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Hou Yifan vs Mariya Muzychuk, Game 9 and Photos: Women's World Chess Championship, Lviv 2016

Hou Yifan and Mariya Muzychuk, Game 9
Hou Yifan and Mariya Muzychuk, Game 9, 14th March 2016, Potocki Palace, Women's World Chess Championship, Lviv 2016. Photos by Vitaliy Hrabar


Hou, Yifan (2673) - Muzychuk, Mariya (2554) [B59]
Women's World Championship/Lviv (9) 2016

1. e4 c5 The Sicilian Defence, the first and the last time in the match. 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Be3 Be6 10. f3 Hou Yifan chooses a calm line, because she needs only a draw to win the title of the World Champion again. Na5 Here Black can play 10...d5 with equality, but Mariya Muzychuk tries to complicate the game a little. 11. Nxa5 Qxa5 12. Qd2 Rfc8 13. Rfd1 Kf8 14. a4 a6 15. Nd5! Hou Yifan goes to the equal endgame to draw easily. Qxd2 16. Rxd2 Nxd5 17. exd5 Bd7 18. a5 Bb5 19. Kf1 f5 With equality. 20. c3 g5 20...Bxe2+ is simpler, but Mariya Muzychuk wants to play. 21. Rc2 h5 22. c4! Hou Yifan plans to push pawns on the queenside with b4 and c5. g4 23. b4 f4 24. Bf2 Bd7 25. c5 Bf5 26. Rc4 Kf7?! 26...gxf3 is better. 27. Rd1 Rg8 If 27...gxf3 then 28.Bxf3 with an edge to White. 28. g3! A strong move: White attacks Black's pawns on the kingside. fxg3 29. hxg3 Rac8?! And here 29...gxf3 is more precise. 30. fxg4 hxg4 31. Kg2 White is better. Bd7 32. Rh1 Rg7 33. cxd6! Bxd6 34. Rxc8 Bxc8 35. Bc5 Bxc5 36. bxc5 Bf5 37. Kf2! A typical good move in endgames: the king goes to the centre. Hou Yifan had a big advantage due to the powerful c5 and d5 pawns. Rg8 38. Ke3 Rd8 39. Rf1 Kg6 40. Rd1 40.d6 is also strong. Kg5 41. d6 Rh8 42. d7! Rd8 43. c6! bxc6 44. Bxa6 White wins, queening the a-pawn. c5 44...Bxd7 is met by 45.Bb7, followed by a6 or Bxc6. 45. Bb7 c4 46. a6 1-0

Hou Yifan, before game 9 Hou Yifan, game 8
Hou Yifan (I can fly), game 9, 14th March and game 8, 12th March 2016.

Mariya Muzychuk and Hou Yifan, game 8. Photos by Vitaliy Hrabar
Mariya Muzychuk and Hou Yifan, game 8. Photos by Vitaliy Hrabar


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