17th January 2020
Aleksandra Goryachkina ??wins the 8th game and leads the Women's World Chess Championship by one point: 4½-3½.
The World Champion Ju Wenjun ?? only has four games left to overturn the score and retain her title. #WomenChessMatch
?: Ivan Kurinnoy pic.twitter.com/rtqlmPrrCm
— International Chess Federation (@FIDE_chess) January 17, 2020
Aleksandra Goryachkina took her first lead in the match. It turns out that Ju Wenjun played a dubious line in the Queen’s Gambit after 8…Ne4?! This line doesn’t have a good reputation and the Russian demonstrated why.
It appeared that black had a solid position, but her pieces became tangled defending various weak points. The h1-a8 diagonal was also vulnerable after 30.e5! bxc5 31.Qh1! Nb8. White could’ve pressed on with 32.b5! but chose the more direct 32.Be4 and eventually crashed through.
Goryachkina received the concession from Ju in her usual stoic manner. She may realize that Ju is much too strong to be celebrating, but the truth is she has outplayed the champion thus far.
Video by FIDE
Match Score: Goryachkina 4½ – Ju 3½
Official Site: https://wwcm2020.fide.com/
Match Regulations: https://handbook.fide.com/ (PDF)
Games (ChessBase): http://live.chessbase.com/watch/FIDE-WWCC-2020
Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2020/01/05/2019-womens-chess-championship-ju-vs-goryachkina/