Humpy's qualification official – Anand on her chances

3/6/2011 – On Saturday Humpy Koneru won her final game and with that Women Grand Prix in Doha. It is now official: the Indian GM has earned the right to challenge the reigning women's world champion Chinese GM Hou Yifan for a title match later this year. We bring you final photos from Doha and some pointers Humpy received from a compatriot world champion. Interview with Vishy Anand.

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The FIDE Women Grand Prix is a series of elite tournaments organised by FIDE and Global Chess, with six legs over two years in various countries around the world, with three tournaments every year. The winner of each tournament gets 6,500 Euros out of a prize fund of 40,000 Euros, and the overall winner of the series will win a further 15,000 Euros at the end of the series. The sixth event of the cycle was held from the 21st of February to 5th of March. It took place in the Sharq Village and Spa in Doha, Qatar.

Humpy won her final game and with that Women Grand Prix in Doha, ahead on tie-break points of Elina Danielian, Armenia, who drew against Bulgarian Antoaneta Stefanova.

Final standings (after eleven rounds)

The columns on the right of this table, automatically generated by ChessBase 11, indicate the score, the tiebreak points, the performance and the number of points the player is gaining on the FIDE rating list.


The trophies for the first, second and third places in the Doha Grand Prix


Humpy Koneru receives her prize from FIDE Honorary Vice President Khalifa Mohammed Al-Hitmi


Elina Danielian gets hers from FIDE Vice President Ali Nihat Yazici


Marie Sebag with chief organiser of the Doha Grand Prix GM Mohamed Al-Modiahki


The three winners pose with their trophies

 

All photos by Maria Bolshakova (left)
and Anastasiya Karlovich (above)

Final Grand Prix standings

# Player
Ist
Nan
Nal
Jer
Ula
Doh
Total
WR
GP pts
GPs
1 Hou Yifan
120
130
70
160
480
70
410.0
4
2 Koneru
160
70
93.3
145
483.3
70
398.3
4
3 Dzagnidze
130
100
160
80
390
80
390.0
4
4 Kosintseva,T
160
130
93.3
383.3
-
383.3
3
8 Danielian
120
10
93.3
145
223.3
10
358.3
4
5 Zhao Xue
90
110
40
93.3
333.3
40
293.3
4
7 Xu Yuhua
160
30
60
55
250
30
275.0
4
11 Sebag
80
80
30
110
190
30
270.0
4
6 Stefanova
45
93.3
130
20
268.3
20
268.3
4
9 Cramling
65
100
55
80
220
55
245.0
4
10 Mkrtchian
80
40
93.3
35
213
35
213.3
4
13 Chiburdanidze
45
40
70
80
155
40
195.0
4
15 Monguntuul
50
70
20
55
140
20
175.0
4
12 Shen Yang
25
60
55
45
185
25
160.0
4
14 Zhu Chen
30
70
45
10
145
10
145.0
4
17 Fierro
65
20
10
35
95
10
120.0
4
16 Kovanova
40
40
20
100
-
100.0
3
18 Ju Wenjun
80
80
-
80.0
1
19 Yildiz
10
10
20
10
50
10
40.0
4
20 Mamedjarova
25
25
-
25.0
1

The third column from the right, WR, is the worst of four results, which is ignored for the final count of points (i.e. the Grand Prix final total is the sum of the three best tournaments).


Anand on Humpy: She has to be tactically alert


The next world championship challenger: GM Koneru Humpy of India

Koneru Humpy is the first Indian woman to be one step away from being the [women's] world chess champion. She will play the title match against China's Hou Yifan, an opponent she lost to twice in the knockout semifinals. Humpy set up this match, winning the Doha Grand Prix by staging a remarkable rally – 5.5 points in last six rounds.

Only Vishy Anand among Indians has reached thus far (world title match). And the undisputed world chess champion in all formats of the 64-square game has been following the Doha meet keenly. He spoke to TOI from Chennai:

How would you describe the significance of what Humpy has achieved?

It's a fantastic win. She has been missing out a lot of these events. She came close in knockout format twice but couldn't finish it off. I was following the GP from the beginning and things were not going well for her initially. Once Danielian Elina (Armenia) started doing well, it became worse for Humpy. She had to depend not only on her result but also on other results. But full credit to her for fighting it out, especially in the last two games.

How do you see the evolving of Humpy as a super player among women?

She has managed to keep her high rating comfortably. But that big breakthrough was not happening. Now she gets an opportunity. India-China rivalry is good for chess. Having said that, Hou is a ridiculously talented girl.


The current women's world champion: GM Hou Yifan from China

What's the way to beat Hou?

Humpy has to be tactically much more alert. The initiative has to be converted into a point. She has to find a way to improve her technique. There is no point in outplaying someone if (she) can find an escape tactically. Hou is not a clear favourite as such. But she is dangerous.

You don't advocate the word revenge that strongly. But the match against Hou provides just that kind of opportunity for Humpy...

If revenge motivates you, go for it! But the main thing is to set your game in order. She has to train well and continue her good run in other events preceding the title match, the schedule of which is unclear.

Any comments on the problems between Humpy and AICF (Humpy had skipped the Olympiad and Asian Games recently)?

I would advice Humpy to forget everything. Just concentrate on the game.

Humpy reaching the title clash also happened in proximity to International Women's Day...

It adds a nice touch. Humpy reaching this far is a huge thing for women's chess in India.


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