ABC Studios in New York City, IM Irina Krush took on GM Zhu Chen for
the Accoona's World Championship. It was a two game rapid match. Irina won
the right to play Chen by defeating Skripchenko in an exciting match back
in September of 2004. This mini 2-game match would also have an exciting
Game one had Chen opening with 1.d4, the game went into the
Classical Queens Gambit. I hope these ladies saw Garry Kasparov latest
video on this opening. The game was a battle of the strongest outpost. By
move 26 both players had strong knight outposts. Chen had a knight on d6
anchored by pawn on e5. Krush had knight on d5 anchored by a pawn on e6.
Knights are best placed in the center of the board, that's where they
control the most squares. They are especially effective if they are
anchored by a pawn and can't be driven away by an opponent's pawn. Chen's
knight was deep inside Krush's territory. There is an old saying in chess,
that a knight on the 6th is like a nail in the knee. Krush was forced to
remove this knight by playing move 26.. Bxd6. However this gave the
bishop pair to Chen and a dangerous central passer on e6. Heavy pieces
were soon exchanged. The game went into a two bishops vs. bishop and
knight endgame. By move 31 Chen had the advantage going into this endgame.
She had superior king position, a dangerous d6 passer, and the bishop
pair. However Irina defended well, her defensive task was made easier when
Chen decided to give up the bishop pair, by playing move 33 Be4+. The
quick thinking Krush transformed the game into a drawish bishop of
opposite color endgame with 33.. Nxe4. The game was finally drawn on
Game two had Irina Krush opening with 1.d4, the game went into
the classical Nimzo-Indian defense. Irina was going out for blood and
jabbed her bayonet at Chen with 11. g4 and 12. g5. These moves displaced
Chen's knight, but instead of going to the rim of the board with 12. Nh5,
Chen wisely retreated the knight to a centralized d7 square. By move 15
both king positions were settled. Fearing Krush's aggressive pawn storm on
the kingside, Chen would castle queenside. Playing
aggressively on both sides of the board, Irina would leave her
king in the center. It is always dangerous not to castle, this decision
would seal Irina's fate. Irina grabbed space on both sides of the board,
meanwhile Chen was coiled on her first three ranks. Krush forced open the
h-file with 20 g6. Chen grabbed control of the this file with 22..Rh8.
Krush also created the half open b-file with 23 b5. Krush transferred her
knights, who were defending her king position, over to the queenside side
for an all out attack. This strategy backfired, the knights were
exchanged, but no serious damage occurred to Chen's king position. Both
players were in a mad time scramble. Chen then went on the attack by
creating a queen-rook battery on the h-file with move 30..Qh2. Chen's
pieces were coordinated for an aggressive assault on Krush's king.
Unfortunately Krush's heavy pieces were all on the back rank. Chen
delivered the final blow when she centralized her knight with move 26..
Ne4. This move had multiple deadly purposes, namely a mating threat on
f2, a deadly fork on c3, and a discovered attack on the queen.
Krush had no choice but to resign on move 37. Chen took the match and the
championship with a 1.5-.5 score.