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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Khanty Mansiysk Women's World Chess Championship 2012 Final Game 3: Anna Ushenina Beats Antoaneta Stefanova, Takes Lead

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Anna Ushenina of Ukraine has taken the lead in the final of the Women's World Chess Championship 2012 being played in Khanty Mansiysk. In the third game, she beat Antoaneta Stefanova's not-oft used Slav Defense. The Bulgarian went for the Chebanenko Variation (with 4…a6; also called the Chameleon Variation sometimes) which Stefanova has not played for a long time. 

Nevertheless, Ushenina was not caught by surprise. White played very well and got a small advantage. In an attempt to activate her pieces, Black carried out a pawn break in the center, which turned out very risky. White replied with an interesting tactical operation, trading two minor pieces for a rook and two pawns. Formally the material was still equal, however, White got a clear advantage: Black’s pieces were badly coordinated, and her king became weak.
Soon White advanced the passed pawn, and her position became overwhelming. 

Stefanova got into time trouble and was unable to defend perfectly. Instead of seeking the vital counterplay on the kingside, she decided to play passively, which turned out to be a decisive mistake. Ushenina converted her advantage flawlessly, not giving her opponent any hope. Black resigned on the 37th move.

By winning this game Anna Ushenina took the match lead – 2-1. The fourth game (and the last one with a classical time control) is scheduled on Friday, November 30th. Antoaneta Stefanova plays White and needs a win to stay in the match. You can replay the game with Chess King - your super-strong chess tutor!

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