FIDE Women Grand Prix in Ulaanbaatar

by ChessBase
7/31/2010 – That's ᠤᠯᠠᠭᠠᠨᠪᠠᠭᠠᠲᠤ in the local script. Founded in 1639, initially as a nomadic Buddhist monastic centre, Ulan Bator changed its location 28 times and finally became the capital and main city of Mongolia, with a population of one million. The Grand Prix has twelve players, amongst them four former women's world champions. The prize fund is € 40,000. Intro and round one 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 Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix "opens a new point on a chess map," said FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. The capital and largest city in Mongolia is also spelled Ulan Bator (Улаанбаатар in Cyrillic, ᠤᠯᠠᠭᠠᠨᠪᠠᠭᠠᠲᠤᠷ in Mongolian) and translates to The Red Hero. The population is just over one million, and the city lies at an elevation of 1,300 metres (4,300 feet). It is connected to the Trans-Siberian and Chinese railway network.

Explore the region on this Google map [Click to view on a larger map]

The city was founded in 1639 as an initially nomadic Buddhist monastic centre. In 1778 it settled permanently at its present location – before that it had changed location twenty-eight times, with each location being chosen ceremonially.

Panorama view of Ulaaanbaatar today – scroll right or left [photo: Brücke-Osteuropa/Wikipedia]

Before the start of the Grand Prix the President of FIDE laid the foundation stone for a Chess Academy complex in the vicinity of Ulaanbaatar's Buyant-Ukhaa international airport. At the ceremony FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE Vice President Geoffrey Borg, Minister of Education, Culture and Science of Mongolia Y.Otgonbayar and other officials were present.

According to ancient traditions, monks of Gandantegchilen Monastery threw up rice for piety to soil, sky and forest spirits, poured milk and fermented mare milk on the earth to beseech blessings from God the Teacher. After the beseeching ceremony, officials planted a divine jar in the ground of the future Chess academy to attract blessings of holy spirits.

Participants and dignitaries in front of a statue of Jhingis Khan in the Mongolian Parliament

The Ulaanbaatar Women Grand Prix 2010

The participants of the Grand Prix are greeted with flowers...

... and a string quartet, European style

Top seed Humpy, this time accompanied by her mother

Chinese wondergirl Hou Yifan, 16, with the second highest rating

The participants of the Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix include four former Women World champions, playing together for the first time. The world champions are given in red in the following table. The average rating of all 12 players is 2487, making this one of the strongest many-player women's events ever.


Humpy Koneru IND 2595


Hou Yifan




Antoaneta Stefanova




Marie Sebag FRA 2519


Maia Chiburdanidze




Zhao Xue CHN 2542


Tatiana Kosintseva




Zhu Chen




Xu Yuhua




Shen Yang




Batkhuyag Munguntuul




Betul Yildiz



Schedule: Rounds one to eleven are on July 30 to August 11th, with free days on August 3rd and 8th.

Round one

Round 1 – July 30, 2010
Chiburdanidze, Maia 
Munguntuul, Batkhuyag
Koneru, Humpy
Shen Yang
Hou Yifan
Kosintseva, Tatiana
Sebag, Marie
Xu Yuhua
Zhu Chen
Stefanova, Antoaneta
Yildiz, Betul Cemre
Zhao Xue

Humpy at the start of round one

Koneru,H (2600) - Shen Yang (2435) [D10]
5th FIDE GP w Ulaanbaatar MGL (1), 30.07.2010
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.Be2 0-0 7.0-0 e6 8.Qc2 Nbd7 9.Rd1 b6 10.e4 dxe4 11.Nxe4 Qc7 12.Nxf6+ Bxf6 13.Bg5 Bg7 14.Rac1 Re8 15.h4 e5 16.d5 Nc5 17.d6 Qb8 18.Be7 a5 19.Qd2 Bf5 20.Qe3 Ra7 21.h5 Qc8 22.h6 Bf8 23.Bxf8 Kxf8 24.Nxe5 f6 25.d7 Nxd7 26.Nxd7+ Rxd7 27.Qa3+ c5 28.Bf3 Qc7 29.g3 Re5 30.Qc3 Be6 31.Rxd7 Qxd7 32.Rd1 Qe7 33.a3 Kf7 34.Qb3 Qc7 35.Qd3 Qe7 36.b3 Bf5 37.Bd5+

After some pretty dangerous moments in this energy-charged Grunfeld Shen Yang seems to have reached a defensible position: 37...Kf8 allows her to play on with drawing chances. Not however 37...Be6? 38.f4. The black rook has no retreat (38...Rh5 39.Re1 is devastating). 38...Rxd5 39.cxd5 and Humpy has no problems bringing home the full point. 39...Bf5 40.d6 Bxd3 41.dxe7 Bc2 42.Rd6 b5 43.Rxf6+ Kxe7 44.Rc6 Bxb3 45.Rxc5 b4 46.axb4 1-0.

Former women's world champion Maia Chiburdanidze beat Mongolian
IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag in a marathon 92-move Semi Slav

Former women's world champion Xu Yuhua, who drew against France's Marie Sebag

Turkish WIM and law student Betul Cemre Yildiz lost her first game to GM Zhao Xue

Information and pictures from Ulaanbaatar supplied by FIDE


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