Chimi vs. Zatonskih
National or world championships can be pressure hothouses. One tiny positional shift can mean the difference between finishing in first place or out of the money. When I competed in the world championship match in 1996 against Xie Jun of China, I played 1. e4 instead of my usual 1. d4. Why? Because I wanted to add an element of psychological surprise!
This month we’re examining a critical game from this year’s U.S. Championship that helped decide the Group B top spot. Batchimeg (Chimi) Tuvshintugs had a terrific start, defeating GM Fishbein in Round 1. In Round 2, she lost a tight game against GM Shulman, then rebounded to defeat GM Kreiman. She drew against GM Gulko. Her Round-5 defeat of GM Becerra gave her 3.5 points against five GMs!
Chimi faced off with WGM Zatonskih in Round 8 when they were tied with 3.5 points each. This victory proved important for Zatonskih, essentially assuring her of a spot in the final match against the reigning Women’s Champion, WGM Rusa Goletiani, the winner of Group A.
U.S. Championship 2006
White: Tuvshintugs, B.
Black: Zatonskih, A.
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 h6 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Nb4 6.Bb5+ c6 7.Be2 Nf6 8.e5 Ne4 9.O-O c5 10.Be3 Nc6 11.Bd3 Nxc3 12.bxc3 c4 13.Be2 Qa5 14.Bd2 Bd7 15.Ne1 Ba3 16.Rb1 O-O-O 17.f4 f5 18.exf6 gxf6 19.Bg4 Bd6 20.Rb2 Qc7 21.Qf3 Ne7 22.Qe2 f5 23.Bh5 Rh7 24.g3 Rg7 25.Ng2 Ng8 26.Rfb1 b6 27.Rf1 Nf6 28.Bf3 Kb8 29.Kh1 Rh8 30.Bh5 Ba4 31.Ne1 Qc8 32.Rb1 Ne4 33.Rf3 Rhg8 34.Rb2 Qd8 35.Kg2 Qh4 36.Re3 Nxg3 0-1
Click here to see full analysis of this game.