Norway Chess Women: Vaishali stuns Humpy, grabs the lead

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
5/29/2024 – R Vaishali became the sole leader at the inaugural edition of the Norway Chess Women tournament after beating Humpy Koneru in their round-2 classical confrontation. Top seeds Ju Wenjun and Lei Tingjie stand in shared second place after defeating Anna Muzychuk and Pia Cramling, respectively, in Armageddon tiebreakers. | Photo: Stev Bonhage

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The first classical win in Stavanger

Out of the six classical games played so far at the Norway Chess tournaments — both the open and the women’s — only one has finished decisively, and the player who won this one game was Indian rising star R Vaishali. The 22-year-old stunned Humpy Koneru in the second round to become the sole leader in the women’s event. Vaishali prevailed with the white pieces in a double-edged encounter which saw Humpy failing to make the most of her advantage in the early middlegame.

Standing at a 1-point distance from the leader are Ju Wenjun and Lei Tingjie, who won Armageddon tiebreakers in rounds 1 and 2 after drawing their classical encounters. The two Chinese stars, who are also the highest-rated players in the field, collected wins with white over Anna Muzychuk and Pia Cramling, respectively, in Tuesday’s round.

Ju found a nice tactical shot to convert her clear advantage against Muzychuk in the rapid tiebreaker.

The prosaic 32.Rxd6 is winning for White, grabbing a crucial pawn and increasing an already major positional advantage. However, much stronger is 32.Bxh6, as played in the game — after 32...Qxf6, White counts with 33.Bg5+, a killer discovered check.

There followed 33...Kg7 34.Bxf6+ Rxf6 35.Bxc6 bxc6, and the white queen is clearly stronger than Black’s rook and bishop. The world champion went on to convert her advantage into a 48-move victory.

Ju Wenjun, Anna Muzychuk

Ju Wenjun and Anna Muzychuk | Photo: Stev Bonhage

Vaishali 1 - 0 Humpy

Analysis by André Schulz

Vaishali Rameshbabu, Humpy Koneru

R Vaishali won the all-Indian confrontation against Humpy Koneru | Photo: Stev Bonhage

Standings after round 2

Rk Name FED Rtg Pts
1 R Vaishali IND 2489 4
2 Ju Wenjun CHN 2559 3
Lei Tingjie CHN 2548 3
4 Anna Muzychuk UKR 2505 2
Pia Cramling SWE 2449 2
6 Humpy Koneru IND 2545 1.5

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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