Reports | February 26, 2011 19:16

Danielian starts with 4/4 in Doha Women Grand Prix

Danielian starts with 4/4 in final Women Grand PrixElina Danielian won her first four games at the final tournament in the FIDE Women Grand Prix Series, held in Doha, Qatar. The Grandmaster from Armenia has a 1.5 point lead, ahead of IM Martha Fierro (Ecuador) and Marie Sebag (France).

General info

The 6th and final tournament of the 2009-2011 FIDE Women Grand Prix Series takes place February 22nd-March 5th in Doha, Qatar. As always, it's a 12-player round-robin with one rest day, on February 27th. Games start at 15:00 local time (13:00 CET), round 11 three hours earlier.

We cannot find the time control on the tournament website, which lacks other information as well - including something basic like tournament regulations. If we may believe the menu on the left, there are no organizers!

MenuIt's also interesting to see that the menu still reflects the ambitious plans Global Chess had at the start of the men's GP series. (All these websites use the same template once created by the Turkish Chess Federation.) There are still items for 'Games commentary' (but there's no GM analysis), 'Videos' (nothing there) and 'Bulletins' (even more surprisingly, nothing there). Instead, a special Facebook page has been created. Apparently FIDE prefers creating some 'modern image' over doing what they promised, and what is mostly appreciated by the fans.

Scrolling down to the end of the page, we find some small lines in red that lead to more information. The first news item, "Women's Grand Prix in Qatar", tells us more about the series: The Women Grand Prix series consists of six tournaments. The winner of each tournament wins 6,500 euros out of a prize fund of 40,000 euros and the overall winner of the series will win a further 15,000 euros at the end of the series.

Women GP history

A brief recap. The first Women GP was held in March 2009 in Istanbul and was won by Humpy Koneru. The second, in September-October 2009 in Nanjing, was won by Xu Yuhua. Tatiana Kosintseva won the third, in March this year in Nalchik and Nana Dzagnidze the fourth, in June-July in Jermuk. Hou Yifan won the fifth tournament last summer in Ulaanbaatar.

Current standings

Rank Name Istanbul Nanjing Nalchik Jermuk Ulaan
Total Worst result GP points Tourn. played
1 Hou Yifan 120 130 70 160 480 70 410 4
2 Dzagnidze 130 100 160 390 - 390 3
3 Kosintseva,T 160 130 93.3 383.3 - 383.3 3
4 Koneru 160 70 93.3 323.3 - 323.3 3
5 Zhao Xue 90 110 40 93.3 333.3 40 293.3 4
6 Stefanova 45 93.3 130 268.3 - 268.3 3
7 Xu Yuhua 160 30 60 250 - 250 3
8 Danielian 120 10 93.3 223.3 - 223.3 3
9 Cramling 65 100 55 220 - 220 3
10 Mkrtchian 80 40 93.3 213 - 213 3
11 Sebag 80 80 30 190 - 190 3
12 Shen Yang 25 60 55 45 185 25 160 4
13 Chiburdanidze 45 40 70 155 - 155 3
14 Zhu Chen 30 70 45 145 - 145 3
15 Monguntuul 50 70 20 140 - 140 3
16 Kovanova 40 40 20 100 - 100 3
17 Fierro 65 20 10 95 - 95 3
18 Ju Wenjun 80 80 - 80 1
19 Yildiz 10 10 20 10 50 10 40 4
20 Mamedjarova 25 25 - 25 1

Hou Yifan from China currently leads the Women Grand Prix with 410 GP points. However, she has already played four tournaments and can be caught by two players: Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia) and Humpy Koneru (India). (There's one more player with only three GPs played and in less than 120 points distance from Hou Yifan: Tatiana Kosintseva from Russia. But she's not playing in Qatar.)

Doha, rounds 1-4

From above we can conclude that Nana Dzagnidze has excellent chances to win this first GP Series. Practically speaking, the only way for Humpy Koneru to win is to finish clear first in Doha.

Coincidentally, the drawing of lots in Doha, last Monday resulted in first round pairings that included the game Koneru-Dzagnidze. The world's number two got a promising position, but then erred in timetrouble.

Diagram 1

32. Rxf5 is still very good for White. After 32. hxg5? Bxe4! White was suddenly dead lost: 33. gxh6 (33. Bxe4 fxe4 34. Rf1 Rd3 35. Qc1 and now the simplest is 35... h5-+) 33... Bxc2 34. Qg5+ Ng6 35. h7+ Kh8 and Black won.


Elina Danielian had a splendid start and won all four games. In the fourth round she beat Nana Dzagnidze. As was pointed out in Chess Today #3762, Dzagnidze might have helped herself by losing to Danielian, as long as the Armenian stays ahead of Koneru. But there are seven more rounds to go.

Let's have a look at Danielian's round 3 game, which was good fun. She won with Black against Mongolia's first player Batkhuyag Munguntuul, but not without some luck.

Diagram 2

17... Ne4? There was nothing wrong with 17... Nxd5 18. Rxg7+ (18. Qxd5 Be6; 18. Qh6 Ne6) 18... Kxg7 19. Qg5+ Kh8 20. Rxd5 Rg8 21. Qf6+ Rg7 22. h5 Kg8 23. Qe7 Be6 24. Qxc5 Qxc5 25. Rxc5 Rd8 and Black is just an exchange up. 18. Qh6 Ng6 19. Rxg6 fxg6 20. Ne7+ Kf7

Diagram 3

21. Rxd7? Winning was 21. Bc4+! Be6 (21... Kxe7 22. Qxg7+; 21... Ke8 22. Qxg7) 22. Bxe6+ Kxe6 23. Nd4+ Kxe7 (23... Kf7 24. e6+; 23... Kd7 24. Qxg7) 24. Nc6+ Ke6 25. Qxh7. 21... Rad8! 22. e6+ (22. Nxg6+ Rxd7 23. e6+ Kg8; 22. Bc4+ Ke8 23. Rxd8+ Qxd8) 22... Kxe6 23. Bc4+ Kxd7 24. Qxg7

Diagram 4

24... Ke8! and after the king returned to his initial square, there was nothing left of White's attack.


Games rounds 1-4

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Doha Women GP 2011 | Round 4 Standings

Photos © Maria Bolshakova & Anastasiya Karlovich, more here


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


RM's picture

Why did Chiburdanidze 1) play h7 2) go on to resign? What is the plan for black to convert to a win??

Also, Peter, 3rd paragraph, if we may belieVE the ... (spelling)

Thorn's picture

Well, the question is what you want to play instead of h7, it's a zugzwang situation. If you move the rook away from the g-file, you lose the g5-pawn, if you move it from the 2nd rank you lose the a2-pawn. So - apart from h7 the only reasonable move would be 75.Kh3, which runs into 75...Qh1+ 76.Rh2 (76.Kg3 Kxg5) Qf3+ 77.Kh4 Qh5+ 78.Kg3 Qxg5+, losing the g-pawn. The h-pawn will soon fall to a similar maneuver.

Then my winning plan would be to bring the king over to the queenside and sac the queen for the rook in such a way that my king will then pick up the white pawns. Without the white g and h-pawns black could even go for the rook, similar to a pure rook and queen ending. Probably a combination of the two: create threats towards the king, rook and a2-pawn - should be a pretty easy win.

Thorn's picture

PS: The same applies to the final position of course, only without the option of h7:

77. Kh3 Qh1+ 78. Rh2 (78.Kg3 Kxg6) Qf3+ 79.Kh4 Qh5+ 80.Kg3 Qg6+...

RM's picture

Much appreciated, you're correct. I missed the zugzwang motive.

Peter Doggers's picture

Thanks, corrected.

calvin amari's picture

Perhaps. FIDE can set a lkofty goal for its sponsored events: one in a hundred should be held in the Western Hemisphere.

jonald_fenecios's picture

Yeah i agree. I think it is a draw just simply move the king on h2 or h3 or h1.

calvin amari's picture

Perhaps. FIDE can set a lofty goal for its sponsored events: one in a hundred should be held in the Western Hemisphere.

Tano-Urayoan's picture

Perhaps you could sponsor one where ever you like.

calvin amari's picture

I am sure FIDE appreciates your apparent view that it bears no responsibility whatsoever for promoting chess in the any of the most important commercial and cultural markets in the world, and that fostering chess in Outer Siberia and the like suffices to discharge its obligations.

Thomas's picture

Your point is popular, but you are a bit too negative:

1) FIDE easily meets the proposed "one in a hundred" goal - the penultimate Chess Olympiad was held in Dresden, previous ones in Turin and Calvia, Spain, a forthcoming one will be in Tromso (at least far away from the Caucasus). Otherwise, western organizers prefer private events where they can invite whomever they want. From an organizer's point of view, an _inherent_ problem with FIDE events may be that they don't have such liberty. [No excuse though for letting negotiations on the current male WCh cycle fail, first with UEP, then with London]

2) For the Women's GP series, they achieved quite some geographic diversity; China (Nanjing) and Doha may also count as "important commercial and cultural markets". They were lucky that there's no revolution (yet?) in Qatar, but these developments couldn't have been anticipated back in 2009. True, half of the events where held in "the Soviet Union" including Mongolia, but half of the field comes from these countries hence there was local interest. Should FIDE have declined any organizer's bid stating "sorry we prefer (non-existing!) western organizers"? In that respect, Tano-Urayoan's quip makes perfect sense - if "the Western hemisphere" had been interested, one or several events would have taken place west of Istanbul. Available western money for chess is spent in a different way (cf. above).

Delinquncy's picture

None of these are in the Western hemisphere.
Dresden 13°44?0?E
Turin 07°42?E?
Calvia 2° 31' 0" East
Tromso 18°56?34?E?

Thomas's picture

By this definition there will necessarily be few chess events in the Western hemisphere: about half of it is covered by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans! :)

Radrook's picture

Why does my screen show blackness where the squares are supposed to be?

WhatsNext?'s picture

And Elina Danielian lives in Winschoten, "a small beautiful town in the region Groningen, in the north of The Netherlands."

ZinkBav's picture

Unless I am miscalculating, It seems to me that as long as Dzagnidze doesn't do well here, a shared first might be enough for Koneru - not enough for first place in the overall GP, but enough for a second behind Hou, which would entitle her for the match against Hou.

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