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Third FIDE Women's Grand Prix Series 2013-2014 in Tashkent
By WFM Maria Emelianova

"Have you ever been to Tashkent before?" - this could be the first question to the participants of the upcoming Third Women's Grand Prix 2013 which is going to be held September 17th to October 1st in the capital of Uzbekistan.
And most probably the answer would be "No"...
"Would you like to come to Tashkent again?" - the answer undoubtly will be "Yes!"
The city just leaves you amazed and speechless with its unbelievable mix of modernity and beautiful ancient touch. Tashkent has a great history of rising and falling, struggling and defense, and again revival. It was occupied and destroyed by Arab conquerors in VIII century, completely rebuilt and again destroyed in XIII century. Tashkent lost its independency at the beginning of XIX century, and got it back only in 1991. Many industrial and other important buildings were ruined either by the 1917 Russian Revolution or devastating earthquake that shook the entire region in 1966, but Tashkent managed to develop and become the most beautiful and modern city of the Central Asia.

Statue of Amir Timur in Tashkent T.Central-Mosque-tashkent
Mosque-Tashkent tashkent-sights-13-905x603

Then isn't Tashkent a perfect inspiring place for a beautiful and great chess fight?.. Definitely it is.

So what to expect from this battle? Well, let's have a look at the numbers:

Name Title Country Rating Geneva 2013 Dilijan 2013 Tashkent 2013 Khanty 2014 Tbilisi 2014 Erdenet 2014 Best 3
Muzychuk, Anna g SLO 2585 130 120 * * 250
Dzagnidze, Nana g GEO 2556 100 120 * * 220
Kosintseva, Tatiana g RUS 2517 100 90 * * 190
Khotenashvili, Bela m GEO 2514 160 10 * * 170
Koneru, Humpy g IND 2607 160 * * * 160
Ushenina, Anna g UKR 2500 75 80   * * 155
Batchimeg Tuvshintugs  wg MGL 2295 20 60   * * 80
Ju, Wenjun wg CHN 2535 75 * * * 75
Lagno, Kateryna g UKR 2532 60 * * * 60
Stefanova, Antoaneta g BUL 2496 60 * * * 60
Harika, Dronavalli g IND 2475 60 * * * 60
Hou, Yifan g CHN 2609 45   * * * 45
Kosteniuk, Alexandra g RUS 2495 45 * * * 45
Girya, Olga wg RUS 2439 10 30 * * 40
Danielian, Elina g ARM 2470 30 * * * 30
Zhao, Xue g CHN 2579 * * * * 0
Nakhbayeva, Guliskhan wg KAZ 2307 *
Muminova, Nafisa wg UZB 2293 * * * * 0

Note: Unfortunately GM Viktorija Cmilyte can't participate in Tashkent due to illness so she was replaced for the current Grand Prix with WGM Guliskhan Nakhbayeba of Kazakhstan.
For the full information and rules of the Grand Prix Series, please refer to the official Grand Prix web site.

There have been yet played two stages of the Women's Grand Prix 2013-2014 Series out of six, so the situation is not so clear like in Men's Grand Prix

GM Anna Muzichuk is currently leading with 250 points, GM Nana Dzagnidze on the second place with 220, and third GM Tatiana Kosintseva, who replaced her sister Nadezhda for the whole Grand Prix Series, with 190. But of course everything can change after Tashkent leg, as all these players have played two tournaments and will continue their performance in Khanty-Mansiysk. 

Participants of Tashkent Grand Prix:
IMG 0009 1  IMG 0781 1 IMG 7319 1 IMG 8711 1 IMG 5824 1 AKA 7362 1
Humpy Koneru Bela Khotenashvili Antoaneta Stefanova Alexandra Kosteniuk Zhao Xue Ju Wenjun
IMG 1112 1 IMG 0196 IMG 0992 1 1 IMG 8452 1 IMG 5499 1 223976 280196742084698 572101809 n 1
Kateryna Lagno Guliskhan Nakhbayeva Harika Dronavalli Elina Danielian Olga Girya Nafisa Muminova

First time taking part in Grand Prix series, International Master and elected grandmaster Bela Khotenashvili, and the leader of women chess in India GM Humpy Koneru are now the only two participants who managed to score 160 points by winning Geneva and Dilijan stages accordingly.
But if Humpy has a 100% result from one tournament played, Bela has two tournaments behind and if Georgian is pretending to compete for Grand Prix Series lead, she has no second chance for a mistake.

A great honor for the tournament is participating of two former World Champions grandmasters Antoaneta Stefanova and Alexandra Kosteniuk. They both have reached the highest wanted by any chess player title in the devastating knockout FIDE World Championships (2004 and 2008 accordingly). And even more: they both were in the final twice! Well we are definitely waiting for the third one!

GM Zhao Xue and WGM Ju Wenjun are second and third highest-rated female players in China, members of the national team which is holding first place by the medals won at the World Team Championships. Grand Prix in Tashkent will become the first one in the season for Zhao Xue and Ju Wenjun has just one tournament played, so both players are expected to shake the standings table.

GM Kateryna Lagno, former World Blitz Champion (2010) and currently the World Champion at the first board of Ukrainian female team, is famous for fighting for the best results in any tournament (even World Blitz and Rapid Championships among the strongest players of the planet). Twice European Women Individual Champion, she has finished the 2011-2012 Grand Prix Series with an impressive result of 320 points, but this is definitely not her maximum.

Young Indian prodigy, second board of the national team GM Harika Dronavalli, by winning Asian Women’s Championship (2011), reaching quarter-final (2010) and semi-final (2012) of World Women’s Championships, has proven that she is not going to be shadowed by her top-rated compatriot.

Top-rated Armenian female player, grandmaster Elina Danielian has successfully completed the first Grand Prix Series by scoring 358,5 points with impressive achievements such as second place in Istanbul (2009), third in Jermuk (2010) and shared first in Doha (2011). Unluckily, she couldn’t succeed in the second season of Grand Prix and finished 11th with 170 points only. Despite of that, five times National Champion and European Champion at the Armenian female team, Elina doesn’t need an advice how to get motivated, and definitely will use all her chances in Tashkent.

A number of times Russian women’s team member, WGM Olga Girya has already promoted herself as a highly motivated fighter by not giving up even in hopeless situations. Olga shows gradually growing results in Russian and international events and she is expected to take one of the leading positions in female chess.

First board of Kazakh women's team WGM Guliskhan Nakhbayeva has got Woman Grandmaster title after ipressive performance in Istanbul Olympiad 2012 to become third woman in Kazakhstan to archieve this title. With Guliskhan's leadership and her draw against former world champion Hou Yifan, Kazakh team surprised all the chess world by beating Chinese team.

The name of nominee from Tashkent, WGM Nafisa Muminova, is maybe not familiar to most of the participants, but not to Antoaneta. Representing Uzbekistan on the first board in 40th World Chess Olympiad (2012), she has managed to draw with Bulgarian. Nafisa entered the national team in 2007 and consolidated her rights by becoming a vice-champion of the Asian Youth Championship U-18 in 2008.

The third stage of Women's FIDE Grand Prix will be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, from 17th September to 1st October 2013.

Schedule of the tournament: 

17th September 2013 Arrival
17th September 2013 19.00 Technical Meeting
17th September 2013 19.30 Opening Ceremony
18th September 2013 14.00 Round 1
19th September 2013 14.00 Round 2
20th September 2013 14.00 Round 3
21st September 2013 14.00 Round 4
22nd September 2013 Free Day
23rd September 2013 14.00 Round 5
24th September 2013 14.00 Round 6
25th September 2013 14.00 Round 7
26th September 2013 14.00 Round 8
27th September 2013 Free Day
28th September 2013 14.00 Round 9
29th September 2013 14.00 Round 10
30th September 2013 13.00 Round 11
30th September 2013 18.00 Closing Ceremony
1st October 2013 Departure

Playing venue: 

venue1 venue3



Place Prize (Euros)  GP points
1st € 10,000  140 + 40 bonus
2nd € 8,250 110 + 20 bonus
3rd € 6,750  100 + 10 bonus
4th € 5,750 90
5th € 5,000 80
6th € 4,500 70
7th € 4,250 60
8th € 4,000  50
9th € 3,250 40
10th € 3,000 30
11th € 2,750 20
12th € 2,500 10
Total € 60,000 850

Pictures of the city: wiki commons, cities in world
Players pictures by Maria Emelianova and Anastasiya Karlovich

Pictures of the playing venue provided by organisers

© FIDE Grand Prix 2013    |    |