Women's World Champs: Tan Zhongyi Must Win Last Round

Photo: World Chess
Trailing by 2 points to Ju Wenjun at the halfway mark, Tan Zhongyi struck back in round 6 with a 125-move display of determination.
[pgn][Event "Women's World Championship"]
[Site "Chongqing/Shanghai CHN"]
[Date "2018.05.12"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Ju Wenjun"]
[Black "Tan Zhongyi"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E01"]
[WhiteElo "2571"]
[BlackElo "2522"]
[PlyCount "250"]
[EventDate "2018.05.03"]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bd6 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. Nc3
dxc4 9. Bg5 Nbd7 10. Ne4 Be7 11. Nxf6+ Bxf6 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 13. Qc1 e5 14. Qxc4
Re8 15. dxe5 Nxe5 16. Qb3 Re7 17. Nd4 Bg4 18. f3 Bd7 19. Qc3 Rc8 20. Rad1 c5
21. Nc2 b5 22. b3 Qb6 23. Kh1 b4 24. Qd2 Bc6 25. Ne3 g6 26. Qc2 c4 27. Nxc4
Nxc4 28. Qxc4 Bb7 29. Qf4 Rxe2 30. Rd7 Rf8 31. Rd2 Rxd2 32. Qxd2 Rd8 33. Qf4 a5
34. h4 h5 35. Kh2 Ba6 36. Rg1 Qd6 37. Qg5 Qd5 38. Qf6 Rd6 39. Qb2 Re6 40. Bf1
Qxf3 41. Bxa6 Rxa6 42. Rg2 Rf6 43. Qd4 Kh7 44. Qb2 Rf5 45. Qc2 Qe3 46. Re2 Qd4
47. Kg2 Qd5+ 48. Qe4 Qd1 49. Re1 Qd2+ 50. Re2 Qc1 51. Re1 Qb2+ 52. Qe2 Qf6 53.
Rc1 Re5 54. Qf3 Qe7 55. Rc2 Kg7 56. Qd3 Re3 57. Qd4+ Kh7 58. Rf2 Qb7+ 59. Kh2
Re1 60. Rg2 Qe7 61. Rf2 Re2 62. Qf4 Kg8 63. Qf3 Rxf2+ 64. Qxf2 Qe4 65. Qd2 Kg7
66. Qb2+ Kf8 67. Qd2 Qe5 68. Qd8+ Kg7 69. Qd2 Qc3 70. Qf2 Kf8 71. Qe2 Qd4 72.
Qc2 Qe5 73. Qf2 Ke8 74. Qg2 Qc5 75. Qa8+ Ke7 76. Qe4+ Kd8 77. Qd3+ Kc7 78. Qd2
f5 79. Qe2 Kd7 80. Qd3+ Ke7 81. Qe2+ Kf7 82. Qd2 Ke6 83. Qe2+ Kd5 84. Qf3+ Kd6
85. Qd3+ Kc7 86. Qd2 Qe5 87. Qf2 Kc6 88. Qc2+ Qc3 89. Qe2 Kd5 90. Qb5+ Qc5 91.
Qd3+ Qd4 92. Qf3+ Qe4 93. Qd1+ Kc5 94. Qd2 Qf3 95. Qc2+ Kd4 96. Qd2+ Ke4 97.
Qc2+ Ke3 98. Qc5+ Ke2 99. Qc2+ Ke1 100. Qc1+ Qd1 101. Qc6 Qe2+ 102. Kh3 Qe4
103. Qc1+ Kf2 104. Qd2+ Qe2 105. Qd4+ Kf1 106. Qa1+ Kf2 107. Qd4+ Qe3 108. Qb2+
Ke1 109. Qb1+ Kd2 110. Qb2+ Kd1 111. Qb1+ Qc1 112. Qd3+ Qd2 113. Qb1+ Ke2 114.
Qh1 Qe1 115. Qd5 Qf1+ 116. Kh2 Qf2+ 117. Kh3 Qf1+ 118. Kh2 Qf3 119. Qc4+ Kf2
120. Qc5+ Qe3 121. Qc2+ Qe2 122. Qc6 Kf1+ 123. Kh3 Kg1 124. Qc5+ Qf2 125. Qc1+
Qf1+ 0-1[/pgn]
This victory and then three draws in a row bring Tan within a point of Ju with one round to go. However, Ju missed a couple major opportunities to increase her lead along the way. Can you find the tactic that she overlooked in round 8?

Ju Wenjun vs. Tan Zhongyi

[fen]3r2k1/p4n1p/2p2qb1/1pP1rp2/8/1NQB1P2/PP5P/1K1RR3 w - - 0 27[/fen]
White to move and win.
Show Solution
Great combinations often use two tactical themes at once. Lookout for a combination of discovered attack and an overworked piece.
Show Solution
[pgn][Event "Women's World Championship"]
[Site "Chongqing/Shanghai CHN"]
[Date "2018.05.15"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Ju Wenjun"]
[Black "Tan Zhongyi"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D30"]
[WhiteElo "2571"]
[BlackElo "2522"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3r2k1/p4n1p/2p2qb1/1pP1rp2/8/1NQB1P2/PP5P/1K1RR3 w - - 0 27"]
[PlyCount "23"]
[EventDate "2018.05.03"]27. Rxe5 $1 ({The game ended in a draw after} 27. Bc2 f4 28. Rxd8+ Qxd8 29.
Bxg6 Rxe1+ 30. Qxe1 hxg6 31. Qe4 Qf6 32. Nd4 Ne5) 27... Nxe5 ({If} 27... Qxe5
28. Qxe5 Nxe5 29. Bc4+ bxc4 30. Rxd8+ Kg7 31. Nd4 {wins.}) 28. f4 Ng4 29. Qxf6
Nxf6 30. Bc4+ Nd5 31. Bxd5+ cxd5 32. Nd4 Rc8 33. b4 {Although material is
technically equal, White's protected passed pawn and excellently placed knight
compared to Black's blocked bishop make the ending winning. For example:} Kf8 (
33... Re8 34. c6 Rc8 35. Re1 Kf8 36. Re6) (33... a6 34. Re1) 34. Re1 a6 ({If}
34... Re8 35. Rxe8+ Bxe8 36. Kb2 Ke7 37. Nxf5+ Kf6 38. Nd4 a6 39. Kc3 Bh5 40.
Nc2 Kf5 41. Kd4 Kxf4 42. c6 Bg4 43. Ne3 Bh3 44. Nxd5+ Kf3 45. Ke5 h5 46. Nb6
Kg2 47. c7 Kxh2 48. Kd6 h4 49. Nd7) 35. Re5 Ra8 36. Kb2 Ra7 {Because she has
so many weaknesses and no activity, Black's pieces are sitting ducks.} 37. Rxd5
Ke8 38. Nxf5 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
The last round is on May 18, and Tan Zhongyi must win to secure a playoff. In the case of a win for Ju Wenjun or a draw, we will have a new Women's World Champion.
   
  For more information on the Women’s World Championship, check out:  
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vanessa West is a regular writer and digital assistant for US Chess News. She won the 2017 Chess Journalist of the Year award. You can follow her on Twitter: @Vanessa__West  

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