Hou Yifan wins Ulaanbaatar FIDE Grand Prix

by ChessBase
8/12/2010 – She took ill after round seven, played her round eight game on a free day, won five games and drew the rest. Chinese super-talent Hou Yifan, 16, scored 8.0/11 points with a performance of 2649 to win the event. Second was GM Antoaneta Stefanova, a former women's world champion, with three players sharing 3-5th places. Final illustrated report from the closing ceremony.

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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. They have become part of the Women's World Championship cycle, which now becomes an annual event. The latest Grand Prix took place in the capital and largest city in Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar (or Ulan Bator). The participants included four former Women World champions, playing together for the first time. The average rating of all 12 players was 2487, making this one of the strongest many-player women's events ever.

Round 11 – August 12th, 2010
Stefanova, Antoaneta
Hou Yifan
Zhao Xue
Sebag, Marie
Kosintseva, Tatiana
Yildiz, Betul Cemre
Chiburdanidze, Maia
Shen Yang
Xu Yuhua
Koneru, Humpy
Munguntuul, Batkhuyag
Zhu Chen

The last round of the Grand Prix was started at 10:00 a.m., so that everyone could be ready for the closing ceremony at 16:00h. The decisive game was of course Antoaneta Stefanova vs Hou Yifan, who were leading on the scoreboard, separated by half a point.

Hou (above right) needed a draw, Stefanova had to fight for a win. She played the English Opening which turned into a New Indian. The young Chinese GM equalised in around 20 moves and did not allow her opponent to gain any substantial advantage until the end of the game.

With that 16-year-old Hou Yifan, who started the event as second seed, won the Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix with 8.0/11 points and a performance of 2649. In spite of a short illness Yifan did not lose a single game during the tournament. She is the only player to remain undefeated. Yifan works with two coaches: the main trainer of Chinese team GM Ye Jiangchuan and GM Yu Shaoteng.

Standings after eleven rounds (final)


In this tournament a total of 66 games were played. Of these:

  • 24 games = 37% ended in draws
  • 28 games = 42% were won by White
  • 14 games = 21% were won by Black

Hou Yifan and Shen Yang drew six games each, Munguntuul drew just one game in eleven rounds.

Two games were drawn in less than 20 moves, four in 22-27 moves, and two were won in 27 moves. The longest games lasted 104 and 108 moves, and both involved Humpy Koneru trying to win difficult endings (she succeeded in the 108er). Hou Yifan, Humpy and Kosintseva won four games each with white, Stefanova and Chiburdanidze won three each. Zhao Xue and Stefanova won three games each with the black pieces.

Pictures from the closing ceremony

The winner with 8.0/11 and a 2649 performance: GM Hou Yifan

Second: GM Antoaneta Stefanova, 7.5/11, 2613 performance

Equal third-fifth: GM Tatiana Kosintseva, 6.5/11

Winners Hou, Stefanova and Kosintseva at the prize giving

GM Maia Chiburdanidze (6.0/11) and GM Humpy Koneru (6.5/11)

GM Marie Sebag, WIM Betul Cemre Yildiz and WGM Shen Yang

A Mongolian musical presentation at the closing ceremony

... with vigorous dance numbers

Very vigorous in fact, with beautiful thematic costumes

An acrobat and contortionist

You work out the pressure that is being exerted on her incisors

Panorama of players and officials at the closing ceremony (scroll to right)

Information and pictures from Ulaanbaatar supplied by FIDE


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