Wednesday, November 16, 2011

2011 Women's World Chess Championship Match

Hola!  Today was a "day off" for reigning champion GM Hou Yifan of China and challenger GM Koneru Humpy of India in their World Championship Match.  So - I have a chance to look at Game 2 that took place yesterday.

Today, evidently, the ladies were taken on an escorted tour to some mountains or other, when I'm sure they'd much rather be resting in their hotel suites and going over strategies with their coaches!  What were those organizers thinking?  Obviously only about photo opportunities, and not about the actual needs of the players themselves.  Doh!

Game two, with Humpy behind the black pieces, ended in a draw.  Again, I see this as an auspicious sign for Humpy. 

Now that I've got my first official chess "lesson" under my belt, I paid more attention than usual to the moves of this game. Those things that my coach showed me during Lesson 1 - many of them showed up in this game, including several moves that "broke the rules" too.  Well, that's how I play.  I break rules left and right, but it's always been by the seat of my pants and on instinct, not because I actually knew what I was doing.  Very very interesting, this glimmering of light on the distant horizon.  Oh Caissa, I've got soooo much to learn...

Before Monday night "controlling the center" was a concept that I knew about, but didn't really understand, viscerally.  Not sure I do - yet - but I'm fast developing a new appreciation for this "simple" concept...

Developing the knights and the bishops, castling, getting the rooks centered, the queen in a ready position and the king protected - also concepts I knew before, and sometimes even tried to deploy in my chess games.  Now, new found appreciation for what those concepts could actually mean.  Whether I can execute or not - I've got some homework to do...

Back to Game 2 of the WWCCMatch -- I won't say that I was astounded to see certain moves unfold, but I certainly do see the sense and sensibility behind at least a few of them now, where I did not, before.  Oh, I felt some of those moves, some times, that they were brilliant or the best thing or the only (sudden death speeding toward you at 100 MPH) move you could make to try and hang on, but didn't really know why I thought they were so good before.  Oh, listen to me rambling on, like I'm suddenly an expert after one official chess lesson.  LOL!  Like I said, I'm at the merest glimmering of sunrise on the horizon.

Humpy, I love how you play chess!

Again, this match is being followed closely at several major chess websites/blogs around the internet.  I just happened to visit The Week in Chess first tonight for its coverage of Game 2.

GM Koneru Humpy, behind the black pieces in Game 2.
Serene, contemplative, and determined. Nice outfit, too.
Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich and Anna Burtasova with
kind permission of FIDE.   |

Now I know this has absolutely nothing to do with chess, darlings, but I'm really liking Humpy's tunic-top outfit, and I'm really not liking the slacks (trousers) that Hou Yifan wore, although her top (blouse or shirt), was really cute.  I like lumberjack checks and I liked the black/white theme of both of the ladies' outfits, but the checked slacks Hou Yifan wore are awful.  They do not match the top at all.  Colors are off, pattern scale is off.  Hou Yifan, what were you thinking?

Round 2, Hou Yifan with white pieces and awful outfit, Koneru Humpy with
black pieces and really cute outfit.
Hou Yifan against Humpy Koneru. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich and Anna Burtasova
with kind permission of FIDE.

Okay, now I know this is going to sound really really silly, but I think the blue chair looks much  more comfortable than the red chair, even though I prefer the red chair's color.  I like the color red over blue (does that say something about me, psychologically?)  - although I have to admit I'm partial to cobalt blue, especially cobalt blue glass with sunlight shining through it.

Oh yes -- the game.  Sorry!  Here it is in standard PGN:

WCh w Tirana ALB (2) 15th Nov 2011
Hou Yifan
Koneru, Humpy
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2 Qe8 9. O-O-O Qa4 10. Kb1 Nc6 11. h4 Be6 12. b3 Qa5 13. Nd4 Nxd4 14. cxd4 Qxd2 15. Rxd2 d5 16. h5 h6 17. Bd3 a5 18. a4 Bb4 19. Rdd1 Bc3 20. Rh4 c6 21. Bc1 Bd7 22. Bb2 Bb4 23. Ka2 Rfe8 24. Rhh1 b5 25. c3 Bf8 26. axb5 cxb5 27. Rde1 Bd6 28. Ba3 Rxe1 29. Rxe1 b4 30. Bb2 a4 31. bxa4 Bxa4 32. Kb1 bxc3 33. Bxc3 Rb8+ 34. Ka2 Ra8 35. Kb2 Kf8 36. Ra1 Rb8+ 37. Kc1 Bf4+ 38. Bd2 Rc8+ 39. Kb2 Rb8+ 40. Kc1 Rc8+ 41. Kb2 Rb8+ 42. Kc1 Rc8+ 1/2-1/2

At the bottom of TWIC's Round 2 coverage, is a board and the Round 2 game that you can play through, move by move, by clicking on any move -- it will instantly bring up the positions of the pieces on the board at that move no matter what move you click on.  A nice tool for those of us who don't know diddly squat about how to play the game...


Eugene Wee said...

"Game two, with Humpy behind the black pieces, ended in a draw. Again, I see this as an auspicious sign for Humpy."

However, Yifan has won game 3! Yay! I have been a supporter of Hou Yifan since she was a WFM: I started her Wikipedia page! :D

Jan said...

Hi Eugene,

Yes, Yifan did so in good style - on the chessboard. Her outfit today - well, let's just say I'm not a fan of fur-capped short sleeves :) I have hope that once Yifan grows out of her teen years she will pay a little more attention to classically styled clothes. I think they would suit her more. Well, fashion, it's a woman thing.

We shall see what tomorrow brings. So far I haven't read that either party has sprung any unique preparation on the other - but surely there is some lurking around, waiting to be sprung...

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