Hou Yifan starts new Women GP with 4/4

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Hou Yifan starts new Women GP with 4/4Hou Yifan is seems to have recovered from her bad form in recent months. In Rostov, Russia the Women World Champion started the first in a new series of Women Grand Prix tournaments with 4/4. Second is Kateryno Lahno, with 2.5/4. Two former Women World champions also play: Alexandra Kosteniuk and Antoaneta Stefanova.The FIDE Women Grand Prix takes place August 2-14 in Rostov, Russia. It's the first of six tournaments in the Women's GP Series 2011-2012. The prize fund for each event is 40,000 Euro with a first prize of 6,500 Euro. The overall winner of the Women's Grand Prix will win a further 15,000 Euros at the end of the series. Players can only offer draws through the chief arbiter in special cases and the "zero tolerance" rule is also in effect, which requirer chess players to be seated at their boards when the games are scheduled to start.

FIDE Women's GP Rostov | Participants

1Hou YifanCHNGM2575
2Humpy KoneruINDGM2614
3Nadezhda KosintsevaRUSGM2560
4Tatiana KosintsevaRUSGM2557
5Anna MuzychukSLOGM2538
6Kateryna LahnoUKRGM2536
7Alexandra KosteniukRUSGM2497
8Antoaneta StefanovaBULGM2524
9Elina DanielianARMGM2521
10Alisa GalliamovaRUSWGM2492
11Ruan LufeiCHNWGM2479
12Ekaterina KovalevskayaRUSWGM2427

The exact status of this Grand Prix in the Women's World Championship cycle is unclear to us. The official website doesn't mention any general information on this, and at the FIDE website there's no recent info available. There is a section D.X. Regulations for the Grand Prix but this is about the 2008-2009 (!) men's cycle. The Handbook also mentions a "03. Regulations for the Women's World Chess Championship Cycle" but the PDF (why PDF only?) is referring to the previous cycle. Update 22:11 CET: as Harish Srinivasan pointed out in the comments, FIDE published the details in their news section. Indeed, the winner of the Women's Grand-Prix 2011-2012 qualifies for the Women's World Championship match 2013. In the meantime let's assume FIDE didn't change the rules. In this case the Grand Prix winner will play the World Champion in a title match. The same will happen later this year: Humpy Koneru, who finished second in the first GP Series behind Hou Yifan, will play the Chinese in a World Championship match. It was quite a coincidence that these two players also faced each other in the first round in Rostov. The game was a good fight in a Nimzo-Indian and Humpy, playing the white pieces, was clearly playing for a win. She avoided a repetition of moves, but then erred in time trouble and allowed a mating attack. Hou Yifan starts new Women GP with 4/4 Hou Yifan continued strongly, beating Alisa Galliamova, Alexandra Kosteniuk and Anna Muzychuk in subsequent rounds. The gap with the number two, Kateryna Lahno, is already 1.5 points.

Selection of games


Game viewer by ChessTempo

FIDE Women's GP Rostov | Results


FIDE Women's GP Rostov | Round 4 standings


Photos © FIDE, by Karlovich Anastasiya


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