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Ju Wenjun in blazer over white blouse after Tiebreaks at 2020 Women's World Chess Championship

China’s Ju Wenjun
The 2020 Women’s World Chess Champion

After two weeks and 12 games of fierce Classical Chess competition that ended in a tie, China’s Ju Wenjun retained the Women’s World Chess Champion title after winning the Tiebreak playoff with a score of 2½-1½ against the challenger, Russia’s Aleksandra Goryachkina.

The Tiebreak format began with four scheduled Rapid Chess games. See more about the Tiebreak format below.

The first two Tiebreak games were draws with Ju Wenjun narrowly escaping defeat in Game 1.

In Game 3, the World Champion won with white pieces.

Game 4 saw Ju Wenjun hold on for a draw with the black pieces to win the match and retain her title
See “Standings after Round 12 & Tiebreaks” below.

Odds Against Aleksandra

Aleksandra faced an older, more experienced, higher-rated Ju Wenjun in Rapid Chess and Blitz Chess in the Tiebreak format.*

Ju Wenjun’s Rapid Chess rating is 2613 and her Blitz Chess rating is 2536.

Aleksandra Goryachkina is rated 2499 in Rapid Chess and 2441 in Blitz Chess.

*The Tiebreaks format consists of four Rapid Chess games, perhaps followed by pairs of Blitz Chess games in the case of a tie, then one Armageddon Chess game to determine the winner if the match is still tied. See more about the Sudden Death Tiebreak format below.

Standings after Round 12 & Tiebreaks

The Tiebreak games took place January 24, 2020.

Standings after Game 12 plus Tiebreaks

The Tiebreak Format

Rapid Chess and Blitz Chess Games. The Tiebreak format begins with four 25 minute Rapid Chess games–plus 10 seconds per move, followed, if necessary, by up to five sets of  5-minute Blitz Chess games–plus 3 seconds per move).

One Armageddon Chess Game. Next, if these Rapid and Blitz chess games still do not break the stand-off, then the match will be determined with one Armageddon Chess game.

In an Armageddon Chess game, the person with the white piece has 5 minutes on the clock to start–and the person with the Black pieces has 4 minutes to start.

However, the person playing the white pieces (5 minutes) must win the game to take the title.

The person playing the black pieces (4 minutes) can win or draw the game to win the title!

Game 2 Aleksandra and Ju at chessboard, Aleksandra leaning back in chair

The 2020 Women’s World Chess Championship 12-game match between challenger Aleksandra Goryachkina and world champion Ju Wenjun began in Shanghai, China on January 4, 2020 for the first 6 games–and moved to Vladivostok, Russia on January 15 for the second 6 games.

The Challenger

Aleksandra Goryachkina with braided pony tail in red sweater sitting at chessboard behind whites pieces

Russia’s Aleksandra Goryachkina

Born September 28, 1998
21 years old

Classical Chess Rating 2578

The Reigning Champion

Ju Wenjun in black blazer over white blouse at Opening Ceremony 2020 Women's World Chess Championship

China’s Ju Wenjun

Born January 31, 1991
28 years old

Classical Chess Rating 2584


Russia’s Aleksandra Goryachkina and China’s Ju Wenjun competed in a 12-game match with “Classical Chess” time controls, followed by a Tiebreak system.


Google map of locations of 2020 Women's World Chess Championship

The first 6 games took place in Shanghai, China. The second 6 games along with possible Tiebreaks and the Closing Ceremony took place in Vladivostok, Russia.


The Challenger!

Aleksandra Goryachkina in color blue bandanna and coat hand to face at chess board.

In May 2019, Aleksandra was only 20 years old at the time and the youngest and lowest-seeded of the world’s Top 8 women chess players competing. She won the Candidates Tournament and earned the opportunity to challenge China’s Ju Wenjun for the upcoming 2020 Women’s World Chess Championship!

She is a Grandmaster and two-time Russian Women’s Chess Champion. She also twice won the Girls Under-20 World Chess Championship.

At only 21 years old, she is on the rise and may well be the next Women’s World Chess Champion!

The Path to a Chess Championship Can Begin Here!

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