4 Bb4 30. Bc3 $11) 26... Bc7 27. Qb4 Rb8 28. Re1 Qd8 29. Bc3 Ng6 30. Qa3
h5 $1 {I like this move a lot; Goryachkina sees her opportunity for a kingside
attack and goes for it.} 31. f4 $6 {Not a fan, but it's already difficult for
White to play.} (31. Qa2 {Bringing the queen to assist with kingside defense
was probably best.} Qg5 32. Qe2 h4 33. Bd2 Qf5 {And now:} 34. f4 $1 {Now is
the moment for f4, when Black's pieces are not ideally placed to take
advantage of the weak e4 square. g4 is also a dangerous idea now.} Qf6 (34...
f6 $2 35. g4 $1 Qd7 36. f5 Nf8 37. Qe7 $16) 35. Ne5 $11) 31... Qf6 32. Qb2 Nh4+
33. Kh1 (33. gxh4 $2 Qg6+ 34. Kh1 Qxd3 $19) 33... Nf5 34. Qe2 Qg6 (34... Nxd4
$4 35. Qf2) 35. b4 Rd8 36. Qf3 f6 37. Qe2 Kh7 {Goryachkina is in no rush, and
slowly improves her position. Meanwhile, there's not much Ju can do.} 38. Nf2
Rd7 39. Qd3 Re7 40. Rxe7 Nxe7 41. Qxg6+ Kxg6 {The endgame, while objectively
drawn, is by no means easy for White.} 42. Kg2 h4 43. Kf3 hxg3 44. hxg3 f5 {
Now the pawns are fixed and the kings can't find a way into the other's
territory.} 45. Nd1 Kf6 46. Ne3 Ng6 47. Be1 Nf8 48. Nd1 Ne6 49. Bf2 g5 50. Be3
Kg6 51. Nc3 Bd8 52. Ne2 Kh5 53. Bf2 Bf6 54. Be3 gxf4 55. gxf4 Bh4 56. Ng3+ Bxg3
57. Kxg3 $11 {Bad bishop versus good knight, but White can hold as long as she
doesn't make any blunders. Black's king can't get into White's position, and
there aren't enough weaknesses for Black to attack.} Ng7 58. Bc1 Ne8 59. Bd2
Nf6 60. Be1 Ne4+ {Black's knight has reached its dream position, but there's
nowhere it can go from here.} 61. Kh3 Kg6 62. Kg2 Kh6 63. Kh2 Nf6 64. Kh3 Ne8
65. Kg3 Kh5 66. Kh3 Nc7 67. Bc3 Ne6 68. Kg3 Kg6 69. Kf3 Ng7 70. Be1 Kh6 71. Kg3
Nh5+ 72. Kh2 Nf6 73. Bd2 Ng4+ 74. Kh3 Kg6 75. Kg2 Nf6 76. Kh2 Nh5 77. Kh3 Kh6
78. Kh2 Ng7 79. Kg2 Ne8 80. Kh3 Kg6 81. Kg2 Nc7 82. Bc3 Ne6 83. Kg3 Ng7 84. Kg2
Nh5 85. Bd2 Kh6 86. Kh2 Nf6 87. Kg2 Ng4 88. Kf3 Kg6 89. Kg2 Nh6 90. Kh2 Kh5 91.
Kh3 Nf7 92. Kg3 Nd8 93. Be1 Ne6 94. Bc3 Nf8 95. Kh3 Kg6 96. Bd2 Kh6 97. Kg2 Ne6
98. Be3 Kh5 99. Kg3 Nc7 100. Bc1 Ne8 101. Bd2 Nf6 102. Kh3 Kh6 103. Kh2 Ng4+
104. Kg2 Kg6 105. Kh3 Nf6 {While Goryachkina was better the whole game, there
was no decisive moment where she could've really gained a significant
advantage. However, I'm impressed by her fighting spirit and decision to press
in the endgame, making Ju work for the draw. Excited to see how the second
half of the match goes and if we'll be crowning a new World Women's Champion
soon!} 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Find out more about Carissa Yip's recent success in her article on achieving the IM title.  Quick Links Match Website   Full Match Schedule Live on Chess24


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Again, Thank you for the analysis IM Yip!

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Excellent annotation -- very concrete, yet also well-explained to many levels. I'm becoming a fan of Goryachkina's will to keep the pressure on down to the very end. She's a welcome dose of 'new blood' to women's chess. And... speaking of "new blood," congratulations to you for your invitation to play in next month's Cairns Cup!

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