Yip on the World Women's Champs: Ju Wenjun's First W.


Newly anointed IM Carissa Yip annotates round four, the first decisive game of the Women's World Championship (Jan 4-26), between Ju Wenjun and Aleksandra Goryachkina. Update 1/11/20: Aleksandra has since evened the score- and Yip will provide annotations on that victory in a follow-up report. 

[pgn] [Event "FIDE Women's World Championship"] [Site "?"] [Date "2020.01.09"] [White "Ju, Wenjun"] [Black "Goryachkina, Aleksandra"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D16"] [WhiteElo "2584"] [BlackElo "2578"] [Annotator "Yip, Carissa"] [PlyCount "125"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 e6 6. e3 c5 7. Bxc4 cxd4 8. exd4 Nc6 9. O-O Be7 10. d5 {A rarer option, but I believe White still gets a fine position.} (10. Qe2 {One of the most played moves. The game can progress:} O-O 11. Rd1 Nb4 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Ne4 Be7 15. Ne5 {With chances for both sides; White's pieces are more active and she can look towards attacking the kingside, but Black has the two bishops and potential play against the IQP. }) 10... exd5 11. Nxd5 Nxd5 12. Bxd5 O-O 13. Be3 Bf5 14. Qb3 Nb4 15. Rfd1 (15. Bxb7 $2 Rb8) 15... Qa5 16. Ne5 Nxd5 17. Rxd5 Qa6 18. Nd7 Be6 19. Nxf8 Kxf8 { I think this is the first real inaccuracy of the game. Ju ends up exploiting the king's slightly inferior position and it never finds it way back to the safety on g8.} (19... Rxf8 {Seems more natural to me. The game can possibly continue with:} 20. Rad1 (20. Qb5 Bxd5 21. Qxd5 Rd8 22. Qe4 Bf6 {And Black has a fine position.}) 20... Bxd5 21. Rxd5 Qc6 22. Qb5 Qxb5 23. Rxb5 b6 24. Kf1 Bf6 25. Ke2 Rd8 {While White has some pressure, Black should be fine as long as a5 isn't allowed} 26. b3 Bc3) 20. Qb5 Bxd5 21. Qxd5 Rd8 22. Qe4 {Now Black's position is significantly harder to play than four moves ago. Goryachkina is forced to make concessions on the kingside; moreover, the Black queen is tied down to the pawns on the queenside while its counterpart is placed perfectly in the center} h6 23. g3 (23. Qh7 {A natural move, but after:} f6 {There are no attacking prospects since White doesn't have enough pieces. Plus, White's queen is better centralized.}) 23... b6 24. Rc1 {Rooks on open files!} f6 { Not the best, as Goryachkina just restricts her own bishop further.} (24... Bf6 $1 {Was definitely better. Black has nothing to worry about, since White's attack leads nowhere.} 25. Qh7 (25. Rc7 $4 {would lose:} Rd1+ 26. Kg2 Qf1+ 27. Kf3 Qh1+ 28. Kf4 Bg5+ 29. Ke5 f6+ 30. Kf5 g6+) 25... Qd3 {Forces a queen exchange, after which Black is fine. If White tries to continue the attack, the queen ends up trapped.} 26. Qh8+ $4 Ke7 27. Rc7+ Ke6 $19) 25. Kg2 Rc8 ( 25... Bd6 {The bishop should be activated.} 26. Rd1 Qc8 27. h4 Re8 {Was better, slowly rearranging Black's pieces to better positions.}) 26. Rxc8+ Qxc8 27. Qd5 {Black's position, while probably objectively fine, is definitely harder to play. White's pieces are almost ideally placed while Black's still quite passive.} Ke8 28. h4 $1 {Slowly improving and looking to fix Black's pawns on dark squares.} Qd7 29. Qg8+ {Obviously White doesn't want to exchange queens} Bf8 30. Qc4 h5 {While this stops h5, the pawn ends up being a weakness} 31. Kh2 $1 {Avoiding checks on the long diagonal.} Be7 32. b3 Kf8 33. Qc2 Bd6 34. Qe4 Bc5 $6 {With low time, Goryachkina errs. I think that it would be easier to defend with the bishops on the board, since the pawn on c5 becomes a weakness. Now the position becomes even trickier, since Goryachkina has a good few weaknesses (c5, h5, eventually a7) that Ju can target.} (34... Qe7 {The bishop endgame is fine for Black.} 35. Qh7 Qe6 {Black can create some complications.} 36. Qxh5 Qxb3 37. Qg4 Qd5 {Threatening the exchange of bishops, after which I would actually prefer Black in the queen endgame.}) 35. Bxc5+ bxc5 36. a5 Qe7 37. Qa8+ Kf7 38. a6 {The advance of the a-pawn was crucial, and now the winning plan is clear. White wants to gradually bring her king in, and at the right time, will exchange queens with Qb7. Black needs to play precisely to avoid the losing king and pawn endgame.} g6 39. Qd5+ Kg7 40. Qb7 Kf8 $6 { Not the right idea, conceptually. Black needs to play actively, otherwise White can just execute her plan with the winning king and pawn endgame. A possible variation was given by Dejan Bojkov:} ({"Black's only chances for survival was connected with the active play. Therefore:} 40... Kf7 $1 {should have been played. Then the plan that Ju used later in the game:} 41. Kg2 { Can be met with:} f5 $1 42. Kf3 Kf6 43. Qxe7+ (43. Kf4 Qe5+ 44. Kf3 Qe7 { only repeats moves.}) 43... Kxe7 44. Kf4 Kf6 45. f3 {For a moment it seems as Black is in zugzwang, but she has the wonderful resource:} g5+ $3 46. hxg5+ Kg6 {And it is White who has to find a draw with:} 47. g4 fxg4 48. fxg4 h4 49. Ke3 Kxg5 50. Kf3 h3 51. Kg3 h2 52. Kxh2 Kxg4 53. Kg2 Kf4 54. Kf2 Ke4 55. Ke2 Kd4 56. Kd2 {"}) 41. Kg2 Ke8 42. Qa8+ Kf7 43. Qd5+ Kg7 44. Kf3 Kf8 45. Qb7 Ke8 $4 { Losing.} (45... Qd8 {Was also possible, and the a-pawn is untouchable. Black just needs to avoid the queen trade when White's king is on f3.} 46. Qxa7 Qd5+ 47. Ke2 Qe4+ $11) (45... g5 {The main defensive idea in the position. After this, Black is completely fine.} 46. hxg5 fxg5 47. Qxe7+ (47. Kg2 Kf7 48. Qf3+ Kg6 49. Qb7 Qf7) 47... Kxe7 48. Ke3 Ke6 49. Ke4 g4 $11) 46. Qd5 $4 {Missing the win.} (46. Qxe7+ $1 {This was the right moment for the exchange.} Kxe7 47. g4 $18) 46... Kf8 47. Kf4 Qc7+ 48. Ke3 Qc8 49. Qb7 Qd8 50. Kf3 {Black is nearly in zugswang. She wants the queen to be kept on the d-file for Qd5+ if White takes on a7, but there are no good squares.} (50. Qxa7 Qd4+ 51. Kf3 Qd5+ 52. Ke2 Qe4+) 50... Qe7 $2 (50... Qd6 $2 51. Qa8+ {And Black loses the pawn with check.}) (50... Qd3+ $2 51. Kg2 {The queen can't protect the a7 pawn and there are no more checks.}) (50... g5 $2 51. hxg5 fxg5 52. Kg2 {With the double threat of Qxa7 and Qf3 followed by Qxh5.}) (50... Ke8 $1 {The only move. } 51. Qc6+ (51. Kg2 Qd7) 51... Kf7 52. Qb7+ (52. Qxc5 $2 Qd3+) 52... Kf8 { And the a-pawn is still untouchable.}) 51. Qxe7+ $1 {Ju takes her chance and now the endgame is winning.} Kxe7 52. g4 $1 Kd6 (52... hxg4+ {Doesn't save Black since White can create a passed h pawn.} 53. Kxg4 Kd6 (53... Ke6 54. f4 f5+ 55. Kg5 Kf7 56. h5 gxh5 57. Kxh5 $18) 54. f4 Ke6 55. f5+ gxf5+ 56. Kf4) 53. gxh5 gxh5 54. Ke4 Kc6 (54... Ke6 55. Kf4) 55. f4 Kb5 56. Kd5 $1 {Avoiding Black's last trick.} (56. Kf5 {Too slow.} Kb4 57. Kxf6 Kxb3 58. Kg6 c4 59. f5 c3 60. f6 c2 61. f7 c1=Q 62. f8=Q) 56... f5 (56... Kxa6 57. Kxc5 $18) 57. Kd6 Kb6 58. Kd7 $1 Ka5 59. Kc7 Kxa6 60. Kc6 Ka5 61. Kxc5 Ka6 62. b4 Kb7 63. Kd5 { A great game by Ju, who displayed impressive technique and now takes the lead with this win. Excited to see what the rest of the match holds!} 1-0 [/pgn]


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Thank you for the analysis IM Yip!

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