Hou Yifan (China) wins the Women's World Chess Championship Match Print
Thursday, 24 November 2011 07:00

Round 8. The Final game.

The 8th game of the match was drawn – and Hou Yifan (China) wins the World championship match against Humpy Koneru (India) with 5.5 – 2,5 score.

The match was to consist of 10 games but Hou Yifan got the decisive 5,5 points already after 8 encounters. In the last, eighth game, Humpy Koneru needed only to win to stay in the match, but the Chinese player was accurate to equalize with Black and secure a draw.

The closing ceremony of the match will be held as scheduled on the 30th of November. The players have a few days to explore Tirana and Albania.

The official tournament web page: http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com/

The final game in progress.

Start of the final round of the Match.

Round 7

In the 7th game Hou Yifan had white pieces. Humpy Koneru managed to equalize in Ruy Lopez that was played for the third time in the match. But in the middle game the challenger started to act too risky and gave her opponent a chance to win a pawn that was immediately grabbed by Hou Yifan. In the endgame the Chinese player took another pawn to secure her victory.
After 7 games the World champion is leading 5-2 and only a miracle can help Koneru to win all of the remaining three games.
The 8th game (November, 24) of the match can decide the competition - if it ends in a draw, Hou Yifan would have 5,5 points and the World champion title. Koneru needs only to win.

The official tournament web page: http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com/

Center: Deputy Chief Arbiter IA Jarecki, Carol (IVB) starting Round 7.

Humpy Koneru (IND)

Focus: Hou Yifan (CHN)

Round 6

The World champion won the sixth game of the match and is now two points ahead of the challenger Humpy Koneru. Although White got an edge from the opening, the Chinese managed to equalize and break the position in the time trouble to come out as a winner.

The outcome is even more surprising when one knows that Hou Yifan spent several hours in the hospital the previous night.  17 years old experienced severe pains in her stomach aria and was immediately taken into the best hospital of Tirana by the organizers and FIDE officials. The doctors checked her medical condition, but the necessary tests proved there was no other problem, beside psychological pressure. Hou Yifan declined taking any pain killers. After this "preparation" for the game she nevertheless sat at the board in a perfect fighting condition and managed not only to neutralize chess preparation of the opponent, but take an upper hand.

In the next four games Koneru should fight two points back to survive in the match.  On the 22nd of November the players have a rest day. The 7th game of the match will be played on the 23rd of November.

The official tournament web page: http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com/


Left: Humpy Koneru (IND), right: Hou Yifan (CHN). Center: Chief Arbiter IA Nikolopoulos, Panagiotis (GRE)

Left: Humpy Koneru (IND), right: Hou Yifan (CHN).

World Champion Hou Yifan

Round 5

In the fifth game of the match World Champion Hou Yifan had white pieces as in the previous game. The players continued with the same line they already played in the fourth game. White changed the variation first, choosing 12. cd. In the previous game Hou Yifan preferred 12. Nb3.

"White did not manage to get any advantage today", - said the Chinese at the post-game press-conference, - "The game was equal and normal. The move 12. cd is a normal continuation, and I played by my home preparation until around the 16th move."

Humpy Koneru commented on the game like this: "I did not expect her to play the variation with queen exchange, but I just kept on playing normally. I think we did not play anything new in this line."







The official tournament web page: http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com/

Round 4

In the fourth game of the match World champion Hou Yifan had white pieces. As her opponent Humpy Koneru said at the post-game press-conference,White got an edge and was pressing throughout the game – she had to defend the position that was not pleasant for her. In the deep endgame White managed to win a pawn, but there were not many sources left for a fight – both players had a rook and a knight. The challenger defended this endgame well despite being short on time and the opponents agreed a draw. The game finished only at 8pm and this was the longest encounter of the match so far.

After 4 games World champion Hou Yifan is leading with 2,5 points. Humpy Koneru has 1,5.

On the 19th of November the players have a rest day. The match will continue on the 20th of November. Hou Yifan will have white pieces again. The measure of changing the colors after the fourth game has a goal to prevent the same player to have white pieces after each of the rest days throughout the match because this might give her an advantage in preparation.







The official tournament web page: http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com/

Round 3

In the third game of the match for the World Championship rested participants entered into an intense and sharp struggle. Humpy Koneru who played with white pieces, went out of the opening with the slight advantage. The Chinese, though, was precise in her queenside and center activity that opened a path for a win for her.

"I took my time to think about taking the pawn on a2, - said Hou Yifan after the game, - My king could get in trouble, but I decided to go for this principal continuation."

"I had a good position, but I was making not good moves," - commented Koneru on her play in the middle game.

The World champion did not let her opponent off the hook, her only mistake happened on the 25th move when Black could finish it off immediately with a tricky move 25...Rd8! and if 26.Bxf7+ (26.Rf2 Qb6 27.Qd2 Bxe4), simply 26...Kg7, and the threats of Black meet no real reply.

Instead, Hou Yifan attacked the rook 25. ... Kg7 26.Rf2 Qb6 27.Qd2 Rd8. This position, however, remained in a big favor of Black. But the further mistakes from the side of Koneru made the game finish very soon. After the game Hou Yifan confessed that she did not see 25...Rd8 during the game.

After three games, Hou Yifan is leading 2-1 and in the 4th game on the 18th of November she will play with white.







The official tournament web page: http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com/

Round 2

In the second game of the match for the women chess crown Hou Yifan had white pieces, but could not get anything from the opening. Humpy Koneru chose Russian game and comfortably equalized the position. This opening came as a surprise to the World Champion, at the press-conference the Chinese confessed that did not expect it and did not prepare against it. The encounter entered the endgame stage quite early where Black stood slightly more active on the queenside what nevertheless was not enough for a real advantage. After the time control was passed, the players agreed for a draw. 

After two games the score is equal (1-1). On the 16th of November the players have a rest day. The organizers prepared an excursion to the beautiful Albanian mountains.

In the third game (November, 17th, 3pm local time) Humpy Koneru will have white pieces.








The official tournament web page: http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com/

Round 1

Women's World Chess Championship match has started!

The clock in the first game of FIDE World Women's Chess Championship Match has started at 3 PM on the 14th of November. The first move 1. d4 of Humpy Koneru was done by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the replying 1….Nf6 of Hou Yifan was made by the President of Albanian chess federation  Rezart Taçi.

Finally the first game finished with a draw. Although there are no anti-draw rules at the event and the players can agree for a peaceful result anytime, Hou Yifan and Humpy Koneru played until the late endgame. Indian player chose a rare line in Catalan (12. a4) and reached a pleasant position. Although, later White made exchanges in the center that simplified the position. In a time trouble, Hou Yifan confidently went for a pawn less rook ending, where the draw was soon agreed.








The official tournament web page: http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com/

Photos by Anastasiya Karlovich
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