Hou Yifan wins GP Rostov

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Hou Yifan wins GP RostovHou Yifan seemed to be cruising to victory easily, but then she suddenly lost to Kateryna Lahno in round 9. However, draws with Ruan Lufei and Antoaneta Stefanova were then enough to finish clear first at the Rostov Grand Women Prix, a full point ahead of Lahno.

Hou Yifan receives the certificate from FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov | Photo © FIDE

General info

The FIDE Women Grand Prix took place August 2-14 in Rostov, Russia. It was 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. More info here.

Rounds 9-11

For eight rounds Hou Yifan's tournament had been close to perfect, but everything changed on Friday. In a Nimzo-Indian, the young Chinese got some sort of knight versus bad bishop middlegame position against Kateryna Lahno (Ukraine), but something went wrong on the kingside. She lost a pawn, decided to give her queen for two rooks but as Lahno won another, important central pawn, the fight was already decided.

Lahno-Hou Yifan, the only loss for the Chinese

Lahno-Hou Yifan, the only loss for the Chinese



Suddenly Tatiana Kosintseva was only a point behind the leader, with two rounds to go. The two sisters are coached by former Kasparov second Yuri Dokhoian, and the youngest played an important role in many Women Grand Prixs in the previous series. Would she be able to make the difference?

25-year-old Tatiana Kosintseva of Russia

25-year-old Tatiana Kosintseva of Russia



First, Kosintseva had a tough game scheduled: Black against Humpy Koneru. She managed to draw this, but had to allow Kateryna Lahno to catch her in second place. In this penultimate round the Ukrainian lady had beaten another (former) World Champion: Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria.

And so with one round to go, Hou Yifan was still a point clear, and this didn't change. The Chinese secured sole victory by drawing with Stefanova in a Caro-Kann (where she did try to win!). This time it was Lahno who drew with Koneru. Interestingly, the Indian lady, who will challenge Hou Yifan later this year in a title match, played the same Nimzo-Indian as the Chinese had done unsuccessfully against the same opponent. Kosintseva lost to Alisa Galliamova which meant that Anna Muzychuk overtook her in the standings on SB points.

The next Women Grand Prix starts already next month; it will take place 6-20 September 2011 in Shenzhen, China. The third tournament will be held 8-23 October 2011 in Nalchik, Russia. Then there's a long break, as the fourth will be 30 May-13 June 2012 in Kazan, Russia. The fifth event is scheduled for 16-30 July 2012 in Jermuk, Armenia and the final tournament will take place 16-30 November 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Games rounds 9-11



Game viewer by ChessTempo


FIDE Women's GP Rostov | Round 11 standings




Second: Kateryna Lahno

Second: Kateryna Lahno



First: Hou Yifan

First: Hou Yifan



The traditional group photo

The traditional group photo



The reigning Women World Champion with the 6th Women World Champion, Nona Gaprindashvili of Georgia

The reigning Women World Champion with the 6th Women World Champion, Nona Gaprindashvili of Georgia



Photos © FIDE, by Anastasiya Karlovich and Kema Goryaeva

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