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Yifan Hou vs Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Championship Knockout Tournament (2008), Nalchik RUS, rd 6, Sep-14
Spanish Game: Closed. Suetin Variation (C90)  ·  0-1



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Given 5 times; par: 72 [what's this?]

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sac: 36...Nxf3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-18-08  PinkPanther: "Sophisticated waiting move" is a fancy way of saying this move serves no real purpose. Besides, if you want to "avoid theory" why are you playing the closed Ruy Lopez in the first place?
Sep-19-08  kozo: <"Sophisticated waiting move" is a fancy way of saying this move serves no real purpose>I was trying to be sarcastic (white actually scores less than 50% in this database). Maybe i should have put a !! or something. But in the games i posted, black looked for an outright refutation and ended up losing.

<Besides, if you want to "avoid theory" why are you playing the closed Ruy Lopez in the first place?> There are other weird attempts to play the white side of the Ruy Lopez, like the Worwall (Qe2 instead of Re1), which has been played by patzers like Carlsen, Short, and Yifan Hou

Sep-19-08  PinkPanther: <kozo>
Qe2 isn't the closed Ruy Lopez. When somebody says "closed Ruy Lopez", the first thing that comes to mind are the lines where white plays Re1, c3, h3, etc.
Sep-21-08  Chessmensch: See Shipov's excellent commentary on this game (and the others between Hou Yifan and Kosteniuk) at

Worth considering this game for GOTD.

Sep-27-08  melianis: the three mate squares:
49.Qe1 Qh4 50.Qxg3+ Qxg3+ 51.Kf1 Qg2+ 52.Ke1 Qe2#
49.Qc2 Qh4 50.Qg2 Bxg2 51.Kxg2 Qh2+ 52.Kf1 Qf2#
49.Kf1 gxf2 50.Kxf2 Qd2+ 51.Kf1 Qg2+ 52.Ke1 Qe2#
49.Qb2 Qh6 50.Qf6+ Kxf6 51.Kf1 Qh1#
Jan-26-11  jmactas: I submitted "I'm Gonna Take My Talents To South Beach" as a pun because Kosteniuk lives in Miami and if you live in America the reference is very easy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Elegant combination. Especially liked the variation 38.Qxf4,exf4; 39.Ngf1,fxe3; 40.Nxe3,d1/Q and Black will end up with an extra piece.
Mar-18-21  Refused: Ok, Black's a piece down, but the passed pawn on d2 easily makes up for that. d1 is currently guarded by the Knight on e3 and the Queen on f3. 37...Qxe3 is one possibilty to regain the piece. However I like the 37...Bxg4 to be a more pleasing solution. 37...Bxg4
a) 38.Nxg4 Qxf3+ 39.Kxf3 d1Q+ -+
b) 38.Qxg4 Qxg4 39.Nxg4 d1Q -+
c) 38.Qxf4 exf4
c1) 39.Ngf1 fxe3 40.Nxe3 d1Q 41.Nxd1 Bxd1 -+
c2) 39.Nd1 fxg3 and again the other Knight will drop on d1, and Black will be up a piece d) 39.Qf2 d1Q 40.Nxd1 Bxd1 appears to be relatively best for white here. But converting this is a mere matter of technique.
Mar-18-21  Walter Glattke: Think for 37.-Qxe3 38.Qxe3 d1Q 39.Qe2 Bxg4 won ending for Black. 37.-Qxf3+? 38.Kxf3 Bxg4+ 39.Kf2? d1Q, but 39.Kxg4! 37.-Bxg4 38.Qf2 Bh3+ 39.Kg1 Qxe3 40.Qxe3 d1Q+ one pawn for Black, but only -+
Mar-18-21  saturn2: Found after 37...Bxg4 black wins back a piece and further material but it is only one pawn in the 4th line

38. Qxf4 exf4 39. Ngf1 fxe3 40. Nxe3 d1
38. Qxg4 Qxg4 39. Nxg4 d1
38. Qf1 Qxe3 followed by Qe1
38.Qf2 d1=Q 39. Nxd1 Bxd1 1 pawn

Mar-18-21  Brenin: 37 ... Bxg4 wins a P, and the follow-up d1=Q regains the piece, leaving Black a P up with the K-side Ps about to come crashing through. A straightforward win at this level.
Mar-18-21  mel gibson: I thought QxN on e3.
The idea was to get a free Knight
and then get the Queen back on d1.
Stockfish 13 gives -3.0 for White so that's still a good move for Black.

However -
Stockfish 13 agrees with the text.

37... Bxg4

(37. .. Bxg4
(♗d7xg4 ♕f3-f2 d2-d1♕ ♘e3xd1 ♗g4xd1 ♕f2-f1 ♕f4-c1 ♔g2-g1 ♕c1-e3+ ♕f1-f2 ♕e3-f4 ♔g1-g2 ♕f4-g4 ♕f2-e3 ♗d1-c2 ♔g2-h2 f7-f5 ♕e3-a7+ ♔g7-f6 e4xf5 g6xf5 ♕a7-c7 ♕g4-h4+ ♔h2-g2 ♗c2-e4+ ♘g3xe4+ ♕h4xe4+ ♔g2-f2 ♕e4-f4+ ♔f2-e1 ♕f4-h4+ ♔e1-d2 ♕h4-f2+ ♔d2-d1 ♕f2-f3+ ♔d1-c1 ♕f3-h1+ ♔c1-c2 ♕h1xd5 ♕c7-h7 ♕d5-e4+ ♔c2-c1 ♕e4-f4+ ♔c1-c2 e5-e4 ♕h7-g8 ♕f4-h2+ ♔c2-d1 ♕h2-h5+ ♔d1-c2 ♕h5-e2+ ♔c2-b3 ♕e2-c4+ ♕g8xc4 b5xc4+ ♔b3xc4 ♔f6-e5 a3-a4 f5-f4 b2-b4 f4-f3 ♔c4-b3 f3-f2 b4-b5 a6xb5 a4xb5 f2-f1♕) +7.59/44 346)

score for Black +7.59 depth 44

Mar-18-21  Cheapo by the Dozen: The default line is

37 ... Qxe3
38 Qxe3 d1(Q)

But that just restores material equality.

37 ... Bxg4

snatches a pawn but otherwise is basically the same thing.

Black's extra pawn is passed, with decent mobility plus a threat of being turned into connected passed pawns, and victory ensues.

Mar-18-21  goodevans: I had <37...Bxg4 38.Qf2 Qxe3> which I believe is also winning.

What occurred to me afterwards is that after 38.Qf2 white is in such a bind that it isn't even necessary to force the issue with either 38...Qxe3 or 38...d1=Q. White can't capture Qxd2 since Bf3+ would then pick up both the N on g3 and the e4 pawn.

So black could just try to improve her position before regaining the piece with something like <38...a5> but she would need to be careful: <38...g5? 39.Qxd2 Bxf3+> no longer wins the N because of the fork on f5 whilst <38...f6?> would allow <39.Nxg4 d1=Q 40.Qa7+ ½-½>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Robots verdict ivories Bxg4 hopeful acrids evoque ivories famines aidsign revise evoque robots verdict ivories parttime litpots choochoo chuffy jacques quagmire goodness tackys ies wrench breville bmx vuvuzela its hurt vasein clandestine jokers key gabbed it in i dupe with addups eoyore ivories buddies agains hobbled it leeway Bxg4 cervix?
Mar-18-21  Cellist: I saw the first move but wanted to follow up with 38. ... Bh3+. The B is immune (taking it loses the Q), and the only reasonable reply is 39. Kg1. After 39. ... Qxe3, I can promote with check and a lot of pressure on the white K. This line wins, too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: Black has a bishop and a pawn for both knights.

The advanced d-pawn suggests 37... Bxg4, to decoy the pieces controlling d1:

A) 38.Nxg4 Qxf3+ 39.Kxf3 d1=Q+ wins decisive material.

B) 38.Qxg4 Qxg4 39.Nxg4 d1=Q wins decisive material.

C) 38.Qxf4 exf4

C.1) 39.Nd1 fxg3 (39... Bxd1 40.Nf1 Bc2 41.Nxd2) 40.Ne3 d1=Q 41.Nxd1 Bxd1 42.Kxg3 Bc2 - + [b+p].

C.2) 39.Ngf1 fxe3 40.Nxe3 d1=Q is similar to C.1.

D) 38.Qf2 Qxf2+ (38... Bh3+ 39.Kg1 Qxe3 40.Qxe3 d1=Q+ keeps the queens probably granting more defensive chances) 39.Kxf2 d1=Q 40.Nxd1 Bxd1 with a bishop and a pawn for a knight and an almost surely winning endgame due to the passed linked f- and g-pawns.

Mar-18-21  WorstPlayerEver: I was distracted, because Kosteniuk had Black. So Bxg4 was a bit of a no brainer..
Premium Chessgames Member
  doubledrooks: I went with 37...Bxg4, a deflection sacrifice to allow the d-pawn safe passage to d1.
Mar-18-21  Whitehat1963: Silly me. I immediately went for 37...Qxe3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chrisowen: Doughballs g4 lit in up?
Mar-18-21  King.Arthur.Brazil: I found the 37...♗g4 however, the King chose to answer 38.♕f2 with tactical 38...♗h3+ which leads to the following sequence: 39. ♔g1 ♕g5 40. ♕xd2 ♕xg3+ 41. ♔h1 f5 42. exf5 gxf5 43. b3 f4 44. ♘d1 ♗g4 and White cannot escape. The game continuation is sound too.
Mar-18-21  johnnydeep: As a few others did, I opted for 37...Qxe3 straight away. Oh well.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: BxP was the only possible move. Puzzles are easier when presented with 'only' moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Yeah, even <Ah> can solve those.

Signed, life 1200 player

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