Shanghai and Chongqing will host the year’s two major Women’s events. More than three years after her last defence of the title in Shanghai and Vladivostok, the Women’s World Champion Ju Wenjun will face the winner of the Candidates Final match between Lei Tingjie and Tan Zhongyi.
The final stage of the Women’s Candidates, played to the best of six games, will take place in Chongqing from March 27th to April 6th. The decision was an obvious choice for the Chinese Chess Association, organisers of the match, as both players were born there. With almost 32 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, Chongqing is an important centre of chess activity in the country, featuring multiple chess clubs and academies. Besides Lei Tingjie and Tan Zhongyi, teammates at the «Chongqing Sports Lottery Chess Club», the city is also home to other important chess figures in the country such as Huang Qian, Liu Yan, and Wang Chen, who in turn have inspired thousands of children in the city to take up western chess.
As in 2018, the Women’s World Championship Match will be split between Chongqing and Shanghai, ensuring that both the defending Champion, Ju Wenjun, and her challenger will play half of the games on home turf. The 12-game match will take place from July 5th to 25th, switching cities halfway. It remains to be decided which city will host the first half and which one the second.