Ju's missed opportunity in Game 3 of FIDE Women's World Championship Match 2020
Game 3 was a hard fought draw which lasted for over five and a half hours, but the most important part is Goryachkina got an edge out of QGD Semi-Tarrasch opening. She couldn't manage to capitalize, instead presented Ju with an opportunity to make a comeback. Unlike previous game, this did not require Ju to take any unnecessary risks, it was a simple calculation. It is evident that the pressure of World Championship is making the defending champion miss these. Ju managed to defend well and in the end the game ended up in a drawn Rook and Pawn ending. A draw was agreed after 85 moves. Game 4 will take place on 9th January. Photo: Lewis Liu / FIDE
Game 3 was a hard fought draw
Ju Wenjun, playing Black, countered Aleksandra Goryachkina's Queen's Gambit with the Semi-Tarrasch Defence, transforming the duel into a comfortable, yet somewhat passive gameplay for herself.
Goryachkina - Ju, Game 3
The current champion failed to come up with a plan to fully equalize and by move 23, Goryachkina enjoyed a considerable advantage. However, a momentary slip with 23.Bd3 presented Ju with an opportunity to completely flip the table, which was not played.
It was as if Ju was so focused on defending an inferior position, that she simply missed her one chance to get out of it. Having also opted against 18.g4! In Game 2, the world champion seems to be wary when it comes to dynamic and tactical play.
White continued to dictate play and few moves later, following the thematic break on d5, Goryachkina won a pawn.
For a moment, it felt we would see the first decisive game of the match. However, the Russian played inaccurately in a moderate time-trouble, before the first time control transformed the game into an easy save for the world champion. Just like in Game 1, the challenger continued to push for another 40 moves, until the players agreed on a draw on move 85.
Ju must feel relief to be tied in this match after not playing her best game, especially with black, but at the press conference, she said that she is content with three draws. On her part, Goryachkina added that she feels good about dominating her opponent in two out of the first three games, yet is also frustrated having not capitalized on her chances.
A difficult stretch of games is coming for Goryachkina where she will have black pieces in the next 3 out of 4 games.
Game Four will take place on January 9 at 3:30 p.m. local time, 1 p.m. IST
Source: FIDE Press Release
Live games and commentary
The games are slated to start at 15:30 local time, which is 1 p.m. IST. When the match moves to Vladivostok, games will start at 8 p.m. IST. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game plus 30 seconds per move, starting from with move one. Agreed draws before move 40 are not allowed.
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