Chess: Xie Jun retains her world title

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The Independent Culture
XIE JUN, 23, has retained her Women's World Championship title by the crushing margin of 8 1/2 -2 1/2 against Nana Joseliani.

The final game was typical of the match, with Xie Jun's imaginative play frustrating White's positional ambitions. This game also demonstrated the advantage of slow manoeuvring: it gives your opponent the chance to make mistakes.

White's first error was 14. dxc6. This capture may be justified by one of three factors: pressure against d6; a quick b5 to gain control of d5; or playing c5 when it cannot be met by d5. None of these applied, but White made it worse with 21. Na5?] Qd7 22. c5 when 21. b5 would have been consistent. White's whole play was based on 23. g3 driving the knight back. After 23 . . . Ng6, White can fight for the initiative with 24. exd5 cxd5 25. c6. Xie Jun's reply, however, refuted the whole strategy. After 23 . . . fxe4] 24. gxf4 exf4 25. Bd4 Ne5 leaves Black with wonderful compensation for the piece. Joseliani's 24. fxe4 d4 25. gxf4 must have been played in the expectation of 25 . . . dxc3 26. f5 which is not bad for White. Instead 26 . . . exf4]] was an inspired way to gain advantage. 27. Ne2 would be met by 27 . . . d3, while 27. Na4 Ne5 leaves Black with a dominating position for her piece. As the game went, White won a pawn, but Black's K-side rumbled on until nothing could stop it.

----------------------------------------------------------------- White: Joseliani Black: Xie Jun ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 d4 Nf6 20 Bf2 f5 2 c4 g6 21 Na5 Qd7 3 Nc3 Bg7 22 c5 d5 4 e4 d6 23 g3 fxe4 5 Nf3 0-0 24 fxe4 d4 6 Be2 e5 25 gxf4 exf4 7 Be3 c6 26 Nxc6 dxc3 8 d5 Ng4 27 Qxd7 Bxd7 9 Bg5 f6 28 Ne7+ Kh7 10 Bh4 h5 29 Rac1 g4 11 Nd2 Na6 30 Red1 Be6 12 a3 Nh6 31 Nd5 Ng5 13 f3 Nf7 32 Nxc3 h4 14 dxc6 bxc6 33 Rd3 g3 15 b4 Nc7 34 Be1 Be5 16 Nb3 Ne6 35 Bd2 Nh3+ 17 0-0 Nf4 36 Kg2 Rad8 18 Re1 Be6 37 Nd5 Bg4 19 Bf1 g5 White resigns -----------------------------------------------------------------

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