Home Chess Ju’s Sicilian Offers Her Edge Earlier than Final 3 World Championship Video games

Ju’s Sicilian Offers Her Edge Earlier than Final 3 World Championship Video games

Ju’s Sicilian Offers Her Edge Earlier than Final 3 World Championship Video games


Ladies’s World Champion Ju Wenjun performed the Sicilian Protection for the primary time within the 2023 FIDE Ladies’s World Championship and went on to make a cushty draw with the black items, regardless of GM Lei Tingjie enjoying on till transfer 59. 

The rating is 4.5-4.5, with Ju now having the benefit of enjoying White in two of the remaining three video games, together with in recreation 10, which begins on Wednesday, July 19, at 3:00 a.m. ET / 09:00 CEST. 

   Methods to watch the 2023 FIDE Ladies’s World Chess Championship

The gamers had a relaxation day to get better from Ju leveling the scores by profitable recreation eight, with Lei saying she appreciated having the ability to take “a protracted relaxation.” She added: “As we speak was only a model new recreation, and I simply tried my greatest to concentrate on enjoying chess.”

Recreation 9: Lei Tingjie ½-½ Ju Wenjun

If Ju has struggled to outprepare Lei, she’s not less than managed to make herself a shifting goal. Photograph: Stev Bonhage/FIDE.

For a fifth recreation in a row, Lei opened 1.e4, whereas for a 3rd recreation in a row, Ju got here up with a brand new first transfer, this time the Sicilian Protection with 1…c5.

That was a transfer many have been anticipating after Ju fell behind within the match, however maybe a shock now that she’d leveled the scores.

It appears all however inconceivable to shock Lei on this match, nevertheless, and, in a line of the 4 Knights that had introduced GM Ray Robson victory with the white items over GMs Wang Hao and Boris Gelfand on the best way to profitable the current Prague Masters, Lei made the primary new transfer. 10.a3 was identified by a Tremendous-GM who had a day earlier complained a few lack of protection of the match.

Positive sufficient, Ju sank right into a 17-minute suppose earlier than arising with what turned out to be a powerful selection, 10…Rc8! It had the advantage of being an attention-grabbing possibility that did no hurt to Black’s place, whereas additionally not being one of many laptop’s high options.

That meant it was Lei’s flip to begin considering for herself, as she did for the following quarter-hour, earlier than 11.c4 allowed Ju to play the trendy 11…Ne3! 

The purpose of the transfer is that though the e3-knight will be taken, because it was with 12.Bxe3, Black in return captures the white knight on e4 with 12…Bxe4.

The important thing query was whether or not White can be in time to generate threats towards Black’s cramped place earlier than Ju might free herself, and that query was finally answered within the detrimental when Ju made a transfer GM Ben Finegold has warned us by no means to play, 16…f6! 

The purpose is that even when it appears justified, the transfer can fatally weaken your personal king, however on this case there was no refutation in sight. As an alternative, the e5-pawn, a thorn in Black’s aspect, was about to vanish from the board, a technique or one other. 

Lei stays an intense presence. Photograph: Stev Bonhage/FIDE.

An early day seemed like a chance, however each Chinese language stars have proven unbelievable preventing spirit within the match, and recreation 9 was no exception. The quiet place nonetheless contained venom, as we noticed after Lei’s 21.Rb1.

The simple 21…Bf6 is completely enough for Black, however there have been different choices within the air. Polgar famous 21…Rc6? was an apparent transfer, and it will be a powerful one if not for a surprising queen sacrifice that she rapidly noticed!

That chance, and the truth that there was nothing higher, justified White’s twenty first transfer, however Ju was not solely cautious to keep away from that, however she unleashed one other tactical trick within the place with 21…Be5!

The purpose was 22.Qxe5 Rf5! and Black wins the bishop on c5 in addition to placing heavy stress on the c4-pawn. The truth that Lei spent a few minutes earlier than capturing the bishop on e5, completely an solely transfer to not lose, prompt to Polgar that the challenger had ignored the concept solely: 

“I believe Lei merely blundered this—she’s in a shock! She, who’s tactical, who’s so good, how might she blunder that?”

As blunders go, nevertheless, this one spoiled nothing, and Lei quickly had her mojo again as she sacrificed a pawn in trade for heavy stress on Black’s clumped items. 

The place after 29…Kh8.

There was no method for both aspect to make progress.

When Ju lastly gave again the pawn to free her items we received an endgame the place White had a nominal benefit, however solely a critical blunder by Black might have misplaced the sport. Ju commented: “I used to be not that frightened about my place, as a result of I assumed, okay, there should not many items left and it needs to be wonderful for Black”.

The world champion was precision personified, as the sport lastly resulted in a 59-move draw. 

 GM Rafael Leitao has annotated the sport under.

That left the scores tied at 4.5-4.5, with simply three classical video games left to go earlier than a possible playoff. 

Fed Identify Rtg 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 Rating
Ju Wenjun 2564 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½

Lei Tingjie 2554 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½


Ju has each the benefit of two Whites within the remaining video games, and all of the expertise of being on this place earlier than, however Lei retained her optimistic outlook.

She commented about her first expertise of a protracted match:

“We already performed, what number of rounds, 9? We nonetheless have three left, so for me I believe this match is attention-grabbing. I believe it is going to be attention-grabbing for the following three video games.”

“Might you reside in attention-grabbing occasions!” is usually claimed to be a Chinese language curse. Photograph: Stev Bonhage/FIDE.

Let’s hope that is an understatement, with the motion resuming on Wednesday, when Ju may have the white items. 

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

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