Ju Wenjun triumphant at inaugural Norway Chess Women event

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
6/9/2024 – The inaugural edition of the Norway Chess Women tournament, an event featuring the same format and the same prizes as the open super-tournament, saw top seed Ju Wenjun grabbing outright victory after beating Lei Tingjie in their classical-chess confrontation. Anna Muzychuk, who beat Humpy Koneru in Armageddon, finished in sole second place. | Photo: Stev Bonhage / Norway Chess

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Same format, same prizes

Lei Tingjie obtained back-to-back classical wins in rounds 8 and 9 to enter the final round of the Norway Chess Women tournament with chances to claim overall victory. Moreover, her final-round opponent was sole leader Ju Wenjun, which meant a win in classical chess would grant her first place. However, Lei mishandled a symmetrical position and ended up losing the game, allowing world champion Ju to claim outright victory.

Ju took home around US$ 65,000, the same amount of money that Magnus Carlsen was awarded for winning the 12th edition of the Norway Chess super-tournament. The organizers’ decision to put forth such conditions is a first in elite chess events. The idea is to motivate women chess players to improve their level to gain the right to participate in tournaments with attractive prize funds.

Before Friday’s tenth round, Lei was tied for second place with Anna Muzychuk. Since Lei lost her classical encounter against Ju, a draw for Muzychuk against Humpy Koneru was enough to finish in sole second place. What is more, Muzychuk won the rapid decider against Humpy.

In the last confrontation to finish in the last round of the event, Pia Cramling managed to defeat R Vaishali in Armageddon after having played a 144-move classical game in which Cramling tried for long to convert a rook and bishop versus rook endgame. Vaishali led the standings in Stavanger from round 2 to round 6.

Final standings

Rk Name FED Rtg Pts
1 Ju Wenjun CHN 2559 19
2 Anna Muzychuk UKR 2505 16
3 Lei Tingjie CHN 2548 14.5
4 R Vaishali IND 2489 12.5
5 Humpy Koneru IND 2545 10
6 Pia Cramling SWE 2449 8

Anna Muzychuk

Anna Muzychuk finished in sole second place | Photo: Stev Bonhage

Vaishali Rameshbabu, Pia Cramling

Vaishali Rameshbabu and Pia Cramling | Photo: Stev Bonhage

Ju 1 - 0 Lei

Analysis by Klaus Besenthal

Lei Tingjie

Lei Tingjie | Photo: Stev Bonhage

All games - Classical

All games - Armageddon

Attacking with the Jobava London System

The Jobava London System is a minor form of the London System. White tries to play Lf4 quickly followed by Nc3.


Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.
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