The women world championship is almost on its final knockout stage with 8 players fighting to adavance to semi finals. In yesterday’s round (GM) Mariya Muzychuk (2526) beat the favorite (GM) Humpy Koneru (2581) in 29 moves of a Scotch opening.
(GM) Mariya Muzychuk (2526)
Position after 25.Nxg5:
Black is a pawn up, however his pieces on the queenside are temporaly out of play and what’s most important, away from the kingside. So we can say that white has material superiority on the kingside with three pieces attacking the black king, the threat of Qh4 has to be stopped but how? There is only one acceptable move for black and that is 25…Rd1! it is good idea to trade the enemy’s pieces when you are under pressure. Without the white rook on e1 Qh4 isn’t a deadly threat anymore because at least the black king can scape f8-e7. A possible continuation is 26.Bf1 Rxe1 27.Qxe1 Qa3! connecting the queen with the kingside 28.c4 locking the black pieces and now something like 28…Kf8 keeps the balance. Black has also other moves but draw is a likely result. Instead, Koneru played the careless 25…f6??
Position after 25…f6?? :
Koneru will have to make good use of the white pieces today and win in order to stay in the World Championship and force a tiebreak match. It’s going to be an interesting battle.