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Ju Wenjun Women's World Chess Champion in orange sweater

China’s Ju Wenjun

Women’s World Chess Champion

Born: January 31, 1991
Shanghai, China
FIDE Rating 2560

Ready for a Challenger!


John Bain

Ju Wenjun will defend her title in a 12-game match, July 5-25, 2023, against the Challenger Lei Tingjie, the winner of the Candidates Tournament.

The 2023 Women’s World Chess Championship will be an all Chinese match taking place in two cities in China–Chongqing and Shanghai–giving each player a home advantage.

Lei Tingjie was born in Chongqing, and Ju Wenjun was born in Shanghai.

The Candidates

Lei Tingjie won the 2023 Candidates Tournament where the Top 8 women chess players in the world competed for the opportunity to challenge the Women’s World Chess Champion, Ju Wenjun, in a match.

The 8 candidates black & white photo 2022 Womens Chess Candidates Tournament

No Russian-Ukrainian Showdown

But a Chinese Surprise!

Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, FIDE organizers arranged the tournament so that a Russian-Ukrainian showdown would be avoided until the Final match, if at all.

It worked! Two Chinese women, one in each bracket–Lei Tingjie and Tan Zhongyi–rose to the top, defeating Ukrainians and Russians along the way!

Then, Lei Tingjie defeated Tan Zhongyi (3.5 to 1.5) in the Final match for the right to challenge Ju Wenjun for the title.

2022-2023 Women’s Chess Candidates Bracket*

Final Brackets 2023 Women's World Chess Candidates Tournament

*FIDE banned Russian flags from FIDE-sponsored events in response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. So, Russian players’ flags are displayed as “FIDE flags.”

Lei Tingjie

Lei Tingjie is a Chinese Grandmaster (GM), who in addition to the 2023 Candidates Tournament also won the 2017 Women’s Chinese Chess Championship.

Lei Tingjie in red blouse sitting behind the black pieces at the chessboard

Lei Tingjie

#7 Rated Woman in the World
Born: March 13, 1997
Fuling District, Chongqing, China
FIDE Rating 2535

Chinese Women Dominate!

The Highest-Rated Woman in the World

Hou Yifan #1 Rated Woman Chess Player in the World!

Hou Yifan

#1 Rated Woman in the World
3-Time Women’s World Chess Champion
Born: February 27, 1994
Xinghua, China
FIDE Rating 2628

As a teenager, Hou Yifan listed her interests as reading and studying–and she listed her favorite chess player as Bobby Fischer!

Although Hou Yifan is the highest-rated woman chess player in the world and 3-time Women’s World Chess Champion, Hou stepped away from the Women’s Chess Championship cycle in 2017 at 23 years old in order to focus on life. Hou chose to treat chess as a hobby, not a career.

In 2018 she said, “I want to be the best, but I also want to have a life.”

She enrolled in Peking University in 2012, studying International Relations. She took a full course load and participated in many extracurricular activities. She was offered a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford in England.

In 2020 at age 26, Hou became the youngest ever professor at Shenzhen University where she is now teaching.

Hou still plays chess from time to time, maybe a tournament here or there or whatnot, and is still the highest-rated woman chess player in the world, but has not re-entered the Women’s Chess Championship cycle.

Learn To Play Chess

Like the Chinese Women Play Chess!

Hou Yifan & Ju Wenjun & Lei Tingjie

Left to right: Hou Yifan, Ju Wenjun and Lei Tingjie.

The World’s Best-Selling

Scholastic Chess Workbooks!


Beginner’s Book – Chess Rules For Students

Chess Rules For Students workbook

“Knights Battle”

Chess Rules For Students is a workbook for students learning the game of chess and for beginning students returning to the game. No previous knowledge of chess is necessary. Parents unfamiliar with chess will find this booklet a valuable guide to their child’s new interest.

Chess Rules For Students is designed with students, coaches, and parents in mind. Reading level is appropriate for grade-school use. All major rules of chess are covered, and algebraic notation worksheets are included. Each page is in easy-to-use worksheet format.

A student-friendly Answer Key makes self-correction fun!

Beginners & Intermediate Book – Checkmate! Ideas For Students

Checkmate! Ideas For Students

“Knight Checkmates King!”

Checkmate! Ideas For Students is a workbook for beginning and intermediate students. Checkmate! covers the tactics used in checkmate attacks with clear explanations, diagrams and arrows to pinpoint the key features.

Unlike many other basic checkmate books, Checkmate! categorizes the checkmates by the tactics used to force the checkmate–like Pins, Sacrifices, Removing the Guard, Attraction, Clearance and Attacking Flight Squares–rather than only the checkmate pattern itself.

The worksheets and Answer Key are clear and simple for the student to use, and easy for the parent, teacher and coach to correct! Fun!

Intermediate & Advanced Book – Chess Tactics For Students

Chess Tactics For Students workbook

“Profiles Face-Off in King’s Shadow”

Chess Tactics For Students contains 434 carefully selected problems in worksheet format.

Chess Tactics has been extensively field tested with elementary, middle-school, and high-school students over a four-year period. This book is ideal for independent seat work as well as for homework and classroom instruction.

The worksheet format and Answer Key enable self-correction with minimal dependence or direct help from a chess teacher, coach, or parent.

Chess for Students Shop Now


Solve a chess puzzle, enter the weekly drawing as often as you like, and win awesome prizes! Winners’ prizes are listed below. If you don’t win this week, try again next week! New puzzles are posted daily!


Below are the weekly prizes we send out! If you don’t win, try again the following week for your chance to win! Click on the prize to learn more about it.

Checkmate In One Prize
Chess Rules For Students Workbook
An instructional workbook designed for students learning the game of chess. Click here to learn more!
Checkmate In Two Prize
Checkmate! Ideas For Students
An instructional workbook containing tactics in worksheet format used to checkmate--like Pins, Sacrifices, Removing the Guard, Attraction, Clearance, and Attacking Flight Squares!
Checkmate In Three Prize
Chess Tactics For Students
An instructional workbook containing 434 carefully selected problems presented in worksheet format.

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