WWCC: Beating Pogonina in Rook Ending Can Be Dangerous

Время публикации: 31.03.2015 08:53 | Последнее обновление: 31.03.2015 09:02

The World Women's Championship, which is taking place in the Russian mountain resort of Krasnaya Polyana, approaches the crucial stage, as the classical games of the semifinals are over. Natalija Pogonina, who had began the match vs Pia Cramling with a loss in the protracted rook ending well played by the Swede, pulled herself together and carried out an energetic attack with White, forwarding the match to the play-off stage. In the Sicilian Defence, Cramling chose a very passive strategy that let her down.

It's already the third time in the championship that Pogonina wins the second classical game in a must-win situation. Her matches against Marie Sebag and Zhao Xue went the similar way to bring Natalija success in the tie-breaks. Moreover, all of the three Pogonina's starting losses happened in long endings, two of them in rook endings!

Photo: sochi2015.fide.com

In the yesterday's after-game commentary for the official website, Pogonina said that the opening choice by Cramling had been 'strange', given that Black had needed only a draw:
'My opponent went into a variation that is considered dangerous for Black. We arrived at a complicated position with good attacking chances for White. My maneuvering was probably not ideal, but her 17...Qc5 gave me a tempo for 18.Nb3 and 19.Nd2, after which White should have a very comfortable edge.'

The 2nd game of another semifinal match was a long but quiet draw. Harika was pressing a bit with White against Mariya Muzychuk, but the Indian's advantage never seemed particularly serious.

The score is 1-1 in both the semifinals. The tiebreaks will start today at 12:00 GMT. In the first rapid games, the white pieces will belong to Harika and Cramling.

[Event "WCh Women 2015"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2015.03.30"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Pogonina, Natalija"] [Black "Cramling, Pia"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B28"] [Opening "Sicilian"] [Variation "O'Kelly variation"] [EventDate "2015.03.17"] [Board "2"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 a6 3. Be2 e6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Bb4 7. e5 Nd5 8. O-O Nxc3 9. bxc3 Be7 10. Bf4 O-O 11. Qd3 b6 12. Bf3 Ra7 13. Be4 g6 14. Rfd1 Bb7 15. Bxb7 Rxb7 16. Rab1 Qc8 17. a4 Qc5 18. Nb3 Qc7 19. Nd2 Nc6 20. Qg3 Rc8 21. Ne4 Qd8 22. Bg5 Bxg5 23. Nxg5 Na5 24. Ne4 Nc4 25. Rd4 Kg7 26. Re1 h6 27. h4 Qc7 28. f4 b5 29. h5 Qd8 30. axb5 axb5 31. Qg4 Qe7 32. Rd3 Rg8 33. Nf6 Rh8 34. Rg3 d5 35. hxg6 fxg6 36. Qxg6+ Kf8 37. Ra1 Ra7 38. Nd7+ 1-0 [Event "WCh Women 2015"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2015.03.30"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Harika, Dronavalli"] [Black "Muzychuk, Mariya"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A04"] [Opening "Reti v Dutch"] [EventDate "2015.03.17"] [Board "1"] 1. Nf3 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. d4 Bg7 5. b3 c5 6. e3 Ne4 7. O-O O-O 8. Bb2 Nc6 9. c4 e6 10. Qe2 b6 11. Rd1 Bb7 12. Nc3 Nxc3 13. Bxc3 d6 14. Rd3 Qe7 15. Rad1 Nb4 16. R3d2 a5 17. a3 Nc6 18. Bb2 Rad8 19. h4 Rd7 20. Rd3 h6 21. Ne1 Bf6 22. d5 exd5 23. Bxd5+ Kg7 24. Bxf6+ Rxf6 25. R3d2 Ne5 26. Bxb7 Rxb7 27. Nd3 Nxd3 28. Qxd3 Rd7 29. Qd5 Qe4 30. b4 Qxd5 31. Rxd5 cxb4 32. axb4 Rc7 33. bxa5 bxa5 34. Rxa5 Rxc4 35. Ra7+ Rf7 36. Ra6 Rd7 37. Rdxd6 Rxd6 38. Rxd6 h5 39. Kg2 Ra4 40. Kf3 Kf7 41. Rd2 Kf6 42. Rc2 Kf7 43. Ke2 Kf6 44. Kd3 Ra3+ 45. Kd4 Ra4+ 46. Kd5 Ra5+ 47. Kc4 Ra4+ 48. Kb3 Ra1 49. Kc3 Ra3+ 50. Kd2 Ra4 51. Rc6+ Kf7 52. Ke2 Ra2+ 53. Kf3 Ra4 54. Rc7+ Kf6 55. Rd7 Ra2 56. Rd6+ Kf7 57. Rd4 Kf6 58. Rf4 Kg7 59. Kg2 Ra1 60. Rd4 Ra2 61. Kf3 Kf6 62. Rd6+ Kf7 63. Kg2 Kg7 64. Kf1 Kf7 65. Ke1 Ra1+ 66. Ke2 Ra2+ 67. Rd2 Ra4 68. f3 Ra3 69. Kf2 Ra4 70. Re2 Kf6 71. Rc2 Kf7 72. Ke2 Ra3 73. Kf2 Ra4 74. Kg2 Kf6 75. Rf2 Ra3 76. Re2 Ra4 77. Kh3 Kf7 78. Rd2 Ra3 1/2-1/2


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