Annotated Games

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Annotated by:IGM Zhao GuoRong
Translated by:Felix Tan

Last update: December 26, 2002

Yu Kuen (Hong Kong) (win) Mai Thanh Minh (Vietnam)

This is one of the brilliant games from the 7th World Xiangqi Championships. Playing Red is Chiu Yu Kuen, the top player of Hong Kong. With his prowess in mid-game, Chiu has won many local and international tournaments. His opponent is the veteran Vietnamese master Mai Thanh Minh. The Vietnam team with Mai's presence has ever put a tremendous pressure on the China players in international championships.

1. C2=5 H8+7 2. H2+3 R9=8
3. R1=2 H2+3 4. P7+1 P7+1
5. R2+6 C8=9 6. R2=3 C9-1

Both sides sail on charted waters, arriving at the typical Chariot Exchange Declined variation in the Screen Horse defence.

7. H8+7 A4+5 8. H7+6 ....
Red opted for the safer course to bring out his left Horse. This line of play gives Red a relatively easier control of the battle development.

8. бн. C9=7 9. R3=4 R8+5
A popular continuation, hitting at once at Red's Horse outpost. Both sides will then fight for domination of the riverbank. Other options here are R8+8 and E3+5.

10. C8+2 E3+5 11. C5=6 P3+1
12. P3+1 R8-1
Correct. R8=7 would cost Black a piece after E7+5 R7+1, C8-1.

13. P7+1 E5+3 14. C8=7 H3+4
15. R4+2 ....
Black's H3+4 is a vigorous move to contest the control of the riverbank, employing the tactic of sacrifice and recapture. Red's R4+2 is a new variation appeared in the past two years. The older continuation is normally C6+3 P7+1, C6+3 C7=4, C7=3 R8=7, E7+5 C4+2, Red has slight edge.

15. .... C2-1 16. C6+3 C2=6
17. C6=2 H7+8
Two alternatives for Black are:

(a) ... R1=4, H6+4 H7+8, P3+1 H8+7, E7+5 Red dictating the battle.

(b) ... P7+1, C2+1 R1=4, H6+7 P7+1, H3-1 Red has material advantage, but his pieces are not well deployed, Black can put up a fight.

18. P3+1 H8-7 19. P3+1 C7+2
20. H3+4 R1=4 21. H6+5 H7+5
22. H4+5 E3-5 23. R9=8 R4+6
The situation is now calmer after a series of exchange, but Red 's arms combination is slightly better than Black.

24. E7+5 R4=5 25. H5+7 A5-4
26. R8+6 C7-1 27. H7-6 R5-2
28. R8=6 C7-1 29. A6+5 C+=6
30. H6+8 P9+1 31. R6=4 C6=9
Cool-headed move. If A4+5, Red wins a Cannon handsomely with R4+1 A5+6 then H8+6.

32. R4+2 R5-1 33. H8-6 C7+3
34. H6+4 C9=7 35. C7=2 A4+5
36. C2+2 R5+3 37. C2+3 R5=7
As in the diagram, Black's Chariot move to threaten checkmate backfired! The correct reply is C-=6, then H4+2 R5=7, H2+3 C7+5, E5-3 R7=6, the position is about equal.

38. R4=5 K5=4 39. E3+1 R7=1
40. R5-1 R1+3 41. E5-7 R1=3
42. A5-6 R3=4 43. K5+1 R4-6
44. H4+2 (Red win)

A ruin position, and Black resigned.


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