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🏆 Women's World Championship Knockout Tournament (2018)

  PARTICIPANTS (sorted by highest achieved rating; click on name to see player's games)
Humpy Koneru, Anna Muzychuk, Ju Wenjun, Aleksandra Goryachkina, Xue Zhao, Nana Dzagnidze, Mariya Muzychuk, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Kateryna Lagno, Antoaneta Stefanova, Alisa Galliamova, Valentina Gunina, Tingjie Lei, Dronavalli Harika, Bela Khotenashvili, Zhongyi Tan, Nino Batsiashvili, Elina Danielian, Thanh Trang Hoang, Natalija Pogonina, Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant, Monika Socko, Dinara Saduakassova, Olga Girya, Lilit Mkrtchian, Anna Ushenina, Irina Krush, Lela Javakhishvili, Natalia Zhukova, Alina Kashlinskaya, Elisabeth Paehtz, Zhansaya Abdumalik, Ekaterina Atalik, Inna Gaponenko, Anastasia Bodnaruk, Jiner Zhu, Padmini Rout, Marina Guseva, Sopiko Khukhashvili, Shiqun Ni, Jolanta Zawadzka, Ana Matnadze, Deysi Estela Cori Tello, Yuliya Shvayger, Sabrina Vega Gutierrez, Thi Kim Phung Vo, Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova, Carolina Lujan, Kulkarni Bhakti, Mo Zhai, Sabina-Francesca Foisor, Anita Gara, Guliskhan Nakhbayeva, Mobina Alinasab, Yerisbel Miranda Llanes, Danitza Vazquez Maccarini, Maili-Jade Ouellet, Ingrid Yadira Aliaga Fernandez, Rani Hamid, Fanghui Sun, Shahenda Wafa, Hayat Toubal, Jesse Nikki February, Kathryn Hardegen Chess Event Description
Women's World Championship Knockout Tournament (2018)

The 2018 FIDE Women's World Championship, held from 3-23 November at the Ugra Chess Academy in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia (with a rest day on 18 November) featured 64 players in a series of knockout matches. Rounds 1-5 had two games each, plus tiebreak games on the third day if necessary. The final (Round 6) was a match of four games plus tiebreak games, with the winner declared Women's World Champion. The semifinalists (except the eventual winner) would qualify for the FIDE Candidates (Women) (2019) tournament. The top seed was Ju Wenjun, the world champion. Prize fund: $450,000, with the winner taking home $60,000. Players received 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 more minutes for the rest of the game, with 30 seconds added per move from move 1. The tiebreaks consisted of two 25 min + 10-sec increment Rapid games, then if necessary two 10+10 Rapid games, two 5+3 Blitz games (two 5+10 Rapid games in the final), and an Armageddon game where White had 5 minutes to Black's 4, but a draw counted as a win for Black. Chief arbiter: Igor Bolotinsky.

On her way to the final, Ju Wenjun beat Kathryn Hardegen in Round 1, Irina Krush in Round 2, Mo Zhai in Round 3, Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova in the quarterfinal, and Alexandra Kosteniuk in the semifinal. Her opponent Kateryna Alexandrovna Lagno eliminated Jesse Nikki February in Round 1, Hoang Thanh Trang in Round 2, Natalia Pogonina in Round 3, Tingjie Lei in the quarterfinal and Mariya Muzychuk in the semifinal. The final match started 19 November. After 2-2 in the Classical games and 1-1 in the 25+10 games, Ju Wenjun won both 10+10 tiebreak games and defended her title.

Elo Classic Rapid Ju Wenjun 2561 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 5 Lagno 2556 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 3

Official site:
Mark Weeks:
ChessBase 1:
ChessBase 2:
Wikipedia article: Women's World Chess Championship 2018 (November)

Previous: Tan - Ju Women's World Championship Match (2018). Next (in which the challenger had to have won a Candidates tournament): Ju - Goryachkina Women's World Championship (2020)

 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 203  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Z Tan vs Fanghui Sun  1-0312018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentA04 Reti Opening
2. Kathryn Hardegen vs Ju Wenjun  0-1532018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentC60 Ruy Lopez
3. Koneru vs H Toubal 1-0462018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. J N February vs Lagno 0-1372018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentB06 Robatsch
5. A Muzychuk vs R Hamid 1-0342018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentB40 Sicilian
6. D Vazquez Maccarini vs Kosteniuk  0-1622018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentC28 Vienna Game
7. Goryachkina vs M Ouellet  ½-½462018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. S Wafa vs M Muzychuk  0-1522018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
9. I Aliaga Fernandez vs V Gunina 0-1442018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentB10 Caro-Kann
10. E Paehtz vs M Alinasab 0-1812018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD23 Queen's Gambit Accepted
11. Y Miranda Llanes vs N Dzagnidze  0-1232018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentE21 Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights
12. D Harika vs S Khukhashvili  ½-½612018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
13. S Foisor vs A Stefanova  ½-½442018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. N Pogonina vs K Bhakti 1-0632018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentA06 Reti Opening
15. P Rout vs Z Abdumalik  ½-½342018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentA34 English, Symmetrical
16. Mo Zhai vs O Girya  1-0482018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentB12 Caro-Kann Defense
17. X Zhao vs C Lujan  1-0452018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
18. J Zhu vs L Javakhishvili  1-0382018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentB32 Sicilian
19. D Saduakassova vs A Matnadze  ½-½482018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
20. Thi Kim Phung Vo vs B Khotenashvili  ½-½522018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD80 Grunfeld
21. T Lei vs A Gara  ½-½482018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
22. Y Shvayger vs M Socko  0-1382018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentB06 Robatsch
23. A Ushenina vs L Mkrtchian 1-0302018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
24. G Tokhirjonova vs A Kashlinskaya  1-0412018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentC42 Petrov Defense
25. E Atalik vs D E Cori Tello  ½-½292018Women's World Championship Knockout TournamentD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 203  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-23-18  sonia91: <This was the first time a player defended her knockout tournament title> Actually Ju won her first world title in a match vs Tan Zhongyi (winner of the 2017 KO) earlier this year.

Johannes Fischer and Macauley Peterson (the new editor-in-chief of the English-language version of CB, who previously worked for Chess24) are the ones who amend the articles if someone points out a mistake. That said, ChessBase covered this event more extensively than and chess24 did.

Nov-23-18  Olavi: Right, I was completely mistaken.
Nov-23-18  optimal play: Congratulations to Ju Wenjun on winning the Women's World Championship.

At least Kathryn Hardegen can say she was only beaten by the World Champ!

Nov-23-18  botvinnik64: Congratulations to WJ Ju - losing only one classical game in such a knock out format is impressive! I can’t see anyone beating her for quite some time.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: The about 60 tiebreak games are still dubbed "Classical". The four tiebreak games from the final are not included.

Who will send 61 correction slips?

Nov-24-18  sonia91: Jovanka Houska, who writes reports for, is clueless too:

<As the first woman to retain her title in a knockout tournament, Ju Wenjun of China won the 2018 World Championship [...]>

Nov-24-18  sonia91: IM Wei Ming Kevin Goh twitted:

That is why we need neutral commentators - the non-stop slacking of Ju Wenjun for her play in the tiebreaks by the official commentators is extremely startling and disrespectful. #WWCC2018

03:51 - 23 Nov 2018

@GMIan Rogers Nov 23 Replying to @IM_Kevin_Goh
Indeed, it was amazing that Morozevich could not be bothered to find out who the Chinese captain GM Yu Shaoteng was, even though he admitted to seeing him every day (and Kosteniuk thought he might be an IM). But calling Ju's play "anti-chess" was simply disgraceful. #WWCC2018

Kevin Goh ‏@kevingohwm Nov 23
Indeed, Yu Shaoteng made GM 14 years ago and led the Chinese team to the gold medals just a few months ago. To label him as “some IM” is embarrassing to say the least.

Dr. Richard Ingram:
Replying to @IM_Kevin_Goh
Morozevich speculating on who the person was that congratulated Ju Wenjun ("I always see him," etc.), was completely uncalled for, as was his allegation that the Champion "refused to play chess."

Kevin Goh @kevingohwm Nov 23
I can understand why Morozevich might not know who he is but surely Kosteniuk would, since she was right there when China took the gold medals 😀

Dr. Richard Ingram @ringram4mad 24 hours ago
It was the way Morozevich wondered aloud about the man's level of chess-playing ability that I found troubling. Taken together, his remarks suggested there was a sinister reason for the presence of Ju's compatriot. At least Kosteniuk came close to correctly identifying him.

Nov-24-18  JimNorCal: I saw one broadcast. The commentators were openly pro-Lagno. If it's a Russian broadcast I don't see a problem. If it was a more "official" show, for example FIDE sponsored then yes, a more neutral tone is called for.
Nov-24-18  JimNorCal: GM Ju got the last word, in any case. She won
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <JimNorCal> The only "official" FIDE broadcasts are those from AGON. All the others are from commercial companies which, I suppose, can be as objective or as unobjective as they want.

I saw both the USCF broadcast of Carlsen vs. Caruana featuring Seirawan, Shahade, and Ashley and the <> broadcast of Ju Wenjun vs. Lagno featuring Morozovitch and Kosteniuk and I don't think that Morozovitch and Kosteniuk were any more pro-Lagno than Seirawan, Shahade, and Ashley were pro-Caruana. But I didn't mind either. Then again I wasn't rooting for either Carlsen or Ju Wenjun.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <markz>, <saffuna> No, the 10+10 games are the "Blitz" games and the 25+25 games are the "Rapid" games. Whether they should be labeled "Blitz" or "Rapid" at those relatively slow time controls is a different issue. I'm used to Rapid games being 15+15 and Blitz games being 5+5 but that's my problem, not FIDE's.
Nov-24-18  JimNorCal: Yeah, I thought 5-min was blitz, 10-min was rapid and 25-min was quick.

Hard to keep up ...

Nov-24-18  SChesshevsky: It probably isn't a big surprise that with a basically Russian sponsored tournament with two Russian broadcasters and with one or both personally knowing one of the participants who happens to be playing for Russia, there would be some noticeable bias. And, after all, they aren't professional broadcasters but simple chess players.

I'm also going to cut Morozevich and Kosteniuk some slack on knowing a lot about the Chinese coaching/captain details. Apparently, there are numerous coaches floating around and often interchanging and forming new teams for the players. Now with so many Chinese GMs and IMs, keeping the faces and names straight without some sort of study or constant contact probably isn't all that easy.

There also seems to be limited exposure to Chinese chess in general. At least in the West. I couldn't find any substantial video on the May women's championship match or the Karpov - Hou match or really any of the interesting chess events in China. Which is kind of annoying.

Nov-25-18  markz: <AylerKupp: <markz>, <saffuna> No, the 10+10 games are the "Blitz" games and the 25+25 games are the "Rapid" games.>

FIDE thinks 10+10 games are "Rapid". For example, many 10+10 games had been played in world cup 2017, and they were counted in players' rapid ratings not blitz ratings.

Nov-25-18  SometimesGood: Moro is the nicest guy and say the truth it's hard to follow Chinese names and faces. For Europeans all Asians look the same. I don't blame them at all. Sometimes it is irritating, but c'est la vie. I accept it and not frustrated. It's a simple science; European faces have more variety, whereas Asian faces with narrow eyes don't give as much of variety for whites' eyes. I can spot the difference between Japanese and Chinese people. But whites have hard time; it's totally normal. They grew up in a world without so much variety as it is now.
Nov-25-18  JimNorCal: In the one video I watched, I would say that Moro was going along and that Kosteniuk was more fierce.

Perhaps Katja is a personal friend, perhaps Kosteniuk is a more emotional person in terms of personality.

I didn't feel anti-Ju statements so much, just disappointment that GM Lagno was not able to win.

It's interesting about being able to detect differences within populations. Whites are surprised how hard it can be for Asians to see differences in Europeans. Whites have different color hair and eyes, some differences in skin color and the body shapes can be extreme (height, weight). Chinese people have no trouble distinguishing among themselves despite having same hair color, eye color and many having similar body shapes.

Nov-25-18  sonia91: <JimNorCal> Did you see the video of the final tiebreaks?
Nov-25-18  JimNorCal: sonia, this one
Nov-26-18  SChesshevsky: There probably has been some misinterpretation of Morozevich's view of Ju's chess.

I think throughout the broadcasts and even through his career Moro never tried to hide his dislike of passive, counter punching type chess. He seems to believe that style is not what chess is meant to be.

It appears that Moro just doesn't feel that winning by making safe, solid moves until the opponent goofs is an honorable win. Though he obviously realizes that it does score points.

For example, I think it was in a M. Muzychuk R and N vs. R won tiebreak that should've been drawn where he didn't seem to even consider it a win. I believe saying something like only if you care about ratings points.

So Morozevich's comments about Ju's chess might not be related much to her ability or effectiveness but more about her style.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: The four "Classical" tiebreak games of the final are now added.
Dec-01-18  sonia91: <Report by Jovanka Houska (with photos):

I don't see why should be privileged by; they often steal works and explanations from Wikipedia (youngest GMs list) and even Reddit (!) without citing them and also from other chess sites, also covered this event less extensively than ChessBase and is less willing to fix mistakes in their articles...

Dec-01-18  JimNorCal: Is the link supposed to work?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: I can certainly refer to ChessBase more. Hopefully the links to them incl. to the photos are now long-lasting.
Mar-03-19  Sally Simpson: ***

No idea where else to post this.

"I was sexually harassed on"

It's Chess.Com reply:

"Today I was made aware of this article posted by Julie Nordby Egeland, a Norwegian journalist. The title (translated) is: I was sexually harassed on "

I found the original article (translated) appears here:


Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Funny, they never seem to bother me.
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