New super women's tournament – in Turkey!

by ChessBase
12/6/2007 – Women's chess has always been sadly neglected. Now a bank in Turkey, together with the Turkish Chess Federation, has taken the initiative and announced a super women's event in Istanbul in March 2008. Eligible are all female players over 2460 Elo, or over 2400 and having a GM title. The prize fund is US $16,000 (plus appearance fees). Great conditions: ladies, apply quickly.

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İş Bankası - Atatürk International Women Masters Chess Tournament

I. Introduction

As the chess world knows, nowadays there are legendary tournaments like Linares, Corus, Dortmund – for top men in chess. The Turkish Chess Federation, with the sponsorship of İş Bankası, wants to start a legendary tournament for women chess. The tournament will be organised every year, and the top women by invitation will be accepted in the İş Bankası - Atatürk International Women Masters Chess Tournament.

The Turkish Chess Federation and İş Bankası want to underline together the priority given to women by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, our eminent leader who established the Turkish Republic. The TCF and our main sponsor, İş Bankası, are aiming to invest in women's chess for the next ten years. The TCF is aiming to create a women "dream team" which will win the Olympiad 2012–2014.

II. Tournament

The İş Bankası - Atatürk International Women Masters Chess Tournament will be a round robin tournament. It will start on the 10th of March 2008 (arrival) and will finish on 20th March 2008 (departure). There will be eight invited players and the best two Turkish women players, according to the FIDE Elo List. The tournament will be nine rounds with official FIDE time controls (90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move starting from move one). The tournament will be organised in Istanbul, on the 41st floor of the İş Bankası Towers.

III. Appearance fee

All payers invited will be given an appearance fee according to the following formula of rating category and the starting rank in the tournament.

Appearance fee according to the Rating Category

Elo in January 2008 Stipend
2600+ US $1,500
2500+ US $1,250
2400+ US $1,000
Under 2450 no appearance fee
Ex or current World Champions US $1,000 extra
Ex European Champions US $500 extra

Appearance fee according to starting rank

The starting rank in the tournament is determined by the 1st January 2008 FIDE ratings


US $1,200



US $600


US $1,000



US $500


US $900



US $400


US $800



US $300


US $700



US $200

  Total appearance fees: US $6,600

IV. Prize Fund

The total Prize Fund for the İş Bankası - Atatürk International Women Masters Chess Tournament will be US $16,000, to be awarded as follows:


US $5,000



US $1,000


US $3,000



US $800


US $2,000



US $600


US $1,500



US $500


US $1,200



US $400

  Total prize fund: US $16,000

All prizes are tax exempted in Turkey. National taxes occur in players’ origin country is their responsibility. The top three players will be given trophies, medals and gifts. Three time winner of tournament will get a silver cup.

V. Travel Expenses

Foreign players coming to Istanbul from Europe will be paid a fixed US $300 fee for their travelling cost. Players coming from other continents will be paid US $800. All players are free to choose their method of travel (flight, train, etc.). Airport to Hotel transfer will be provided by the TCF.

VI. Accommodation

Accommodation will be provided for the participants in the Sheraton Istanbul Maslak Hotel (five stars). Transportation between the hotel and the venue will be provided by organisers, with private cars. The hotel is bed and breakfast, and there are many restaurants to choose from for lunch and diner. The organisers will provide US $50 per day pocket money for players for these meals. Accompanying persons, coaches, and any other people who come together with players will pay their own accommodation. Additional people accommodation cost is Euro 200 in a single room and Euro 150 in double room, for bed and breakfast. Accompanying people should inform the organisers by 15 December latest, since hotels are fully booked during the period of the event.

VII. Code of Conduct for Players

All players must participate in press conferences held immediately after the round each day. They have to wear proper dress and behave according to FIDE rules of manners and fair play. After each round, whatever the result, players will be invited to the press conference in the order of the completion of their game.

VIII. Participation

Please send us an answer until the 15th of December. Early answers will be given preference.

IX. Regulations

The official regulations, arbiters and the details of the tournament will be published on the 1st February 2008.

X. Players eligible to get an invitation

Eligible are all woman players over 2460 Elo on the 1st October Elo list, or over 2400 and having a GM title, plus IM Ekaterina Atalik of Turkey, plus a Turkish female player, if the participating players number is less than eight. Invitations will be finalised according to the 1st October 2007 list, and appearance fees will be paid according to the January 1st 2008 rating list. If the number of players accepting the invitation is lesser than eight, the organisers will not go further down on the Elo list to preserve the tournament category. If only five or six players accept the invitations then it will be double round robin tournament. The regulations and schedule will be fixed by the 20 December 2007.

XI. Contact

Please contact directly the President of Turkish Chess Federation, Ali Nihat YAZICI:

Email: or
Fax: +90 312 3109620 or +90 312 2959655

Applications after the 15th of December cannot be taken under consideration.

Ali Nihat Yazici, Turkish Chess Federation

Who is eligible?

According to our information the following 25 players are qualified to apply for participation in the İş Bankası - Atatürk International Women Masters Chess Tournament (according to the October 1st 2007 FIDE rating list):

Rank Name Title Country Rating Games B-Year
 1  Polgar, Judit  GM  HUN  2708  9  1976
 2  Koneru, Humpy  GM  IND  2606  27  1987
 3  Cramling, Pia  GM  SWE  2531  20  1963
 4  Zhu, Chen  GM  QAT  2531  9  1976
 5  Zhao, Xue  WGM  CHN  2530  36  1985
 6  Kosteniuk, Alexandra  GM  RUS  2515  0  1984
 7  Sebag, Marie  IM  FRA  2509  12  1986
 8  Hou, Yifan  WGM  CHN  2502  19  1994
 9  Chiburdanidze, Maia  GM  GEO  2500  10  1961
 10  Kosintseva, Tatiana  IM  RUS  2492  10  1986
 11  Ushenina, Anna  IM  UKR  2486  19  1985
 12  Harika, Dronavalli  WGM  IND  2480  28  1991
 13  Krush, Irina  IM  USA  2475  22  1983
 14  Javakhishvili, Lela  IM  GEO  2474  16  1984
 15  Socko, Monika  IM  POL  2473  27  1978
 16  Muzychuk, Anna  WGM  SLO  2469  19  1990
 17  Kosintseva, Nadezhda  IM  RUS  2469  10  1985
 18  Hoang Thanh Trang  GM  HUN  2466  0  1980
 19  Cmilyte, Viktorija  IM  LTU  2464  10  1983
 20  Vijayalakshmi, Subbaraman  IM  IND  2464  0  1979
 21  Stefanova, Antoaneta  GM  BUL  2463  29  1979
 22  Pogonina, Natalija  WGM  RUS  2462  27  1985
 23  Galliamova, Alisa  IM  RUS  2460  9  1972
 24  Lahno, Kateryna  GM  UKR  2459  9  1989
 41  Peng, Zhaoqin  GM  NED  2419  10  1968


Judit Polgar, strongest female player in the history of the game – but she doesn't normally play in women's tournaments

Koneru Humpy, the second player in history to cross Elo 2600

Pia Cramling of Sweden, who has been one of the strongest female players in the world since the early 1980s.

Hope she accepts: former World Champion Zhu Chen, who now lives in Qatar

WGM Zhao Xue, 22, played an important part in the last two victories of China in the Women's Chess Olympiad, scoring 11/12 on board 4 in Bled 2002 and 10/12 on board 3 in Calvia 2004, winning individual gold medals for her performances on both occasions.

Alexandra Kosteniuk, the tenth of the eleven female FIDE grandmasters in chess history

IM Marie Sebag, top French female player

13-year-old Hou Yifan, one of the most amazing prodigies in women's chess today

Maia Chiburdanidze, the seventh (and youngest) Women's World Champion in history

The wonder sisters from Russia: Tatiana and Nadezhda Kosintseva

IM Anna Ushenina, 22, from Ukraine

WGM Harika Dronavalli, 16, India's second strongest female player

IM Irina Krush, 24, top female player in the USA

IM Lela Javakhishvili, 23, from Georgia

IM Monica Socko of Poland

IM Anna Muzychuk, 17, who plays for Slovenia

GM Hoang Thanh Trang from Vietnam, now living in Hungary

IM Viktorija Cmilyte, 24, of Lithuania

IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman of India

GM Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria became the twelfth Women's World Champion in 2004

WGM Natalija Pogonina, 22, of Russia

IM Alisa Galliamova, who in 1997 was a candidate for the women's world championship

GM Kateryna Lahno, the eleventh and latest female grandmaster in history

GM Peng Zhaoqin, top female player in the Netherlands

IM Ekateryna Atalyk, top Turkish player


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