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Yifan defeats Koneru in Game 7, needs a draw to retain the World Champion title

The 7th game of the Women’s World Chess Championship Match opened with another Ruy Lopez as Hou Yifan led white pieces. Instead of the earlier played Open variation, Humpy Koneru wanted to set the Zaitsev defence, but she started with Qd7 and Re8 before moving Bb7, to avoid the possible three-fold repetition as recommended in the book by GM Leif Johannessen.

Yifan chose a modest but tricky plan with a3 and d5, however black was able to equalise in the opening. In the following maneuvering stage, Koneru made a careless move after which white seized a pawn.

Yifan maintained control and soon earned another pawn. The technical phase of converting the advantage lasted until the 97th move, but white’s victory was never in question.

Hou Yifan now leads 5:2 and needs only one draw from the remaining three games. Koneru needs to pull a miracle to equalise and take the match into tie-break.

The next game takes place Thursday 24th November at 15:00 local time. Follow the action live with computer analysis.

Koneru - Yifan

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