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Terrible 1st half for the reigning Women's World Chess Champion

Tomorrow the players will be moving to Chongqing

The 2018 FIDE Women’s World Chess Championship Match had the 5th game played on 9th May at the InterContinental Hotel Jing’an Suburb Shanghai. The challenger Ju Wenjun defeated the reigning chess champion Tan Zhongyi and the current score is 3.5:1.5 in favour of Ju.

This 5th game is the last game of the first half in the championship match. According to the match rule, the two sides will change the color of pieces. That means, Tan Zhongyi will still play white. For Tan Zhongyi, this is a best opportunity to catch up score after her win in the 4th. For Ju Wenjun, she cannot afford to lose the another extra point.

At today’s beginning, Tan Zhongyi played e4 in the first move, which she seldom uses. Ju Wenjun react with 1…e5 and they went to Bishop’s opening quickly. Face up to Tan Zhongyi’s new choice, she played precisely and steadily. Tan Zhongyi played one or two slow moves, which affected her initiative. Ju Wenjun grabbed the opportunity and got a better position.

After then, under a big pressures, Tan Zhongyi sacrificed a pawn to gain a pair of bishops. But soon it turned this was a big mistake for giving Ju Wenjun chance to move pieces close to King side gradually. Various threats made Tan Zhongyi unable to fight back. When getting close to the 1st time control, the white king fell into a hopeless situation. After 35 move Tan Zhongyi resigned.

In the post game conference, Tan Zhongyi said that she decided to play 1.e4 without a special preparation, She just wanted to skip over the opening and go straight to the fighting like yesterday. Ju Wenjun said the 1.e4 more or less surprised her but fortunately she knew the opening so it went good for her.

When reviewing the chess game, Tan Zhongyi said that 11.Re1 is not a good move, as black bishop was stuck after Ju Wenjun’s 11…h6. Ju Wenjun felt a bit of advantage after 13…e4. Apart from that, both of them believe that White 19. Ne5 was a big mistake. Tan Zhongyi gave up one pawn to gain two bishops, but practically there was not enough compensation.

When they were asked about the feeling of the first half chess championship match, Ju Wenjun said she is surprised for being 2 points ahead. She felt that Tan Zhongyi is not in good status, but still there is long way to go. Tan Zhongyi admitted that, and said that female chess players can feel like this, wrong rhythm can mess up the whole competition.

Tomorrow they will be moving to Chongqing, Tan wishes she will play better in the second half of the chess match, with a new mood, in a new status, and in her hometown.

Up to now, after the first half of the 2018 FIDE women’s world chess championship match, the challenger Ju Wenjun has 3 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss. According to the schedule, the 6th game will be held on 3:00pm 12th May, in Chongqing.

Report and photos by: Gu Xiaobing

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