The European Women Ch and the Women Grand Prix after five rounds

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0 | Chess Event Coverage
European Ch, FIDE Grand PrixTo the astonishment of ECU President Boris Kutin and everybody else (well, perhaps except for our distinguished FIDE President) two highly important women events are taking place at the same time: the European Championship in St. Petersburg and the first Grand Prix in Istanbul. A brief update on these two tournaments.

The 10th European Individual Women's Chess Championship takes place 7-19 March in St. Petersburg, Russia. The rules are similar to the men's tournament: it's an 11-round Swiss with over 150 players from which the 14 best will qualify for the next Women World Championship. Top participants are Anna Muzychuk, Nana Dzagnidze, Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant, Anna Ushenina, Natalia Zhukova, Kateryna Lahno and the Kosintseva sisters.

After five rounds, Hungarian (Vietnamese-born) GM Hoang Thanh Trang is leading the field together with IM Lili Mkrtchian, GM Monika Socko and IM Salome Melia who are all on 4.5/5. In the 6th round it's Melian-Hoang and Mkrtchian-Socko.

[TABLE=640] (Full standings here.)



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Hou Yifan leads after 5 rounds

As reported earlier, there's a clash with the 1st FIDE Women Grand Prix which takes place 5-20 March in Istanbul, Turkey. The participants there are Humpy Koneru, Hou Yifan, Antoaneta Stefanova, Pia Cramling, Marie Sebag, Maia Chiburdanidze, Zhao Xue, Martha Fierro, Elina Danielian, Shen Yang, Zeinab Mamedjarova and Bet?ºl Cemre Yildiz, and everyone who can count quickly already knows that this event also runs 11 rounds.
The total prize fund is € 60,000; the winner earns € 6,500. Compare that to the winner of a men's Grand Prix: he wins € 30,000. This event has also reached the 5th round and 15-year-old Chinese GM Hou Yifan is in sole lead; she's on 4.5 out of 5 ahead of Koneru and Zhao Xue who have half a point less.
[TABLE=643]



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