FIDE Women Grand Prix in Jermuk

6/27/2010 – This high-class event with most of the top female players and a prize fund of € 40,000 is the fourth of six to be staged in different places during this and the coming year. New: the winner gets to challenge the women's world champion (when did this happen?). Three rounds have been played in the beautiful spa town Jermuk. We bring you a big pictorial report.

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The FIDE Women Grand Prix, a series of elite tournaments organised by FIDE and Global Chess, is being held in various countries around the world. There are six tournaments spread over two years, with three tournaments every year. The winner of each gets € 6,500 out of a prize fund of € 40,000. The overall winner of the series receives an additional € 15,000 at the end of the series.

The Women Grand Prix has become part of the Women's World Championship cycle, which now becomes an annual event. This year the Champion will be determined in the Women's Knockout World Championship, which will be held in Turkey. Next year, 2011, the World Champion will face the winner of the Grand Prix series 2009/2010 in a match for the title. The first three were in Istanbul, Nanjing and Nalchik, the two remaining Grand Prix tournaments this year are scheduled for

  • Ulanbaatar, Mongolia – 29 July to 12 August 2010
  • Santiago, Chile – 27th October to 9th November 2010

The Jermuk Grand Prix is one of the strongest women tournaments of all times, with three former World Champions participating and, with the exception of Judit Polgar (who never plays in women's tournaments), including the highest ranked women players in the world:

01

Hou Yifan

CHN

2589

02

Antoaneta Stefanova

BUL

2560

03

Pia Cramling

SWE

2536

04

Tatiana Kosintseva

RUS

2534

05

Maia Chiburdanidze

GEO

2514

06

Xu Yuhua

CHN

2484

 

07

Nana Dzagnidze

GEO

2478

08

Lilit Mkrtchian

ARM

2477

09

Elina Danielian

ARM

2473

10

Shen Yang

CHN

2452

11

Baira Kovanova

RUS

2366

12

Martha Fierro

ECU

2363

There are eleven rounds in all, with one free day: Wednesday, June 30.

Jermuk

The location of the FIDE Women Grand Prix is Jermuk in Armenia. The word Jermuk comes from the Armenian word for warmth, a reference to its plentiful hot natural springs and mineral waters. This picturesque and pristine resort is located 170 km south-east from Armenia's capital Yerevan, nestled in mountains rising over 2000 meters in hight. In addition to its natural beauty, Jermuk also boasts significant historical and spiritual importance. In the environs surrounding the town are the 10th-13th century churches and monasteries of Gndevank, St. Astvatsatsin, Noravank, and Tanahat, among others. Not surprisingly, Jermuk was also the vacation residence of various Armenian royalty dating back two millennia.


View Larger Map (use the mouse to pan and zoom)

Today Jermuk is experiencing a revitalized growth of tourism as health spas, medical treatment and tourism, and more traditional touristic destinations offer their services to both local and international guests.


An inviting climate and forested, hilly terrain complete the picture of an ideal vacation hot spot


Beautiful surroundings with water and bridges...


... and interesting denizens that inhabit the area


Another denizen: eighth seed Lilit Mkrtchian of Armenia, rated 2477


A sandstone face in the park – very thematic for the chess event that is taking place

The opening ceremony


The opening ceremony at the playing venue


Dignitaries – you may spot Geoffrey Borg (Global Chess), Nana Gapridashvili (Technical Adviser), Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (FIDE and Kalmyk President), Serge Sarkissian (President of Armenia and the Armenian Chess Federation), Smbat Lputian (grandmaster, organiser)


A clutch of participants: Shen Yang, Antoaneta Stefanova, Xu Yuhua, Tatiana
Kosintseva, Lilit Mkrtchian and Martha Fierro


Mimes dressed as black and white chess kings and queens


GM Xu Yuhua of China, rated 2484, at the drawing of colours


The playing venue, with round one under way: Daneilian-Chiburdanidze (1-0),
Xu Yuhua-Mkrtchian (0-1) and Stefanova-Dzagnidze (0-1)


Former Women's World Champion (2006-2008) Xu Yuhua and Lilit Mkrtchian discuss
their game in the press interview after the round. Here's how it ended:

Xu Yuhua (2484) - Mkrtchian,L (2477) [B52]
4th FIDE GP w Jermuk ARM (1), 24.06.2010
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 e6 7.d4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Be7 9.0-0 Nc6 10.b3 0-0 11.Bb2 Rfd8 12.Rc1 a6 13.Nxc6 Qxc6 14.Qe2 b6 15.Kh1 Qb7 16.f4 Nd7 17.Rf3 b5 18.Rg3 g6 19.Rf1 bxc4 20.Qxc4 Bf6 21.Qe2 Bg7 22.f5 Rac8 23.h4 Be5 24.Rgf3 Nc5 25.Re1 Nd7 26.Ref1 Rc7 27.h5 Rdc8 28.Qd2 Nc5 29.f6 Kh8 30.Qh6 Rg8 31.hxg6 Rxg6 32.Qf8+ Rg8 33.Qh6 Rg6 34.Qf8+ Rg8 35.Qh6 Nxe4 36.Nxe4 Qxe4 37.Bxe5 Qxe5 38.Rh3 Qe4 39.Rff3 Qb1+ 40.Kh2 Rc1

41.Qxh7+. Clever, but the white position is hopeless. 41...Qxh7 42.Rxh7+ Kxh7 43.Rh3+ Kg6 44.Rg3+ Kxf6 45.Rxg8 Ra1 46.a4 Rb1 47.Rb8 Ke5 48.Kg3 d5 49.b4 Kd4 50.Rb6 e5 51.Rxa6 Rxb4 52.a5 f5 53.Ra8 f4+ 0-1.


Shen Yang, who beat top seed Hou Yifan in a kingside scrummage in the first round


The 16-year-old grandmaster Hou, rated 2589, has been underperforming lately


Hou started with two losses – here you see her suffering in round two against Xu Yuhua


In round three at last a first full point – against Lilit Mkrtchian of Armenia


Former World Champion Maia Chiburdanidze beat GM Pia Cramling in round two


Former World Champion GM Antoaneta Stefanova won her third round game against
former World Champion GM Xu Yuhua after a blunder by her Chinese opponent:

Stefanova,A (2560) - Xu Yuhua (2484) [E15]
4th FIDE GP w Jermuk ARM (3), 26.06.2010
1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qc2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.e4 d5 8.cxd5 Bxf1 9.Kxf1 exd5 10.e5 Ne4 11.Nc3 Nxc3 12.bxc3 Qd7 13.h4 Nc6 14.Re1 0-0-0 15.h5 Kb7 16.Kg2 Rdf8 17.Qd3 Nd8 18.Re2 Ne6 19.Nh2 g6 20.h6 Re8 21.f4 f5 22.exf6 Bxf6 23.Rhe1 Rhf8 24.Qf3 Re7 25.Ng4 Bh8 26.c4 Rf5 27.Bc3 Re8 28.Ne3 Ng5 29.Qf1 Rf7 30.Nxd5 Rxe2+ 31.Rxe2 c6 32.Qh1 cxd5 33.fxg5 Qg4 34.Qe1 Qxg5 35.Re8 Bf6 36.Qe6 Rc7 37.Rf8 Be7 38.Rf7 Bd6 39.Rf3

39...Qe7? Time trouble? She had to play 39...Rxc4 to draw. 40.Qxd5+ Kb8 41.c5 bxc5 42.Ba5 Rd7 43.Qg8+ Kb7 44.Rb3+ 1-0.


Photographer's favourite 21-year-old WGM Shen Yang, who lost in rounds two and three

Results of the first three rounds

Round 1 – June 24, 2010
Danielian, Elina
1-0
Chiburdanidze, Maia
Stefanova, Antoaneta
0-1
Dzagnidze, Nana
Kovanova, Baira
1-0
Fierro Baquero, Martha
Cramling, Pia
½-½
Kosintseva, Tatiana
Hou Yifan
0-1
Shen Yang
Xu Yuhua
0-1
Mkrtchian, Lilit
Round 2 – June 25, 2010
Dzagnidze, Nana
1-0
Danielian, Elina
Kosintseva, Tatiana
1-0
Kovanova, Baira
Mkrtchian, Lilit
1-0
Fierro Baquero, Martha
Chiburdanidze, Maia
1-0
Cramling, Pia
Xu Yuhua
1-0
Hou Yifan
Shen Yang
0-1
Stefanova, Antoaneta
Round 3 – June 26, 2010
Danielian, Elina
1-0
Shen Yang
Stefanova, Antoaneta
1-0
Xu Yuhua
Kovanova, Baira
½-½
Chiburdanidze, Maia
Cramling, Pia
½-½
Dzagnidze, Nana
Hou Yifan
1-0
Mkrtchian, Lilit
Fierro Baquero, Martha
0-1
Kosintseva, Tatiana

Standings after three rounds

Statistics

As is normal in women's tournaments the numer of drawn games is low – extraordinarily low in this case. Of the 18 games played in the first three rounds:

  • 16% (just three games) ended in draws
  • White won ten games = 56%
  • Black won five games = 28%

Information and pictures from Jermuk supplied by FIDE, They are presented on the official web site with a new Flash FhotoPlayer by Dhinakaran Annamalai. This player is considerably less annoying then most. It even has more or less enjoyable background music – which can be switched off.


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

 


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