Chess: Somehow doing the right things wrong

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The Independent Culture
POOR Nana Joseliani. The Georgian challenger for the women's world title, must be wondering what is wrong with the white pieces. She does all the right things against Xie Jun's King's Indian Defence, but her positions keep falling apart. Playing Black, she won the sixth game of the match to make a small revival, but then lost again with White and is now 51 2 -11 2 behind with the champion needing only 21 2 points from the remaining nine games to retain her title.

The latest game was typical of what has been happening. With 8. d5 blocking the centre and 17 . . . f4 completing the process of cutting the board in two, the game becomes a race between Black's K- side advance and White's attack on the opposite wing. Black's play always looks laborious in these positions, with each piece having to shift one square to make room for the next, but once Kh8, Rg8, Bf8 and g5 have been played, the further advance of the g-pawn is dangerous.

When White played 25. Nab6 and 26. Nxc8, she must have believed that with the black bishop exchanged, her K-side position after 28. h3 would be secure. If so, she had forgotten about the knight coming to g5. It all became clear after 32 . . . g2+ when 33. Kh2 Qg5 34. Be1 Qg3+] 35. Bxg3 fxg3 is mate. Black's 34 . . . Rc1] was a very effective finish, when 34 . . . Qh4 35. Rxg2 Qxh3+ 36. Rh2 would have been less clear.

It is always an advantage when your attack has the opponent's king at its sharp end.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Nana Joseliani Black: Xie Jun ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 d4 Nf6 22 Be1 h5 2 Nf3 g6 23 Ra1 Rb8 3 c4 Bg7 24 Na4 g4 4 Nc3 0-0 25 Nab6 g3 5 e4 d6 26 Nxc8 Rxc8 6 Be2 e5 27 Ba5 Qe7 7 0-0 Nc6 28 h3 Nh7 8 d5 Ne7 29 Qd3 Ng5 9 Nd2 a5 30 Rg1 Nh4 10 a3 Nd7 31 Nb6 Nxh3 11 Rb1 f5 32 gxh3 g2+ 12 b4 Kh8 33 Rxg2 Nxg2 13 f3 axb4 34 Rg1 Rc1 14 axb4 c6 35 Rxc1 Qh4 15 Kh1 Nf6 36 Bf1 Qxh3+ 16 Nb3 cxd5 37 Kg1 Ne1+ 17 cxd5 f4 38 Kf2 Qg3+ 18 Na5 g5 39 Ke2 Nxd3 19 Nc4 Ng6 40 Kxd3 Qxf3+ 20 b5 Rg8 41 Kc2 0-1 21 Bd2 Bf8 -----------------------------------------------------------------

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