Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun secured the title of the 2023 Tata Steel Chess India Women's Blitz with 12.5 points after 18 rounds, outwitting her pursuers GM Harika Dronavalli, GM Humpy Koneru, and WGM Divya Deshmukh in the final two rounds.
It was an unfortunate final stretch for Harika as she needed to score only three draws in the final six rounds after establishing a whopping two-point lead over the field with a 9/12 score. In contrast, Ju scored 5.5 points in the final six games, while Humpy scored five points to finish first and second respectively.
After the end of the tournament and prize distribution, the draw of lots ceremony for the open rapid event was held, as the event is scheduled to start on Tuesday, September 05.
The Open Rapid tournament begins on September 5 at 5:30 a.m. ET / 11:30 CEST / 15:00 IST.
How to watch the Tata Steel India Chess Open Rapid & Blitz
You can watch the event live on Twitch, as well as our YouTube channels for Chess.com and Chess24. Keep up with all the details of the tournament on our live events platform, and follow the live games by clicking here.
The tiredness of having played 18 games of rapid and blitz over four days seemed to have finally caught up with the players, as the initial rounds of the day featured numerous blunders and oversights, apart from running out of time in equal positions.
In the 10th round, Divya hung her queen against Harika.
Black had just captured on c3 when Divya blundered with 30.Rxc3??, after which she lost her queen to a knight fork with 30...Nf2+. In the diagrammed position, White needed to play 30.Qxd5+ and only then recapture the rook on c3.
In the 11th round, Humpy had conducted an adventurous game creating dangerous connected passed pawns in the queenside after sacrificing a piece, only to hang a rook completely free.