I watch live on ICC the 2nd game of the live WCC Final between Kosteniuk and Hou Yifan. After losing with white piece yesterday, Hou Yifan is in pressure to equal the score or at least get a draw to boost her confidence in the remaining 2 game .
GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (2510) – WGM Hou Yifan (2557)
WCC Final, Game 2, 15.09.2008
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.Ngf3 cxd4 5.exd5 Qxd5 Black plan to exchange his c- and d-pawns for White's d- and e-pawns, leaving Black with an extra centre pawn. Black will get a slight structural advantage, but White gains tempo by harassing Black's queen.6.Bc4 Qd6 7.Qe2 Nf6 8.Nb3 Nc6 9.Bg5 Qb4+ 10.Bd2 Qb6 11.0–0–0 Bd7 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bh4 Bc5 Fritz opening book end here.
14.Kb1 0–0–0 15.Bg3 Nh5 16.Be5 f6 17.Nxc5 Qxc5 18.Bxd4 Nxd4 19.Rxd4 e5 20.Rd5 Qc7 21.g3 g5 22.Rhd1 Ng7 23.Nd2 so far so equal. Nothing special yet. 23...Bc6 24.Rd3 Rxd3 25.Bxd3 f5 Black choose to force the matter. White is willing wait and provoke black to push his pawns and attack it later 26.f3 Re8 27.Re1 h5?! 27...Kb8 guarding the a7 pawn and then only ...h5 is probably better 28.Qe3
28...g4 Yifan offer to sac his a7 pawn for the initiative 29.fxg4 e4 30.Be2 hxg4 31.Qxa7 b6 32.Qa3 Rd8 33.Qb4 Ne6 34.Nc4 b5 35.Ne3 Nd4 36.c4 Qd6 37.Qxd6 Rxd6 38.cxb5 Nxe2 39.bxc6 this move is still winning but Kosteniuk missed the stronger in between move 39.Nxf5! Rd2 then 40.bxc6 39...Nd4 40.Rf1 Kc7 41.Nxf5 Nxf5 42.Rxf5 Kxc6 43.Re5 Rd4 44.Kc1 Kd6 45.Re8 Kd7 46.Rf8 Ke6 47.Rf4 Ke5 48.Rxg4 ? Perhaps this is the last and crucial mistake by Kosteniuk. The g4 is not that important right now, she should put her rook and king on more active square to stop black only hope - the passed pawn on e file.
48...Rd8 49.Rg5+ Kf6 50.Rc5 e3 51.Rc2 Kf5 52.a4 Ke4 53.Rc4+ Kd3 54.Rc3+ Ke4 55.Rc4+ Kd3 56.Rc3+ Ke4 57.Rc4+ Kd3 1/2-1/2 A luck escape for Hou Yifan !
photo from kosteniuk.com