Women's Grand Prix in Tashkent begins

9/18/2013 – The third Women's Grand Prix has begun in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The tournament is part of the Women's World Championship cycle and features some of the strongest women chess players, including ex World Champions Kosteniuk and Stefanova as well as World number three Koneru. The players were greeted by a beautiful opening ceremony and we bring you a pictorial preview.

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The Tashkent Women's Grand Prix is currently being held in Uzbekistan from September 17th - October 1st. The tournament is part of the Women's World Championship cycle that will determine the next challenger for the world title. The twelve player round robin will feature the standard FIDE time control of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, with 30 minutes being added at that point and an additional 30 seconds per move through the entire game.

The Women's Grand Prix Series is currently being led by Anna Muzychuk, followed by Nana Dzagnidze and Tatiana Kosintseva. None of these players will be present at Tashkent, so it will be possible for some of these players to attempt to overtake the leaders. Koneru could easily take a commanding lead (although with only two Grand Prix tournaments played by any player) by winning the event and gaining a whopping 180 points.

Current Grand Prix Standings

Name Ti. Nat. Rtng
Geneva
2013
Dilijan
2013
Tashk.
2013
Khanty
2014
Tbilisi
2014
Erden.
2014
Best 3
Muzychuk, Anna g SLO 2585
130
120
*
*
250
Dzagnidze, Nana g GEO 2556
100
120
*
*
220
Kosintseva, T. g RUS 2517
100
90
*
*
190
Khotenashvili, B. m GEO 2514
160
10
*
*
170
Koneru, Humpy g IND 2607
160
*
*
*
160
Ushenina, Anna g UKR 2500
75
80
*
*
155
Batchimeg T. wg MGL 2295
20
60
*
*
80
Ju, Wenjun wg CHN 2535
75
*
*
*
75
Lagno, Kateryna g UKR 2532
60
*
*
*
60
Stefanova, A. g BUL 2496
60
*
*
*
60
Harika, Dronavalli g IND 2475
60
*
*
*
60
Hou, Yifan g CHN 2609
45
*
*
*
45
Kosteniuk, A. g RUS 2495
45
*
*
*
45
Girya, Olga wg RUS 2439
10
30
*
*
40
Danielian, Elina g ARM 2470
30
*
*
*
30
Zhao, Xue g CHN 2579
*
*
*
*
0
Nakhbayeva, G. wg KAZ 2307
*
Muminova, Nafisa wg UZB 2293
*
*
*
*
0

Tashkent Players

Player Country
Rating
Koneru, Humpy India
2607
Zhao Xue China
2579
Ju Wenjun China
2535
Lagno, Kateryna Ukraine
2532
Khotenashvili, Bela Georgia
2514
Stefanova, Antoaneta Bulgaria
2496
Kosteniuk, Alexandra Russia
2495
Dronavalli, Harika India
2475
Danieliean, Elina Armenia
2470
Girya, Olga Russia
2439
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan Kazakhstan
2307
Muminova, Nafisa Uzbekistan
2293
  • International Master and grandmaster-elect Bela Khotenashvili and the highest rated player at the event, India's GM Humpy Koneru, are the only two participants who have managed to score 160 points in the GP series by winning Geneva and Dilijan stages accordingly.

  • Two former World Champions are among the participants of the event: grandmasters Antoaneta Stefanova and Alexandra Kosteniuk. They both have reached the highest title in the knockout FIDE World Championships (2004 and 2008 accordingly). And even more: they both were in the final twice!

  • GM Zhao Xue and WGM Ju Wenjun are the second and third highest-rated female players in China, members of the national team which won the World Team Championship in 2009 and 2011.

  • GM Kateryna Lagno is a former European Women's Champion, World Blitz Champion and she won the gold medal at the Olympiad in 2012 with the Ukrainian team.

  • The second board of India, GM Harika Dronavalli, has reached the quarter-final and semi-final of the World Women’s Championship (in 2010 and 2012, respectively) and has proven that she is not going to be a mere shadow of her top-rated compatriot.

  • Grandmaster Elina Danielian successfully completed the first Grand Prix Series by scoring 358,5 points with impressive achievements in the GP series such as second in Istanbul 2009, third in Jermuk 2010 and shared first in Doha 2011.

  • WGM Olga Girya has established herself as a top player in Russia, which is never an easy task. Olga keeps showing improving results in Russian and international events and is expected to take one of the leading positions in female chess.

  • The first board of Kazakh women's team, WGM Gulishkan Nakhbayeva, became the third woman in Kazakhstan to earn the title of woman grandmaster after an impressive performance at the Istanbul Olympiad. With Guliskhan's leadership and her draw against former world champion Hou Yifan, the Kazakh team surprised the chess world by drawing the Chinese powerhouse.

  • The nominee of the local organization, WGM Nafisa Muminova, is probably the least familiar name on the list.  However a solid performance in the 2012 Olympiad, including a draw with Stefanova in that tournament, means that she is not someone that will be easily overlooked.

Opening Ceremony

Hotel Uzbekistan, a stone's throw away from Hotel Miran, which is the playing hall

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk posing in front of the surroundings to her battleground for the next couple of weeks

The local media did not miss a beat of the opening ceremony

The very first move of the tournament: Kosteniuk vs. Lagno in a friendly match

FIDE President Kirsan Ilyuzhimov and Minister of Culture and Sports of Uzbekistan Minhozhiddin Hozhimatov open the event

A beautiful traditional dance was performed at the opening ceremony

Absolutely mesmerizing dresses. The girls are holding the traditional Uzbek hats with the pairing numbers hidden inside of them. Each player had her pick.

Antoaneta Stefanova is no stranger to top level women's chess, having been the World Champion in 2004. She's looking to break her dry spell by winning the Grand Prix series.

Olga Girya has had some impressive results lately

Chinese GM Zhao Xue

The local player, Nafisa Muminova, also gets her traditional hat. Nafisa currently studies sports psychology in the Uzbekistan State Institue of Physical Culture. Number six means she will finish with one more black than white

Just because there are two choices doesn't mean it is an easy decision

FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg is in excellent company in Tashkent

The local aspiring players swarmed ex-Women's World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk for her autograph

The playing area is extremely spacious with a fair amount of distance between the tables

The girls ready for the event to start

Information and pictures by Maria Emelianova

Schedule

Round 01 – September 18 2013, 14:00h
Danielian, Elina 2470   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Koneru, Humpy 2607   Ju Wenjun 2535
Lagno, Kateryna 2532   Girya, Olga 2439
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496   Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Dronavalli, Harika 2475   Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Muminova, Nafisa 2293   Zhao Xue 2579
Round 02 – September 19 2013, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495   Zhao Xue 2579
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514   Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307   Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Girya, Olga 2439   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Ju Wenjun 2535   Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Danielian, Elina 2470   Koneru, Humpy 2607
Round 03 – September 20 2013, 14:00h
Koneru, Humpy 2607   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Lagno, Kateryna 2532   Danielian, Elina 2470
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496   Ju Wenjun 2535
Dronavalli, Harika 2475   Girya, Olga 2439
Muminova, Nafisa 2293   Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Zhao Xue 2579   Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Round 04 – September 21 2013, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495   Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307   Zhao Xue 2579
Girya, Olga 2439   Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Ju Wenjun 2535   Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Danielian, Elina 2470   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Koneru, Humpy 2607   Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Round 05 – September 23 2013, 14:00h
Lagno, Kateryna 2532   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496   Koneru, Humpy 2607
Dronavalli, Harika 2475   Danielian, Elina 2470
Muminova, Nafisa 2293   Ju Wenjun 2535
Zhao Xue 2579   Girya, Olga 2439
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514   Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Round 06 – September 24 2013, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495   Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Girya, Olga 2439   Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Ju Wenjun 2535   Zhao Xue 2579
Danielian, Elina 2470   Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Koneru, Humpy 2607   Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Lagno, Kateryna 2532   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Round 07 – September 25 2013, 14:00h
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Dronavalli, Harika 2475   Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Muminova, Nafisa 2293   Koneru, Humpy 2607
Zhao Xue 2579   Danielian, Elina 2470
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514   Ju Wenjun 2535
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307   Girya, Olga 2439
Round 08 – September 26 2013, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495   Girya, Olga 2439
Ju Wenjun 2535   Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Danielian, Elina 2470   Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Koneru, Humpy 2607   Zhao Xue 2579
Lagno, Kateryna 2532   Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496   Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Round 09 – September 28 2013, 14:00h
Dronavalli, Harika 2475   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Muminova, Nafisa 2293   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Zhao Xue 2579   Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514   Koneru, Humpy 2607
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307   Danielian, Elina 2470
Girya, Olga 2439   Ju Wenjun 2535
Round 10 – September 29, 14:00h
Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495   Ju Wenjun 2535
Danielian, Elina 2470   Girya, Olga 2439
Koneru, Humpy 2607   Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307
Lagno, Kateryna 2532   Khotenashvili, Bela 2514
Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496   Zhao Xue 2579
Dronavalli, Harika 2475   Muminova, Nafisa 2293
Round 11 – September 30, 11:00h
Muminova, Nafisa 2293   Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2495
Zhao Xue 2579   Dronavalli, Harika 2475
Khotenashvili, Bela 2514   Stefanova, Antoaneta 2496
Nakhbayeva, Gulishkan 2307   Lagno, Kateryna 2532
Girya, Olga 2439   Koneru, Humpy 2607
Ju Wenjun 2535   Danielian, Elina 2470

The games start at 11:00h European time, 13:00h Moscow, 5 a.m. New York. You can find your regional starting time here.


Topics TashkentW
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