The fourth game of the Women’s World Championship between the defending champion Ju Wenjun (China) and Kateryna Lagno (Russia) was played on November 22 in Khanty-Mansiysk. Lagno had White.
The players went for the Rossolimo Sicilian, where Black managed to create counterplay by carrying out the f7-f5 breakthrough. Concrete play emerged on both sides of the board. In the middlegame Lagno was spending a lot of time, however, by the move 16 Black’s position was already better due to the semi-open g-file and dangerous attacking prospects.
After White’s queenside play was exhausted, Kateryna switched to the other side of the board. However, the raid of her knight could become crucial, had the Chinese found the most principled reply. Ju Wenjun preferred a more solid move.
The computer does not approve Black’s decision to trade the dark-squared bishop for the knight, however, it allowed Ju Wenjun to triple her major pieces on the g-file.
White needed to play with extreme precision to hold the balance, which proved an overwhelming task under the heavy time pressure. One blunder made White’s position hopeless. The game ended in Black’s favor after a swift attack with a rook sacrifice.
The match score is now 2-2. The tie-break will be played on November 23 at 1 pm local time. Ju Wenjun will start with the white pieces.
The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+10blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.