Norway Chess Women: Ju beats Cramling, grabs the lead

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
6/5/2024 – Two classical games ended decisively in round 8 of the Norway Chess Women tournament, with Ju Wenjun beating Pia Cramling and Lei Tingjie beating Humpy Koneru, both with the white pieces. The remaining encounter saw R Vaishali prevailing in Armageddon against former sole leader Anna Muzychuk. These results left Ju in the sole lead, 1½ points ahead of Muzychuk. | Photo: Stev Bonhage / Norway Chess

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Two clear frontrunners

With two rounds to go at the inaugural Norway Chess Women event, Ju Wenjun and Anna Muzychuk are the favourites to end up taking the title. Ju stands in sole first place, 1½ points ahead of her Ukrainian colleague, while Lei Tingjie and R Vaishali stand 2 points further back and still have outside chances of claiming the title.

Ju grabbed the sole lead by beating Pia Cramling in their round-8 encounter, while former leader Muzychuk lost to Vaishali in Armageddon. The remaining encounter saw Lei getting the better of Humpy Koneru in their classical-chess confrontation.

Humpy’s 61...Kd2 was the losing mistake.

Black could have kept the battle going with 61...Re7+, since White can only escape a perpetual check via 62.Kg6 Re8 63.Kf6, but after 63...Rc8, everything is still under control and White will need to look for a more sophisticated way to make progress.

Instead, the game followed with 62.Rh1 e2 63.h8Q Rxh8 64.Kxh8

The problem for Humpy is that she cannot regain the rook with 64...e1Q, since that would lead to a losing pawn endgame. Thus, the rook and two pawns will easily win the game for Lei. Resignation followed shortly after.

It should be noted that all this sequence was played with both contenders playing with less than a minute on their clocks. The players in Stavanger only get 10-second increments after reaching move 41.

Lei Tingjie

Still with outside chances of winning the tournament — Lei Tingjie | Photo: Stev Bonhage

Ju 1 - 0 Cramling

Analysis by André Schulz

Pia Cramling

Pia Cramling during round 7 | Photo: Stev Bonhage

Standings after round 8

Rk Name FED Rtg Pts
1 Ju Wenjun CHN 2559 14.5
2 Anna Muzychuk UKR 2505 13
3 Lei Tingjie CHN 2548 11.5
R Vaishali IND 2489 11.5
5 Humpy Koneru IND 2545 8
6 Pia Cramling SWE 2449 5.5

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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