chessbase india logo

Praggnanadhaa beats Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun in Prague

by Sagar Shah - 11/03/2019

Ju Wenjun is the current Women's World Champion in Classical and Rapid chess. She was also instrumental in China winning the gold medal at the Batumi Olympiad 2018 by playing on board one. At the Prague Challengers Wenjun was leading the tournament with a score of 3.0/4 with wins over David Paravyan (2627) and Peter Michalik (2565). It was clear that she was in great form. On the other hand Pragg had had a slow start to his event. He lost to Bartel in round one and then three draws against Jiri Stocek (2592), Nguyen Thai Dai Van (2546) and David Paravyan (2627). Clearly he wasn't the favourite when facing Ju Wenjun in round five. But the 13-year-old prepared his opening to perfection, played the middlegame with care, and the endgame like a machine to bring home the full point. Complete analysis of this interesting encounter.

The most awaited clash of round five in the Challengers section - Pragg vs Ju Wenjun | Photo: Vladimir Jagr

The game began with the Petroff. For all those wanting to learn this opening can go for GM Daniel Fernandez's DVD on this subject

In the same tournament we have seen many games in the Petroff, but they were with ...Nf6 (Vidit vs Gelfand). Ju Wenjun went for ...c6, which has been played by top players like Caruana, Giri, Anand but also by Ju Wenjun herself against Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova in December 2018. That's the reason why Pragg was able to be well prepared in the game.

...Ne4 was a double edged decision by Ju Wenjun as after Bxe4 dxe4 Rxe4 she loses a pawn. Of course the Chinese player saw that, but she also figured out that she would have good compensation in return for the pawn.

It's obvious that for the pawn deficit Black has compensation. The bishop pair is strong and also the queenside extra pawn is not going anywhere. Yet, Black has to be very active. If Ju Wenjun wastes any time, she would slowly land into an inferior position.

Pragg manaed to get his pawns on the queenside moving and he placed them on the opposite colour of his bishop on f4. In this way he was able to keep control.

The Nf3-e1-d3 idea was very strong. In this moment Black should have played ...a6 in order to create counterplay with b5. However, Ju Wenjun was not in her element and let White consolidate his position

This is typical Pragg. He doesn't miss tactical opportunities presented to him! The move f4 tries to dislodge the pawn on g5 so that Bh4+ becomes a possibility.

With two pawns up White was in the driver's seat and Pragg made sure that he would win the game by activating his king in a decisive manner.

The final stroke. One of the pawns will queen!

The heartening part about this victory was Praggnanandhaa's technique. Once he had the pawn, he played absolutely without any errors. To do this against a world class opponent and truly commendable. Technique is not Praggnanandhaa's stronghold. One would remember his loss to Maksim Chigaev at the Tata Steel Challengers where Pragg was a pawn up and still lost the game. Pragg seems to have done his homework and that is showing in his games. With four rounds to go, Pragg will face Peter Michalik, David Anton Guijarro, Jan Krejci and Alexei Shirov.

IM Sagar Shah analyzes Pragg's win over Ju Wenjun

Ranking crosstable after Round 5

Rk. NameRtgFED12345678910Pts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
GMMichalik Peter2565CZE*011½½3,00,08,003
GMJu Wenjun2580CHN1*½0½13,00,07,253
GMAnton Guijarro David2643ESP0½*½113,00,07,003
GMKrejci Jan2570CZE0½*½113,00,06,752
GMStocek Jiri2592CZE½½*½102,50,06,753
GMPraggnanandhaa R2532IND1½*½0½2,50,06,252
GMNguyen Thai Dai Van2546CZE½0½*½12,50,05,502
GMShirov Alexei2667ESP00½*112,50,04,252
GMBartel Mateusz2600POL½0010*1,50,04,003
GMParavyan David2627RUS01½00*1,50,03,752

Masters section:

We reported on rounds 1-3 with Vidit's win over Gelfand and Harikrishna's victory against Duda. In the fourth round Vidit was outplayed by Sam Shankland. Usually Vidit is extremely solid with the white pieces, but against Sam's Grunfeld, something went wrong right out of the opening and the US Champion finished off the game well. In round five Vidit drew with the black pieces against Viktor Laznicka. He is on 2.5/5. Harikrishna after losing to Vitiugov in round two, beat Duda and then followed it up two draws in rounds four and five, against Wojtaszek and Rapport. Hari has faced all three top scorers in the tournament - Duda, Vitiugov and Wojtaszek. Hence, we can expect a strong finish from him in the rounds to come. 

Vidit is on 50%, but will be looking for more in the last four rounds | Photo: Vladimir Jagr

Harikrishna has been solid in rounds four and five. Time for some fireworks? | Photo: Vladimir Jagr

Ranking crosstable after round 5 in Masters

Duda is the leader in the tournament. In spite of his loss to Harikrishna he has come back strong in round four with a win over David Navara.  

Rk. NameRtgFED12345678910Pts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
1GMDuda Jan-Krzysztof2731POL*0½1113,50,06,753
2GMVitiugov Nikita2726RUS*1½½½½3,00,06,753
3GMWojtaszek Radoslaw2722POL*½½½1½3,00,06,252
4GMHarikrishna Pentala2730IND10½*½½2,50,07,252
5GMGelfand Boris2655ISR½½*10½2,50,06,753
6GMShankland Samuel2731USA½½0*1½2,50,06,253
7GMVidit Santosh Gujrathi2711IND½10*½½2,50,05,753
8GMNavara David2739CZE0½½½½*2,00,05,502
9GMRapport Richard2738HUN00½½*12,00,04,002
10GMLaznicka Viktor2670CZE0½½½0*1,50,04,252

Round 7 will see Harikrishna and Vidit being pitted against each other. Hari will have the white pieces. The action each day begins at 7.30 p.m. IST and you can follow all the games on ChessBase Live.

Related news:
A unique opportunity for Bangalore to meet Vishy, Gukesh, Pragg and Vaishali | WACA celebrations 2024

@ 17/05/2024 by Sagar Shah (en)
Praggnanandhaa and Indian chess make a surprising appearance at the Interim Budget 2024

@ 05/02/2024 by Tina Popli (en)
Praggnanandhaa enters into a long term sponsorship agreement with Adani Group

@ 10/01/2024 by Tina Popli (en)
प्रज्ञानन्दा और अदानी ग्रुप में करार , लंबे समय तक प्रायोजित करेगा अदानी ग्रुप

@ 05/01/2024 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Chairman of ISRO S. Somanath visits Praggnanandhaa's home in Chennai

@ 24/10/2023 by Sagar Shah (en)
How the world reacted to Praggnanandhaa’s silver medal finish at World Cup 2023

@ 11/09/2023 by Sneha Tiwari (en)
Gukesh dethrones Vishy Anand's 37-year-long reign as India no.1 officially, also becomes World no.8

@ 01/09/2023 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मैंने नहीं सोचा था कैंडिडैट में होगा चयन " प्रज्ञानन्दा

@ 27/08/2023 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
The life story of Praggnanandhaa in 120 pictures: From a talent to a Candidate

@ 22/08/2023 by Sagar Shah (en)
Indian chess community on Praggnanandhaa crossing 2700 Elo at the age of 17 years

@ 29/07/2023 by Sagar Shah (en)
Praggnanandhaa triumphs at V Géza Hetényi Memorial 2023 with a 2833 performance

@ 20/07/2023 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Praggnanandhaa on the verge of winning V Géza Hetényi Memorial 2023

@ 19/07/2023 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
ये तो होना ही था ! प्रज्ञानन्दा हुए 2700 के पार

@ 13/07/2023 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Praggnanandhaa teams up with Carlsen for the first time for Offerspill and wins Norwegian Elite League 2022-23

@ 06/03/2023 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Your chance to meet Vishy Anand and the young super talents of Indian chess in Bangalore!

@ 06/09/2022 by Sagar Shah (en)
"Don't worry, just beat Magnus Carlsen" The Praggnanandhaa Interview

@ 23/08/2022 by Himank Ghosh (en)
Praggnanandhaa clinches 15th Paracin Open with a 2789 performance, now World no.89

@ 17/07/2022 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
The Praggnanandhaa interview on winning the Norway Chess Open

@ 14/06/2022 by Himank Ghosh (en)
Praggnanandhaa on his debut at Tata Steel Chess 2022 Masters

@ 09/02/2022 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Praggnanandhaa will fight against Carlsen, Caruana & Co. at the Tata Steel Masters 2022

@ 27/10/2021 by Sagar Shah (en)
Praggnanandhaa and his visa issues

@ 06/07/2021 by Sagar Shah (en)
भारत के सुनहरे भविष्य का संकेत : निहाल -प्रग्गानंधा

@ 03/09/2020 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Praggnanandhaa shows his phenomenal knowledge and skills on his 15th birthday

@ 11/08/2020 by Sagar Shah (en)
Lucena in Lockdown #8: The boy next door

@ 03/05/2020 by Avathanshu Bhat (en)
Praggnanandhaa wins the TOISA 2019 for best chess player of the year

@ 07/03/2020 by Sagar Shah (en)
Praggnanandhaa's love for chess

@ 24/01/2020 by Sagar Shah (en)
Praggnanandhaa wins the London Chess Classic FIDE Open 2019

@ 07/12/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
Which is the most popular chess video on the internet?

@ 27/04/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
Ice cool Praggnanandhaa beats Fire on Board Alexei Shirov at Prague Challengers 2019

@ 12/03/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
What happened when Gukesh and Pragg visited Vishy Anand's home in Chennai

@ 07/02/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)

Contact Us