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Saturday, 22 Feb 2020 19:21
The Olympic Capital welcomes FIDE Women’s Grand Prix

The third leg of the Women’s Grand Prix starts on March 1 in Lausanne. This tournament ranks as one of the most prestigious chess events ever held in the Olympic Capital, alongside the final match of the FIDE KO World Championship between Anatoly Karpov and Viswanathan Anand at the start of 1998, and the Young Masters Tournaments held between 1999 and 2006.

Barely a year after moving its headquarters back to Lausanne, FIDE is staging a major event in this beautiful city on the shores of the Geneva Lake. The third and penultimate leg of the Women’s Grand Prix 2019-20 could already prove decisive in the fight for one of the two qualifying spots for the Candidates Tournament. Since each of the sixteen WGP players participate in three of the four tournaments, Lausanne is the last stop for some leading names on the leaderboard. To add some spice in the race, Humpy Koneru, dominator of the Grand Prix so far, does not take part in the third leg. Thus, all eyes will be turned on Ju Wenjun and Aleksandra Goryachkina, who will meet again two months after their fascinating match for the World Championship title. It should be noted, however, that both are pre-qualified for the next stage of the cycle and therefore out of contention for the two qualifying spots.


Photo: David Llada

For Alexandra Kosteniuk, winner of the Monaco Grand Prix in December, there is a lot at stake. Having scored poorly in the first event, she is doomed to perform well in her last tournament if she intends to qualify. Kosteniuk will certainly be supported in her effort by the home crowd, as she is half-Swiss and regularly plays in the national league.


Photo: Karol Bartnik

Harika Dronavalli has to consider Lausanne as a sort of match point. Anything but the victory would leave the Indian with barely any chance to qualify. As she recently noted in an interview, she often performs well in top tournaments but has never won any. Will she make it happen on this crucial occasion?


Photo: Karol Bartnik

Pia Cramling also takes part in her third and last Grand Prix, but her chances to qualify for the Candidates Tournament are close to zero. Nevertheless, it is always a pleasure to watch such a champion over the board. One should not forget that the living legend was the number one in the world when most of her opponents were even born!


Photo: David Llada

The Muzychuk sisters are potential winners in any tournament. In view of their average performances in their first GP appearance in Monaco, the pressure on their shoulders certainly grows. The former World Champion Mariya is the third seed in Switzerland, just ahead of Anna.

All remaining participants will also take part in both final Grand Prix legs and therefore have theoretical chances to make it to the top two if showing great results. With the former World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova and talents such as Nana Dzagnidze, Marie Sebag, Alina Kashlinskaya and Zhansaya Abdumalik, everything is possible.


Photo: David Llada

Lausanne does not just stage this top event during those two weeks, as some side activities are on the program as well. Local organizers join forces with FIDE to hold two rapid events on a weekend. The “1st FIDE rapid open of the Olympic Capital” takes place on Saturday, March 7, while a rapid tournament for girls under 18 years old is scheduled for March 8. Both events are held in the FIDE premises at the “Maison du Sport International”.

Technical details:

Venue: Hôtel Mövenpick, Avenue de Rhodanie 4, 1007 Lausanne.

Official website: https://wgp2019.fide.com

GP Lausanne Chief Arbiter's Information (pdf)

Schedule:

1 March, 17h: Opening ceremony at the Olympic Museum
2 March, 15h: Start of the 1st round
3 to 7 March, 15h: Rounds 2 to 6
8 March: Rest day
9 to 12 March, 15h: Rounds 7 to 10
13 March, 11.30 h: 11st and last round; 18h Closing ceremony 
14 March: departure

Full pairings and regulations

Side events:

Saturday 7 March, 10-18 h: “1er Open FIDE d’échecs rapides de la capitale olympique” at the “Maison du Sport International”; adress: 54 Avenue de Rhodanie, 1007 Lausanne.
Sunday 8 March, 10-16h: Rapid chess tournament for girls (under 18 y.o.) at the “Maison du Sport International”; adress: 54 Avenue de Rhodanie, 1007 Lausanne.

Participants: 

  1. Ju Wenjun, China, 29 years old, (2583)

  2. Aleksandra Goryachkina, Russia, 21 years old, (2579)

  3. Mariya Muzychuk, Ukraine, 27 years old, (2552)

  4. Anna Muzychuk, Ukraine, 30 years old, (2539)

  5. Harika Dronavalli, India, 29 years old, (2518)

  6. Nana Dzagnidze, Georgia, 33 years old, (2515)

  7. Alexandra Kosteniuk, Russia, 36 years old, (2504)

  8. Alina Kashlinskaya, Russia, 26 years old, (2484)

  9. Zhansaya Abdumalik, Kazakhstan, 20 years old, (2471) (she replaced Zhao Xue)

  10. Pia Cramling, Sweden, 56 years old, (2470)

  11. Antoaneta Stefanova, Bulgaria, 41 years old, (2469)

  12. Marie Sebag, France, 34 years old, (2443)


Grand Prix standings after 2 tournaments:

1. Humpy Koneru, India (293 points; 2 events)

2. Aleksandra Goryachkina, Russia (253 points; 2 events)

3. Kateryna Lagno, Russia (180 points; 2 events)

4. Alexandra Kosteniuk, Russia (178 points; 2 events)                                                       

5-6. Ju Wenjun, China (120 points; 1 event)

5-6. Harika Dronavalli, India (120 points; 2 events)

7. Elisabeth Paehtz, Germany(95 points; 2 events)

8. Valentina Gunina, Russia (85 points; 2 events)

9. Anna Muzychuk, Ukraine (80 points; 1 event)

10. Pia Cramling, Sweden (70 points; 2 events)

11. Mariya Muzychuk, Ukraine (60 points; 1 event)

12. Alina Kashlinskaya, Russia (45 points; 1 event)

13-14. Nana Dzagnidze, Georgia (35 points; 1 event)

13-14. Zhao Xue, China (35 points; 1 event)

15-16. Antoaneta Stefanova, Bulgaria (25 points; 1 event)

15-16. Marie Sebag, France (25 points; 1 event)

Contact:

The press officer of the event is Yannick Pelletier.

+352691760922

pelletieryannick@gmail.com