WWCC08: Kosteniuk 1.5 – Hou 0.5

Today’s game was a shocker. At first, with Hou Yifan having equalized easily out of the opening with Black, it looked like a draw was the most likely result. However, in such a short match, there’s hardly any time to catch one’s breath, so she pressed on in hopes of leveling the score. Alas, it only got her into trouble, and Kosteniuk, after 36.c4 and the exchange of queens which followed, appeared to be heading to a sure win. Such was not to be the case either. Clearly, Alexandra misplayed something. But just as clearly, Hou’s defense in the ensuing Rook and Pawn endgame is to be applauded.

Just look at that final position! Three pawns up yet no win in sight.

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