Women’s World Championship all Tied
Nerves, Or just Bad Chess? Or Both?
The 3rd game of the Goryachkina vs Ju world title match ended in yet another draw, making the score 1.5 points each. The game, however, saw some really horrendous chess, making this author think that perhaps the two players are probably having trouble concentrating because of all the media pressure. After some dozen moves or so of carefully memorized theory, an interesting manoevring game began. (Photo above by Zhang Yanhong )
Goryachkina stood slightly more active when all of a sudden she made a truly terrible blunder on move 23, moving her Bishop to d3, allowing Ju the shot 23…Ne5!, which according to the experts, would have won the game.
Unbelievably, Ju missed this shot and the game continued as before, with the Russian making something of her more active position. Running short of time, Ju got completely outplayed and by move 34 the Russian was a pawn up with a huge positional advantage. Mutual time trouble followed and when move 40 was reached the Russian had lost any real winning chances.
A theoretically known Rook and pawn ending soon appeared on the board and both players played on about 30 moves too long before finally signing the scoresheet on move 85.
gm Goryachkina – gm Ju
G3 Shanghai 8.1.2020
Bits & Pieces about the Match
Traditionally, matches for the Women’s World Championship serve as a lightning rod for heated discussions about what is wrong with women and why can’t they play as well as men and why they need a separate World Championship.
I don’t really want to get into this discussion here today, but I am quite impressed by some of the public commentary over on ChessBase’s news site: LINK
Of course, it is a not very well guarded secret in FIDE that sexism sells and this kind of discrimination has proven to be a very good mechanism to attract more girls to the game (and for FIDE to make $$$)
When I was a young player in Montreal there were virtually no women players around. I am happy to see more women take up the game. If that means having separate girls U10,U12,U14, etc championships as a way to keep girls in the game while they grow up, then fine! No arguments here from me.
HOWEVER, as one of the commentators asked on ChessBase (I paraphrase): when is the sunset clause for this discriminatory policy? One would think that once a young girl gets hooked on the game and enters adulthood, there should be no need for further financial incentives and special conditions to stay in the game.
Some might argue that this is really about female empowerment, but creating a level playing field while simultaneously calling for giving female chess players special conditions seems a bit contradictory to me.
Reality is that pro-actively moving towards a chess world that is partitioned 50% along the gender divide is called social engineering and is ridiculously unattainable. A small group of people just trying to impose their own politically correct views, perceptions and prejudices on how the world should be.
It is worth remembering that the OVERWHELMING VAST MAJORITY of humans on this planet do NOT play chess, and this has nothing to do with gender issues. Mostly it is about choice.
Also, LIFE is a difficult struggle for the majority of people and there is just so little time for playing games, let alone one that is difficult.
And if things were to one day change for the better for everyone and not need to work so much just to survive day to day, then why would people suddenly take up chess when there are so many other wonderful pastimes?
To conclude, I am a little fed up with all of this talk of women’s chess — as if they are from a different planet, about how to encourage more of them to take up the game, etc. Women are not victims in our chess world, despite what large numbers of ‘experts’ argue. If anything, women receive special treatment that most male players are denied.
Truth is that chess is a difficult game to master and takes years. Billions of males are not taking up chess either. Where are the bleeding hearts for them?