Aleksandra Goryahkina strikes back in game 5
Aleksandra Goryahkina strikes back by defeating Ju Wenjun in the fifth game of the 2020 FIDE Women’s World Championship Match. The score is now tied 2½-2½ after five games, with only one more game in Shanghai. The remaining six games will take place in Vladivostok, Russia.
It is the first time that Aleksandra Goryachkina has defeated Ju Wenjun.
Goryachkina’s defeat in the fourth game was a shock for the Russian fans, but the challenger did not display any signs of disappointment. And after a rest day, she came back to the board ready to put up a fight, and with today’s victory, Goryachkina demonstrated to the world that she belongs in this match and is the rightful challenger.
Goryachkina appeared to have surprised her opponent with 1. c4, which sent Ju into a short think. In the ensuing English Opening, both players went for very sharp lines, with Ju producing the first novelty 12… Be4. It seemed to have taken Goryachkina out of her preparation, and Black quickly achieved a very promising position.
However, facing a 16.Qb5+, Ju went astray with Qd7, unnecessary opting for a variation in which White was up an exchange. Black had some compensation for it in a form a passed d pawn. Interestingly enough, in the postmortem, Goryachkina thought that Ju blundered the exchange.
Computer analysis showed a considerable advantage for White. It seemed that Game 5 would follow a familiar theme from Games 1 and 3 where the Russian obtained comfortable positions out of openings but squandered her chances right before the first time control.
In today’s game, after 29…g6? and 31.Rxf7? the game appeared to head for a draw, but a severe blunder by Ju (34…Nc6??) allowed White to consolidate her advantage, and Black resigned fifteen moves later.
Aleksandra Goryachkina v Jun Wenjun
In the post-game press conference, Goryachkina said she was relieved and happy to be back in the match. Ju agreed that while today’s result was disappointing, it was a logical conclusion and the overall score reflected the match thus far.
Game One ended in a draw after a marathon 97 move game while the Game Two was a short draw. Game Three ended also ended in a draw after 85 moves. Ju Wenjun won Game Four.
First symbolic move
Ernst Yurkin, Deputy Consul General of the Russian Federation in Shanghai, and Zhu Chen, former World Champion, made the first symbolic move of Game 5.