The third stage of FIDE women's Grand Prix which was held in the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria Nalchik (Russia) has finished with a triumph of the Chinese chess players. Zhao Xue (CHN) won an absolute victory in the tournament and she ensured it over two rounds before the end of the competition. The last round which was held on Friday had to solve the question who will take the second and the third places.
After all Ju Wenjun (CHN) finished the second, in the last round she managed to defeat the winner of the tournament, it was the only defeat for Xue. In the final standings Wenjun scored 7 out of 11, being behind her compatriot for 2.5 points.
The third and the fourth places were shared between Russian Ekaterina Kovalevskaya and Victoria Chmilyte from Lithuania. In the last round both of them played in a draw: Kovalevskaya with black against Bulgarian Antoaneta Stefanova, Cmilyte with white against Zhu Chen from Qatar.
Ukrainian Kateryna Lahno defeated Russian Alexandra Kosteniuk in the 11th round, another Russian chess player Alisa Galliamova prevailed over Batkhuyag Mongontuul from Mongolia.
The Chinese How Yifan winning the first two stages of the series is leading in total score after three stages. Her assets are 320 points. Zhao Xue has advanced up to the second place, after two stages she owns 235 points. Anna Muzychuk from Slovenia is on the third line with 230 points.
The fourth stage of the women's series Grand-Prix FIDE 2011/2012 will be held in May - June 2012, in Kazan.
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View final: Cross-tables
All games in PGN file.
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Since the question about the winner of Grand Prix in Nalchik was solved yesterday, the fans have nothing else to do but to watch how many points catching courage Zhao Xue (CHN) will pick up and who will get the second and the third places in the tournament table.
In the tenth round the Chinese chess player has already won her ninth game. With the white pieces she prevailed over Russian Tatiana Kosintseva. Now Xue's assets are 9.5 points. What a fantastic result!
One more Chinese chess player Ju Wenjun occupied the second place over one round before the finish. In this round she defeated her former compatriot, now the representative of Qatar Zhu Chen.
Russian Ekaterina Kovalevskaya who shared the second position with Wenjun up to this day couldn't get a success; she made a draw with her compatriot Alisa Galliamova.
Left: Appeals Committee IA, FI Mr. Ali El Haj, Nizar (LBA), center: player WGM Ju Wenjun (CHN), right: Chief Arbiter IA Mr. Erdem Ucarkus (TUR)
The playing hall being observed by the Deputy Arbiter IA Mr. Grachev Yuriy (RUS).
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Chinese Zhao Xue ensured the first place in the third stage of women’s Grand Prix FIDE presently taking place in Nalchik (Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia). In nine played rounds she showed phenomenal result – 8.5 points! Nearest competitors of the Chinese chess player her compatriot Ju Wenjun and Russian Ekaterina Kovalevskaya are 2.5 points behind.
On Wednesday, in the next round of the competition Zhao with black defeated Antoaneta Stefanova. The Bulgarian chess player started the game on the queenside too risky and weakened her position in the center. Xue’s arguments turned out to be more valid and on the move 37 Stefanova resigned.
Ekaterina Kovalevskaya beat her compatriot Nadezhda Kosintseva in this round, so made a significant bid to get into the prize-winning triple. Her assets are 5 points and she shares the second and the third places in the tournament table in the company of Ju Wenjun, who drew with the Ukrainian Kateryna Lahno with white.
Russian Alexandra Kosteniuk after this round went away from the last place having won with white pieces her compatriot Alisa Galliamova. Two games ended in a draw: Tatiana Kosintseva (Russia) – Zhu Chen (Qatar), Viktorija Cmilyte (Lithuania) - Batkhuyag Munguntuul (Mongolia).
The penultimate 10th round of the competition will be held on Thursday, October 20. Start of the games is at 15-00 Moscow time. Follow the live coverage!
Standings after 9th round: 1. Zhao Xue – 8.5; 2. Ju Wenjun, Kovalevskaya – 4.5; 4-7. Lahno, T.Kosintseva, Zhu Chen, Cmilyte; 8-9. N.Kosintseva, Stefanova – 4; 10. Kosteniuk – 3.5; 11-12. Munguntuul, Galliamova – 2.5.
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GM Nadezhda Kosintseva (RUS) and IM Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (RUS)
WGM Wenjun Ju (CHN) and GM Kateryna Lahno (UKR)
Official website of the tournament.
Chinese chess player Zhao Xue virtually ensured her victory in the stage of Grand-Prix FIDE in Nalchik. Over three rounds before the finish her advantage over her nearest persecutor Ju Wenjun (CHN) is already 3 points.
On Monday Xue with white defeated one of her potential chasers Nadezhda Kosintseva (RUS). The Russian player unluckily weakened her position in the center and on the kingside, which was skillfully used by the Chinese. Sacrificing the exchange she seized the initiative and in tactical complications beat the opponent.
Zhao's main competitors were not so successful in the eighth round: Ju Wenjun (CHN) with black lost to Batkhuyag Mongontuul (MGL), for Mongolian chess player this win was the first in the tournament. Viktorija Chmilyte (LTU) made a draw with Alisa Galliamova (RUS), Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL) was defeated by Zhu Chen (QAT).
Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) won her second victory on this tournament. She beat Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (RUS) with black pieces. The game of Katerina Lahno (UKR) and Tatiana Kosintseva (RUS) ended in a draw.
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The Chief Arbiter of the Tournament IA Mr. Ucarkus, Erdem (TUR)
Front: Zhu Chen (QAT). Back: Technical Advisor of the Tournament GM, IA Mr. Chernikov, Oleg (RUS)
In the seventh round the leader of the tournament Zhao Xue (CHN) faced serious problems for the first time since the beginning of the competition. Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (RUS) with black played better in the opening than the Chinese chess player and by the move 20 she had obvious advantage. But then the Russian hastened to transfer the game into rook endgame which was impossible to win even with the extra pawn.
After three consecutive wins Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL) suffered a defeat. Playing with white pieces against Kateryna Lahno (UKR) Bulgarian chess player gave the initiative to the opponent in the middlegame got a heavy endgame which she couldn't already save.
Viktorija Chmilyte (LTU) with white prevailed over Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) in acute, dramatic duel. Having got an advantage in the opening, in the middlegame the Lithuanian chess player gave the initiative to the opponent, but the Russian couldn't use the chance, in time trouble on the move 40 she made a mistake and got a lost endgame.
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Kateryna Lahno (UKR)
Left: Viktorija Cmilyte (LTU) and former Women World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS)
Former world champion Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL) was the first European chess player who could challenge the leader of the tournament – Zhao Xue (CHN). In the sixth round the Bulgarian player scored her third win in Nalchik beating Batuyag Munguntuul. However it won’t be so easy to catch up with the Chinese player who won for the sixth time in a tournament, now over Zhu Chen from Qatar.
After getting 4 points, Stefanova shares the 2nd and 3rd places with Ju Wenjun (CHN). Chinese chess player received the weaker position in the game against Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS). Russian player finally managed to stop the chain of defeats and game finished with a draw. In this game she held the initiative and had good chances to win.
Russian player Ekaterina Kovalevskaya with white defeated Viktorija Cmilyte from Lithuania. Russian Alisa Galliamova and Tatiana Kosintseva, Ukrainian Kateryna Lahno and Nadezhda Kosintseva from Russia finished their games in a draw.
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The undisputed leader after round 6 Zhao Xue (CHN) with 6 points of 6 possible.
Munguntuul Batkhuyag (MGL) (left) playing with Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL)
The leader of the Grand Prix stage in Nalchik Zhao Xue got her fifth victory, this time - against Kateryna Lahno from Ukraine. Ukrainian chess player sacrificed the pawn in the opening, then the piece. But in the endgame Zhao managed to take the initiative and won the game.
Another representative of China Ju Wenjun is still at the second place. After the victories in two first rounds she has made the third draw in a row. This time Chinese chess player made a draw with Victoria Cmilyte after which her assets had become 3.5 points.
Places from the third to the fourth are shared by the Russian sportswoman Nadezhda Kosintseva and Antoaneta Stefanova from Bulgaria, each has 3 points. Both won in the fifth round. Nadezhda beat Bathuyag Munguntuul from Mongolia, Antoaneta won the game against Russian Alisa Galliamova.
Tatiana Kosintseva in this round defeated Alexandra Kosteniuk, another representative of Russia - Ekaterina Kovalevskaya made a draw with Zhu Chen from Qatar.
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Zhao Xue hits the first part of Grand-Prix in Nalchik with maximum score
On Tuesday, in the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria Nalchik the fourth round games of the third stage of women’s Grand-Prix FIDE took place.
Brilliant game at the start was shown by Chinese sportswoman Zhao Xue. Winning the first four rounds she confidently heads the table of competition. On Tuesday, the next game day Chinese sportswoman with black pieces beat Munguntuul Batkhuyag from Mongolia.
On the second line of the tournament table is another chess player from China Ju Wenjun. In this round playing with the black pieces she completed the draw in the game with Russian Ekaterina Kovalevskaya.
In the confrontation between two former world champions Bulgarian Antoneta Stefanova with black pieces privailed over Russian Alexandra Kosteniuk. One more Russian chess player suffered the bitterness of loss in the fourth round – Tatiana Kosintseva black was defeated by Victoria Cmilyte from Lithuania.
The games of Galliamova and N.Kosintseva, Ukranian Katerina Lahno and Zhu Chen from Qatar ended in a draw.
The situation after 4 rounds is next: 1. Zhao Xue – 4 points, 2. Ju Wenjun – 3 points, 3 – 8. Cmilyte, Lahno, Kovalevskaya, Zhu Chen, N.Kosintseva, Stefanova – 2 points; 9 – 10. T.Kosintseva, Galliamova – 1,5; 11 – 12. Munguntuul Batkhuyag, Kosteniuk – 1.
On Wednesday, the participants will held the free day. The games of the fifth round will be held on Thursday, October 14.
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The representative of the national Chinese team Zhao Xue came out to the absolute first place in the third stage of the FIDE Women's Grand Prix which is being held now in Nalchik (Russia, Kabardino-Balkaria). She was the one of all the participants who managed to win all three games.
On Tuesday Chinese sportswoman defeated Alisa Galliamova with white. Two more games ended with a successful result in the third round. N.Kosintseva defeated A.Kosteniuk (both from Russia). Zhu Chen was stronger than Munguntuul Batkhuyag this day: Mongolian chess player had unfortunate opening and already by the 20th move she lost a piece.
Three games ended in a draw. Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria) – Viktorija Cmilyte (Lithuaia), Tatiana Kosintseva (Russia) - Ju Wenjun (China), Kateryna Lahno (Ukraine) – Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (Russia).
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Two chess players from China - Zhao Xue and Ju Wenjun – won in two first rounds. On Monday, October 10, Zhao Xue defeated Alexandra Kosteniuk with black. This game ended the first in the second round: former World Champion didn't play in a best way in the opening and rather soon got losing position. Ju Wenjun defeated Antoaneta Stefanova from Bulgaria. At the press conference Bulgarian chess player said she had blundered almost every time in this game. But even in the endgame there were some good opportunities to end the game in a draw.
In four other games the winner was not determined. Kovalevskaya and T.Kosintseva, Cmilyte (Lithuania) and N.Kosintseva (Russia), Galliamova (Russia) and Munguntuul Batkhuyag (Mongolia) ended their games in a draw.
So, after two rounds Ju Wenjun and Zhao Xue have got 2 points each. Six sportswomen have got one point: Munguntuul Batkhuyag, Lahno, Kovalevskaya, T.Kosintseva, Galliamova and Kosteniuk.
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On Sunday, October 9, in Spa-hotel "Sindika" the games of the first round of the FIDE Women's Grand Prix took place. The symbolic first move in the game of Zhu Chen (QAT) against Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS) was made by Mr. Aslan Afaunov, Minister of Sport, Tourism and Resorts of KBR. It is interesting that these two players played the final match of the Women's World Chess Championship about ten years ago, in winter 2001, and since then they haven't met at the board.
That time Kosteniuk lost and her opponent became the World Champion. This time Alexandra won the game. At the press-conference she said that this game was very symbolic for her and she was glad that she managed to win the first game.
The first game day was lucky for the sportswomen from China. Zhao Xue defeated Viktorija Cmilyte from Lithuania with white, Ju Wenjun defeated N.Kosintseva from Russia with black.
The rest three games resulted in a draw.
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Photo Gallery of the 1st Round