Zhao Xue wins 3rd Women GP with super score

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

Zhao Xue won the 3rd Women's Grand Prix tournament in Nalchik, Russia with the super score of 9.5/11. The Chinese grandmaster had even started with 9.5/10 but lost in the last round. Nonetheless she finished 2.5 points ahead of the rest of the field.

Event3rd Women's Grand Prix | PGN via TWIC
DatesOctober 8th-22nd, 2011
LocationNalchik, Russia
System12-player round robin
PlayersNadezhda Kosintseva, Katerina Lahno, Tatiana Kosintseva, Ju Wenjun, Antoaneta Stefanova, Viktorija Cmilyte, Alisa Galliamova, Zhao Xue, Zhu Chen, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Munguntuul Batkhuyag, Ekaterina Kovalevskaya
Rate of play

90 minutes for the first 40 moves and then 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 1

In the course of just a few months, already three Women's Grand Prix events have finished. You'll probably recall that reigning World Champion Hou Yifan won the first two: in August in Rostov and then in September in Shenzhen. The third took place from October 8th till 22nd in Nalchik, Russia. The capital of Kabardino-Balkaria also hosted one of the men's Grand Prix events in 2009, and the 2008 Women's World Championship.

In this third event Hou Yifan did not play, but it was one of her compatriots who dominated from start to finish, well, almost. Zhao Xue, the 26-year-old grandmaster who became World Junior Champion (under 20)  in 2002, reached a historical score of 9.5/10, only to lose in the last round.

Having won the tournament already, and absolutely dominating the field, Zhao Xue surprisingly lost her only game to compatriot Ju Wenjun, who thus claimed sole second place with 7/11. (We received an email from one of our readers, who found it questionable that in these Women's GP events players from the same federation can be paired against each other in the decisive phase of the tournament. He might have a point there but regarding Nalchik we prefer not to speculate on this matter.)

European Champ GM Viktorija Cmilyte finished shared third together with IM Ekaterina Kovalevskaya. For the latter it was probably the best result in her career so far - performaning over a hundred points more than your own rating over eleven rounds isn't bad at all! Former World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk, on the other hand, didn't do very well and finished last with just 3.5 points and a 2378 performance.

Zhao Xue's games

PGN file

3rd Women's Grand Prix (Nalchik) 2011 | Round 11 (Final) Standings


The playing hall in Hotel Sindica, Nalchik, Russia

The traditional group photo at the end of the tournament

The glorious winner: Zhao Xue (China)

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