The second game of the FIDE Women's World Chess Championship match was a peaceful affair that ended in a draw after threefold repetition.
Zhao Guangsheng, Deputy General Director of Shanghai Sports Ministry, together with the Grandmaster Nigel Short, FIDE Vice-President, made the first symbolic moves in Game 2.
Playing with white pieces, Ju Wenjun, who is a 1.d4 player, surprised her opponent with 1.e4. In the ensuing Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez, Aleksandra Goryachkina introduced a novelty with 12...c6 and achieved a comfortable play.
However, very quickly Black appeared to have gone astray with 16...Bg5, giving White an opportunity for some dynamic play after a possible move 18.g4, which Ju opted against, exchanging Queens and some pieces instead. Perhaps, both players are feeling the impact of yesterday's 97-move marathon game and went for simpler, safer options. A quiet draw seemed inevitable and was agreed on move 40, after threefold repetition.
Goryachkina's ability to easily equalize in her first game with Black further cemented her position as a formidable challenger.
After the game, Ju Wenjun felt satisfied with the result, believing that Black came out well after the opening.
The players will enjoy a rest day tomorrow. The match will be resumed on January 8, with Aleksandra Goryachkina having white pieces in the third game.
Official website: https://wwcm2020.fide.com
Text: Michael Friedman
Photos: Zhang Yanhong, Lewis Liu, Michael Friedman
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