The drawing of lots decided that 居文君 (Jū Wénjūn) (first from left) will play White in tomorrow’s first game against 谭中怡 (Tán Zhōngyí) (first from right). Curiously enough, they both have been iconographed as Black Queens, so perhaps only one of them will finally succeed in turning herself to a White Queen. Let’s only hope that the metamorphosis happens in an artist’s studio, rather than in a mandarin’s stage-set.
They both were born in the same year (1991), and are long time friends. However, the cultural and political rivalry between 上海 (Shànghǎi) and 重庆 (Chóngqìng) might have its influence on the final outcome, so as the power of the respective sponsors. But, if they are friends, they will remain so.
As it has been noted, this is the third “Chinese derby” in chess history. The previous two were 谢军 (Xiè Jūn) vs. 秦侃滢 (Qín Kǎnyìng) in 2000, and 侯逸凡 (Hóu Yìfán) vs. 阮露斐 (Ruǎn Lùfěi) in 2010. So the organisers know who to ask if they need a team of four English-speaking commentators. Photo: cca.imsa.cn.