Ju Wenjun Takes Lead in Women’s World Champs [NEWSFLASH]

The World Women’s Championship (January 4-26) kicked off in Shanghai, China with three fighting draws. In round four, reigning champ Wenjun Ju of China squeezed a better queen endgame to her first victory over Aleksandra Goryachkina. Ju Wenjun takes an important lead in the 12-game match, which moves to Vladivostok, Russia next week.

A Yahoo News article by Peter Stebbings on the event covered the event, which will move to  Vladivostok, Russia  next week. It included quotes by me on the increased prize fund, and of building a strong base of female players.

At US Chess, only 14.5 percent of its 92,000 members are female, although that is more than double what it was in 2000 and a record high. Jennifer Shahade, a two-time US women’s champion, believes that FIDE is on “the right track” with the significant increase in prize money. Shahade, women’s programme director at US Chess, said: “Building a strong base of female players is crucial to developing the game. “I think chess is particularly crucial in a time of constant distraction, where the intellectual is de-emphasised in favour of the immediate and the visual,” she added. “Men, kids, and especially women and girls, need the benefits of chess right now more than ever.”

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