Reports | June 22, 2012 17:50

Koneru & Muzychuk share Grand Prix victory in Kazan

Koneru & Muzychuk share Grand Prix victory in Kazan

Humpy Koneru and Anna Muzychuk finished shared first at the Women's Grand Prix in Kazan, Russia. Both the Indian and the Slovenian scored 7.5/11 and according to the regulations, prizes and GP ranking points are shared equally, in case of a tie, for the individual GP tournaments. World Champion Hou Yifan leads the overall Grand Prix standings, with 420 points out of three tournaments.

The winners in Kazan: Humpy Koneru & Anna Muzychuk | Photos by Rashit Shiriyazdanov & Anastasiya Karlovichcourtesy of FIDE

Event 4th Women's Grand Prix | PGN via TWIC
Dates June 9-23, 2012
Location Kazan, Russia
System 12-player round robin
Players Hou Yifan, Anna Muzychuk, Humpy Koneru, Kateryna Lahno, Tatiana Kosintseva, Nadezhda Kosintseva, Antoaneta Stefanova, Viktorija Cmilyte, Alisa Galliamova, Elina Danielian, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Betul Cemre Yildiz
Rate of play 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 1
Prize fund €50,000, split 40,000 Euros as direct prize money for the tournament and 10,000 Euros towards an accumulated prize fund for the players at the end of the series

The 2nd FIDE Women's Grand Prix series started in August last year in Rostov, Russia where Hou Yifan emerged as the winner. The Chinese GM also won the second event, held already a month later in Shenzhen, China. Her compatriot Zhao Xue finished first, with a super score, one month after that in Nalchik, Russia.

The 4th tournament took place in the past two weeks in the capital of Tatarstan: Kazan – indeed, where last year the men's Candidates matches took place. Instead of eight men, this time the Korston Hotel hosted twelve ladies: Hou Yifan (GM, CHN, 2623), Anna Muzychuk (GM, SLO, 2598), Humpy Koneru (GM, IND, 2589), Kateryna Lahno (GM, UKR, 2546), Tatiana Kosintseva (GM, RUS, 2532), Nadezhda Kosintseva (GM, RUS, 2528), Antoaneta Stefanova (GM, BUL, 2518), Viktorija Cmilyte (GM, LTU, 2508), Alisa Galliamova (IM, RUS, 2484), Elina Danielian (GM, ARM, 2484), Alexandra Kosteniuk (GM, RUS, 2457) and Betul Cemre Yildiz (WGM, TUR, 2333).

A group photo taken at the opening ceremony

One game, from the second round, turned out to be crucial for the final standings. Normally Hou Yifan would win her game against Betul Cemre Yildiz of Turkey, a clear rating outsider. However, to everyone's surprise the Chinese World Champion lost that game, where an extra point in the final standings would have meant clear first and a third Grand Prix victory.

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Yildiz (r.) beats Hou Yifan in a crazy game

This game wasn't the best advertisement for women's chess perhaps, if you feel that quality of moves is more important than spectacle. However, it must be said that 13...Qe4! was a great move to find over the board, and soon after both players were already getting into time trouble...

Thanks to another loss to Viktorija Cmilyte in round 4 and a few draws, Hou Yifan was on "minus one" after five rounds. A more champion-like score of five points out of the last six rounds eventually resulted in a third place, shared with Cmilyte, behind the winners.

The playing hall in Kazan

Both Humpy Koneru and Anna Muzychuk played a very solid event, remaining undefeated with seven draws and four wins. Koneru's win against Lahno, with many back rank ideas, was especially nice.

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Co-winner Humpy Koneru in her game against Kateryna Lahno

We liked the following game of Muzychuk the most:

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Co-winner Anna Muzychuk in her game against Stefanova

Koneru and Muzychuk shared both the Grand Prix points and the money prizes (1st: € 6,500, 120 points + 40 bonus / 2nd:  € 4,750, 110 points + 20 bonus). Below you'll find the final standings as well as the unofficial current GP standings according to our calculations. 

4th Women's Grand Prix, Kazan | Final standings


Overall Standings

Name FED Rostov 2011 Shenzhen 2011 Nalchik 2011 Kazan 2012 Jermuk 2012 Istanbul 2012 Total Played
Hou Yifan CHN 160 160   100     420 3
MuzychukA SLO 100 130   145     375 3
Lahno,K UKR 130   80 50     260 3
Cmilyte,V LTU   35 100 100     235 3
Zhao Xue CHN   75 160       235 2
Ju Wenjun CHN   100 130       230 2
Kosintseva,T RUS 100   55 60     215 3
Koneru,H IND 65     145     210 2
Danielian,E ARM 45 50   75     170 3
Kosintseva,N RUS 80   55 35     170 3
Kovalevskaya,E RUS 20 20 100       140 3
Stefanova,A BUL 45   55 35     135 3
Galliamova,A RUS 65   30 20     115 3
Ruan Lufei CHN 30 75         105 2
Tan Zhongyi CHN   100         100 1
Kosteniuk,A RUS 10   10 75     95 3
Zhu Chen QAT   35 55       90 2
Munguntuul,B MGL   60 20       80 2
Yildiz,BC TUR   10   10     20 2


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.


Abbas's picture

Congratulation to Koneru and Muzychuk

BlitzKramnik's picture

What i don't understand is that the winner gets the right to play against the world champion?is it right?
and hou yifan is the actual world champion?isn't she?
why is she playing?
what i'm wrong?

ff2017's picture

The Women's Chess Championship alternates every year between a knockout format and best of 10 games match format.

Hou could lose the crown in this year's Women's World Chess Championship knockout tournament. So if she wins the Grand Prix she could be no worse than the challenger for the 2013 championship.

ssd's picture

This cycle is only to choose the challenger for hou .. so your logic is flawed.. the only motivations is either love to play or $$

ff2017's picture

From Wikipedia

"The Women's World Chess Championship 2013 is an upcoming match between the 2012 Women's World Chess champion and a challenger. The challenger will be the winner of the FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2011–2012, or runner-up in case the Grand Prix winner is the current world champion"

Hou just might not be the 2012 Champion if she is upset.

Of course your other reasons are also valid except they are not necessarily the only motivator.

ssd's picture

My mistake, I thought this grand prix is for the 2012 cycle... full regulations for the cycle at

Its weird that the womens champion has to participate from the start.. why special privileges for the open champion?

ssd's picture

unlike the the world chess championship.. where the candidates fight and the champion waits .. here everyone wants to play and earn $$ and get practice cause tournaments and prize money is scarce

MH's picture

Nice to see an attacking player like Anna Muzychuk so successful.

Anthony Migchels's picture

I think I even prefer women's tennis over women's chess.

Although female tennis players are even more insanely overrated considering their outrageous paychecks.

Aditya's picture

I like this format! They should have it for the open section too. That way, if the world champion is really confident of match preparation and strength, he/she can just sit out the Grand Prix (or maybe the Candidates in this case). If not, better show up and fight for the next cycle spot. Similar stuff happens actually, but the challenger goes to the Candidates AFTER he/she knows about the final match result. Holding the candidates for the next cycle BEFORE the final match, and having this format is a pretty good idea. That way, world champions consciously or otherwise cant stay out of big tournaments. They are automatically penalised one cycle of the championship if they stay out of the fight and also lose the championship.

noyb's picture

Anna is a hottie!

Chess Fan's picture

What is your opinion about Koneru Humpy?

Zeblakob's picture
Septimus's picture

So, is Yifan participating voluntarily, or not?

Thomas's picture

I guess Hou Yifan did participate voluntarily, noone forced her (or did the Chinese federation?). Maybe it's about the women WCh cycle, but apart from that, as others hinted it could be simply an opportunity to play and earn prize money. Unlike male top players, female ones don't have THAT many invitations or opportunities - though still considerably more than male players with comparable ratings.

Chess Fan's picture

I saw the last game of Hou Yifan and it was crazy! Strange things can happen to the best players, and in the normal course, this would be the third straight Grand Prix win for the undisputed Women World Champion. Anyway, I am happy for the winners and the people who got memorable life time moments by beating the World Champion. It is nice for a change and does not make much difference to You Hifan's accomplishments and run in recent years.

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