Reports | October 11, 2009 4:02

Xu Yuhua wins Nanjing GP tournament

Yu Yuhua wins 2nd FIDE Women Grand PrixNana Dzagnidze was leading the standings for most of the tournament, but in the final phase she was caught by Xu Yuhua. The former World Champion from China won the 2nd FIDE Women Grand Prix with a score of 8/11 and a 2619 performance rating. Dzagnide came second, half a point behind the winner and half a point ahead of Zhao Xue.

The 2nd tournament in the FIDE Women Grand Prix Series took place September 27 – October 9 in Nanjing, China. It was a 12-player round-robin with GM Zhao Xue (2544), Wenjun Ju (2443), GM Nana Dzagnidze, (2536), GM Marie Sebag (2531), GM Xu Yuhua (2485), GM Zhu Chen (2473), IM Lilit Mrktchian (2467), WGM Shen Yang (2453), WGM Munguntuul Batkhuyag (2412), WGM Baira Kovanova (2406), IM Martha Fierro (2394) and WIM Betul Yildiz (2217), who played for a € 40,000 prize fund.

Rounds 6-11

We left the tournament after the 5th round, when Georgian GM Nana Dzagnidze had just lost her first game to Marie Sebag, but was still leading the standings. She recovered well after the rest day and beat the eventual winner Xu Yuhua in a Sicilian slugfest.

After the 8th round the tournament suddenly had a new leader: French GM Marie Sebag. Dzagnidze had lost to Shen Yang in round 7 and drawn with Mkrtchian the next day, while Sebag had won five games in a row, against Munguntuul, Dzagnidze, Ju Wenjun, Yildiz and Zhu Chen. However, the Française lost her subsequent Black games against Kovanova and Zhao Xue.

At 2.00am in the morning of the 9th round, WGM Batkhuyag Munguntuul from Mongolia "was not feeling very well," as the official site reports, "and asked for the hotel doctor. She was diagnosed with chickenpox and immediately Chief Arbiter Ignatius Leong was informed. After a long discussion and consultation with organisers, players and arbiters, it was agreed that Munguntuul would be isolated in a special room which was set up by the Nanjing organisers at record speed. All remaining players also sportingly agreed that they had no objection with playing her under these conditions."

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

WGM Batkhuyag Munguntuul playing with her mouth and nose covered

In these conditions Munguntuul managed to draw with both Zhao Xue and Dzagnidze before losing to Ju Wenjun in the last round. Because Dzagnidze had never been exposed to chickenpox before, her game with Munguntuul in round 10 was played with each player having an arbiter facing them and a third arbiter relaying the moves. Additionally, Dzagnidze was given an additional time increment as the live clock was kept on her table.

Eventually it was China’s third World Champion (after Zhu Chen and Xie Jun) who emerged on top in round 10. Interestingly, the top 4 played each other in the last round, but both games Sebag-Xu Yuhua and Dzagnidze-Zhao Xue ended in a draw. Xu Yuhua thus won the 2nd FIDE Grand Prix with a score of 8/11 and a 2619 performance rating. She had started with 3.5/4, then lost two games and finished with 4.5/5!

Selection of games rounds 6-11

Game viewer by ChessTempo

2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009 | Final Standings
2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

The beautiful playing hall of the Women Grand Prix

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

A very unfortunate tournament: WIM Betul Cemre Yildiz (TUR, 2224) ending on 1/11 (performance 2084)

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

IM Martha Fierro Baquero (ECU, 2386), 11th with 2/11

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

GM Zhu Chen (QAT, 2488), 10th with 4.5/11

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

WGM Baira Kovanova (RUS, 2408), 9th with 5/11

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

WGM Batkhuyag Munguntuul before she got ill (MGL, 2418), 8th with 5.5/11

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

WGM Shen Yang (CHN, 2453), 7th with 6/11

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

Super-talent Ju Wenjun (CHN, 2443), shared 4th-6th with 6.5/11

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

IM Lilit Mkrtchian (ARM, 2468), shared 4th-6th with 6.5/11

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

GM Marie Sebag (FRA, 2519), shared 4th-6th with 6.5/11

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

GM Zhao Xue (CHN, 2542), 3rd with 7/11

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

GM Nana Dzagnidze (GEO, 2535), 2nd with 7.5/11

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

GM Xu Yuhua (CHN, 2485), 1st with 8/11

Nanjing FIDE Grand Prix

The winner giving a speech after receiving a cheque of € 6,500


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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.


Peter Doggers's picture

Aha yes, missed a part of the particular round report on the official site; I've corrected that paragraph.

Thomas's picture

Actually, Zhao Xue dared to face Munguntuul over the board in the separate room. See picture @

Castro's picture

If it wasn't for the ELO difference, one should consider this tournament WAY better than the man's one.
I was rooting for Marie and for Lilith, but it didn't go that well for them :-( It could be worse if I was a Betul fan :-)
Anyway, great competition, great emotion and some great chess too!

Carlo's picture

I notice 6500 euro for the winner, and 80000 euro for Magnus. This is really offending in my opinion, for the same type of tournament in the same playing hall from the same organisers !

Remco Gerlich's picture

I don't see why it's offensive. They're completely different tournaments -- one is for the world top, one is mostly 2400-2500 players. If they had had an amateur tournament, should they have had the same prize money?

Castro's picture


In some way, the "offending" thing is to have woman tournaments in the first place.
Other than that, I think Remco is right.
(But what a nice tournament! :-) )

leigh's picture

What a wonderful tournment!
Women's champion didn't know who would be until last round. If this tournment was not in China, Xue couldn't be the champion. She had a very strong support team (including Coaches, Doctors, Teammates, Assistants, Famillies) behind her. But the former women's world champion, former Chinese player, Zhu Chen, lost all the advantages after she immigrated to Qatar. She had only her husband with her. She had very bad performance(from view of my point). She cried when her form teammate, Yuhua Xue told a story about how she came back to the peak.
Don't complain the money, 5 out of the six man players are on the list of top 10. They worth to get such high award, even higher

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