Women’s World Chess Championship Game 6 is drawn
Ju Wenjun, in Game 6 reverted to 1.e4, a move she played in Game 2 of the match. The Berlin variation of the Spanish Defense was repeated until move 10, with Ju opting for Re1.
Ju failed to achieve much out of the opening with lethargic 17.b3, 18.c4, and 19.Bb2. With calm and measured play, Goryachkina managed to outmanoeuvre her opponent. By move 30 it became clear that Black will be playing for the win. Yet, similar to the earlier games of this match, Goryachkina was not able to build on her advantage. By the time players passed the first time control, the worst was behind Ju, and she was on the road to avoid defeat.
Nevertheless, Goryachkina made Ju sweat for it. Game 6 turned out to be the longest one of the match. It surpassed 100 moves.
For the last 60 moves, Ju had to be extremely careful, while Goryachkina was playing with no risk. She continued to wait for her opponent to slip. Ju was visibly tired, her hand at times trembling. The game finally ended two moves shy of a 50-move draw rule.
Ju Wenjun v Aleksandra Goryachkina
At the post-game press conference, Goryachkina said that she felt slightly better, but could not just find the decisive moves for a win. Ju Wenjun was unhappy with her play and felt fortunate to escape with a draw.
Match moves to Vladivostok, Russia
The break in the match—it is moving to Vladivostok in Russia—is likely to benefit both players. Goryachkina is going home where large crowds are sure to turn up to support her, while Ju is getting the much-needed breather after six very long and tested games.
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 while Aleksandra Goryachkina won Game Five.
The championship takes a short break and moves to the next host city: Vladivostok. Play resumes on Thursday, 16th January 2020.
First symbolic move
Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE President, and Lu Lin, Vice Secretary of the Party Committee of Shanghai Sports Bureau, made the first symbolic move of Game 6.