Ju Wenjun is triumphant in Khanty-Mansiysk

Ju Wenjun is triumphant in Khanty-Mansiysk Print
Thursday, 01 December 2016 07:11


Ju Wenjun is triumphant in Khanty-Mansiysk. Nino Batsiashvili won silver, five players tied for 3-7 places

In the final round of the FIDE Grand Prix in Khanty-Mansiysk Ju Wenjun and Natalija Pogonina made a rather quiet draw, and the Chinese player won the tournament with 7,5 points out of 11.

As it was said before, by winning the 5th leg and the whole series of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix, Ju Wenjun qualified to the FIDE Women’s World Chess Championship Match.

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Valentina Gunina chose the Caro-Kann Defence with Black against Alexandra Kosteniuk. In the middlegame, White was attacking on the kingside, while Black were creating a counter play in the center and on the opposite side of the board. As Alexandra confessed after the game, she had played “badly” and had allowed Black to gain initiative and advantage. A strong black rook on the 5th rank became Valentina’s key to success: Black managed to confuse the opponent and win a pawn.

On the 27th move White missed a strong answer by Black, and soon her position turned out to be lost.

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A. Kosteniuk – V. Gunina

A. Kosteniuk V. Gunina

After 27…Qh4! Alexandra decided to give up her queen for two rooks by playing 28. Nd6 Rxf2 29. Qxf2 Qxf2 30. Nxc8 f5, but the black passers on the kingside determined the outcome of the encounter in Black’s favor.


Harika Dronavalli managed to win a seemingly drawish rook endgame against Almira Skripchenko.

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The draws were agreed in the games Zhukova-Javakhishvili and Girya-Batsiashvili.

Nino Batiashvili, having gained 6,5 points, became the silver medalist of the event.


A very complex game was played by Bela Khotenashvili and Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, where in a sharp endgame both players had good chances to win at some points, but missed the strongest lines, and eventually the game ended in a draw.

According to the Regulations, all prizes and GP ranking points are shared equally, in cases of any tied position/s. No tie break system will be utilised for the individual GP tournaments. So, Valentina Gunina, Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, Dronavalli Harika, Olga Girya, Alexandra Kosteniuk tied for 3-7 places.

Final Standings:

1. Ju Wenjun -7,5, 2. Nino Batsiashvili – 6,5, 3-7. Valentina Gunina, Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, Dronavalli Harika, Olga Girya, Alexandra Kosteniuk – 6, 8. Natalia Zhukova, – 5,5, 9. Bela Khotenashvili – 5, 10-11. Natalija Pogonina, Lela Javakhishvili – 4,5, 12. Almira Skripchenko – 2,5.

The Closing Ceremony was attended by the director of the Department of physical culture and sports of Ugra Igor Gubkin and the Chairman of the Appeals Committee and the Continental President for Africa Lewis Ncube.

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Ju Wenjun scored the most number of cumulative points (413,3 points) in the whole series. Koneru Humpy finished second with 335 points. Valentina Gunina got 287 points and took the third place.

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Ju Wenjun received the Grand Prix winner’s Cup. The winner and the future challenger of the Women’s World Chess Championship Match has confessed that her performance on the tournament was not very smooth. “I was under a lot of pressure not only because of this tournament but also because the final winner of Grand Prix series was defined here. First five games I felt very stressful and played a little bit conservative. After the game lost to Kosteniuk I suddenly relaxed and played more for pleasure and felt less pressure. I decided that my chances of winning the Grand Prix series were now so tiny so I stopped thinking about it and just played chess. Maybe that’s what made the future games easier for me”.

The capital of Ugra says “good-bye” to chess but not for long. In June 2017, the World Team Chess Championships will be conducted here. But the main event will be held in 2020 when Khanty-Mansiysk will host the Chess Olympiad.

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Photo gallery http://wgp2016.fide.com/r/photo/

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