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The Women’s World Chess Championship Match

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The Women’s World Chess Championship Match

The Women’s World Chess Championship Match in Shanghai has kicked off with a glittering opening ceremony and a press conference. Ju Wenjun,the current World Champion (China), challenger Aleksandra Goryachkina (Russia), as well as FIDE, Russian, Chinese Federations’ officials, the local and foreign press were present.

Ju Wenjun, the current World Champion.
Ju Wenjun, the current World Champion.

The biggest prize fund—500,000 euros—in the history of women’s world chess championship brings a more significant emphasis on women’s chess. This Championship commits to a new strategy adopted by FIDE in 2018 of ensuring that the women’s championship cycle is similar to the men’s.

Nigel Short, who is the FIDE VP, spoke about the history of championship matches. The Championship for the first time will take place in two countries. Shanghai, China is the host city for the first six games from 5th to 12th January 2020. The second half will happen in Vladivostok, Russia, from 16th to 23rd January 2020. The tie-break, if needed, and the closing ceremony will take place in Vladivostok on 24th January.

The World Champion, her challenger, Nigel Short (middle) pose for a group photo at the Women's World Chess Championship Match press conference.
The World Champion, her challenger, Nigel Short (middle) pose for a group photo at the Women’s World Chess Championship Match press conference.

In the drawing of lots conducted by Chief Arbiter IA Shohreh Bayat (Iran), Goryachkina picked a white pawn and will have White in the first round. After the sixth game, colours will reverse so that Ju Wenjun will play White in games 6 and 7.

Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia hoping to give her country the World Championship Crown!
Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia hoping to give her country the World Championship Crown!

Game 1 will start on Sunday, 5th January, 15:30 (Shanghai time or 10.30 Nairobi time).

Chief Arbiter IA Shohreh Bayat of Iran.
Chief Arbiter IA Shohreh Bayat of Iran.

Text and photos

Text: Michael Friedman
Photos: Haohao Zhang

Links

Official website: https://wwcm2020.fide.com