In the third game of the match for the World Championship rested participants entered into an intense and sharp struggle. Humpy Koneru who played with white pieces, went out of the opening with the slight advantage. The Chinese, though, was precise in her queenside and center activity that opened a path for a win for her.
“I took my time to think about taking the pawn on a2”, – said Hou Yifan after the game, – “My king could get in trouble, but I decided to go for this principal continuation”.
“I had a good position, but I was making not good moves”, – commented Koneru on her play in the middle game.
The World champion did not let her opponent off the hook, her only mistake happened on the 25th move when Black could finish it off immediately with a tricky move 25…Rd8! and if 26.Bxf7+ (26.Rf2 Qb6 27.Qd2 Bxe4), simply 26…Kg7, and the threats of Black meet no real reply.
Instead, Hou Yifan attacked the rook 25. … Kg7 26.Rf2 Qb6 27.Qd2 Rd8. This position, however, remained in a big favor of Black. But the further mistakes from the side of Koneru made the game finish very soon. After the game Hou Yifan confessed that she did not see 25. …Rd8 during the game.
After three games, Hou Yifan is leading 2-1 and in the 4th game on the 18th of November she will play with white.
The official tournament web page: http://www.wwcc2011tirana.com/
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“Photo by Anastasiya Karlovich and Anna Burtasova with kind permission of FIDE”
Anastasiya Karlovich, FIDE Press officer