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Perfect Start for Hou Yifan at Khanty-Mansiysk Women GP

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 11-04-14 23:39.

Hou Yifan had a most convincing start at the Women's Grand Prix in Khanty-Mansiysk. The reigning World Champion won her first three games, against Tatiana KosintsevaTuvshintugs Batchimeg and Nana Dzagnidze, in impressive style. After three rounds Zhao Xue and Anna Muzychuk are in shared second place with 2.0/3.

Photos © Kirill Merkuriev courtesy of FIDE

Less than two weeks after the Candidates’ Tournament finished in Khanty-Mansiysk, the local organizers have welcomed a whole new group of top players in the Ugra Chess Academy. For the fourth leg of the 2013-2014 FIDE Women's Grand Prix series, some of the strongest female players made the long trip to Siberia: Hou Yifan and Zhao Xue of China, Anna Muzychuk of Slovenia, Kateryna Lagno, Anna Ushenina of Ukraine, Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria, Tatiana Kosintseva, Alexandra Kosteniuk and Olga Girya of Russia, Nana Dzagnidze of Georgia, Nafisa Muminova of Uzbekistan and Tuvshintugs Batchimeg of Mongolia.

Like all Women's Grand Prix events, this is a round robin over 11 rounds. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game and 30 seconds increment per move from the start.

The prize fund is 75,000 Euros. It is split 60,000 Euros as direct prize money for the tournament, and 15,000 Euros added to the accumulated prize fund for the players at the end of the series. The winner of Grand Prix in Khanty-Mansiysk receives 10,000 Euros.

After this event, two more Grand Prixs will be held this year. The winner of the overall Grand Prix qualifies for a world title match which is scheduled for the third quarter of 2015.

After three rounds Hou Yifan is the clear leader, having won all here games thus far. In the first round she played against the youngest of the two Kosintseva sisters, Tatiana. That game actually saw one or two inaccuracies from the Chinese, but as soon as she (finally) won that pawn, she had no mercy.

The next game was a walk-over. The opening went OK for the lady with the most difficult name in the field, Tuvshintugs Batchimeg, but three dubious moves in a row and she was dead lost. Last year, in Geneva, the Mongolian scored a sensational win against Hou, but this time it went differently.

Hou Yifan's third game was a lovely attack that was quickly decisive. Taking with the c-pawn on c6 didn't make life easier for Dzagnidze, and after ...g6 instead of ...h6 it was quickly over. Who doesn't like to play such a game?


It seems that female players almost always show lots of fighting spirit - perhaps even more than their male colleagues. After three rounds the drawing percentage is as low as 33.3%. Here's a tough battle between two of the Russian participants, who played an ancient opening line:

Women Grand Prix, Khanty-Mansiysk | Round 3 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Hou Yifan 2618 3262 1 1 1 3.0/3
2 Zhao Xue 2552 2571 0 1 1 2.0/3 3.00
3 Muzychuk,A 2560 2598 ½ ½ 1 2.0/3 1.50
4 Muminova,N 2321 2501 1 0 ½ 1.5/3 2.75
5 Lagno,K 2543 2521 0 ½ 1 1.5/3 2.50
6 Ushenina,A 2501 2446 1 0 ½ 1.5/3 2.00
7 Stefanova,A 2489 2526 0 1 ½ 1.5/3 2.00
8 Kosintseva,T 2496 2495 0 1 ½ 1.5/3 1.25
9 Girya,O 2450 2471 ½ 0 1 1.5/3 1.25
10 Kosteniuk,A 2527 2375 ½ ½ 0 1.0/3
11 Dzagnidze,N 2550 2264 0 ½ 0 0.5/3 1.00
12 Batchimeg,T 2340 2279 0 0 ½ 0.5/3 0.75

The Women Grand Prix is a 12-player round robin. The dates are April 9th-21st, 2014 with rest days on the 13th and the 18th. Each day the rounds start at 15:00 local time which is 11:00 CET, 05:00 EST and 02:00 PST. | Games via to TWIC 

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  • 8 maanden geleden

    sco-ish

    to pund: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_World_Chess_Championship_2011 

    Hou Yifan (2578) was 22 elo behind Humpy Koneru (2600) when she defeated her 5½ - 2½ with no losses in the WWCC 2011

  • 8 maanden geleden

    pund

    to sco - ish: Humpy Koneru is only 5 Elo behind Hou who is some 67 Elo behind Judit Polgar (april 2014 rankings)

  • 8 maanden geleden

    melvinbluestone

    So what happens if Caruana or Mamedyarov or Nakamura wants to play in one of these things? Do they just tell em' flat out 'you can't play 'cause you're a guy'? Is there a legal case there for sexual discrimination? What about a transgender player? Suppose one these 2700+ GMs goes for the 'reassignment' procedure? Can he/she play? What about RuPaul? Can he play in a women's tournament? 

  • 8 maanden geleden

    iMacChess

    "When men lose against me, they always have a headache ... or things of that kind. I have never beaten a completely healthy man!"  -  Susan Polgar

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc4IPH7XQBA

  • 8 maanden geleden

    Marcokim

    The issue of having a womens championship is not that simple. Girls need more encouragement to take up the sport and evidence from Kasparov chess schools in Uganda and Kenya shows that after 4years of chess the top 12yr old girls and boys are about 1900 FIDE (not much difference).

    One of the top 12yr olds in the USA is a girl (Sumita something 2175 USCF)

    Another curious thing, most of you guys banging about gender discrimination and inconsistencies could hardly get a draw against the top ten (12yr old) girls in the USCF. Why don't you spend your tremendous energy on improving your chess instead of hypothetical social philosophy B.S.

  • 8 maanden geleden

    CP6033

    to me it seems rather ridiculous to have a women world championship and and an open world championship (which is all men because women aren't good enought to get there no offence to any women out there). There should be one world championship match, and if Hou Yifan isn't good enough to get into the candidates it's tough luck. The fact that there are Women's events and Open events isn't discrimination against men, It's trying to get women to play more chess, but gender shouldn't matter, all that matters is how you can play the game!

  • 8 maanden geleden

    WhereWhyWhen

    I'm surprised women find the time to play chess tournaments, what with the all the shopping they do!

  • 8 maanden geleden

    Farewell314

    Women Grand Prixs are ridiculous in my opinion. Hou Yifan is like 60 points higher rated then her nearest rival and almost 300 points from the lowest rated player. If she wants to improve further, she's gonna have to start playing people of at least her own strength.

  • 8 maanden geleden

    eagerogre

    There wasn't a lot of selective pressure in history for strength and speed, or rationality, which probably started with strategizing how to kill stuff, then make better weapons, tools, etc. Eventually those abilities were used in the social realm with other men for contracts and trading and sh_it. Women are good at nurturing and building harmonious relationships and having the bodies that get our genes to the next gen well Laughing... and they're really good at getting dressed for men who don't give a damn about what they wear. What really sux is when women espouse "male" dominating business values so hard that they lose touch will all those great nurturing tendencies, which should be honored... then you've got a tallest midget contest...Foot in Mouth Men don't like cruel women!     Indeed

  • 8 maanden geleden

    NM shtabi

    @ zinsch The stat thing about draws isn't necessarily an insult. It could also hint that men players are more intelligent in terms of more rationality about results. So in addtion, it could mean that since women players largely omit the option of draw, they overtry, and reconstruction is a perfect example of why overtry is bad.

  • 8 maanden geleden

    Zinsch

    The conclusion about the low drawing rate is really bad (and also clearly insulting the strong male players by implying that they lack fighting spirit).

  • 8 maanden geleden

    maurizio2013

    @Albatross: "I still don't understand why there is a women's section in a mental game/sport."

    I believe the reason is that the guys are above the top. Just watch the Kasparov-Anand match, or Carlsen-Anand, the top guys are slaughter machines, if they would go against the top women in a chess match, then we would have Fischer's scores. And that would be bad advertisement for chess, because it would show that women are no match.

    Did you ever ask yourself: why they didn't organize a Match between Carlsen and Polgar? Or Carlsen and Hou Yifan? Imagine if the result would be a 6-0. Terrible for the image, and likely with devastating results for chess as a sport.

  • 8 maanden geleden

    Rabbitiswise711

    who knows why, but my suggestion for the top women players would be about the same as my coach's advice for me.  Play stronger competition and you'll be a stronger player.

  • 8 maanden geleden

    maturner

    If women were brought up immersed in chess like Polgar was I don't think there would be much difference between men and women's ratings. I think that was the point of Lazlo Polgar's experiment.

  • 8 maanden geleden

    melvinbluestone

    Remember that scene in Under Siege where Steven Seagal asks this chick to carry some heavy stuff and she kinda' balks, and he says "I thought you were a feminist?" and she says "I am, when it works in my favor."

    This is the same reason you never hear women's groups complain about the Selective Service Act, which only applies to men, or the fact that the LPGA bars men from it's tournaments. Both cases are blatantly sexist. Now, I realize it's the 'Ladies' Professional Golf Association...... but let's face it: If the PGA disallowed a female player from a tournament because of her gender, you'd never hear the end of it. 

    I'd better delete this before my girlfriend sees it......

  • 8 maanden geleden

    seanahan

    One thing to note is that if there are 50 times as many serious chess players who are men, then one would expect a significant rating gap at the top, because the bell curve is wider.  (One also expects the worst players to be men in that case, but those will usually quit).  I won't attempt the actual math here, but I know it's been done.  Whether the actual number is 50x or something different, I don't know.  In my experience, at least from scholastic tournaments in the late 90s, the ratio was probably about 10 to 1.  I suspect after high school the numbers in the USA drop more for women than for men.

    I work in a profession (computer science) where there is also a signficant gender gap.  No one suggests intelligence or physiology in this field, it is all cultural and social.  Women are discouraged by their family and friends from investing time in things like chess and computers, or if not actively discouraged, feel a general attitude keeping them away.  Interestingly, the number of applicants to computer science programs is not nearly as skewed, but more women drop out of computer science programs early on, for a variety of reasons.  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/business/16digi.html?_r=0

    If we want gender equality in chess (which most of us do), the best thing to do is to encourage young girls to take up the game of chess, to study hard, practice, and be proud of what they do.  We should start now, because I doubt any human will be able to compete for the world title until Magnus retires.

  • 8 maanden geleden

    albatrosses

    I still don't understand why there is a women's section in a mental game/sport.

  • 8 maanden geleden

    upquarked

    All this sexes separation is bullshit of course. The reason why Yifan isnt as strong as the rest is because she's studying? (not fulltime) i think and she does not play 2700 players often. If you want to improve you need to play the stronger guys. 

    But if chess does not separate the sexes, then it furthers itself from being called a "sport" ;) not that it matters imo but it really does matter from an advertising standpoint

  • 8 maanden geleden

    melvinbluestone

    @Rabbitiswise711:

    I've been griping about this for years. Exactly why there is such a ratings gap between the sexes is unclear. There's tons of theories floating around out there, everything from 'it's cultural' to 'it's hormones' to 'it actually is the physical differences'. Whatever the reason, the gap is real, with the strange, sole exception of Judit Polgar. Even Hou Yifan, a great player, doesn't seem to be in the same league as Polgar in her prime. Besides the fact that there's no logical foundation for discrimination in chess based on sex (there are no separate competitions based on race or religion), it may actually work against women. The lower ratings for females may simply reflect the lower ratings of their opponents. Playing against stronger players may drive up ratings. In fairness, though, anything that gets more people to play chess is a good thing. Many young women might be intimidated by the prospect of competing in a contest that has traditionally been dominated by males. The pro and cons of this issue are numerous, but I'm pretty sure separate competitions for women will be with us for quite a while. Incidently, I believe it's only the women's competitions that discriminate. Females are not barred from any tournaments. It's only the men who are barred from the women's tournaments. Go figure. Who's being sexist now?

  • 8 maanden geleden

    Rabbitiswise711

    I dont know why chess seperates men and women... Its not like a physical competition where men are just bigger, taller, stronger faster. 

    Chess is all mental, and unless women acknowledge they arent as smart as men, why seperate the sexes.  I dont get it.

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