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Hou Yifan convincing in Khanty-Maniysk Grand Prix

The FIDE Women Grand Prix in Khanty Mansiysk came to an end, delivering two big announcements: it is official – the Chinese chess wall remained intact, as even the former women world champion, Alexandra Kosteniuk, didn’t succeed to discover its weak spot.

After a fierce struggle, Hou Yifan held her position and triumphed in the tournament with 8.5/11, point and a half ahead of second place. Congratulations for such a confident victory!

If Hou Yifan’s result was somewhat predictable, the star of the event is undoubtedly the local Russian hero – Olga Girya. Not only she finished sole second, with 7/11, after succeeding to ferociously defend today against Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, but also she scored a GM norm and kept in her native country a big bunch of rating points.

Unshared third and with 6.5/11 comes yet another Russian – the former woman world champion, Alexandra Kosteniuk, who almost seemed to get the Chinese GM under serious pressure. It was not to be but the draw she scored today places her on an honourable third position.

Kosteniuk, Yifan, Girya

Kosteniuk, Yifan, Girya

With 6 points out of eleven games are two players: Anna Muzychuk, who didn’t break the defense of Tatiana Kosintseva, and Kateryna Lagno, who ruthlessly defeated her compatriot, Anna Ushenina.

On 50% we have also two players: Nana Dzagnidze and Antoaneta Stefanova, who finished her tournament on a good note, with a win.

Less fortunate are the players on 5/11: Anna Ushenina and Zhao Xue, as well as Nafisa Muminova on four, who lost her game today against Stefanova but, nevertheless, had a good tournament after all.

And in the end come Tatiana Kosintseva and Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, who are actually positive and looking forward for the upcoming 45 games in FIDE Women World Rapid and Blitz Championships.

On behalf of International Chess Federation President, Vanik Zakarian, FIDE Vice-President, thanked the organizers of the Grand Prix stage and personally the Governor of Ugra Natalia Komarova for the warm welcome on Ugra land.

“There are so many tournaments held in this wonderful city that no other spot on the map of Earth can compete with it. You make a great contribution to the development of chess in the world. Without your help and support FIDE would not have the strength to organize chess competitions on such level”, stressed the FIDE Vice-President.

In the words of Deputy Governor of Ugra Alexey Putin, after the end of Winter Olympics chess became the main sport in Ugra and in the whole Russia.

“We closely followed FIDE Candidates tournament and the tournament that ended today. Already tomorrow Ugra welcomes Women Rapid and Blitz Championships. It is safe to say that chess, on its population coverage, is the most popular sport in Ugra. I want to congratulate those who won, and wish the others good luck at the next tournaments in Khanty-Mansiysk”, said Alexey Putin.

The Head of Ugra capital, President of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug Chess Federation. Vassily Filipenko on the occasion of the closing of the tournament, as he confessed himself, even learned a Chinese proverb, “the shortest step can have a big impact”. He followed his speech with a joke that no one cares for the figure so much as a woman chess player. He thanked the participants for making chess not only intellectual but also very beautiful kind of sport.

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