Home Chess FIDE Ladies’s World Championship Match Begins With Combating Draw In Shanghai

FIDE Ladies’s World Championship Match Begins With Combating Draw In Shanghai

FIDE Ladies’s World Championship Match Begins With Combating Draw In Shanghai


Ladies’s World Champion Ju Wenjun needed to struggle arduous to carry a attract sport one of many 2023 FIDE Ladies’s World Championship Match after challenger GM Lei Tingjie opened with an aggressive pawn sacrifice in her first-ever match on the very highest stage. 

Recreation two, when Ju could have the white items, begins on Thursday, July 6, at 3:00 a.m. ET / 09:00 CEST. 

watch the 2023 FIDE Ladies’s World Chess Championship

Earlier than attending to sport one of many 2023 Ladies’s World Championship Match, let’s check out how the gamers acquired there.

Ju has the historic edge, however this can be a rivalry that is too near name

The Street To The 2023 Ladies’s World Championship: Ju Wenjun

Ju turned the seventeenth ladies’s world chess champion in 2018 when, on the age of 27, she defeated her compatriot GM Tan Zhongyi 5.5-4.5 in a 10-game match. That match went the total distance, however Ju’s path to turning into the sixth world champion from China was clean, as she by no means trailed.

What got here subsequent was heroic. Simply six months later, Ju managed to reflect the feat of GM Xie Jun in 2000 by defending her title in a 64-player knockout. Ju got here from behind within the last to defeat GM Kateryna Lagno 5:3 and retain her title. It was an unimaginable yr for Ju, who additionally gained particular person and crew gold with China on the 2018 World Chess Olympiad.

Ju Wenjun
Ju has been the world champion for 5 years. Photograph: Stev Bonhage, FIDE.

Ju turned a three-time world champion in 2020, when she defeated GM Aleksandra Goryachkina in a topsy-turvy 12-game match, the place Ju led twice and Goryachkina as soon as, earlier than the Chinese language grandmaster finally prevailed 2.5-1.5 in tiebreaks. Ju has remained the world champion ever since and is seeking to prolong her five-year reign. She commented on the opening press convention:

“I really feel very excited and I’ve ardour for the subsequent three weeks. Additionally, it’s been a very long time for the reason that final ladies’s world championship match, and I feel will probably be a really thrilling event.”    

The Street To The 2023 Ladies’s World Championship: Lei Tingjie

Lei is six years Ju’s junior, and her latest rise has been meteoric. She certified for the Ladies’s Candidates, the gateway to a match, by profitable the 2021 FIDE Grand Swiss with a surprising unbeaten 9/11, ending 1.5 factors away from her nearest rivals.

Lei Tingjie
Lei stated that as challenger she thinks she has larger motivation. Photograph: Stev Bonhage/FIDE.

Then she went via the Candidates matches like a steamroller, not dropping a sport as she beat GMs Mariya Muzychuk and her sister Anna Muzychuk. She did lose the primary sport of the ultimate, to Tan, however then she stormed again to win three video games and cruise into her first world championship match. “I’m the challenger, so I do not really feel any stress!” Lei stated within the opening press convention, including of her friendship with Ju:

“Now we have an excellent relationship off the board, however chess is a sport, so for sport it’s fairly essential, as a result of the winner is just one individual. I’m right here and I’m able to struggle, so after the match I feel we might be additionally good pals!” 

The 2023 Ladies’s World Championship Format

As in 2020, the Ladies’s World Championship is a 12-game match break up between two cities, on this case Ju’s residence metropolis of Shanghai for the primary six video games, earlier than the motion strikes to Lei’s residence metropolis of Chongqing for the rest of the match.

The time management is the FIDE normal 90 minutes for 40 strikes, adopted by half-hour to the top of the sport, with a 30-second increment from transfer one—curiously a really completely different time management from the very lengthy one employed for the general world championship title. 

Picture: FIDE.

The primary participant to succeed in 6.5 factors wins, and will get €300,000 (about $325,000) to the loser’s €200,000, whereas if the match goes to tiebreaks the prize fund is break up €275,000/225,000. The tiebreaks consist of 4 25+10 speedy video games, adopted, if wanted, by as much as two pairs of 5+3 blitz video games after which single 3+2 blitz video games till a winner is determined.  

Pre-Match Construct-Up, Controversy

A ladies’s world championship between two Chinese language gamers, happening in China at an inconvenient time, as an example, for U.S. chess followers, is a doubtlessly arduous promote, and there was some controversy within the run-up to the match. GM Maurice Ashley identified that the prize fund is one quarter of the prize fund for the final world chess championship match we witnessed.

Many famous that ladies are additionally in a position to compete for the general world championship—GM Judit Polgar did simply that when she performed within the eight-player 2005 FIDE World Chess Championship—although different sports activities have moved in direction of equal prize cash.

Girl looking into playing hall
Can the match encourage younger ladies in China to pursue chess desires? Photograph: David Llada/FIDE.

Arguably essentially the most dismissive tackle the match, nevertheless, got here from what ought to have been the least possible supply—the CEO of FIDE, GM Emil Sutovsky, who posted a ballot on his personal Twitter. It was all in regards to the 4th choice he highlighted, which was broadly criticized. 

The official web site for the occasion did lastly seem, weeks after it might have been helpful for promotion, however regardless of being usually well-designed, it managed to strike a improper observe once more by stressing the looks of the gamers fairly than their chess.  

Picture: FIDE.

Fortunately many of the pre-match build-up might be forgotten, nevertheless, because the chess motion begins. The gamers are teammates and pals, however not, it is already clear, on the chessboard.

Recreation 1: Lei Tingjie ½-½ Ju Wenjun 

Lei dealt with the stress of her first world championship match admirably. Photograph: Stev Bonhage/FIDE.

Lei had the white items for her first world championship sport and sprung a small shock by enjoying 1.e4 and the Ruy Lopez, inviting Ju to play her trusty Berlin Protection.

Had been we in for a boring draw? Under no circumstances! It turned out Lei had come to the board ready to play a pawn sacrifice that had allowed Dutch GM and opening knowledgeable Jorden van Foreest to crush GM Alireza Firouzja a yr in the past in Croatia. Ju initially reacted slowly, although her first new transfer of the sport, 15…d5, appeared a good strive, and there was no instant kill.

In truth, at first it appeared that when Ju gave again a pawn to swap off queens the hazard had gone, however not for lengthy, as Lei threatened to suffocate the black items with a kingside pawn storm. Ju reacted aggressively with 28…f5!?

It was a transfer that would have been punished by the instant 29.Bb4, threatening the defender of the black bishop, however in the long run issues labored out for Ju. After making the time management with little time to spare she managed to steer the sport in direction of a protected attract a rook endgame.

GM Rafael Leitao has annotated the sport under.

If the remaining video games are as tense, we’re in for an ideal match. Photograph: Stev Bonhage/FIDE.

Meaning Ju has the slight benefit of now having the white items for extra of the remaining video games, however with 11 video games forward, it is too early to speak in regards to the gamers’ possibilities.

Fed Identify Rtg 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 Rating
Ju Wenjun 2564 ½

Lei Tingjie 2554 ½


The 2023 FIDE Ladies’s World Championship (FWWC) is a very powerful ladies’s over-the-board occasion of the yr. The defending ladies’s world champion GM Ju Wenjun faces the challenger GM Lei Tingjie to see who might be topped world champion. The championship begins on July 5 and boasts a €500,000 prize fund.

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