FIDE announces the Women's Grand Prix 2015-2016 which will give qualification to the Women's World Championship match 2017. The schedule of the 4 events is the following:
* 2-16 October 2015 in Monte Carlo, MONACO
* February 2016 in Kish, IRAN
* May 2016 in Tbilisi, GEORGIA
* July 2016 in Chengdu, CHINA
In total 16 players will participate, 10 qualifiers as per regulations (listed below) plus 4 nominees from the organisers of each tournament (to be announced) plus 2 nominees of the FIDE President.
FIDE President has nominated Kosteniuk, Alexandra and Stefanova, Antoaneta.
Each player will participate in exactly three (3) out of the four tournaments. Players must rank their preference of tournaments but FIDE reserves the right to assign players to tournaments according to the organizational needs and the players for each tournament will be announced before the cycle begins..
Depending on circumstances, FIDE reserves the right to change locations and dates and increase the tournaments to six (6) and players to eighteen (18) if extra sponsorship is secured by end April 2016.
The 10 original qualifiers who have to confirm their participation by 20 August 2015 are:
01. Muzychuk, Mariya (World Champion, Sochi 2015)
02. Pogonina, Natalija (finalist world championship, Sochi 2015)
03. Cramling, Pia (semi-finalist world championship, Sochi 2015)
04. Harika, Dronavalli (semi-finalist world championship, Sochi 2015)
05. Hou, Yifan (by rating, 12 std lists 8/14 to 7/15: average 2674.83 in 88 games)
06. Koneru, Humpy (by rating, 12 std lists 8/14 to 7/15: average 2585.83 in 39 games)
07. Dzagnidze, Nana (by rating, 12 std lists 8/14 to 7/15: average 2568.50 in 50 games)
08. Ju, Wenjun (by rating, 12 std lists 8/14 to 7/15: average 2557.91 in 92 games)
09. Muzychuk, Anna (by rating, 12 std lists 8/14 to 7/15: average 2548.41 in 63 games)
10. Gunina, Valentina (by rating, 12 std lists 8/14 to 7/15: average 2532.91 in 83 games)
The first reserve for any replacement needed is Kosteniuk, Alexandra (by rating 2532.00 in 69 games, average 12 std lists 8/2014 to 7/2015).
The full regulations of the Women's Grand Prix 2015-2016 are published here.
For Participants: Download the Player's Contract, to be signed and sent to the FIDE Secretariat by 20 August 2015.