Reports | March 13, 2009 3:42

The European Women Ch and the Women Grand Prix after five rounds

European Ch, FIDE Grand PrixTo the astonishment of ECU President Boris Kutin and everybody else (well, perhaps except for our distinguished FIDE President) two highly important women events are taking place at the same time: the European Championship in St. Petersburg and the first Grand Prix in Istanbul. A brief update on these two tournaments.

The 10th European Individual Women's Chess Championship takes place 7-19 March in St. Petersburg, Russia. The rules are similar to the men's tournament: it's an 11-round Swiss with over 150 players from which the 14 best will qualify for the next Women World Championship. Top participants are Anna Muzychuk, Nana Dzagnidze, Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant, Anna Ushenina, Natalia Zhukova, Kateryna Lahno and the Kosintseva sisters.

After five rounds, Hungarian (Vietnamese-born) GM Hoang Thanh Trang is leading the field together with IM Lili Mkrtchian, GM Monika Socko and IM Salome Melia who are all on 4.5/5. In the 6th round it's Melian-Hoang and Mkrtchian-Socko.

(Full standings here.)


Hou Yifan leads after 5 rounds

As reported earlier, there's a clash with the 1st FIDE Women Grand Prix which takes place 5-20 March in Istanbul, Turkey. The participants there are Humpy Koneru, Hou Yifan, Antoaneta Stefanova, Pia Cramling, Marie Sebag, Maia Chiburdanidze, Zhao Xue, Martha Fierro, Elina Danielian, Shen Yang, Zeinab Mamedjarova and Bet?ºl Cemre Yildiz, and everyone who can count quickly already knows that this event also runs 11 rounds.

The total prize fund is € 60,000; the winner earns € 6,500. Compare that to the winner of a men's Grand Prix: he wins € 30,000. This event has also reached the 5th round and 15-year-old Chinese GM Hou Yifan is in sole lead; she's on 4.5 out of 5 ahead of Koneru and Zhao Xue who have half a point less.



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.


Carol's picture

Hou Yifan should be playing in men's events, like Judit Polgar

Silken's picture

She does. Wijk aan Zee 08 & 09 she played in Group B, for example.

James's picture

It's not the exactly time before Hou win the wwcc 2010.

me's picture

Yesterday the official site of the Grand Prix went down and all the leachers' broadcasts went down too. So it was imposible to follow games anywhere.

I hope now you understand why Bulgarians protested in Topalov vs. Kamsky match. They done all the work and others (like ChessBase) took it without asking.

The organizers have ALL the rights that are connected with the broadcast. If the organizers wouldn't transmit the games, nobody would. It has nothing to do with copyrighting the chess moves. It's about who invested money and work.

I hope this gives you a new perspective on the whole "Bulgarians vs. ChessBase" thing. Organizers invest money and do all the work, so they are rightfully pissed when someone steals their work without asking!

I think ChessBase, ICC, ChessOK, etc. should pay the organizers for broadcasting rights. Like in any other sport - if you want to broadcast - pay!

Johny's picture

Me: sure they did all the work, but after all that's because they were the organizers, weren't they? If they don't like doing all the work, they could just let others organize it, right? Organizing something doesn't come with profits only - it also comes with responsibilities.

It's the same mistake bars and restaurants make when they charge extra money for using their toilet: a misplaced feeling of being deprived of something that is completely normal in the first place.

Remco's picture

@me: You talk about "ALL the rights that are connected with the broadcast". Great. It's their broadcast, so indeed all the rights that are related to it would seem to belong to them.

So which rights are that? There are a few kinds of rights that exist: patents, trade secrets, copyrights, and some more obscure types. Patents and trade secrets are not, I believe, in question here, so obviously we are talking about all the COPYRIGHTS connected with the broadcast. Why you say first they have all the rights, then say it's not about copyright is unclear.

Well, what do they have copyright on? You can get copyright on creative works of which you're the author. You can't get copyright on facts (i.e., if I write down the current score of a football match, I don't have copyright on that, but if I write a text report about the match, who is playing better in my opinion, et cetera, then I do have copyright on that).

Chess moves are usually considered to be similar to the score line of a sports match, and not copyrightable.

So "all the rights connected with the broadcast" may include copyright on any analysis, camera feeds, pictures, commentary, but it does not include the actual moves.

And what matters least is that they invested money for it. Paying money doesn't suddenly give someone extra rights!

me's picture

So just because Stadio Olimpico in Rome will organize the Champion's League final, they are responsible for the broadcast? Yes, they are responsible for the broadcast, but not for free! If someone wants to broadcast the game, they will have to pay - big time!

Bulgarian organisers did their duty, they broadcasted the games, but this doesn't mean others can hijack their broadcast. Afterall ChessBase is atracting potential customers with their broadcasts. Why should organisers of tournaments let ChessBase profit from their work?

I don't know why people think it is so inexplicable that broadcasting of a chess tournament is not for free. Tell me one other event that you can broadcast for free? Just like that, without asking anyone and without doing any work by yourself?

The whole thing is very simple, if somebody wants to broadcast a chess event, he should purchase broadcasting rights like in any other sport. Public interest and reputation of the event will set the market value (like in any other sport). If ChessBase (or anybody else) will see that the interest of new potential custumers outweights the costs then they will purchase the rights, if not, they won't. It' like that EVERYWHERE.

Silken's picture

Can anyone tell me how the topic went to chessbase's alleged theft anyway? Please don't feed the troll that - I suspect - just comes from one of chessbase's competitors.

me's picture

"Can anyone tell me how the topic went to chessbase’s alleged theft anyway?"

Read and you will see.

"Please don’t feed the troll that - I suspect - just comes from one of chessbase’s competitors."

You assume much too much. DOn't read and don't comment if you don't want to, but please leave us alone. I don't tell you what to discuss and what not either, do I?

Peter Doggers's picture

OK, by now I think a legitimate question is: do we need a general forum at ChessVibes, besides the comments? Often the discussion gets completely off-topic and, well, let's simply put it in another question: is this good or bad?

me's picture

I don't think it is completely off-topic. It has to do with broadcasting the tournaments in general. Yesterday it was painfully obvious that there is only one real broadcaster - the official site. Others are just leachers. What if organisers decide to not broasdcast the games on the official site because they don't see any benefit of doing so (because people don't visit their page anyway)? Then what?

Mohit sharma's picture

I agree with guitarspider.
1. Live moves is a little different from live action. For example BBC provides live text of football(soccer), tennis and other sports.
2. As for people not visiting organizer's website, it depends on the quality of the website. If two websites are free, poeople will use the one they like more. Of course established chess websites have advantage of established communities. But organizer's website has the advantage of being the authorative source.
3. A lot of times chess journalists catch the action live on physical site and relay it to there website. This can not be argued against.

We can not ignore the fact that ChessBase and Bulgarian chess have not got along in recent past.

alter-me's picture

Can we please have a discussion here about broadcasts, copyrights and PR, please? We haven't had that for a long time. Thanks in advance.

Castro's picture

Just to warn: Beware! If you don't stop that, I will enter the discussion, with my bad English!

Peter Doggers's picture


Mohit Sharma's picture


Pedro's picture

I agree with Me's arguments. It is regular bussiness thing charge for the broadcast of any other sport events, why in chess should be different? We have to get the way others sports make money and bussiness.

guitarspider's picture

The great advantage chess has is that it is free to watch. If you start charging you hurt chess, because people will not pay to watch these games. Maybe they will pay for stuff like Linares, but how many people will pay to watch the two events we are talking about? Not many. This means less publicity, less sponsors and ultimately less chess tournaments.
If you give away the games for free (like right now) you have a thriving chess environment. More people watch free games, which means more publicity, more attention, more hits on the websites, more sponsors. The reason chess is so popular right now is that the internet provides the opportunity to relay all these chess events for free.

me's picture

I believe it is contrary.

Why would potential sponsors want to finance the event and set up the official site, if people don't have to visit it at all? Most people on Playchess or ICC aren't even aware of the official website and they never visit it. Sponsors don't get publics attention because people are watching the transmission elsewhere, and they are less likely to sponsor the event again.

The necesarity of purchasing the broadcasting rights, doesn't necesarily mean that chess fans will have to pay to view the games. You can watch football on TV without paying additionally. Like I said, Chessbase, ICC or whoever will purchase the broadcasting rights if their own benefits will outweight the costs. It's in their own interest that they have many users.

test's picture

Now that we're at it, did you read that latest letter from Mamedyarov? Should we ban doping tests? What to do about all these draws?

test's picture

I propose a new scoring system, it will solve everything!

Date : 2009/03/07 To 2009/03/19

Table/starting rank after round 6

SNo. Name Rtg FED 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pts Res. SB. IRat-?ò Rp Rank
1 GM CRAMLING Pia 2548 SWE * 1 0 0 0 ¬? 0 1¬? 0 1,75 2474 2281 11
2 WIM YILDIZ Betul Cemre 2214 TUR 0 * 0 0 0 0 ¬? ¬? 0 2,50 2535 2134 12
3 IM FIERRO Baquero Martha L. 2403 ECU 1 1 * 0 1 ¬? 0 3¬? 0 5,00 2479 2536 5
4 GM HOU Yifan 2571 CHN 1 1 1 * ¬? 1 1 5¬? 0 11,25 2433 2834 1
5 GM ZHAO Xue 2508 CHN 1 1 * 1 ¬? 1 ¬? 5 0 7,75 2441 2714 3
6 GM SEBAG Marie 2529 FRA ¬? * 0 ¬? ¬? 1 0 2¬? ¬? 4,25 2488 2431 8
7 IM DANIELIAN Elina 2496 ARM 1 * ¬? 1 ¬? 1 0 4 0 9,50 2506 2631 4
8 WGM SHEN Yang 2448 CHN 0 ¬? ¬? * 0 0 ¬? 1¬? 0 5,75 2505 2312 10
9 GM CHIBURDANIDZE Maia 2516 GEO ¬? ¬? ¬? 0 1 * 0 2¬? ¬? 8,00 2529 2472 7
10 WGM MAMEDJAROVA Zeinab 2362 AZE 0 0 0 0 ¬? 1 * 1¬? 1 3,50 2493 2300 9
11 GM STEFANOVA Antoaneta 2557 BUL 1 ¬? 0 ¬? 1 0 * 3 0 7,25 2454 2454 6
12 GM KONERU Humpy 2621 IND 1 ¬? 1 1 ¬? 1 * 5 0 12,50 2438 2711 2

Above Cross-Table is as per World Chess Federation.

Peter Doggers's picture

Guess it's about time I offer you a job here.

Round 7 on 2009/03/14 at 15:00

Name Rtg Res.
Name Rtg SNo.
4 GM HOU Yifan 2571 1 - 0 GM KONERU Humpy 2621 12
5 GM ZHAO Xue 2508 1 - 0 IM FIERRO Baquero Martha L. 2403 3
6 GM SEBAG Marie 2529 1 - 0 WIM YILDIZ Betul Cemre 2214 2
7 IM DANIELIAN Elina 2496 ¬? - ¬? GM CRAMLING Pia 2548 1
8 WGM SHEN Yang 2448 ¬? - ¬? GM STEFANOVA Antoaneta 2557 11
9 GM CHIBURDANIDZE Maia 2516 1 - 0 WGM MAMEDJAROVA Zeinab 2362 10
Courtesey:-Official Website.

Standings after 7 rounds:

Rank SNo.
Name Rtg FED Pts Res. SB. Koya
1 4 GM HOU Yifan 2571 CHN 6¬? 0 17,75 3¬?
2 5 GM ZHAO Xue 2508 CHN 6 0 13,00 2
3 12 GM KONERU Humpy 2621 IND 5 0 14,75 3
4 7 IM DANIELIAN Elina 2496 ARM 4¬? 0 13,25 3
5 11 GM STEFANOVA Antoaneta 2557 BUL 3¬? 1¬? 9,75 2
6 9 GM CHIBURDANIDZE Maia 2516 GEO 3¬? ¬? 11,50 1¬?
7 3 IM FIERRO Baquero Martha L. 2403 ECU 3¬? ¬? 5,75 ¬?

6 GM SEBAG Marie 2529 FRA 3¬? ¬? 5,75 ¬?
9 8 WGM SHEN Yang 2448 CHN 2 0 8,25 2
10 1 GM CRAMLING Pia 2548 SWE 2 0 4,50 1
11 10 WGM MAMEDJAROVA Zeinab 2362 AZE 1¬? 0 4,25 ¬?
12 2 WIM YILDIZ Betul Cemre 2214 TUR ¬? 0 2,50 ¬?
Courtesey:-Offigial Website.

Ricardo's picture

Carol, Hou aint ripe for the men yet... Not just yet, she probably will in say 2 years time but she won't achieve much if she dares now!

Thomas's picture

@Peter: I know this is a joke ... but how much would you pay for copy-pasting from the official website?
How much would you pay for original content in the comments? Hopefully not by number of words, though ... :)

Sergey Sorokhtin's picture

Look 300+ photo from w Euro Camp.

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