Round 6. Game 1
Xie Jun is the Women’s World Champion in force. In the first game of the present final she chose the Ruy Lopez and managed to conduct a fine and consistent game. By the 25th move both opponents had many pawn islets but Xie Jun was first to attack weak points of her adversary and was victorious.
Men are busy with semi-final matches now. Shirov quickly gained an advantage in the same Ruy Lopez and soon he won a showy victory. Anand preferred the Petroff. The opponents demonstrated their lack of logic, having agreed to draw in a position which could have had any result but draw if they continued to play.
Xie, Jun (GM) - Qin, Kanying
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 Be7 11. Bc2
Theory, so far.
11... d4 12. Ne4 d3 13. Nxc5 dxc2 14. Qxd8+ Rxd8 15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. Be3 Rd5 17. c4
This way White spoils Black’s pawns. The move looks very unpretentious.
17... bxc4 18. Rac1 Bc5 19. Rxc2 Bxe3 20. fxe3 Rc5 21. Ng5 Nd8
Qin is under pressure. The knight retreats…
… and turns into a target. Xie Jun occupies the file immediately, threatening with Rxd8+.
22... Rd5 23. Rfd1 Rxd2 24. Rxd2 c3 25. bxc3 Ke7 26. Rd4 Nc6 27. Rf4 Nxe5 28. Re4
If the knight retreats, then Black’s pawns fall one after another. Black attempts to defend the knight and finds himself in trouble. As the result, the black king undertakes such a long journey that even a pawn endgame becomes favourable for White.
28... Kf6 29. Rxe5 Kxe5 30. Nf7+ Kf6 31. Nxh8 g5 32. Kf2 Kg7 33. e4 Kxh8 34. Ke3 Kg7 35. g4 Kf6 36. Kd4 Ke7 37. e5 Kd7 38. Kc5
The number of pawns is equal but Black is in zugzwang. White’s king is raging.
38... a5 39. Kb5 a4 40. a3 h6 41. h3
Shirov, Alexei - Grischuk, Alexander
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Bc5 5. Nxe5 Nxe4 6. Qe2 Nxe5 7. d4 Be7 8. Qxe4 Ng6 9. f4 c6 10. Bd3 d5 11. Qe2
This is theory.
11... f5 12. Nd2 O-O 13. Nf3 Nh8 14. Bd2 a5 15. c4
White opens up diagonals and files.
15... Nf7 16. cxd5 cxd5 17. Rac1 Bf6 18. b4 a4 19. b5 Re8 20. Ne5
White’s knight gets to the strong square before Black’s. To take it means to remain without space and any perspectives.
20... Nd6 21. Bb4 Ne4 22. Bxe4 dxe4 23. Rfd1
White’s d-pawn is ready to advance. Black has no convenient way for the defence of the square. His response is awful. The bishop just cannot hinder the advance of the pawn from e6. Is this a blunder?
23... Be6 24. d5 Bd7 25. Nc6
A beautiful move. The knight is put under attack. But to take it means an immediate defeat for Black. Probably Grischuk did not see the simple move Rc5. So he was forced to part with the queen.
25... Qc8 26. Ne7+ Bxe7 27. Rxc8 Raxc8 28. Bxe7 Rxe7 29. d6 Rf7 30. Rd5 Rc1+ 31. Kf2 Rf8 32. Re5 Rfc8 33. Re7 R1c2 34. Rxd7 Rxe2+ 35. Kxe2 b6 36. Rb7 Rc2+ 37. Ke3 Rc3+ 38. Kd4 Rd3+ 39. Ke5 e3 40. Ke6 h6 41. Re7 Rd4 42. Kd7
An elegant decision. Shirov allows his opponent to queen too. Still, there is already no defence against the threatening mate.
42... Re4 43. Rxe4 fxe4 44. Ke7
Black resigned. After e1Q White plays Kf7 and then mates.
"He who fears an isolated queen's pawn should give up chess". Siegbert Tarrasch
"The most powerful weapon in chess is to have the next move"! David Bronstein.