Kosteniuk, A.. - Zhu.Chen
FIDE WCC KO (Moscow), 08.12.2001
e5 2.Sf3 Sf6 The
Petroff! I think that this choice reflects the influence of the overall FIDE championship - this opening
has been extremely popular there.
3.Sxe5 d6 4.Sf3 Sxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Ld3 Ld6 7.
[Theory considers that White must play
9.cxd5 cxd5 first, and then
dxc4 11.Lxc4 Lg4
12.h3 Lh5 13.Tb1
b5 14.Ld3 Te8 Apparently
Black is OK here. The Russian player makes a responsible move: she allows weakening of the pawn structure
on the kingside in order to sharpenplay.
15.Te1 Txe1+ Zhu Chen accepts the challenge, though she really has no obligation to do so.
[After 15...Sd7 16.Txe8+
Dxe8 the position is safely equal.]
16.Dxe1 Lxf3 Black
plays quite logically. However, in my opinion, trading the bishop for the knight diminishes her chances
in this position, while the white pawns are not so weak.
[A much more reliable continuation is
16...Sd7 17.Sg5 Sf6]
17.gxf3 a6 18.De4
g6 19.Lh6 Black's
defensive tasks are not so difficult, but they demand accurate play, and Black has no chance to overtake
19...Ta7 20.Dg4 De8 21.Kf1 Excellent! The white king himself protects the weak e1-point!
21...Te7 22.f4 This pawn refuses to recognize its own weakness, insisting on taking part in the attack instead.
22...Sd7 23.f5 c5? It is difficult for Black here without any counterplay. Nevertheless, I would not recommend such a move: the files are getting opened, the white rook is going to penetrate into Black's camp, and the white bishops' activity will increase.
24.Lg5! f6 25.Le3!
[25.Lh6!? g5 26.h4
Da8 27.Kg1 Lf4 ,
and ther e is no way for White to obtain any substantial advantage. Kosteniuk decides to take no risks,
placing her bishop purposefully instead.]
g5 27.a4! White
plays classically and creates a second front! Playing only on the kingside would not give her much, but
now the white rook may assist the attack, penetrating via the opened files on the queenside.
27...Sb6 28.Dg2 Kh8 29.axb5 axb5 30.Ta1 Dc8? A mistake! The Chinese player acts too passively, while the position demended some drastic actions.
Dxe3 32.Te1 Dxc3 ,
and Black is beyond any danger (S.Shipov).]
32.Ta6 Lc7 Black
tries to build a fireproof defensive line. However, the position is rich with possibilities and such
play may lead only to defeat.
33.Df3 Dc8 34.Ta1 De8 35.Kg2 Kg8 36.Ta7 Ld8 37.Ta6 b4 38.cxb4 Db5 39.Ta5 Dxb4 40.Tc5 # A key moment in this game: the white rook has just found an ideal position for itself. Black is helpless.
40...Db2 41.Le4 c3 42.Ld5+! Well done - White will block off the black rook and secure a safe path for her d-pawn.
Kg7 45.Dd6 Black
suffers huge material losses.
45...Sd7 46.Lxd7 Txe3 Now a very beautiful but not obligatory move follows:
48.fxe6 La5 #
Here White could checkmate the opponent in 4 moves, but, for some reason, preferred to go for another
49.Dd7+ Kh6 50.e7