Norway Chess Women: Vaishali remains sole leader

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
5/30/2024 – A draw with black in Armageddon allowed R Vaishali to keep the sole lead in the Norway Chess Women tournament. The Indian representative faced Anna Muzychuk in Wednesday’s third round. Standing in sole second place is Ju Wenjun, who signed two draws with black against Pia Cramling, thus grabbing a third Armageddon victory in Stavanger. The one decisive game of the day was seen in the rapid tiebreaker between Humpy Koneru and Lei Tingjie, as the Indian GM scored a 49-move victory with the white pieces. | Photo: Stev Bonhage / Norway Chess

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The brother-sister leading duo

A bit over a month after Vaishali and Praggnanandhaa were the first-ever brother-sister duo to participate concurrently in Candidates Tournaments, the siblings are leading the standings in the women’s and the open section of the Norway Chess events. While Pragg beat Magnus Carlsen, Vaishali managed to keep the sole lead she had grabbed in round 2 by drawing her Armageddon encounter against Anna Muzychuk.

Vaishali has a 1-point lead over women’s world champion Ju Wenjun, who has prevailed in the three Armageddon tiebreakers she has played so far in Stavanger. On Wednesday, she was fortunate in the fact that her opponent, Pia Cramling, failed to find a knight jump that would have ended their classical game at once.

Ju’s 49...Nxe3 was a losing blunder amid a drawn endgame, as White now counts with 50.Nf5+, with a beautiful geometric motif — e.g. 50...Kf6 51.Nxe3 both grabs the knight and defends the rook on c4.

However, Cramling missed this shot and played 50.Rxc2 instead. The game was agreed drawn after 50...Nxc2 51.Kg3. Ju then held a draw with black in the tiebreaker to grab 1½ points for a third day in a row.

Pia Cramling, Ju Wenjun

Pia Cramling facing Ju Wenjun | Photo: Stev Bonhage

The one decisive game of the day was seen in the Armageddon encounter between Humpy Koneru and Lei Tingjie. In a must-win situation, the Indian GM looked for imbalances from the get-go and showed her technical prowess once the position was simplified into a complex rook and knight endgame.

Humpy Koneru

Humpy Koneru | Photo: Stev Bonhage

Standings after round 3

Rk Name FED Rtg Pts
1 R Vaishali IND 2489 5.5
2 Ju Wenjun CHN 2559 4.5
3 Lei Tingjie CHN 2548 4
4 Humpy Koneru IND 2545 3
Anna Muzychuk UKR 2505 3
Pia Cramling SWE 2449 3

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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