Zhao Xue Clinches Nalchik Grand Prix

Zhao Xue Clinches Nalchik Grand Prix

| 20 | Chess Event Coverage

There are still 3 rounds left in the Nalchik Women's Grand Prix, but incredibly Zhao Xue of China has already guaranteed herself at least a share of first place.

After winning the first six games, she managed to avoid defeat in a difficult seventh game, before winning against top seeded Nadezhda Kosintseva in the eighth round to reach an amazing score of 7½/8.

Another Chinese player, Ju Wenjun, is the nearest challenger but she suffered a setback in round eight, losing to Batkhuyag Munguntuul.

Alexandra Kosteniuk is having another disappointing Grand Prix tournament. The self-titled "Chess Queen" finished last in the Rostov Grand Prix and is currently placed last this time as well. The former world champion seems to be really struggling with her form.

The standings after eight rounds:

 Zhao, Xue  CHN 2497
 Ju, Wenjun  CHN 2536
 Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina  RUS 2421 4
 Lahno, Kateryna  UKR 2554 4
 Cmilyte, Viktorija  LTU 2525 4
 Zhu, Chen  QAT 2490 4
 Kosintseva, Tatiana  RUS 2536 4
 Kosintseva, Nadezhda  RUS 2560 4
 Stefanova, Antoaneta  BUL 2528 4
 Galliamova, Alisa  RUS 2498 3
 Munguntuul, Batkhuyag  MGL 2465
 Kosteniuk, Alexandra  RUS 2469


In the form of her life...26 year-old Zhao Xue

Zhao Zue_round 7 Nalchik grand prix 2011.jpg




Ju Wenjun slipped up in round eight

Ju Wenjun nalchik grand prix 2011.jpg



Still managing a smile...Alexandra Kosteniuk before a rare win in Nalchik

Alexandra Kosteniuk nalchik grand prix rd7.jpg



The best overall player from the series of 6 Grand Prix tournaments will become the challenger for the 2013 Women's World Championship. The regulations for the 2011/12 Grand Prix can be found here.

The winner in each of the tournaments will receive 6,500 euros out of a prize fund of 40,000 euros, with the overall winner getting a further 15,000 euros.

Current women's world champion Hou Yifan won the first two Grand Prix events, in Rostov and Shenzhen, but isn't taking part this time.

Pictures from the official website.

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