The second leg of the Women’s FIDE Grand Prix is officially launched. Monaco is hosting the best women chess players in the world for the next two weeks.
Following the Rapid and Blitz European Championship for women which ran last weekend, Monaco is ready to stage another great event on the chess calendar. The second leg of the Women’s FIDE Grand Prix takes place from December 2-15 at the Yacht Club de Monaco. Twelve of the best women players in the world participate in this prestigious event, which features an all-play-all tournament. There is a lot at stake. Besides a hefty prize fund, the aim in the Grand Prix Series is to finish on the first two places in order to qualify to the Candidates Tournament and get a chance to face the reigning World Champion in a final match in 2021.
The Yacht Club de Monaco also hosted a glittering ceremony which opened the tournament tonight. FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich expressed his delight for the collaboration of the World Chess Federation in the organization of an official tournament in Monaco. “This is the continuation of the brilliant history of chess events in the Principality”. The opening ceremony was attended by numerous important guests, such as Joël Bouzou, President of Peace and Sport and adviser of His Serene Highness Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco. He noted that “Monaco holds sport on a very high place, as it conveys the idea of neutrality. A chess game starts and unfolds with absolutely equal chances, and chess players are therefore fantastic ambassadors for peace”. Jean-Michel Rapaire, resourceful and tireless president of the Monaco Chess Club thanked all who contributed in making this tournament possible. “The event is under the patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, and I am particularly grateful for this honour.”
The Yacht Club de Monaco takes the shape of a magnificent ship – certainly a first for a chess tournament of this magnitude. This historic venue is used to hosting sports and cultural events, so that we can be sure to witness the highest level of organization. The first round starts on December 3rd at 3 pm.
Pairings for the first round:
Harika Dronavali – Dzagnidze Nana
Paehtz Elisabeth – Zhao Xue
Carmling Pia – Kosteniuk Alexandra
Goryachkina Aleksandra – Lagno Kateryna
Gunina Valentina – Koneru Humpy
Muzychuk Maryia – Muzychuk Anna
The games can be followed live with expert commentary
Text: Yannick Pelletier
Photos: Karol Bartnik