As I write this, the Women's World Chess Championship between Ju Wenjun and Lei Tingjie is ongoing. I notice that every time I tune in to the stream, both players are thinking at the board. This was quite surprising, since at the 2023 World Chess Championship, the players are often not at the board (Nepomniatchi was criticized for this in his match against Carlsen two years ago).

Chessbase noticed too:

During the games in this match, the players are almost always sitting at the board thinking about their and their opponent’s moves. This is quite different from what has become common in the open World Championships, where the contenders regularly retire to a quiet room, watch the game via a monitor and appear when it is their turn to move. At times, neither of the players can be seen on stage.


  1. Is thinking at the board common at all Women's World Chess Championships, or is this something only Lei Tingjie and Juwenjun do (i.e. other players at the WWCC like Hou Yifan & Anna Muzychuk think away from the board too)?
  2. Is not thinking at the board common at all open World Chess Championships, or is it something that Ian Nepomniatchi, Magnus Carlsen and Ding Liren do (i.e. other players at the WCC like Sergey Karjakin and Viswanathan Anand think at the board too)?
  • I have no proof of my claim but my guess would be that 2800 Elo players are far better at accurately calculating "blindfolded"
    – David
    Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 16:30


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.