The third day of the Women’s World Championship in Antakya, Turkey was devoted
to round one play offs. Germany’s number one female player, Elisabeth
Paehtz, won her first play off game and her winning move is today’s puzzle.
White to play. (see main illustration).

Black’s last move 23…Qe5-f4 was a blunder. How did Paehtz exploit it?

Marie Sebag of France is the highest-rated Western European in the last 32
after Pia Cramling was surprisingly eliminated by Betul Cemre Yildiz from
the host nation. The Berlin Defence to the Ruy Lopez works when Black keeps
the ‘e’ file closed, White bludgeons it open and in the final position is
doubling rooks against the knight on e7.

M Sebag – I Vasilevich

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0–0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+
Kxd8 9.Nc3 Be6 10.h3 h6 11.g4 Ne7 12.Nd4 Bd7 13.Ne4 Ng6 14.f4 h5 15.Ng5 Bc5
16.Be3 Ke8 17.Rae1 hxg4 18.e6 fxe6 19.Ndxe6 Bd6 20.Bc5 Bxc5+ 21.Nxc5+ Ne7
22.Re5 1–0

Answer to puzzle:

The game ended: 24.Rd7! Rf8(24…Rxd7 25.Qxe8 mate) 25.Rxb7 Rd226.Bd1 Rxf2
27.Bf3 Rxa2 28.Re7 Rc229.R1xe6 Rc1+ 30.Re1 Kh8 31.Qe8Kg8 32.Bd5+ 1–0