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Aleksandra Climbs the Mountain

What just happened? Russia’s 21-year-old Aleksandra Goryachkina played 12 Classical Chess games against China’s world chess champion Ju Wenjun–winning 3, losing 3 and drawing 6 games!

With the score 6-5 in Ju Wenjun’s favor, Aleksandra needed a win in the final Game 12 of the match to force the Sudden Death Tiebreak. See “Standings after Round 12” below.

Game 12 saw Russia’s Aleksandra unleash a merciless Kingside attack for the must-win victory! See “Game 12” below.

Odds Against Aleksandra

Now Aleksandra will face the much higher-rated Ju Wenjun in Rapid Chess and Blitz Chess in the Sudden Death 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.

However, Aleksandra is younger and her rating is rising! See their ages below.

Tomorrow, January 24, 2020, will bring the last act of this drama. Either Aleksandra will be the new Women’s World Chess Champion–or Ju Wenjun will defend her title and continue as the reigning champion.

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

Game 12

Aleksandra Unleashes Merciless Kingside Attack!

Ju Wenjun, playing the black pieces, attempted to defend her position and activate her Rook on c6 by playing 56. …e5.

Game 12 Move 56 Ju Wenjun played e5

Then, after 56. …e5, came the following moves by Aleksandra:

56.   …            e5
57. Qxh6+      Kg8
58. Qg6+        Kh8
59. Qxh5+      Kg8
60. Qg5+        Ju Wenjun resigned.

Final Position

Game 12 Final position after move 40

Now, after Aleksandra played 60. Qg5+, multiple paths lead to a win, so Jun Wenjun resigned, evened the match at 6-6, and now heads to the Sudden Death Tiebreak format.

Standings after Game 12

Standings after Game 12

Sudden Death Tiebreak format is scheduled for January 24, 2020. (See map and schedule below.)

Sudden Death Tiebreak Format

Rapid Chess and Blitz Chess Games. The Sudden Death 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

Rated 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

Rated 2584


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


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

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

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!

The World’s Best Selling Scholastic Chess Workbooks!


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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.

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Beginners & Intermediate Book – Checkmate! Ideas For Students

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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!
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An instructional workbook containing tactics in worksheet format used to checkmate--like Pins, Sacrifices, Removing the Guard, Attraction, Clearance, and Attacking Flight Squares!
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Chess Tactics For Students
An instructional workbook containing 434 carefully selected problems presented in worksheet format.

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