Gibraltar to host the final stage of FIDE Women’s Grand Prix

by ChessBase
10/23/2020 – The International Chess Federation announced that Gibraltar will host the final stage of the Women’s FIDE Grand Prix, to be played in January 17-29, 2021. The best female chess players in the world will be competing in a crucial event in the race for the World Championship title, since the two best players from the Women Grand Prix Series qualify directly for the Candidates Tournament. | Photo: David Llada / FIDE

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Press release by FIDE

The International Chess Federation is proud to announce that Gibraltar will host the final stage of the Women’s FIDE Grand Prix, to be played in January 17-29, 2021. 

The cooperation agreement between Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar, the organizers of the Gibraltar Chess Festival, and FIDE, will bring one more time to Gibraltar the best female chess players in the world. But this time, they will be competing in a crucial event in the race for the World Championship title, since the two best players from the Women Grand Prix Series qualify directly for the Candidates Tournament. 

Hosting this prestigious event opens a new chapter in Gibraltar’s continued tradition of supporting chess, in general, and the best female chess players, in particular. 

Since the inception of the Gibraltar Chess Festival in 2003, almost all the world’s top female players have taken part, including the greatest woman player of all time, Judit Polgar, as well as a total of seven Women’s World Champions. 

The Caleta Hotel, a traditional venue for this annual gathering of great minds, will be turned into an isolated environment to ensure the safety of the participants, and avoid any risks associated with COVID-19. There will be no other guests in the hotel during the entire duration of the event apart from the participants and the organizing team, and the competition will be held subject to and in accordance with Gibraltar Government Health Protocols. 

Gibraltar

The Minister for Sport, Hon Steven Linares, expressed his satisfaction about bringing this event to Gibraltar: “Our commitment to chess is clear for all to see, and hosting the Women’s FIDE Grand Prix locally just reinforces this pledge. The fact that FIDE has entrusted Gibraltar with the 4th stage of the series is a testament to the hard work that has ensured that we are considered a worthy organizer and reliable host. This is in no small part due to the tireless efforts of the team at the Caleta Hotel who have organized and developed the Gibraltar International Chess Festival and its junior version into what are now recognized as world-class events.” 

“We are proud to be partnering with the government of Gibraltar and the organizers of this prestigious chess festival. After Skolkovo, Monaco, and Lausanne, we couldn’t think of a better venue than Gibraltar to host the final event in the Women Grand Prix Series,” added the FIDE President, Arkady Dvorkovich. “It is in these difficult times when sports, as well as intellectual activities, are crucial to society, and chess unites both aspects combined in a thrilling, competitive game. Chess is respected and appreciated by the people of Gibraltar, and it receives resolute support from its authorities, for which I am very grateful.” 


The race to the Candidates

In the race to get the qualifying spots to the Candidates, only a miracle would leave Humpy Koneru out of the top two (Goryachkina is already qualified as the latest World Championship challenger), while Nana Dzagnidze and Kateryna Lagno became the front-runners in the struggle to get the second ticket — notice that Kosteniuk will not play the fourth leg.

Overall standings of the Women's Grand Prix series:

Rank Player Skolkovo Monaco Lausanne Sardinia Total
1  Aleksandra Goryachkina (RUS) 120 133⅓ 145 *** 398⅓
2  Humpy Koneru (IND) 160 133⅓ ***   293⅓
3  Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) 45 133⅓ 15 *** 193⅓
4  Nana Dzagnidze (GEO) *** 35 145   180
4  Kateryna Lagno (RUS) 90 90 ***   180
4  Dronavalli Harika (IND) 60 60 60 *** 180
7  Anna Muzychuk (UKR) *** 80 85   165
8  Ju Wenjun (CHN) 120 *** 35   155
9  Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS) 45 *** 85   130
10  Mariya Muzychuk (UKR) *** 60 60   120
11  Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ) *** *** 110 *** 110
12  Pia Cramling (SWE) 10 60 35 *** 105
13  Elisabeth Paehtz (GER) 75 20 ***   95
14  Valentina Gunina (RUS) 75 10 ***   85
14  Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL) 25 *** 60   85
16  Marie Sebag (FRA) 25 *** 15   40
17  Zhao Xue (CHN) *** 35 ***   35

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