Koneru, Kosteniuk To Face Off In Women's Speed Chess Grand Prix Leg 4 Final

Koneru, Kosteniuk To Face Off In Women's Speed Chess Grand Prix Leg 4 Final

| 5 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Humpy Koneru and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk will play in Sunday's final of the fourth leg of the FIDE Women's Speed Chess Championship Grand PrixThe two grandmasters beat GM Hou Yifan and IM Sarasadat Khademalsharieh respectively, who will play the match for third place.

The finals of this fourth leg of the Women's Speed Chess Grand Prix start on Sunday, July 19 at 5:30 a.m. Pacific / 14:30 Central Europe with expert commentary on

Grand Prix Leg 4 | Results Semifinals

Date Time (PT) Time (CEST) Fed Player Score Fed Player
July 17 05:30 14:30 Hou Yifan 5-6 Humpy Koneru
July 17 07:00 16:00 Alexandra Kosteniuk 7.5-3.5 Sarasadat Khademalsharieh

Given the current overall standings, a win in Sunday's final would make Kosteniuk the winner of the Grand Prix as she'd gain the maximum amount of 12 GP points to reach 24. She would play the Superfinal on Monday against runner-up GM Anna Ushenina.

If Koneru wins, Monday's Superfinal will be played between Ushenina (as the winner of the Grand Prix) and GM Valentina Gunina, who is currently in second place on tiebreak: the number of total game points scored in the three GP legs.

FIDE Women's Speed Chess Championship Grand Prix | Top Standings

Rank Fed Name Rating Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 3 Leg 4 Score
1 Anna Ushenina 2387 12 8 2 X 22
2 Valentina Gunina 2608 8 12 X 2 22
3 Kateryna Lagno 2476 2 6 12 X 20
4 Alexandra Kosteniuk 2521 6 X 6 12
5 Hou Yifan 2601 X 2 8 14
6 Sarasadat Khademalsharieh 2431 X 5 5 10

On Friday, Koneru was the first player to reach the final after winning an incredibly close match against Hou. Neither player was ever leading by more than one point in a match that didn't see a single draw.

It was Koneru who was leading 4-3 after the 3+1 segment, but Hou leveled the score straight away in the first bullet game. Taking into account Koneru's clock handling earlier in the match, Hou seemed to be the slight favorite now—especially after what happened in the second bullet game.

Hou more or less returned the favor with her premature f-pawn push in the next game. Allowing an octopus on e6 was inadvisable and too hard to deal with, especially at this time control—even though Black was in fact winning for a short while after that!

Hou Yifan Women's Speed Chess
With time running out, the following bullet game would be the last if it ended decisively. Hou went into the endgame with a slight edge (the bishop pair) but somehow got outplayed and suddenly mated:

Humpy Koneru Women Speed Chess Grand Prix

Hou-Koneru | All games

The first half of the second semifinal was a pretty close affair as well. Both players won their first two white games and then drew three in a row before Kosteniuk won the final 3+1 game. Khademalsharieh slipped in a difficult endgame:

Khademalsharieh Women speed chess
Kosteniuk then won all three bullet games as well, despite a recent comment that it's her least favorite time control. In the first, she adopted an Evans Gambit, but things were not decided in the opening.

Kosteniuk-Khademalsharieh | All games

Each Grand Prix leg is a 16-player knockout and lasts five days, including one rest day after the semifinals. Each leg has a total prize fund of $10,300 with $3,000 going to the winner.

In these tournaments, every player scores cumulative Grand Prix points according to her position in the final standings. The two players who score the highest number of cumulative Grand Prix points in all three Grand Prix legs qualify for the Super Final on July 20.

More information about the FIDE Women's Speed Chess Championship can be found here.

Links to results pages & news

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