Houska-Yuan by WIM Yuanling Yuan

This was Yuanling’s 10th round game. Yuanling was the anchor of the Women’s team on top board. She played all 11 games and had a spectacular result. She went into this round on a hot 3 game winning streak.

IM Houska is a strong player rated over 2400. She would make a lot of National squads. She is a good player and she has been for a long time. #55 in the world for women.

A lot of players are scared to play against higher rated opponents. Not Yuanling. She seemed excited about the challenge. There appeared to be no fear before the game. Yuanling was beating up on higher rated players and was looking forward to the next one, without saying as much (yes I am just putting words into her mouth here, just describing it as I see it). At 16, the sky is the limit, and not just in chess.

Yuanling’s comments show her modest nature. She is an achiever and lets her play do the talking. The lack of exclamation marks shows how easy some positional moves come to her, even though she claims to be a tactical player. The game was a great one. After looking at the game, it’s hard to believe white is rated 250 points higher. The hard thing is to believe is that black is rated under 2200. This game was extremely smooth in all regards. The technique appears flawless and Yuanling makes it look easy after her opponent makes one mistake.

First, I will post the PGN format of the game without comments, followed by the game with comments and diagrams. I budded in with my own comments, indicated by my initials, because Yuanling was unwilling to give herself enough praise and exclamation marks.

[Event “39th World Chess Olympiad”]
[Site “0:12.37-0:51.03”]
[Date “2010.10.01”]
[Round “10”]
[White “Houska, Jovanka”]
[Black “Yuan, Yuanling”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “E62”]
[WhiteElo “2426”]
[BlackElo “2189”]
[PlyCount “96”]
[EventDate “2010.??.??”]
[WhiteTeam “England”]
[BlackTeam “Kanada”]
[WhiteTeamCountry “ENG”]
[BlackTeamCountry “CAN”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. g3 d6 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O Nc6 7. Nc3 Bf5 8. b3
Ne4 9. Nd5 Bd7 10. Bb2 e6 11. Nf4 f5 12. e3 g5 13. Nd3 Ne7 14. Nd2 Nxd2 15.
Qxd2 Bc6 16. f3 Ng6 17. e4 f4 18. d5 Bd7 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. dxe6 Bxe6 21. c5
dxc5 22. Rad1 b6 23. gxf4 gxf4 24. Kh1 Qf6 25. Qe2 Rad8 26. Nf2 Rxd1 27. Rxd1
Rd8 28. Rf1 c4 29. Rc1 Qd4 30. Bf1 Qd2 31. Rc2 Qxe2 32. Bxe2 cxb3 33. axb3 c5
34. Rb2 Ne5 35. Kg2 Kf6 36. Kf1 Rd4 37. Ke1 Rb4 38. Bd1 c4 39. Kd2 cxb3 40. Kc3
Rb5 41. Nd3 Nxd3 42. Kxd3 a5 43. Kc3 Rc5+ 44. Kd4 a4 45. Rb1 Rc4+ 46. Kd3 b5
47. Be2 Rc2 48. Bf1 Ke5 0-1

[Event “39th World Chess Olympiad”]
[Site “0:12.37-0:51.03”]
[Date “2010.10.01”]
[Round “10”]
[White “Houska, Jovanka”]
[Black “Yuan, Yuanling”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “E62”]
[WhiteElo “2426”]
[BlackElo “2189”]
[Annotator “Yuan,Yuanling”]
[PlyCount “96”]
[EventDate “2010.??.??”]
[WhiteTeam “England”]
[BlackTeam “Kanada”]
[WhiteTeamCountry “ENG”]
[BlackTeamCountry “CAN”]

{After a 2-2 against Montenegro, the Canadian women’s team was paired up
against England with black in round 10.Who else was I supposed to play other
than England’s top women player, Houska? She is rated 2426 FIDE, approximately
250 points higher than me. I’ve liked to play players that are rated much
higher than me, simply because I won’t have any pressure on my back and I
could, quoting Mark’s favorite expression, “just play chess”. At that time, I
had won 3 games in a row, in which 2 are against stronger opponents. I was at
the height of my confidence level feeling that I fear nobody, not even Houska.
So I prepared like I am used to and with 800 games in her database I was
surely at an advantage with preparation ( I have only 100 games of mine!). Let’s
take a look at one of the best games that I’ve ever played (at least Mark and
Thomas made me feel that way!):}

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. g3 d6 5. Bg2
O-O 6. O-O Nc6 7. Nc3 Bf5

{This was a line that I prepared against my opponent
from Latvia in the earlier rounds, but never got to use.}

8. b3 Ne4 9. Nd5 Bd7
10. Bb2 e6 11. Nf4

(11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 e5 13. b4 e4 14. Nd2 f5 {Houska
played a game like this a few years ago that she lost, so perhaps that’s why
she decided to play 11.Nf4 instead.})

11… f5 12. e3 g5 13. Nd3 Ne7 14. Nd2
Nxd2 15. Qxd2 Bc6

{I had prepared every move that she played up until now. She had to think for the past 5 moves while I was
playing at ease. At this point, I felt that I had a very comfortable position
that was solid with lots of potential for a kingside attack – totally my style!}

16. f3

(16. Bxc6 bxc6 {I was planning to respond to the Bishop exchange with
16…bxc6 to enhance my control over the centre. Then I would focus on my
kingside attack with Ng6…f4 or Qe8…Qh5.})

16… Ng6 17. e4 f4 18. d5 Bd7
19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. dxe6 Bxe6

{I suppose all these exchanges were devoted to
opening up the centre to allow some play for White’s pieces. Being 250 points
higher than me, my opponent has the pressure of being expected to win the game,
and thus playing an extremely closed game with good chances of a draw is not
acceptable for her.}

21. c5?

{An implusive blunder…} (21. Rfd1 Qf6 22. Qf2
{This continuation for white would’ve been much better. {Black’s position is
still more comfortable, just look at the white bishop. <MB>})

21… dxc5 22.Rad1

(22. Qc3+ Qd4+ 23. Qxd4+ cxd4 24. Nc5 Bc8 25. Rfd1 b6 26. Na4 c5 {This is
the line that my opponent miscalculated when she played 21.c5.})

22… b6 23.gxf4 gxf4 24. Kh1 Qf6

{Notice here how most of my pawns are on dark squares
while white’s pawns are on light squares, blocking the g2-Bishop.} {The
importance of the positional 17…f4! <MB>}

25. Qe2 Rad8

{planning for Rd4… Rfd8}

26. Nf2

26…Rxd1 27. Rxd1 Rd8

{Yuanling does not comment on her desire to
exchange rooks. The idea might be a straight forward one, but it is the right
one in the position. These exchanges emhasize how bad the white bishop is and
make it easier for black to create a passed pawn. Positional intuition by
Yuanling <MB>}

28. Rf1

(28. Rxd8 Qxd8 29. Qa6 Qd4 30. Kg1 Nh4 31. Qxa7 Qa1+ 32.
Bf1 Nxf3+ 33. Kg2 Nh4+ 34. Kg1 Qe5 {White’s queen is in a very bad position
while all of my pieces are quite coordinated and ready to give the final blow.
Thus, Houska chose not to exchange the rooks.})

28… c4

{I thought for about 20 minutes before I made this move. Here black already has a huge advantage
but the question is, how to convert it into a win? A breakthrough such as c4
here was essential. {!, creating very concrete problems for white <MB>}

29. Rc1
(29. bxc4 Qc3 {White couldn’t protect the c4 anymore})

29… Qd4

{!, Yuanling does not give this move the recognition it deserves <MB>}

30. Bf1

(30. Rd1? Qxf2 31. Qxf2 Rxd1+ 32. Bf1 Bh3 33. Qb2+ Kh6 {a nice tactic I had in mind})

30… Qd2 31. Rc2 Qxe2 32. Bxe2 cxb3 33. axb3

(33. Rxc7+ {does not work} Kh6
34. axb3 Rd2 35. Bc4 Bxc4 36. Ng4+ Kg5 37. bxc4 h5 {{Crushing for black <MB>})

33… c5 34. Rb2

34…Ne5 35. Kg2 Kf6 36. Kf1 Rd4 37. Ke1 Rb4 38. Bd1 c4 39. Kd2
cxb3 40. Kc3 Rb5 41. Nd3 Nxd3 42. Kxd3 a5 43. Kc3 Rc5+ 44. Kd4 a4 45. Rb1 Rc4+
46. Kd3 b5 47. Be2 Rc2 48. Bf1 Ke5

{Next move Bc4 checkmate…and so white
resigned. The final 15 moves were made effortlessly. I had a clear queenside
majority plus excellent squares for my knight and bishop that restricted the
movement of white’s knight and bishop. No wonder Mark and Thomas said I made
it look so easy!} 0-1



One Response to Houska-Yuan by WIM Yuanling Yuan

  1. Denton Cockburn says:

    You said you use Chessbase for your comments. Chessbase can create PGN output too by the way. That will allow people to save the commented game (if that’s what you want).

    It’s definitely great to see our young players excelling on the world stage. Maybe one of them (you?) will give Canada its first world chess champ.

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