Norway Chess Women: Ju beats Vaishali, climbs to shared first place

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
6/3/2024 – Ju Wenjun inflicted a first loss on R Vaishali at the Norway Chess Women tournament to shake things up in the standings table. The women’s world champion is now sharing the lead with Anna Muzychuk, who beat Lei Tingjie with black in Armageddon to grab 1½ points in the event’s sixth round. Pia Cramling also drew with black in the rapid tiebreaker to prevail in her match against Humpy Koneru. | Photo: Stev Bonhage / Norway Chess

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102 moves

Indian GM R Vaishali grabbed the lead at the inaugural Norway Chess Women tournament after beating Humpy Koneru in the second round. The 22-year-old remained atop the standings until Sunday’s sixth round, when she suffered a first classical loss in her game with white against Ju Wenjun — the women’s world champion needed 102 moves to secure the win. Ju came from drawing her first five classical games and then prevailing in every single Armageddon decider.

After taking down the former sole leader, Ju climbed to shared first place, as she has collected the same number of points as Ukrainian GM Anna Muzychuk. Muzychuk, who came from collecting back-to-back classical wins in rounds 4 and 5, twice held Lei Tingjie to a draw with the black pieces to collect 1½ points on Sunday. In round 7, co-leaders Muzychuk and Ju will face each other (Muzychuk will play white).

The remaining round-6 encounter saw Pia Cramling prevailing in the rapid tiebreaker against Humpy. Cramling, the fifth woman to ever earn the GM title, had missed clear winning chances in previous encounters — particularly in round 3 against Ju — but finally managed her first mini-match victory in the sixth round.

Humpy Koneru, Pia Cramling

Humpy Koneru playing white against Pia Cramling | Photo: Stev Bonhage

Vaishali 0 - 1 Ju

Endgame analysis by GM Karsten Müller

Vaishali Rameshbabu, Ju Wenjun

Vaishali Rameshbabu v. Ju Wenjun | Photo: Stev Bonhage

Standings after round 6

Rk Name FED Rtg Pts
1 Ju Wenjun CHN 2559 10.5
Anna Muzychuk UKR 2505 10.5
3 R Vaishali IND 2489 10
4 Lei Tingjie CHN 2548 7
5 Humpy Koneru IND 2545 5
6 Pia Cramling SWE 2449 4.5

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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