World Women's Championship: Final Match Begins with Reconnaissance

Время публикации: 02.04.2015 22:24 | Последнее обновление: 02.04.2015 22:44

After the long-awaited day-off, the final stage of the Women's World Championship has started in Krasnaya Polyana, a mountain resort near the Russian city of Sochi. Today, Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine and Natalija Pogonina of Russia have clashed in the first game of their match for the world highest title.

The starting encounter, which ended in a draw after 40 moves, reminded more of a reconnaissance than of a real fight. Let us remind you that the final match consists of four classical games (followed by rapid and blitz if needed), twice more than all the previous stages of the FIDE knockout. This means that the players have to care about saving their energy for the really crucial moments.

Pogonina played 1.d4, perhaps hoping that Mariya Muzychuk would repeat the Dutch Defence which had brought her success in the nervous and surreal semifinal against Harika. The Ukrainian, however, opted for the more solid Slav. Nevertheless, Natalija managed to obtain slight advantage in the Anti-Meran variation, acting in her usual positional manner. White missed some winning chances on move 27.

POGONINA - M.MUZYCHUK (final, game 1)

27.Nd4 was suggesting itself, and after 27...Bb6 (27...с5?! 28.Nf5 is worse) White has a choice between 28.Nf5 Bxe3 29.Nxe3 with slight pressure (since 29...c5 30.Qxc5 Bxe4 31.Bxe4 Nxe4 32.Qc6! Qd3 33.Kg2 doesn't completely equalize; for example, the knight ending will be in White's favour due to more active pieces), and 28.Nxc6!? Bxc6 29.Qxc6 Bxe3 30.fxe3. White is a pawn up, while the black army isn't quite well organized to take advantage of White's structural defects: 30...Qb8 31.Kh2 h5 32.Qc5! h4 33.e5 hxg3+ 34.Kxg3 with some hope for a win.
Pogonina decided that the first game wasn't the most appropriate time to take even minimum risks: 27.Nf4?! Nd7 28.Nd3 Bb6 29.Nc5 Bc8 30.Nxd7 Bxd7 31.Bc5 Bxc5 32.Qxc5 Qa5! This dynamic move disallows the important 33.b4 and solves all the problems.
33.a3 Be6 34.e5 Qe1+ 35.Kh2 Bxb3 36.Bxc6 Be6 37.Bg2 Qe2 38.Qb6 Qxe5 39.Qxa6 Qc5 40.Qa8+ Kh7. 1/2

[Event "WCh Women 2015"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2015.04.02"] [Round "6.1"] [White "Pogonina, Natalija"] [Black "Muzychuk, Mariya"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D45"] [Opening "QGD semi-Slav"] [Variation "Stoltz variation"] [EventDate "2015.03.17"] [Board "1"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Be2 a6 11. Rd1 Qc7 12. e4 e5 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. h3 Re8 15. Bg5 Nxf3+ 16. Bxf3 Be6 17. Rac1 Rad8 18. b3 Bh2+ 19. Kf1 Be5 20. Be3 h6 21. Ne2 Rxd1+ 22. Rxd1 Bc8 23. Kg1 Bb7 24. g3 Rd8 25. Rxd8+ Qxd8 26. Bg2 Bc7 27. Nf4 Nd7 28. Nd3 Bb6 29. Nc5 Bc8 30. Nxd7 Bxd7 31. Bc5 Bxc5 32. Qxc5 Qa5 33. a3 Be6 34. e5 Qe1+ 35. Kh2 Bxb3 36. Bxc6 Be6 37. Bg2 Qe2 38. Qb6 Qxe5 39. Qxa6 Qc5 40. Qa8+ Kh7 1/2-1/2 

The second game will take place tomorrow, on April 3rd, beginning at 12:00 GMT as usual.

World Women's Championship: all the information


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