Last women's GP under way

by Alejandro Ramirez
8/26/2014 – The final Grand Prix in the 2013-14 series is now under way in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The tournament is a strong round robin and two players come into the tournament with chances of winning the series: Koneru Humpy and Hou Yifan. It will all come down to who scores more points in this tournament to determine who wins the series, and a very, very nice trophy.

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The sixth and final stage of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix series 2013-2014 will take place at the Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club, (UAE) from the 24th of August until the 7th of September 2014. Over eleven rounds, twelve of the strongest women players in the world will compete in the round robin tournament with the standard FIDE time control of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, with 30 minutes being added at that point and an additional 30 seconds per move through the entire game.

The winner of the Grand Prix series will play a ten-game World Championship match with the Women’s World Champion; which will be determined during Women World Championship in the third quarter of 2015.

Grand Prix Standings

  Player July 2014
Rating
Geneva Dilijan Tashkent Khanty-Mansiysk Lopota Sharjah Played Best 3
1  Koneru Humpy (India) 2613   160 160   50 x 3 370
2  Hou Yifan (China) 2629 45     160 160 x 3 365
3  Anna Muzychuk (Slovenia) 2561 130 120   85 50   4 335
4  Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia) 2541 100 120   65 90   4 310
5  Bela Khotenashvili (Georgia) 2518 160 10 120   20   4 300
6  Kateryna Lahno (Russia) 2540 60   120 85     3 265
 Ju Wenjun (China) 2538 75   70   120 x 3 265
8  Dronavalli Harika (India) 2513   60 85   75 x 3 220
9  Olga Girya (Russia) 2493 10 30 55 130     4 215
 Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) 2533 45   55 110 50   4 215
11  Tatiana Kosintseva (Russia) 2476 100 90   15   x 3 205
12  Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria) 2488   60 30 65 75   4 200
13  Anna Ushenina (Ukraine) 2488 75 80   45   x 3 200
14  Elina Danielian (Armenia) 2458   30 40   120 x 3 190
15  Zhao Xue (China) 2542     85 45 30 x 3 160
16  Batchimeg Tuvshintugs (Mongolia) 2346 20 60   15   x 3 95
17  Viktorija Cmilyte (Lithuania) 2525 30 30         2 60
 Nafisa Muminova (Uzbekistan) 2332     20 30 10 x 3 60
19  Guliskhan Nakhbayeva (Kazakhstan) 2300     10       1 10
20  Alina L'Ami (Romania) 2446           x 0 0
21  Zhu Chen (Qatar) 2461           x 0 0

As it is there are only two players that can win the Grand Prix series. Both Humpy and Hou Yifan have basically the same chance of winning it as the top three results are counted, and with both of them having one dismal result (Lopota for Humpy and Geneva for Hou Yifan) it is likely that it will be the player that places higher in this tournament that takes the title.

Opening Ceremony

The tournament is being held at the Sharjah Chess Club, estabilshed by Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, ruler of Sharjah, and it is currently the biggest chess club in the world with an area of 34,000 cubic feet and a hall that can accommodate over 500 players (though it will only accommodate a dozen this time around).

Ju Wenjun just before the opening ceremony

All the players, from left to right: Kosintseva (Tatiana), Muminova, Harika,
Hou Yifan, l'Ami, Ju Wenjun, Zhu Chen, Zhao Xue and Humpy

The hall is nothing short of beautiful

Local dancers preparing for their performance on stage

The ceremony was glamorous and appropiate for the conclusion of the Grand Prix series

Of course, the FIDE president could not miss this event

Tatiana Kosintseva in the drawing of lots

With the ceremony over, it was time to get into the action

The winner of the Grand Prix will be awarded a very precious trophy, which is crafted in silver and gold, encrusted with diamonds. The original design is developed by Lobortas Classic Jewelry House, the creator of the Large and Small “Caissa” trophies for FIDE.

The big and small cups will be presented during the opening ceremony of the sixth stage of FIDE Women’s Grand Prix in Sharjah. The Large trophy, presented to the winner at an annual ceremony, will have the winner’s name engraved on it and is to be stored at the FIDE headquarters. The small trophy, a reduced copy, will be handed over to the winner for permanent possession. For all subsequent victories, the years of winning seasons may be additionally engraved on the small trophy.

Round One

Round 01 – August 25 2014, 15:00h
Zhu Chen 2461
0-1
Zhao Xue 2508
Ju Wenjun 2559
½-½
Ushenina, Anna 2487
Danielian, Elina 2490
½-½
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
1-0
Koneru Humpy 2598
l'Ami, Alina 2446
0-1
Dronavalli Harika 2521
Muminova, Nafisa 2315
0-1
Hou Yifan 2661

Zhu Chen 0-1 Zhao Xue
In an aproximately equal position Zhu Chen decided to sacrifice a pawn for some positional compensation, and she eventually regained the pawn though the game remained equal. However when the time came for Zhu Chen to simplify into a drawn endgame, she missed her chance and instead lost a pawn. Zhao Xue gradually converted her material advantage with superior play.

Ju Wenjun ½-½ Ushenina, Anna
The Chinese player's opening was more than questionable. The players agreed to a repetition on move 30, which suited Ju Wenjun just fine as she was the only one that could be slightly worse. Ushenina might have wanted to try at least a little harder in this position.

Danielian, Elina ½-½ Kosintseva, Tatiana
White did obtain an advantage somehow out of the opening. She converted this positional pressure into an extra pawn in the endgame, but the combination of Danielian's lacking technique and Kosintseva's superb defense made the game end in a draw.

Elina Danielian wasn't quite able to convert her advantage

Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 1-0 Koneru Humpy
Humpy obtained the better chances when she won the two rooks for a queen. White's activity wasn't quite there to compensate the material deficit. However the Indian player slowly lost her way and in time trouble she blundered horribly, giving the Mongolian player an important round one victory.

Batchimeg "Chimy" Tuvshintugs has good reasons to smile today!

l'Ami, Alina 0-1 Dronavalli Harika
l'Ami's debut at the Grand Prix was less than successful, and this was mainly due to the bad pawn structure she obtained out of the opening. With no queens on the board and no way to create counterplay her hanging pawns were easy pickings for her opponent. Even though the win took some time, it was never in question.

In the big leagues! Everyone's favorite globetrotter
Alina l'Ami plays her first Grand Prix...

However Harika did not make it easy at all...

Muminova, Nafisa 0-1 Hou Yifan
The game followed a recent De la Riva-Giri game from the Olympiad, but once both players were on their own it seemed that Black improved her position with every move while White made it worse. By move 30 Black wasn't up material, but White's position was strategically hopeless.

Round One Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Photos of the opening ceremony by A. Karlovich, of round 1 by M. Emelianova

Pairings and Schedule

Round 01 – August 25 2014, 15:00h
Zhu Chen 2461
0-1
Zhao Xue 2508
Ju Wenjun 2559
½-½
Ushenina, Anna 2487
Danielian, Elina 2490
½-½
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
1-0
Koneru Humpy 2598
l'Ami, Alina 2446
0-1
Dronavalli Harika 2521
Muminova, Nafisa 2315
0-1
Hou Yifan 2661
Round 02 –August 26 2014, 15:00h
Zhao Xue 2508   Hou Yifan 2661
Dronavalli Harika 2521   Muminova, Nafisa 2315
Koneru Humpy 2598   l'Ami, Alina 2446
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494   Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
Ushenina, Anna 2487   Danielian, Elina 2490
Zhu Chen 2461   Ju Wenjun 2559
Round 03 –August 27 2014, 15:00h
Ju Wenjun 2559   Zhao Xue 2508
Danielian, Elina 2490   Zhu Chen 2461
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346   Ushenina, Anna 2487
l'Ami, Alina 2446   Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
Muminova, Nafisa 2315   Koneru Humpy 2598
Hou Yifan 2661   Dronavalli Harika 2521
Round 04 –August 28 2014, 15:00h
Zhao Xue 2508   Dronavalli Harika 2521
Koneru Humpy 2598   Hou Yifan 2661
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494   Muminova, Nafisa 2315
Ushenina, Anna 2487   l'Ami, Alina 2446
Zhu Chen 2461   Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
Ju Wenjun 2559   Danielian, Elina 2490
Round 05 –August 30 2014, 15:00h
Danielian, Elina 2490   Zhao Xue 2508
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346   Ju Wenjun 2559
l'Ami, Alina 2446   Zhu Chen 2461
Muminova, Nafisa 2315   Ushenina, Anna 2487
Hou Yifan 2661   Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
Dronavalli Harika 2521   Koneru Humpy 2598
Round 06 –August 31 2014, 15:00h
Zhao Xue 2508   Koneru Humpy 2598
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494   Dronavalli Harika 2521
Ushenina, Anna 2487   Hou Yifan 2661
Zhu Chen 2461   Muminova, Nafisa 2315
Ju Wenjun 2559   l'Ami, Alina 2446
Danielian, Elina 2490   Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
Round 07 –September 01 2014, 15:00h
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346   Zhao Xue 2508
l'Ami, Alina 2446   Danielian, Elina 2490
Muminova, Nafisa 2315   Ju Wenjun 2559
Hou Yifan 2661   Zhu Chen 2461
Dronavalli Harika 2521   Ushenina, Anna 2487
Koneru Humpy 2598   Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
Round 08 –September 02 2014, 15:00h
Zhao Xue 2508   Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
Ushenina, Anna 2487   Koneru Humpy 2598
Zhu Chen 2461   Dronavalli Harika 2521
Ju Wenjun 2559   Hou Yifan 2661
Danielian, Elina 2490   Muminova, Nafisa 2315
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346   l'Ami, Alina 2446
Round 09 – September 04 2014, 15:00h
l'Ami, Alina 2446   Zhao Xue 2508
Muminova, Nafisa 2315   Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
Hou Yifan 2661   Danielian, Elina 2490
Dronavalli Harika 2521   Ju Wenjun 2559
Koneru Humpy 2598   Zhu Chen 2461
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494   Ushenina, Anna 2487
Round 10 –September 05 2014, 15:00h
Zhao Xue 2508   Ushenina, Anna 2487
Zhu Chen 2461   Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494
Ju Wenjun 2559   Koneru Humpy 2598
Danielian, Elina 2490   Dronavalli Harika 2521
Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346   Hou Yifan 2661
l'Ami, Alina 2446   Muminova, Nafisa 2315
Round 11 – September 06 2014, 13:00h
Muminova, Nafisa 2315   Zhao Xue 2508
Hou Yifan 2661   l'Ami, Alina 2446
Dronavalli Harika 2521   Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg 2346
Koneru Humpy 2598   Danielian, Elina 2490
Kosintseva, Tatiana 2494   Ju Wenjun 2559
Ushenina, Anna 2487   Zhu Chen 2461

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 a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

 



Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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VGerber VGerber 8/26/2014 11:28
"The winner of the Grand Prix series will play a ten-game World Championship match with the Women’s World Champion; which will be determined during Women World Championship in the third quarter of 2015."
I think that this is a wrong or at least misleading information from Anastasiya Karlovich on the website of the Sharjah tournament. The winner of the Grand Prix series will rather play a World championship match in the third quarter of 2015 against the winner of the WWCC 2014 that will be played again as a knockout tournament. Ilyumzhinov has announced to present the venue of the 2014 knockout tournament during the closing ceremony in Sharjah.
Why simply if it is also possible awkwardly! With his clinging to the knockout system Ilyumzhinov is the true originator of the huge mess that gets even experienced FIDE employees like Anastasiya Karlovich to lose the overview. The chess community has elected the chieftain that it deserves. :-)
lhl lhl 8/26/2014 01:03
I expected Cmilyte to withdraw. But why was Lagno replaced? Also, does anyone know why the event was moved from Erdenet to Sharjah?
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