Chinese Perfection

The fourth round of Tata Steel was extremely interesting. Fabiano Caruana came very close to increasing his lead even further but slipped in the rook endgame and only drew to Anish Giri.
Somewhat surprising, but fully deserved the pack of followers was joined by the former women world champion Hou Yifan. She played a true masterpiece:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "Tata Steel Chess - Masters"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.01.19"]
[Round "4.4"]
[White "Hou, Yifan"]
[Black "Navara, David"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2673"]
[BlackElo "2730"]
[Annotator "Bojkov, Dejan"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:54:33"]
[BlackClock "0:38:20"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 {The Advanced line of the Caro Kann was considered
inferior for White up to the 1990-ies. Nowadays it is the main choice of the
top players.} Bf5 {It is all about this bishop- is it better placed outside
the pawn chain or not?} 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Nd7 6. O-O Bg6 7. Nbd2 Nh6 8. Nb3 Nf5
9. Bd2 {Diagram [#]} ({Navara had also faced} 9. a4 a6 10. a5 c5 11. dxc5 Bxc5
12. Nxc5 Nxc5 13. c3 {Grischuk,A (2774)-Navara,D (2734) Berlin 2015}) 9... Be7
10. g4 Nh4 {A small surprise. Previously, the Czech GM had only tested} (10...
Nh6 {for example} 11. Ne1 O-O 12. Ng2 c5 {as in Motylev,A (2649)-Navara,D
(2734) Berlin 2015}) 11. Nxh4 Bxh4 12. f4 {This is what the Advanced line is
all about. White has strong center and likes to attack on the kingside. The
black bishop(s) helps her providing some extra tempos.} f5 13. c4 {An
interesting move that Hou had prepared before, but checked only briefly as
"David plays many openings".} (13. exf6 {is more common. Caruana had played it
in 2011.}) ({And} 13. Bd3 {has been seen as well.}) 13... a5 $146 {[%cal Ga5a4]
Diagram [#] A sharp novelty in comparison to} (13... Be7 14. cxd5 cxd5 15. Rc1
O-O {Mortensen,E (2450)-Rasmussen,K (2466) Denmark 2008}) 14. a4 {Hou fixes
the pawn on a5. To more tactical play will lead:} (14. cxd5 cxd5 15. Bb5 {
When White considered} Be7 ({While Navara intended to go for} 15... O-O 16.
Bxa5 Rxa5 17. Nxa5 Nxe5 {with huge complications.}) 16. a4 O-O 17. g5 {with
some advantage for White after} h6 (17... Nb8 18. Rc1) 18. h4) 14... O-O ({
Black could have transposed to the line from above with} 14... Be7 15. cxd5
cxd5 ({Weaker is} 15... exd5 16. Qc2 O-O 17. Bd3 {when the f5 square will be
cracked.}) 16. Bb5 {and this was probably the lesser evil for Black.}) 15. g5 {
[%csl Yh4][%cal Ga1c1,Gc1c3,Gc3h3,Gh3h4] Diagram [#] With the idea
Ra1-c1-c3-h3 to trap the bishop (Hou).} h6 ({In case of} 15... dxc4 16. Bxc4
Re8 {White planned} 17. Rc1 ({Although} 17. Qf3 {with the idea} Nb6 18. Be2 h6
19. gxh6 gxh6 20. Bxa5 {is equally good.}) 17... h6 18. gxh6 gxh6 {with
advantage for White.}) 16. gxh6 gxh6 17. Kh1 {White's position is extremely
promising. Navra had to open the kingside in order to save the bishop and this
only strengthened Hou's attack.} Kh7 18. cxd5 {Before White starts the attack
she saveguards her center.} ({The computer suggests the direct approach} 18. c5
b6 19. Rg1 $1 {[%csl Yg6,Yh7][%cal Ge2h5] Diagram [#] with the tactical point}
bxc5 20. Bh5 Rg8 21. Bxg6+ Rxg6 22. Qh5 Nf8 23. Nxc5 {and White is in total
command.}) 18... cxd5 19. Rc1 b6 {This weakens the c6 square but takes away
the c5 one from the white knight.} ({If Navara had foreseen what is coming
next, he would have chosen} 19... Rg8 20. Rc3 Be8 {in order to build some
kingside barricades although it is questionable if his position is bulletproof
enough.}) 20. Rc6 {[%csl Ye6][%cal Gc6e6] Diagram [#]} Rc8 {This was Black's
idea as} (20... Bf7 21. Qc2 (21. Bb5 $5 {with the idea} Rc8 $2 22. Rd6 {
also looks nice for White.}) 21... Rc8 22. Rc1 {is awful from positional point
of view.}) 21. Rxe6 $3 {How is not afraid to sacrifice the rook! Black would
be happy after both} (21. Rxc8 Qxc8) ({And} 21. Qc2 Nb8 (21... Rxc6 22. Qxc6
Nb8)) 21... Bf7 22. Rd6 Be7 23. Bd3 {[%csl Yf5,Rh7][%cal Gd3f5] Diagram [#] So
far all moves are forced. White had also considered:} (23. Nxa5 bxa5 24. Bxa5
Qxa5 25. Rxd7 {but abandoned this line for} Rc7) 23... Bxd6 24. Bxf5+ Kh8 25.
Qg4 $1 {Diagram [#] Super-precision. If} (25. exd6 {then} Rg8 {will
significantly slow White's attack.}) 25... Rc7 ({In the other principled line}
25... Rg8 26. Qh3 Bf8 27. Bxd7 {Hou charmingly admitted that she missed} Bg6 {
Still, her position is so strong that her advantage is indisputable after} 28.
Bf5 Rc6 29. Bxg6 Rcxg6 30. f5 Qc8 31. Be3 {(Hou) is also good for big advantage
} (31. Bf4 {followed by Nb3-d2 and e5-e6 will soon win for White.}) 31... Qc2
32. Nd2) 26. Qh3 $1 {[%csl Yh6,Rh8][%cal Yh6h5] Diagram [#] Insted of taking
the bishop with a tempo this! Another cool move that weakens the black king
further.} (26. exd6 Rb7 27. Qh3 {would actually transpose.}) 26... h5 27. exd6
Ra7 28. Be6 $1 {[%cal Gf4f5,Yd2f4,Yf4e5,Yf4g5,Yg5h6] Diagram [#] With the idea
f4-f5 in order to insert the dark-squared bishop in the attack.} ({Not} 28.
Bxd7 Qxd7 29. f5 {with the idea Bd2-f4-e5+ and mating attack due to the strong
resource} Bg6 $1 {(Hou) when tables will be turned in Black's favour.}) (28.
Nc1 Nf6 29. Nd3 Qxd6 30. Ne5) 28... Nf6 {A bit more stubborn was} (28... Qe8 {
Although after} 29. Re1 Nf6 30. d7 $1 Qe7 31. Bf5 Qd6 32. Nc1 {White is
winning since} Nxd7 {leads to mate after} 33. Re6 $1 {Diagram [#]} Bxe6 34.
Qxh5+ Kg7 35. Qg6+ Kh8 36. Qh7#) ({A cute mate will happen after} 28... Bxe6
29. Qxh5+ Kg7 30. Rg1+ Kf6 31. Qg6#) 29. f5 Qxd6 30. Bf4 Qd8 31. Be5 {Black is
completely paralized and the rest is curtains.} Bg8 (31... Kh7 32. Rg1) 32.
Qxh5+ Rh7 33. Qg5 Qe7 34. Nc1 $1 {[%csl Re7,Rf8,Rh8][%cal Gc1d3,Gd3f4,Gf4g6]
Diagram [#] The last piece joins the action.} Qg7 35. Qxg7+ Rxg7 36. Nd3 Rg4
37. Nf4 {[%csl Rg4][%cal Gf4g6,Gh2h3] Diagram [#] As a desert- a rook trap.}
Kh7 38. h3 Rg3 39. Ng6 Rxh3+ 40. Kg2 {A model game by Hou!} 1-0


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