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Women's Grand Prix Monte Carlo Tournament

Yifan Hou9/11(+8 -1 =2)[games]
Mariya Muzychuk7/11(+4 -1 =6)[games]
Koneru Humpy7/11(+6 -3 =2)[games]
Pia Cramling6/11(+3 -2 =6)[games]
Natalia Pogonina6/11(+3 -2 =6)[games]
Antoaneta Stefanova5.5/11(+4 -4 =3)[games]
Alexandra Kosteniuk5.5/11(+2 -2 =7)[games]
Nana Dzagnidze5/11(+4 -5 =2)[games]
Almira Fyodorovna Skripchenko4.5/11(+2 -4 =5)[games]
Natalia Zhukova4.5/11(+1 -3 =7)[games]
Anna Muzychuk4.5/11(+1 -3 =7)[games]
Sarasadat Khademalsharieh1.5/11(+0 -8 =3)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Women's Grand Prix Monte Carlo (2015)

This was the first leg of five in the Women's Grand Prix series 2015-2016 which would determine the challenger for the women's crown in 2017. The second leg would be held in Tehran, Iran, in February 2016. Each player could participate in three of the five events. (1)


The first round started on 3 October 2015 with the eleventh and final round being played on 15 October 2015. Rest days were 7 and 12 October.


Monte Carlo, Monaco.


Round robin, twelve players, eleven rounds.

Time Control

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 from move one.

Tie Breaks

No tie breaks are being used in individual GP tournaments. Prizes and Grand Prix ranking points are shared equally where there are any tied placements. If there is a tie at the top of the Grand Prix points tally by the end of the last event, then the winner will be declared as follows, with successive tiebreakers being invoked if the earlier ones do not break the tie:

- No. of actual game result points scored in the three tournaments
- No. of 1st places
- No. of 2nd places
- No. of wins
- Drawing of lots

Prizes and Grand Prix points (2)

The total prizemoney for this event is €60,000 (nearly US $68,000). Grand Prix points (GPP) awarded for each place in the event are in brackets after the prize money.

1st Prize €10,000 (160 pts), 4th Prize €5,750 (90 pts), 7th Prize €4,250 (60 pts), 10th Prize €3,000 (30 pts)
2nd Prize €8,250 (130 pts), 5th Prize €5,000 (80 pts), 8th Prize €4,000 (50 pts), 11th Prize €2,750 (20 pts)
3rd Prize €6.750 (110 pts), 6th Prize €4,500 (70 pts), 9th Prize €3,250 (40 pts), 12th Prize €2,500 (10 pts)

Crosstable, Grand Prix points (GPP) and comments (1, 3)

Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 GPP 1 Yifan Hou 2671 * 1 0 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 9 160 =2 M Muzychuk 2528 0 * 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 7 120 =2 Koneru 2578 1 0 * ½ ½ 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 7 120 =4 Cramling 2513 0 ½ ½ * ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 6 85 =4 Pogonina 2445 0 ½ ½ ½ * 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 6 85 =6 Stefanova 2500 0 0 1 0 1 * 1 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 5½ 65 =6 Kosteniuk 2525 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 * 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 5½ 65 8 Dzagnidze 2573 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 0 * 1 ½ 1 1 5 50 =9 Skripchenko 2441 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 * ½ 1 1 4½ 30 =9 Zhukova 2485 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 4½ 30 =9 A Muzychuk 2549 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ * ½ 4½ 30 12 Khademalsharieh 2402 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ * 1½ 10

Women's World Champion Mariya Muzychuk was the first player to take the lead, doing so as sole leader as early as round two. She drew in round three against the young Iranian player Sarasadat Khademalsharieh enabling Koneru Humpy to catch up and share the lead. However Muzychuk regained the sole lead in round four when she defeated Natalie Zhukova. She maintained the sole lead in round five despite a short draw with her sister Anna, but the gap narrowed with Yifan Hou only a half point behind in the chasing pack. Round six saw Koneru and Yifan draw level with Muzychuk for the shared lead, with Koneru and Yifan drawing ahead in round seven. Round eight finished with Yifan taking the sole lead and finishing strongly to win the event after round ten, with a round to spare. Her final score was 9/11, two full points clear of the field.

A fuller round by round description can be found in the official site (linked below), with photos and other stories from the event.

Official site

Next Women's Grand Prix Tournament

FIDE Women's Grand Prix Tehran (2016)

(1) Wikipedia article: FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2015%E2%80%9316 (2) (3)

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 66  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. P Cramling vs Yifan Hou  0-1402015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloA46 Queen's Pawn Game
2. S Khademalsharieh vs A Muzychuk  ½-½202015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloE15 Queen's Indian
3. N Zhukova vs N Dzagnidze  ½-½202015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloA04 Reti Opening
4. M Muzychuk vs A Stefanova 1-0742015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloB06 Robatsch
5. Kosteniuk vs Skripchenko  ½-½312015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloE17 Queen's Indian
6. Koneru vs N Pogonina ½-½562015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloE46 Nimzo-Indian
7. A Stefanova vs Kosteniuk  1-0372015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloA04 Reti Opening
8. N Dzagnidze vs M Muzychuk 0-1202015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloD83 Grunfeld, Grunfeld Gambit
9. A Muzychuk vs N Pogonina 0-1472015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloC91 Ruy Lopez, Closed
10. Skripchenko vs P Cramling  0-1672015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloB30 Sicilian
11. Yifan Hou vs Koneru 0-1752015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. S Khademalsharieh vs N Zhukova  ½-½322015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloA58 Benko Gambit
13. P Cramling vs A Stefanova 1-0422015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
14. Kosteniuk vs N Dzagnidze  1-0542015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloB32 Sicilian
15. N Zhukova vs A Muzychuk  ½-½352015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
16. N Pogonina vs Yifan Hou 0-1822015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
17. Koneru vs Skripchenko 1-0302015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloE15 Queen's Indian
18. M Muzychuk vs S Khademalsharieh  ½-½472015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloE01 Catalan, Closed
19. A Stefanova vs Koneru  1-0592015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloA05 Reti Opening
20. Skripchenko vs N Pogonina  ½-½212015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloC48 Four Knights
21. A Muzychuk vs Yifan Hou ½-½442015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloE00 Queen's Pawn Game
22. N Zhukova vs M Muzychuk  0-1572015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloA15 English
23. S Khademalsharieh vs Kosteniuk  0-1432015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloD41 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
24. N Dzagnidze vs P Cramling  ½-½962015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
25. Yifan Hou vs Skripchenko 1-0742015Women's Grand Prix Monte CarloA15 English
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 66  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-14-15  detritus: Maybe Mariya M. should start playing 3. a6 against Hou's Sicilian. She needs to figure out something against 1. … c5, since she prefers 1. e4 as White. Hou's two wins against her with the Sicilian have been brutal.
Oct-14-15  dumbgai: <Eduardo Leon>
Yes of course, nothing is ever certain. That's why they play the matches. But let's just say that I wouldn't bet on Muzychuk unless I got very generous odds. One factor to consider in the 1927 match was that Capablanca didn't prepare nearly as much as Alekhine and was likely overconfident. I sure hope Hou doesn't start making that mistake.

I also hope Hou wins the match in her opponent's hometown, proving that the hometown advantage can be overcome with superior play. Not that she needed it in Ushenina - Hou Women's World Championship (2013).

Oct-14-15  dumbgai: By the way, Humpy's failure to convert a promising position against Cramling means that Hou has secured clear first with a round to spare. With 8.5/10, she's 1.5 points ahead of second place.
Oct-14-15  Eduardo Leon: <dumbgai: Hou has secured clear first with a round to spare.> Which seems to be a habit already. :-)

FIDE Women's Grand Prix Khanty - Mansiysk (2014)

FIDE Women's Grand Prix Lopota (2014)

Oct-14-15  detritus: D'oh, I meant 3. a3, of course.
Oct-14-15  Mr. V: True, Hou Yifan is a favorite in the match vs Muzychuk, but otoh she's also shown some weaknesses in this tournament at times. she had an inferior position in the middlegame vs Khademalsharieh, and she sadly lost the endgame versus Humpy.

She is mortal, it seems, like the Magnus Carlsen of 2015 rather than the Magnus Carlsen of 2014.

Oct-14-15  Eduardo Leon: <detritus> What does that achieve, besides helping black equalize more easily? Sicilians are meant to be battles to death, with the winner bullying the loser into submission. Muzychuk's third move isn't to blame for her loss: Ivanchuk vs Kasparov, 1991.
Oct-14-15  choosea: < Humpy's failure to convert a promising position against >


Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Hou is the Magnus Carlsen of women's chess. She is on another level.

Wonderful that we have them both at the same time, both young and in their primes.

Oct-14-15  detritus: <Eduardo Leon> It was a joke, which I flubbed by posting 3. a6 first.

Although, if she does start studying with Vadim Zvjaginsev, who knows…? :D

Oct-14-15  detritus: I really don't know what I'm talking about, because I should have said 2. Na3 to begin with. I blame all the drugs.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: chessbase says that Skripchenko has won $250,000 playing poker. I wonder if she'll be giving it a try, being that the tournament is being held in Monaco?


Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: here she is, the model for the poster of the Woman's grand prix tournament in Monaco:


quite a beauty


Premium Chessgames Member
  sonia91: <Fishy: The Ukraine is getting drowned by Russia but can host chess tournaments?> Politics ≠ Sport
Oct-14-15  jphamlore: <HeHateMe> I wonder if in poker whether Skripchenko is better than Grischuk.
Oct-15-15  dumbgai: Black scored as well as white in this tournament. Equal number of 1-0 and 0-1 games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: ahh, here she is, the model for the tournament.


the photo was blocked on the google link.

Oct-15-15  AzingaBonzer: A lot of those 0-1 games were by Hou, so yeah.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: her rating is 150 points higher than Mariya M. The match will be in Ukraine, Muzychuk is a Ukrainian. Good for the Ukrainians, supporting their player, and the game of chess. It's nice to see them make that kind of an effort. I would think +2 would be a logical final score. it would be a victory for Mariya if she could keep the loss to one point.

Hou will extra 10% of the total prize money, for agreeing to play on the home soil of the opponent?

Oct-15-15  waustad: Thanks cg for the official site link. I hope that becomes a standard feature.
Oct-15-15  dumbgai: Agree with <waustad>. Very useful.

By the way, one of the following is a duplicate game:

N Dzagnidze vs N Pogonina, 2015
N Dzagnidze vs N Pogonina, 2015

Oct-16-15  detritus: The Muzychuk sisters got their likenesses on a Ukrainian postage stamp. That's something, I suppose:

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: nice stamp, but the Ana photo looks like it was taken when she was 16, while the Mariya photo looks current. Perhaps it's just an illusion of lighting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: M. Muzychuk may have badly lost to Hou, but her overall result is the second place - behind Hou. So she is not as bad and "undeserving" as many put her. By the way, Hou didn't take part in that KO.

Also, that KO win seems to have set some unknown forces free - her results strongly improved afterwards.

I expect her to lose the WC match but to do better than Ushenina did - and not worse than Humpy did.

Oct-20-15  detritus: +3 is a good result, but pales in comparison to +7. There's also the small matter of MM getting absolutely waxed by Hou's Sicilian Defense the two times she's faced it. That's kind of a problem for a 1. e4 player in a 10-game head-to-head match.

MM in March '16 will undoubtedly be stronger than Ushenina was in September '13, but Hou will also be a stronger player in the upcoming match compared to when she faced Ushenina for the title. I don't think the rating difference between the contestants will be that much different in March '16 as they were in September '13.

It would be great to see Mariya really test Hou, but I'm not so sure that's realistic, given how much stronger Hou projects to be in the upcoming match.

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