Retrospect: Khanty-Mansiysk Women's Grand Prix

by Frederic Friedel
4/25/2014 – The event ended on Monday – we reported extensively on it. The closing ceremony followed, and currently there is a Women's Rapid + Blitz running in Shamkir, on which we will report shortly. For today we bring you a special pictorial by adventure photographer Nikolai Bochkarev, who supplied us with photos during the Grand Prix: extraordinary images by a talented professional.

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The fourth stage of the the FIDE Women's Grand Prix series 2013-2014 took place at the Ugra Chess Academy, Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia from the 8th of April until the 22nd of April 2014. It was a twelve-player round robin with time controls of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, with 30 minutes plus an additional 30 seconds per move for the rest of the game. The total prize fund was 60,000, with the winner getting 10,000 Euro.

Closing ceremony and portraits

The Women's Grand Prix in Khanty-Mansiysk ended on Monday (we reported extensively on this event) with a resounding 1.5-point victory by the reigning Women's World Champion Hou Yifan.

The winner with Ugra dignitaries at the closing ceremony. Here are the final standing:

The three winners: Hou Yifan (middle) took Gold; Olga Girya (left), who represents Ugra and Russia, won Silver and Russian GM and former Women's World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk took Bronze. The players are holding plush woolly mammoths – creatures that lived in this region from the Pliocene into the Holocene epoch (five million to about 4,500 years ago) and which at some stage may actually be resurrected.

Full length: three ladies and a piano – the theme of photographer Nikolai Bochkarev

Not so sure about the mastadon: Hou Yifan

WGM Olga Girya, who scored the biggest success in her career

Alexandra Kosteniuk, the most-photographed female in chess

Meet Nikolai Bochkarev

We would like to introduce you to the photographer who provided the wonderful pictures from the Women's Grand Prix in Khanty-Mansiysk, and who has selected a few himself for us to publish in this report.

Nikolai Bochkarev, is originally a paramedic by training. He worked as emergency paramedic from 2006-2010, but then switched to photography. He uses the skills obtained while working on lifesaver missions – climbing mountains, buildings, moving in difficult or hostile environments – to good effect in his photography, getting unusual angles to take great shots. The result: Nikolai was the winner of the Ukrainian Sports Photography contest in 2011, and took 1st place at the Kiev City Sport Photography contest. His main priorities are wedding pictures, sports, shooting "with risk to life". During the last four years he has working on biathlon, chess, rhythmic gymnastics and other sport events held in Russia and Ukraine. Nikolai prefers reportage style, values emotions and expression in photography. His cameras are Nikon D700 and Kodak DCS Pro SLR, bue he also uses a Kiev 88. Lenses: Nikkor 300mm/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm/2.8, favorite: Nikkor 85mm /1.4, 20mm/2.8. Visit Nikolai Bochkarev's web site.

The photographer's choice

Ukrainian GM Kateryna Lagno, who finished in fourth place with 6.0/11

Fifth was GM Anna Muzychuk, who also had 6.0/11

No she isn't! Former Women's World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova, sixth with 5.5/11.

Seventh: Georgian GM Nana Dzagnidze, 5.5/11

Third seed GM Zhao Xue lost 14 rating points in Khanty

Former Women's World Champion GM Anna Ushenina from Ukraine finished ninth

Uzbek WGM Nafisa Muminova came tenth but picked up 12 rating points

Russian GM Tatiana Kosintseva scored 3.5/11 and lost a whopping 20 rating points

Mongolian WGM Batchimeg (that's her first name) Tuvshintugs
finished last but increased her rating by four points

To finish some Black&White shots selected by Nikolay Bochkarev and cropped by him...

Kateryna Lagno

Tatiana Kosintseva

Tatiana from a different angle

Nafisa Muminova

Zhao Xue

Alexandra Kosteniuk

Antoarneta Stefanova

Photographer and FIDE press officer Anastasiya Karlovich


The games were broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server 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.

Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.


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