Reports | August 15, 2011 22:08

Hou Yifan wins GP Rostov

Hou Yifan wins GP RostovHou Yifan seemed to be cruising to victory easily, but then she suddenly lost to Kateryna Lahno in round 9. However, draws with Ruan Lufei and Antoaneta Stefanova were then enough to finish clear first at the Rostov Grand Women Prix, a full point ahead of Lahno.

Hou Yifan receives the certificate from FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov | Photo © FIDE

General info

The FIDE Women Grand Prix took place August 2-14 in Rostov, Russia. It was the first of six tournaments in the Women's GP Series 2011-2012. The prize fund for each event is 40,000 Euro with a first prize of 6,500 Euro. The overall winner of the Women's Grand Prix will win a further 15,000 Euros at the end of the series. Players can only offer draws through the chief arbiter in special cases and the "zero tolerance" rule is also in effect, which requirer chess players to be seated at their boards when the games are scheduled to start. More info here.

Rounds 9-11

For eight rounds Hou Yifan's tournament had been close to perfect, but everything changed on Friday. In a Nimzo-Indian, the young Chinese got some sort of knight versus bad bishop middlegame position against Kateryna Lahno (Ukraine), but something went wrong on the kingside. She lost a pawn, decided to give her queen for two rooks but as Lahno won another, important central pawn, the fight was already decided.

Lahno-Hou Yifan, the only loss for the Chinese

Lahno-Hou Yifan, the only loss for the Chinese

Suddenly Tatiana Kosintseva was only a point behind the leader, with two rounds to go. The two sisters are coached by former Kasparov second Yuri Dokhoian, and the youngest played an important role in many Women Grand Prixs in the previous series. Would she be able to make the difference?

25-year-old Tatiana Kosintseva of Russia

25-year-old Tatiana Kosintseva of Russia

First, Kosintseva had a tough game scheduled: Black against Humpy Koneru. She managed to draw this, but had to allow Kateryna Lahno to catch her in second place. In this penultimate round the Ukrainian lady had beaten another (former) World Champion: Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria.

And so with one round to go, Hou Yifan was still a point clear, and this didn't change. The Chinese secured sole victory by drawing with Stefanova in a Caro-Kann (where she did try to win!). This time it was Lahno who drew with Koneru. Interestingly, the Indian lady, who will challenge Hou Yifan later this year in a title match, played the same Nimzo-Indian as the Chinese had done unsuccessfully against the same opponent. Kosintseva lost to Alisa Galliamova which meant that Anna Muzychuk overtook her in the standings on SB points.

The next Women Grand Prix starts already next month; it will take place 6-20 September 2011 in Shenzhen, China. The third tournament will be held 8-23 October 2011 in Nalchik, Russia. Then there's a long break, as the fourth will be 30 May-13 June 2012 in Kazan, Russia. The fifth event is scheduled for 16-30 July 2012 in Jermuk, Armenia and the final tournament will take place 16-30 November 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Games rounds 9-11

Game viewer by ChessTempo

FIDE Women's GP Rostov | Round 11 standings

Second: Kateryna Lahno

Second: Kateryna Lahno

First: Hou Yifan

First: Hou Yifan

The traditional group photo

The traditional group photo

The reigning Women World Champion with the 6th Women World Champion, Nona Gaprindashvili of Georgia

The reigning Women World Champion with the 6th Women World Champion, Nona Gaprindashvili of Georgia

Photos © FIDE, by Anastasiya Karlovich and Kema Goryaeva


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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.


IRAQI-MASTER's picture

Congratulation for Hou Yifan, but Kosteniuk in the last place without a single win!!!
this is strange.

Septimus's picture

Looks like Koneru's 2614 rating is not justified.

Octimus's picture

Looks like your own response is a bit unjustified. Especially in sports you don't base intelligent observations on a single performance. And besides, if you haven't been informed yet: Humpy Koneru will be the challenger for the world's crown at the end of this year.

Congratulations from Germany's picture

Good tournament by Hou Yifan, she clearly deserved the win. Strange result by Alexandra Kosteniuk indeed, but also Humpys performance was not so impressing, being the world no. 2 women player.

However, congratulations to the reigning champion on a well deserved win!

S3's picture

With Polgar and Yifan around I don't think Humpy is the world's number 2 women player. Also, there are a couple of other ladies who usually compete on equal terms with Koneru.

But Yifan. What a player! She plays very entertaining chess and her only loss was partially born out of what looks like a winning attempt with black.

Bastian's picture

You are right,

during the game against Lahno I had the impression that Yifan just overpressed. Very interesting also that even though she only needed to draw in the last round, she indeed tried to win against Stefanova. Very impressing. Chessbase reportet that her performance in the second half of the tournament was "just" at about 2500, with a 50% result, but overall I think winning a full point ahead of such a field is a clear statement.

I just think she plays in too many tournaments, just considering the tournaments in China she participated, then AAI, then this Grand Prix, and the next Grand Prix will follow soon, also the World Cup. I think maybe she'd do better playing fewer tournaments and spending more time on preparation. Maybe then she'd be able to compate with male Grandmasters as well.

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