India's first chess features print magazine published quarterly from Lucknow since 2004 by Aspire Welfare Society.
Showing posts with label hou yifan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hou yifan. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chess World Record: Judit Polgar No. 1 Woman for 25 Years on Jan 1, 2014!

Screen grab from special video on Judit Polgar.

World Record in Chess: Hungarian Grandmaster Judit Polgar completed 25 years as world No. 1 among women on January 1, 2014 with FIDE releasing the latest chess ratings list. 

Polgar's current rating on the FIDE list is 2693. She is followed by Hou Yifan of China at 2629 and India's Koneru Humpy at 2613.

-- Judit Polgar official website

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan: Not Sure if I Defend Title in 2014

China's 19-year-old Hou Yifan has won the World Chess Championship for the third time. She told Anastasiya Karlovich, in an interview that: “This match was not as easy as people might think.” (Left: Hou Yifan, Photo: Anastasiya Karlovich)

The interview taken by Anastasiya Karlovich on the day after the decisive 7th game of the Women’s World Championship Match in which Yifan beat reigning Women's World Chess Champion Anna Ushenina of Ukraine, the 19-year-old World Champion talks about her preparation, her opponent Anna Ushenina, the match and her attitude towards chess and life. 

When I saw you in Beijing in July during Grand Prix tournament it seemed you were not really busy with preparation for the Match. Was it just my impression?
Actually I started my preparation few days after I came back from Tromso. In total it lasted less than one month. The only difference in my preparation was that I knew my opponent and it was a bit more specific. We didn’t have much time, so we worked on some basic things, some openings. 

There is an opinion you don’t really try to outplay your opponent in opening. Do you try to prove you are better in middle game and endgame, same way as Magnus Carlsen does?
Carlsen is famous for being very powerful and much stronger than most of the players in the world in the middle game and endgame. I’m not such a high level player. I believe openings are important but for me it’s also not the most important part of the game, it’s only the first stage and then we have two more.

What do you think about your opponent?
I think she is a strong player. We’ve played several games in the past but for few years we didn’t play at all. I thought if she managed to win the World Championship in knockout it means she is a fighter, she cannot be weak. 

After few years break you had a chance to play against Anna during Women Grand Prix in Geneva and you lost that game. What did you feel after? Did you make any conclusions?
At that tournament I lost not only against her, I also lost to some other players. The most important thing was my bad performance, I was not in a good shape and played just terrible. This game didn’t change my attitude to match, in any case I was going to prepare seriously as I try to do before any official event. Anybody who plays not only for fun should pay attention to preparation. 

How can you explain your results during the last year? Was it in some way connected with the forthcoming match?
I was not in a good shape for a long period. I don’t really know the reason but I thought it was normal in sense that in one moment it was supposed to happen. You cannot always play good and show great results. It also could happen here but what can you do about it, except trying to do your best to get ready for the tournament. I cannot also say that I put too much attention to the match and I didn’t care about other tournaments. No, my results were not connected with the match. In 2011 I showed good results before the match with Koneru, so I think I just had a bad period. 

Did your results during the last year influence your self-belief?
I’m not the person who cares so much about the results, even I take chess seriously. 

Was this period connected with changes in your life? As I know, you started to study in the university.
Yes, I cannot take so much attention to chess as I did before because I have to study as normal student. The only advantage I have is an opportunity not to attend lessons when I participate in the tournaments but I still have to study myself if I miss something. Also it depends on professors, if the person is quite strict and pedantic so I cannot miss a lot. 

What did it mean for you to play in Taizhou? What do you think about conditions? Is it important to play on “your field” as in football?
In fact, Taizhou is not my native city. I was born in Xinghua, it’s one hour by car from here. Xinghua has at least 1 million inhabitants and many of my relatives still live there. 
South of China is not so polluted; there is a fresh air here, better food, vegetables. Of course, while playing here I didn’t need to change my schedule due to time difference and food was okay for me but in general I think the organization was more or less the same as for any other chess event.

What was your reaction when you learnt that Korobov and Khalifman were going to help Anna Ushenina during the match?
At first when I saw her team I said as many other people did: “Wow! Her team is so strong and so powerful!” I thought at that moment: “Maybe I should be more serious about it? Maybe I should do something different?” (smiles) But then after Tromso I just decided to hire a second by myself to help me preparing.

Did you expect the match to finish so quickly?
Well, I was expecting any situation. I expected it would be difficult, or I would have some difficult moments. 

Can you tell which difficult moments did you face during the match?
The first game was very complicated and the fifth game also.

You believed Ushenina’s team was strong. Why did you repeat Keres Attack in the 5th game? Wasn’t it a bit risky?
It was just reasonable, so I repeated. How can you know that some other surprises are not waiting for you in other variations, other openings? (smiles)

How did it happen that Anna lost three games with white pieces? Do you think it was because of wrong opening choices?
In first two games there was Nimzo-Indian, my main weapon with Black. She didn’t lose those games because of openings. It happened later. I can only say that in the third game there was an obvious mistake made by her. 

Are you satisfied with the level of play you showed here?
It’s okay for me but not perfect. I didn’t make big mistakes, I didn’t blunder but I also didn’t play precisely sometimes. I had worse positions in the games I’ve mentioned and I think it was because of my inaccurate play.

You had already won two matches – one in Tirana against Humpy Koneru and another one just one day ago. How can you compare them?
I felt happy two years ago and I feel happy today because in general I’m glad to win such important tournaments. The match in Tirana was more difficult for me. Last time the first half of the match I had worse and difficult positions and I tried hard to fight back. This time it was more one-sided. At the same time this match was not as easy as people might think, judging only from the outcome. In Tirana I faced more problems in the openings comparing to this match but it’s hard to say if I was better prepared in the openings for this match or not. 

You had health problems in Tirana. Have you ever had that unknown pain in stomach again?
Sometimes I get sick during the tournaments. During this match I felt okay, but I had problems just few days before the start and had to take some medicines for 4-5 days. 

Who was helping you this time?
I didn’t have a team this time and as I mentioned before that I only hired a second short time before the match started. Also you may know that GM Ye Jiangchuan is our Chinese team’s chief coach, so when he had time he also helped me a bit but most of the time he had many other jobs to do besides preparing. That’s why finally I decided to hire a second by myself. And a lot of friends all around the World were helping me whether with advises in chess or just support. They were cheering me up and I feel very grateful. I really appreciate their help! 

How do you mentally prepare yourself for the games and for the match?
Of course, I considered this match as a very important event but it’s not the most important thing in my life. For me it’s more important to be healthy, to be happy person in my daily life. I will try to explain you another way. Health and happiness means number “1” for me. Achievements, victories are “zeros”. So I would add those zeros to number “1”. The total number of my day can be 10, 1000, 10000 but without number “1” it’s nothing. I think my attitude helped me to enjoy the match and feel good. I try not to make a tragedy if I lose a game. Until the match is not over I would just focus on following games. In general when you win it doesn’t mean something crazy, if you lose it’s not the end of the world. 

But what if you lose this match?
Yes, I thought about it before the match and for me both cases were acceptable. 
I know many people contributed to organize this match, I appreciate the help of the government and the organizers, but still all results were possible. I was just trying to do my best and to be optimistic.

What does this title means for you? How is it important for you to get it back after nine and half months?
I’m happy to get the title of the Women’s World Champion back. Last year my results were not so good and I hope it’s a signal that I started to recover. 

Do you feel you are the strongest player among women?
No, I don’t. There is no obvious difference in level between me and other players. There are many strong players who have rating over 2500 and with some of them I have a plus, with others balanced results. At the same time I don’t have an opponent among women I have difficulties to play against. 

Does it bother you that you can lose your title in the next World Championship with knockout system like it happened to you in Khanty-Mansiysk?
I have no idea if I’m going to play there or not, I don’t have clear schedule for the next year. You may know that I didn’t really want to participate in the World Championship but had to go to play because of other reasons in the end. I don’t have clear idea which system should be used in women’s chess but we can compare it with the system in men’s chess. I believe the organization of whole cycle in men chess is more reasonable, fairer. I would be glad if FIDE makes the same system for women chess. 

You are young, beautiful and the World Champion! How can you describe your life at the moment?
It’s still long way to go and I have many years ahead to do almost everything I want. It’s time to observe the new things in chess, in studies, in other parts of life. I just want to expand my life. Life is wonderful!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Women's World Chess Championship Anna Ushenina vs Hou Yifan Begins

Ukraine's Anna Ushenina - reigning Women's World Chess Champion - begins her defence of the title in Taizhou Hotel, China today against China's Hou Yifan. The opening ceremony of the match was held on Tuesday. Xiao Min, the vice-president of Chinese Olympic Committee and Assistant Director of National Sports Bureau, declared the Women’s World Championship Match open. Ushenina got White in the drawing of colours ceremony. 

Yang Junan, the President of Chinese Chess Association, welcomed guests to Taizhou and said, “Through years’ development, under the lead of government and chess association, chess in Taizhou is very popular and contributes a lot to the development of chess in China. Here also comes out many excellent chess players among whom Hou Yifan is the outstanding representative. I believe that this event held in Taizhou will further raise the reputation of Taizhou and promote chess in this city."

FIDE President Kirsan Iljumzhinov congratulated everybody with the start of the Match, expressed his gratitude to Ms. Xiao Min, the Vice president of Chinese Olympic Committee and Assistant Director of National Sports Bureau, the Mayor of Taizhou city Mr. Xu Guoping, FIDE Vice-President Mr. Chu Bo, the President of Chinese Chess Association Mr.Yang Junan, for the attention which chess receives here.

After the opening ceremony the Women’s world champion Anna Ushenina, FIDE President Kirsan Iljumzhinov and guests were invited for the excursion to impressive China Medical City.

In the evening the World champion Anna Ushenina and challenger Hou Yifan inspected the playing venue and checked the lighting. The Chief Arbiter Panagiotis Nikolopoulos drew the attention of the participants to time control, "zero tolerance" rule and the absence of any restrictions concerning draw offer. The members of the Appeals Committee Chairman Jorge Vega, David Jarett and FIDE Supervisor Ali Nihat Yazici were introduced to players.

The first game will start at 3 p.m. local time on 11th of September.

Official website

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Women’s World Chess from Sept 10

Women’s World Chess Championship Match 2013 between the current World Champion Anna Ushenina of Ukraine and her challenger, Hou Yifan of China (former World Champion 2010-2012), is scheduled to start on September 10.

The drawing of colours will be conducted during the opening ceremony which will take place at 3 p.m. The player getting the white colour in game one plays game five with the black pieces). The time control is: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.

The winner of the ten-game match is the first player to reach 5.5 points or more. If the scores are level after the regular ten games, after a new drawing of colours, four tie-break games will be played, with 25 minutes for each player and an increment of ten seconds after each move.

If the scores are level after the four rapid games, then, after a new drawing of colours, a match of two games will be played with a time control of five minutes plus three seconds' increment after each move. In case of a level score, another two-game match will be played to determine a winner. If there is still no winner after five such matches (i.e. after ten games), one sudden death game will be played. This involves a drawing of lots, the winner being able to choose the colour. The player with the white pieces receives five minutes, the player with the black pieces four minutes, with an increment of three seconds per move from move 61 on. In case of a draw, the player with the black pieces is declared the winner.

The prize fund for this match is 200,000 Euros and will be split between the players as follows:
60% for the winner and 40% to the loser if the match ends within the 10 regular games. In case the winner is decided by tie-break games, she will receive 55% and loser 45%.

Anna Ushenina holds the title after the 2012 Women's World Chess Championship (knockout format) in Khanty-Mansiysk while Hou Yifan had a right to challenge her after she became first in the Grand Prix Series 2011-2012.

Anna Ushenina and Hou Yifan played their first game in 2006 during World Chess Olympiad (Turin, Italy) and the game ended in a draw. In 2007 another draw was signed during Russian team championship. Hou Yifan took the lead in their encounter in 2007-2008 when she won three games in a row. However, in the end of 2008 Anna Ushenina managed to outplay Chinese prodigy during the European Club Cup. Another draw in 2009 and the players stopped meeting over the board for the next 4 years, till 2013! Anna Ushenina defeated Hou Yifan with black pieces in their last encounter during Geneva Grand Prix.

Games between these two have been consistently hard-fought. Hou Yifan is one point ahead according to overall results. For her part, however, Anna Ushenina played 7 out of 8 games with Black and has victory in their last game at Geneva GP in 2013.

According to FIDE rating Hou Yifan (2609) holds the second position among women after Judit Polgar. Anna Ushenina (2500) is on 17th place.

The official hotel and playing venue:
The official website:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Geneva Women's Chess GP Begins

The first round of the first stage of Grand Prix tournament in Geneva got under way on the 3rd of May 2013, after the founder of Neva Fondation Elena Timtchenko made the first symbolic move in the game Kosinseva-Hou Yifan 1.e4. The President of Swiss Chess Federation Prof. Dr. Adrian Siegel repeated 1.e4 in the game Muzychuk-Girya. 

The first round was a pretty tough one for the start of the tournament – Bela Khotenashvili and Anna Muzychuk started with victories while other four games were drawn. Another Georgian player Nana Dzagnidze was very close to defeat Alexandra Kosteniuk but missed the victory in the time trouble. The quickest game of the round one between Lahno and Cmilyte finished with three-time repetition after 31 moves. Mongolian player Tuvshintugs Batchimeg made a draw against Women’s World Champion Anna Ushenina.

Batchimeg-Ushenina 1/2-1/2

Playing with Black Anna Ushenina equalized comfortably and got a playable position. The game developed quite logically but at one point White forgot about the weakness of the first rank. Black immediately used it and managed to win a pawn. “I was playing normally today but then I missed this move Qe7 after Qe5. I had to play h4 first and then maybe Qe5 or Qd4. So I’ve got these complications right after Qe5 but luckily my opponent let me make a draw. It’s my birthday today, so maybe this was a reason I was lucky,” said Tuvshintugs Batchimeg during the press-conference. As Adrian Mikhalchishin pointed out, Ukrainian player could have got winning rook endgame after an important maneuver 44…Re5-e6-c6.

Dzagnidze-Kosteniuk 1/2-1/2
White started to play quite aggressively at the opening (g4-h4-g5) and after h6 pushed the pawn to g6 to open g-file. It was scary for Black to make a short castling so Alexandra decided to look for counter play on the Queen’s side. According to the former world champion, Black’s moves b5 and Nc3 are dubious as after that her position became really bad. Nana Dzagnidze was sure White had winning position but didn’t find the right way to establish her advantage. One of the easiest way for White was to change white square bishops by playing 19.Bh7-20.Bg6. However, the variation chosen by Georgian player was in White’s favor as well, If she would play Qe4 instead of Ng6. After all troubles Alexandra was happy that the game was converted into the endgame where Black managed to make a draw. 

Muzychuk-Girya 1-0
Caro-Kann was played in the game and both players were repeating the well-known theoretical line. “I think this endgame was slightly better for White, I liked my position,” said Anna Muzychuk during the press-conference. Olga Girya estimated the ending as equal:   saw many games with many different plans in that endgame but somehow I forgot all of them (smiles).” It was not necessary for Black to take on c4 and create a weakness on c6 but Olga pointed out it was not easy to find the moves in that position. Russian player could have tried to defend more actively but chose quite passive defence, so Anna Muzychuk was improving her position step by step. White grabbed the pawn on c6 and with accurate play converted the advantage into a full point. 

Kosintseva-Hou 1/2-1/2
Despite the absence of Nadezhda Kosintseva in Geneva (she let her sister Tatiana replace her for one event), she keeps on helping her sister Tatiana with the preparation through Internet. Today Tatiana repeated the moves from the game Kosintseva Nadezhda-Hou Yifan but chose to play 16.Bd3 instead of 16.Be2. Both opponents remembered the theory quite deeply and were following the main line. White got enough compensation for the pawn but Black had also quite safe position. It was not easy for both players to find the way to fight for more than draw. “I think it’s easier to play this position with White,” said Hou Yifan during the press conference but at the same time she also didn’t see any idea for White to fight for more. 

Khotenashvili-Ju Wenjun 1-0
Black chose to play quite risky move 10…Ne4 instead of more quiet 10…Re8 and playing white Bela Khotenashvili spent some time choosing between 12.Nd2 and 12.Ng5. 12. Nd2 guaranteed White stable advantage and good play, so since that moment it was not easy for Black to find the right plan. Please follow the deep analyzes of this game provided by GM Adrian Mikhalchishin. (Anastasiya Karlovich/official website)

Without exception the players expressed their joy to participate in this tournament.
Tuvshintugs Batchimeg: “It’s my first time here in Grand Prix and I’m really glad that FIDE is organizing one of the stages in our country. I’m lucky to participate in such a strong field here in this tournament and I would like to thank the Mongolian Chess Federation for giving me this opportunity. It’s great to be here in Geneva, I’ve been here for three times.”

Anna Ushenina: “I can say that organization is perfect here. I would like to express my gratitude to FIDE and Neva Fondation. It’s not easy to organize the event on such a good level”.

Viktorija Cmilyte: “It’s a very nice place and excellent hotel. It’s really nothing to complain about at all. I’ve got nominated by FIDE President not a long time ago and it came as a very pleasant surprise! I didn’t have much time to prepare for this event but I’m glad to have this fantastic chance to play in series of very strong tournament.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Khanty-Mansiysk Women's World Chess Championship 2012: Humpy, Harika Sail into Round 2

KHANTY MANSIYSK (RUSSIA): Koneru Humpy effortlessly defeated Denise Frick of South Africa while D Harika outplayed compatriot Soumya Swaminathan to move to the second round of the World Women's Chess Championship 2012 on Monday. Humpy scored an easy win, though Harika had to struggle a bit against Soumya. The other higher-ranked players also cruised to the second round and topping the list was reigning world champion Yifan Hou of China who scored easily over Sachini Ranasinghe of Sri Lanka, former Women's World Chess Champions Alexandra Kosteniuk and Antoaneta Stefanova. 

Amongst the fancied, Ju Wenjun of China was the only exception as she suffered a reversal against Atousa Pourkashiyan of Iran and the two will now battle it out in the tie-break games of shorter duration.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Women's World Chess Championship 2012: Humpy, Harika, Soumya Lead Indian Challenge; Games Begin Sunday

Reigning women's world chess champion, Hou Yifan of China, draws a white pawn at the colourful opening ceremony that took place in Khanty-Mansiysk earlier today.

RUSSIA: Grandmaster Koneru Humpy will take on Denise Frick of South Africa in the first round of the World Women's chess championship on Sunday.

Looking for an elusive world title, Humpy starts as the highest rated player in the 64-player knockout event that will have almost all the top rated woman players of the world.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Women's Chess Grand Prix Round 9: Hou Yifan in Sole Lead

China's Ju Wenjun, who had been leading since the beginning, gave way for the lead to Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan in the ninth round at the Women's Chess Grand Prix currently on in Jermuk. Wenjun has earned a men’s GM norm, while Ruan Lufei, with a nice tactical win, secured a men’s IM norm. Ruan beat Zhao Xue with a nice tactical win. The game between Kosintseva – Danielian was very tense, and though it went into a drawish position, Danielian ended up losing. Ekaterina Kovalevskaya lost to Hou Yifan. The clash between Lahno – Khurtsidze was a captivating game. After a balanced opening, the Ukrainian star sacrificed a pawn for the initiative, and looked to be in full control after some inaccurate responses from the Georgian. However, just when it appeared that the end would be near, it was white’s turn to stumble. The game ended in a draw. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Women's Chess Grand Prix Jermuk R6: Ju Wenjun in Sole Lead

Ju Wenjun in Lead
The Fide Women's Chess Grand Prix is currently on in Jermuk. After six rounds, China's Ju Wenjun continues to lead with a well-earned 4.5 points. In Round six, only two games were decisive. Koneru Humpy beat Ekaterina Kovalevskaya and Nino Khurtsidze lost to Ruan Lufei. The other games - Zhao Xue-Munguntuul Batkhuyag, Mkrtchian Lilit-Lahno Kateryna, Ju Wenjun-Kosintseva Nadezhda, Danielian Elina-Hou Yifan were draws.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Women's Chess Grand Prix Begins in Jermuk; Watch Live India Time 4.30 pm

The fifth leg of the Women's Chess Grand Prix begins in Jermuk, Armenia begins today with the first games being played on July 17. The list of participants includes:

1 Hou Yifan GM CHN 2617
2 Humpy Koneru GM IND 2598
3 Zhao Xue GM CHN 2556
4 Kateryna Lahno GM UKR 2537
5 Ju Wenjun WGM CHN 2518
6 Nadezhda Kosintseva GM RUS 2516
7 Ruan Lufei WGM CHN 2483
8 Elina Danielian GM ARM 2480
9 Nino Khurtsidze WGM GEO 2456
10 Lilit Mkrtchian WGM ARM 2450
11 Munguntuul Batkhuyag WGM MGL 2447
12 Ekaterina Kovalevskaya WGM RUS 2417

The word Jermuk comes from the Armenian word for warmth, a reference to its plentiful hot natural springs and mineral waters. A resort town located about 170 km south-east from Armenia's capital Yerevan, this picturesque and pristine resort is nestled in mountains rising over 2two kms in altitude. Today Jermuk is a revitalized growth of tourism as health spas, medical treatment and tourism, and more traditional touristic destinations offer their services to both local and international guests. 

Watch the Women's Chess Grand Prix - Jermuk live at this link from India time 4.30 pm

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July Chess Ratings: Magnus Carlsen at Record 2837; Anand Slips to 5th Place for Winning World Chess Championship!

World's Highest Rated Chess Player
Norway's Magnus Carlsen
Fide has released the July chess ratings which have World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen on a runaway lead with a record rating of 2837. The highest ever rating record is held by legendary 13th World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov of an 'Everest elo' worth 2851!

The list of top players is published at dedicated page of FIDE ratings website. All players can check new ratings at the main page of FIDE ratings website or download TXT version from downloads page.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kazan Chess Final Report: Humpy, Muzychuk Joint Winners; Hou-Cmilyte 0-1 Best Game

India's Koneru Humpy and Slovenia's Anna Muzychuk were declared joint winners of the fourth stage of the FIDE Women's Grand Prix on June 22, 2012. After 11 rounds, both Humpy and Muzychuk had 7.5 points. Grand Prix regulations require sharing of prize money, title and Grand Prix points in case of a tie. 
The winners: Anna Muzychuk (left) and Koneru Humpy with Fide president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
India's most talented woman chess 
player Koneru Humpy with dad and trainer Koneru Ashok.
(Photos: Rashit Shiriyazdanov and Anastasiya Karlovich/Fide official website)

Three players were sharing the lead before the last round - Viktorija Cmilyte, Anna Muzychuk and Humoy Koneru. In the final round Humpy Koneru sacrificed a piece and beat Alisa Galliamova with black pieces. Anna Muzychuk capitalised on a mistake by Nadezhda Kosintseva to win. Viktorija Cmilyte settled for a draw with Antoaneta Stefanova. Reigning Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan (China) and Lithuanian Viktorija Cmilyte concluded the tournament with 7 points each. In her last game in Kazan, Hou Yifan beat Elina Danielian who had been leading for most of the tournament, but ended up losing her last three games. Elina Danelian from Armenia and Russian Alexandra Kosteniuk collected 6 points each to share 5th – 6th positions. Kosteniuk beat Betul Yildiz in the last round. Russian Tatiana Kosintseva beat Ukrainian Kateryna Lahno and finished seventh with 5.5 points. Lahno consequently ranked one spot lower half a point behind.

Nadezhda Kosintseva and Bulgarian Antoaneta Stefanova finished at the joint 9th – 10th places with 4.5 points, Russian Alisa Galliamova was next with 3 points, followed by Betul Yildiz from Turkey with 2.5 points.

The closing ceremony took place in the Korston Hotel and was attended by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Minister on Affairs of Youth, Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan Rafis Burganov, players, officials and spectators. The winners Anna Muzychuk and Humpy Koneru were awarded wooden chess pieces and all the participants of FIDE Grand Prix in Kazan were felicitated with flowers and presents. 

Viktorija Cmilyte received a special prize devoted to 100 years anniversary since the birthday of Rashit Nezmetdinov. Her victory against World Champion Hou Yifan was chosen by the organizing committee as the best game.
At the closing ceremony FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov made a surprise gift for the Chess Federation of the Republic of Tatarstan - the entire set of electronic boards that the participants had played on!

Best chess game award at the Kazan Chess Grand Prix went to Viktorija Cmilyte. It was a special prize on the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary of Rashit Nezmetdinov. The organising committee chose her game against Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan as the best game of the event. You can read:
Tal Chess Round 4: Viktorija Cmilyte Explains Win Over Hou Yifan

Monday, June 18, 2012

Kazan Chess Round 7: Armenia's Elina Danielian Holds on to Lead

Armenia's Elina Danielian has got a strong hold over the Kazan Women's Chess Grand Prix by the end of Round 7. Danielian drew with former women's world chess champion to maintain her lead. Her depth of understanding an endgame defence in a complicated situation against a former world chess champion was evident. 
Viktorija Cmilyte

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kazan Chess Round 6: Armenia's Elina Danielian Maintains Sole Lead With Win Over Nadezhda Kosintseva

Armenia's Elina Danielian is on a roll at the Women's Chess Grand Prix Series 2011-2012 in Kazan. Scoring back to back victories, she maintains her sole lead after six rounds. Anna Muzychuk, who had caught up with Danielian in joint lead, could only score a draw in the sixth round against a very determined former women's world chess champion Alexandra Kosteniuk. The tense game could only end in a draw.
Tatiana Kosintseva - Elina Danielian 0-1 

Antoaneta Stefanova-Hou Yifan 0-1

Meanwhile, Katerina Lahno playing with Black tried her best to gain advantage of Alisa Galliamova's badly placed Knight and scored the win with the latter coming under time pressure. Tatiana Kosintseva scored the first win for herself by beating Betul Yildiz. Yildiz's only win in the tournament has actually come against top seed women's world chess champion Hou Yifan. The Turkish player underestimated Black’s Queenside attack.

In the other games, women's world chess champion China's Hou Yifan obtained a better middlegame position against former women's world chess champion Bulgaria's Antoaneta Stefanova. Yifan then went on to implement a decisive attack and win. Another tense game, Koneru-Cmilte, finished in a draw.

After six rounds of play, Elina Danielian leads with 4.5 points. Katerina Lahno and Anna Muzychuk share the second place with half a point behind. Hampy Koneru and Viktorija Cmilyte are sharing 4th – 5th places with 3.5 points, followed by Nadezhda Kosintseva and Hou Yifan who are placed 6-7 with 3 points each. Alexandra Kosteniuk, Tatiana Kosintseva and Antoaneta Stefanova are at 8 – 10 spots with 2.5 points. Alisa Galliamova is currently eleventh with 2 points, followed by Betul Yildiz with 1 point. 

You can watch the Kazan chess games live at the official website from India time 4.30 pm. (Photos by Rashit Shiriyazdanov and Anastasiya Karlovich/Kazan Women's Chess Grand Prix official website.)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tal Chess Round 4: Viktorija Cmilyte Explains Win Over Hou Yifan

Here is the chess game in which Lithuania's Viktorija Cmilyte beat reigning women's world chess champion Hou Yifan in Kazan at the ongoing women's chess grand prix during round 4. Thursday was a rest day at the tournament. Elina Danielian of Armenia is leading the event after four rounds

Hou Yifan - Viktorija Cmilyte
Live transmission - both of the games and the playing hall - is available daily from India time 4.30 pm at the official website. Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, is hosting the FIDE Women's Grand Prix, part of a series of elite events organised by FIDE and Global Chess from June 9-23. There will be six tournaments over two years in various countries around the world. The winner of each tournament takes home 6,500 Euros, the total prize fund is 40,000 Euros. The overall winner will get a further 15,000 Euros at the end of the series. India's Koneru Humpy is also playing well at the tournament and is placed second with 2.5 points after four rounds.

Kazan Chess Round 4: Danielian in Sole Lead; Hou Loses to Cmilyte

The Kazan Chess Grand Prix Round 4 saw an upset for Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan as she lost to Viktorija Cmilyte. 
Viktorija Cmilyte - Hou Yifan

This is the second loss for the Chinese chess prodigy in the tournament. Meanwhile, Elina Danielian sacrificed an exchange with White and beat Tatiana Kosintseva. Humpy Koneru and Betul Yildiz were both struggling against time when Yildiz lost track and Koneru capitalised to win the point. Alisa Galliamova lost to Nadezhda Kosintseva. Two exciting games with fortunes swinging were played out for a draw by Anna Muzychuk - Katerina Lahno and Alexandra Kosteniuk – Antoaneta Stefanova. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kazan Chess Grand Prix Round 3: Muzychuk, Danielian Lead

Hou Yifan versus Tatiana Kosintseva
in Round 3 of Kazan Chess Grand Prix
Fighting chess continued at the Fide Women's Chess Grand Prix in Kazan Round 3. There were four decisive games on the third day of play. Alexandra Kosteniuk and Alisa Galliamova lost their games in tough fights against Nadezhda Kosintseva and Viktorija Cmilyte respectively. Viktorija Cmilyte went for fireworks and beat the Russian. Kosteniuk was in a comfortable position and could have pulled off a draw in an entertaining game, but tried a risky line as usual fighting for 78 moves - the longest game of the third round. Elina Danielian lost to Betul Yildiz and Hou Yifan beat Tatiana Kosintseva with black.

Standings after Round 3 

1-3. Anna Muzychuk, Elina Danielian 2
4-10. Viktorija Cmilyte, Nadehda Kosintseva, Antoaneta Stefanova, Kateryna Lahno, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Koneru Humpy, Alisa Galliamova 1.5
11-12. Betul Yildiz, Tatiana Kosintseva 1

You can watch the Kazan Chess Grand Prix for Women Live at the official website daily from India time 4.30 pm.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kazan Chess Grand Prix for Women - Watch Live 4.40 pm India Time

Koneru Humpy takes on Hou Yifan in Round 1 at Kazan Chess Grand Prix

Kazan Chess Grand Prix can be watched live from India time 4.30 pm India time from today at the official website. The opening ceremony took place on Saturday for the fourth part of the FIDE Women’s Chess Grand Prix Series 2011-2012 at the very beautiful Korston Hotel in Kazan, Russia. Twelve players representing nine countries are taking part in the event including women's world chess champion Hou Yifan and former women's world chess champions Alexandra Kosteniuk and Antoaneta Stefanova. Also taking part are the women's chess current numbers three and four by rating - Anna Muzychuk and Humpy Koneru. Four participants who represent the National Russian team and are the present Olympiad champions - Tatiana Kosintseva, Nadezhda Kosintseva, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Alisa Galliamova - are also in the lineup. 

Here is the complete list of participants that makes this one of the strongest gathering of women's chess players in recent times. You can click on the links to see each player's Fide rating card.

1. Hou Yifan GM CHN 2623
10. Anna Muzychuk GM SLO 2598
7. Tatiana Kosintseva GM RUS 2532
6. Nadezhda Kosintseva GM RUS 2528
11. Antoaneta Stefanova GM BUL 2518
2. Viktorija Cmilyte GM LTU 2508
5. Alisa Galliamova WGM RUS 2484
8. Alexandra Kosteniuk GM RUS 2457
4. Humpy Koneru GM IND 2589
9. Kateryna Lahno GM UKR 2546
3. Elina Danielian GM ARM 2484
12. Betul Cemre Yildiz WGM TUR 2333
The opening ceremony of the Kazan Chess Grand Prix was attended by the first President of the Republic of Tatarstan State Advisor of the Republic of Tatarstan, Senior Advisor to the FIDE President Mr. M. Shaimiev, Chief Executive Officer of FIDE Mr. G. Borg, assistant to FIDE President Mr. B. Balgabaev and distinguished guests. We can look forward to an exciting fortnight ahead of chess. Games will be played every day from India time 4.30 pm with rest days from chess being on June 14 (Thursday) and June 19 (Tuesday). 

Sunday's Round 1 pairings are as follows:
Elina Danielian – Anna Muzychuk
Humpy Koneru – Hou Yifan
Betul Yildiz – Alisa Galliamova
Tatiana Kosintseva – Alexandra Kosteniuk
Viktorija Cmilyte – Katerina Lahno
Nadezhda Kosintseva – Antoaneta Stefanova

(Photos and inputs by Anastasiya Karlovich with kind 
permission of FIDE via the Kazan Chess Grand Prix official website.)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Kazan Chess Grand Prix for Women from June 9 with Hou Yifan, Anna Muzychuk, Koneru Humpy as Top Seeds

Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan of China top seed in Kazan Women's Chess Grand Prix - 4th stage
Apart from the 7th Mikhail Tal Chess Memorial that begins today, we have another big chess event beginning in Kazan, Russia from June 9. It is the Women's Chess Grand Prix - fourth in the series of the FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2011-2012. Twelve top women chess players of the world are taking part in the round robin event including the current Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan of China. 



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