Gibraltar To Host Women’s FIDE Grand Prix Instead Of Its Annual Chess Festival

Gibraltar To Host Women’s FIDE Grand Prix Instead Of Its Annual Chess Festival

33 | Chess Event Coverage

The final stage of the FIDE Women's Grand Prix will be held on January 17-29, 2021 in Gibraltar. The announcement came shortly after the organizers had canceled its annual chess festival.

The Gibraltar tournament will be the fourth and final leg of the Women's Grand Prix, which was supposed to be held on May 2-15, 2020 in Sardinia, Italy. The coronavirus pandemic made that impossible.

So far, three tournaments were played in the series: in Skolkovo (September 2019), Monaco (December 2019), and Lausanne (March 2020). At the moment, GM Aleksandra Goryachkina leads the series, having played in all three tournaments. She won't be playing in Gibraltar because all players play only three of the four legs.

Women's Grand Prix Standings

Rank Fed Player Skolkovo Monaco Lausanne Gibraltar Total
1 Aleksandra Goryachkina 120 133⅓ 145 398⅓
2 Humpy Koneru 160 133⅓ 293⅓
3 Alexandra Kosteniuk 45 133⅓ 15 193⅓
4-6 Kateryna Lagno 90 90 180
4-6 Dronavalli Harika 60 60 60 180
4-6 Nana Dzagnidze 35 145 180
7 Anna Muzychuk 80 85 165
8 Ju Wenjun 120 35 155
9 Alina Kashlinskaya 45 85 130
10 Mariya Muzychuk 60 60 120
11 Zhansaya Abdumalik 110 110
12 Pia Cramling 10 60 35 105
13 Elisabeth Paehtz 75 20 95
14-15 Valentina Gunina 75 10 85
14-15 Antoaneta Stefanova 25 60 85
16 Marie Sebag 25 15 40
17 Zhao Xue 35 35

Each tournament is a 12-player round-robin. The prize fund in each Grand Prix is 80,000 euros ($95,000), with 15,000 euros and 160 Grand Prix points awarded to the winner. The two best players from the Women's Grand Prix qualify directly for the Women's Candidates Tournament.

Just a few weeks ago, the annual chess festival in Gibraltar was canceled due to the pandemic. As the Gibraltar organizers always provide a large prize fund for female players, hosting the Women's Grand Prix continues their tradition to support women's chess.

The venue will be the same as always: the Caleta Hotel. It will be turned into an isolated environment to ensure the safety of the participants and to avoid any risks associated with COVID-19. There will be no other guests in the hotel during the entire duration of the event apart from the participants and the organizing team, and the competition will be held subject to and in accordance with Gibraltar Government Health Protocols.

The tournament will clash with the Tata Steel Chess tournament, which is still planned to go ahead. It is the only over-the-board super tournament that's currently on the calendar for 2021, alongside the postponed FIDE Candidates.

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