WWCC Semifinals: Cramling Outplays Pogonina in the Style of Her Legendary Countryman

Время публикации: 30.03.2015 04:19 | Последнее обновление: 30.03.2015 06:22

Pia Cramling has already made her supporters happy by defeating two opponents twice younger than herself and qualifying to the semifinals of the World Women's Championship. Yesterday she continued to do so, as she won an instructive ending vs Russian GM Natalija Pogonina and seized the lead in her semifinal match.

In fact, both yesterday's encounters saw interesting endgames, in which - a rare thing nowadays - the engines wouldn't always help a lot to understand what was going on. The draw between M.Muzychuk and Harika (which is analysed separately) lasted for 5 hours, Cramling - Pogonina was 20 minites longer.

CRAMLING - POGONINA (semifinal, game 1)

14...e4?! 'Whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middlegame and opening must be studied in relation to the endgame' - Capablanca.
The position on the diagram is critical, and the move chosen by Black move leads to a static advantage for White, given that the queens would be exchanged only two moves later. Black should be able to equalise gradually in case of 14...exd4.
15.Nd2 Nf6 16.Qc5! Qxc5. 16...Qd8!? looks awkward, but it might have been the better choice. 17.Rxc5 Be6 18.Ra5. In turn, this doesn't look the most convincing. The alternatives are 18.a3 or 18.Rfc1, as the a2-pawn isn't really hanging.
18...Rfd8 19.Bc4 Bxc4 20.Nxc4 a6? An obvious positional mistake which loses the battle for the key d5-point. After the correct 20...Nd5 Black is only slightly worse.
21.Nb6! Rab8 22.Rc1.

Now White can calmly and gradually improve her position for many moves. Black doesn't have much of a counterplay.
22...Kf8 23.b4 Rd6 24.Re5 Re8 25.Rec5 Red8 26.a4 Re6 27.h3 Ke8 28.g4! (an important advance; White should use the kingside as well) 28...Nd5 29.Nxd5 Rxd5 30.Rxd5 cxd5 31.Rc5 Rd6 32.a5 Kd7 33.b5 axb5 34.Rxb5 Kc6 35.Rc5+ Kd7 36.Kg2 g5 37.Kg3. As a result, Black is almost out of moves. Only the king can go back and forth. 37...Kd8.

38.f3? It might have missed the victory, while 38.h4 is likely to be winning. In case Black allows h4-h5, it's similar to the game, whereas 38...gxh4 39.Kxh4 isn't better because of the king march towards the d5-pawn: 39...Kd7 40.Kg3 Kd8 41.Kf4 Rf6+ 42.Ke5 Rxf2 43.Rxd5+ followed by 44.Kxe4 with the winning position.
38...exf3 39.Kxf3 Kd7 40.Kg3 Kd8 41.Kf2 Kd7 42.Ke2 Kd8 43.Kd2 Kd7 44.Kd3 Kd8 45.Ke2 Kd7 46.Kf1 Kd8 47.Kg2 Kd7 48.Kg3. White has realised that h3-h4 is needed to make progress anyway. 48...Kd8 49.h4 Kd7? 49...gxh4+! was necessary. Since the king pass to f4 doesn't win the pawn anymore, Black has good chances to survive.
50.h5 Kd8 51.Kf3 Rf6+ 52.Ke2 Rd6 53.Kd3 Kd7 54.Rb5 Kc7.

55.e4! This allows White to finally penetrate to the Black's kingside. The advanced h5-pawn will play the crucial role.
55...dxe4+ 56.Kxe4 Rf6 57.Rf5 Re6+ 58.Kd5 Rd6+ 59.Kc4 f6 60.Rb5 Re6 61.Kd5 Re3 62.Rb6 Rf3 63.Ke6 Rf4 64.d5 Re4+ 65.Kxf6 Rxg4 66.d6+ Kc8 67.Kg6 Rg1 68.Kxh6 g4 69.Kg7 g3 70.h6 Rh1 71.Rb2 Rh4 72.h7 Rg4+ 73.Kf6 Rh4 74.Kg6 Kd7 75.Rxb7+ Kxd6 76.Rb1 Ke5 77.a6 g2 78.Rg1 Rg4+ 79.Kh5. 1-0
One can remember Ulf Andersson, who in his best years was famous for being able to outplay almost anyone in long endings. The whole game, and the final part especially, reminds me of the Cramling's legendary countryman. (Annotated by GM Andrey Deviatkin)

Muzychuk - Harika

 [Event "WCh Women 2015"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2015.03.29"] [Round "4.7"] [White "Cramling, Pia"] [Black "Pogonina, Natalija"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D56"] [Opening "QGD"] [Variation "Lasker defence"] [EventDate "2015.03.17"] [Board "2"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 O-O 7. e3 Ne4 8. Bxe7 Qxe7 9. Rc1 c6 10. Qc2 Nd7 11. Be2 Nxc3 12. Qxc3 dxc4 13. Qxc4 e5 14. O-O e4 15. Nd2 Nf6 16. Qc5 Qxc5 17. Rxc5 Be6 18. Ra5 Rfd8 19. Bc4 Bxc4 20. Nxc4 a6 21. Nb6 Rab8 22. Rc1 Kf8 23. b4 Rd6 24. Re5 Re8 25. Rec5 Red8 26. a4 Re6 27. h3 Ke8 28. g4 Nd5 29. Nxd5 Rxd5 30. Rxd5 cxd5 31. Rc5 Rd6 32. a5 Kd7 33. b5 axb5 34. Rxb5 Kc6 35. Rc5+ Kd7 36. Kg2 g5 37. Kg3 Kd8 38. f3 exf3 39. Kxf3 Kd7 40. Kg3 Kd8 41. Kf2 Kd7 42. Ke2 Kd8 43. Kd2 Kd7 44. Kd3 Kd8 45. Ke2 Kd7 46. Kf1 Kd8 47. Kg2 Kd7 48. Kg3 Kd8 49. h4 Kd7 50. h5 Kd8 51. Kf3 Kd7 52. Ke2 Kd8 53. Kd3 Kd7 54. Rb5 Kc7 55. e4 dxe4+ 56. Kxe4 Rf6 57. Rf5 Re6+ 58. Kd5 Rd6+ 59. Kc4 f6 60. Rb5 Re6 61. Kd5 Re3 62. Rb6 Rf3 63. Ke6 Rf4 64. d5 Re4+ 65. Kxf6 Rxg4 66. d6+ Kc8 67. Kg6 Rg1 68. Kxh6 g4 69. Kg7 g3 70. h6 Rh1 71. Rb2 Rh4 72. h7 Rg4+ 73. Kf6 Rh4 74. Kg6 Kd7 75. Rxb7+ Kxd6 76. Rb1 Ke5 77. a6 g2 78. Rg1 Rg4+ 79. Kh5 1-0

World Women's Championship: all the information and previous materials


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