A big upset in round one of the Women’s World Championship in Sochi. Canadian Yuan Yuanling, rated some 200 points lower than her rival, won a tough game that saw the advantage slip back and forth in a complex and difficult middlegame.
The Ukrainian grandmaster has strong pressure against Yuan’s Kingside, but has found it difficult to break the Canadian’s tough defence. Black’s last move (32…Rg4) was a mistake , giving Yuan an opportunity to get a clear advantage with 33.Nxf5+! After 33…PxN 34.Qxf5 Rxg5! (nothing better) 35.QxR+ Kf8! 36.Rh3! RxR 37.PxR White has both a material and positional advantage.
33.Bd2?! Qd8 34.b3 Qh4 35.a4?!
Now Black misses the chance to get a clearly better game with 35…Bc5!! (threatening …Rxg3 and mate on h1) After the forced 36.Kf1 Nd4! and White must give up the exchange in order to avoid getting mated.