Wednesday Workout: Lei Tingjie's Candidates Triumph

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Lei Tingjie in the opening press conference (courtesy FIDE)

Grandmaster Lei Tingjie defeated her countrywoman GM Tan Zhongyi 3½ - 1½ to earn the right to play GM Ju Wenjun for the Women’s World Championship in July. The match, again between two of China’s top players, will be held half in Chongqing and half in Shanghai.  

It is always more fun to follow these matches interactively. So, for this week’s Wednesday workout, we encourage you to first take a look at the puzzles, all of which are from the just-concluded match. Then, you can read on for details of the match. Download the pdf, with solutions, here.


Workout v2


The first game set the pace for the match, with both players having several chances to score the first point. Lei had a clear advantage on the queenside, which could have secured a dominant position:



Instead, her chosen move left too many weaknesses. White had a win after:



But one inaccurate move gave Lei a chance to hold the draw here:



Tan Zhongyi
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Tan Zhongyi coming off an impressive FIDE Rapid and Blitz championship jumped out to an early lead here (courtesy FIDE)


Despite taking the early 1-0 lead, Tan had little time to rest. Again in time pressure, this time in a tense endgame, she had a chance to hold onto her lead in a difficult opposite-colored bishop ending:



Instead, Lei leveled the match 1-1. She proceeded to win two of the next three games to clinch the match with a round to spare. The exclamation mark of round four came here:



Then, playing the black side of an unusual opening, Lei clinched the victory with the following nice maneuver:



A tense match, but overall a dominant performance for Lei!