Women’s World Championship: Ju fails to convert big advantage

by Klaus Besenthal
7/16/2023 – The protagonists of the Women’s World Championship moved to Chongqing to play the second half of the all-Chinese match. Game 7 was played on Saturday. Challenger Lei Tingjie still has a 1-point lead over defending champion Ju Wenjun after the latter could not convert a clear advantage into a win while marshalling the black pieces. Lei had won game 5, the only decisive encounter of the match so far. | Photo: Stev Bonhage / FIDE

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Switching strategies

Ju Wenjun had switched to the Caro-Kann Defence with black and was clearly on winning after Lei Tingjie’s attacking plans on the kingside came to nothing. In fact, it was Ju who put real pressure on the opposite king with a battery of rook and queen on the second rank, while already two pawns to the good.

Out of the blue, however, Ju offered an exchange of queens: Lei accepted the offer, and in the ensuing position, the two extra black pawns were not enough to win the game. Instead of a potential 3½-3½ after the game, Lei continues to have a 1-point lead going forward!

Lei Tingjie

Lei Tingjie after escaping with a draw | Photo: Stev Bonhage

All games


Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.