Women's Chess Grand Prix To Resume In Lausanne

Women's Chess Grand Prix To Resume In Lausanne

| 14 | Chess Event Coverage

The third tournament in the FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2019-2020 will begin Monday in Lausanne, Switzerland. The top seed is GM Ju Wenjun, while GM Aleksandra Goryachkina and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk will have a chance to topple the Grand Prix leader, GM Humpy Koneru, who isn't playing in this leg.

You can follow the Lausanne Women's Grand Prix here as part of our live portal. The games start each day at 15:00 CET which is 9 a.m. Eatern and 6 a.m. Pacific.

The previous Women's World Championship cycle ended in January, with Ju narrowly defeating Goryachkina in a playoff to retain her title. Meanwhile, the new cycle is well underway with the Women's Grand Prix series. The overall winner and runner-up will qualify for the Women's Candidates Tournament, to be held in the first half of 2021.

The first two Women's Grand Prix tournaments were organized in the second half of 2019. Last September, in Skolkovo, Russia, Koneru scored her first major tournament victory since her return to the chessboard. (Since then she also won the 2019 World Rapid Championship and the 2020 Cairns Cup—find our lengthy article on that tournament here.)

The second Women's Grand Prix, held in December in Monaco, was won by Kosteniuk. After Lausanne, which starts this Monday, the final GP will be held May 20-June 10 in Sardinia, Italy.

Kosteniuk's compatriot Goryachkina is currently in second place in the overall standings thanks to a third-place finish in Skolkovo in addition to a second-place finish in Monaco. Another Russian player, Lagno, finished fourth in both events and is currently third, followed very closely by Kosteniuk:

Grand Prix Standings

Rank Fed Player Skolkovo Monaco Lausanne Sardinia Total
1 Humpy Koneru 160 133⅓ x 293⅓
2 Aleksandra Goryachkina 120 133⅓ x 253⅓
3 Kateryna Lagno 90 90 x 180
4 Alexandra Kosteniuk 45 133⅓ x 178⅓
5 Ju Wenjun 120 120
6 Dronavalli Harika 60 60 x 120
7 Elisabeth Paehtz 75 20 x 95
8 Valentina Gunina 75 10 x 85
9 Anna Muzychuk 80 80
10 Pia Cramling 10 60 x 70
11 Mariya Muzychuk 60 60
12 Alina Kashlinskaya 45 45
13 Nana Dzagnidze 35 35
13 Zhao Xue 35 x 35
15 Antoaneta Stefanova 25 25
15 Marie Sebag 25 25
17 Zhansaya Abdumalik x x x 0

Each individual Grand Prix consists of 12 players. The total group is comprised of 16 players, all of whom play three of the four events. For Goryachkina and Kosteniuk, the Lausanne leg is especially crucial, as it's their last tournament in the series.

In fact, a 17th Grand Prix participant was added last week: IM Zhansaya Abdumalik of Kazakhstan. The reason for this is related to the coronavirus and the increasing travel restrictions for the Chinese, which forced GM Zhao Xue to cancel her participation in Lausanne. (Ju's participation was not threatened because she left China several weeks ago.)

Besides Abdumalik, Ju, Goryachkina, and Kosteniuk, the participants in Lausanne are GM Pia Cramling, GM Nana Dzagnidze, GM Harika Dronavalli, IM Alina Kashlinskaya, GM Anna Muzychuk, GM Mariya Muzychuk, IM Elisabeth Paehtz, GM Marie Sebag, and GM Antoaneta Stefanova.

Ju Goryachkina Lausanne Grand Prix
Ju and Goryachkina at the opening ceremony. Photo: FIDE.

The prize fund in each Grand Prix is 80,000 euros, with 15,000 euros and 160 Grand Prix points awarded to the winner. The overall winner and runner-up, who qualify for the 2021 Women's Candidates Tournament, will be determined by the cumulative points earned over all three tournaments they played.

The venue of the Lausanne Grand Prix is the Hotel Movenpick. Alongside the main event, there will be two rapid tournaments, including one especially for girls under 18 years old.

Pairings round one:

Goryachkina - Kashlinskaya
Kosteniuk - Dzagnidze
Abdumalik - Ju
Stefanova - Sebag
Harika - Cramling
A. Muzychuk - M. Muzychuk

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