Largest concentration of women
22.01.12 - Stuart Conquest Director of the 2012 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival, scheduled to begin this week, believes the tournament in its 10th edition will see the largest concentration of women chess players ever in a mixed event. He writes: 'The greatest ever gathering of female chess players in a mixed event takes place on the Rock in a week’s time. Never before have so many of the world’s top women joined leading male players to compete in the same tournament'.
All eyes will be on the reigning Women’s World Champion, 17 year-old Hou Yifan, coming to Gibraltar for the first time. Indian sensation Humpy Koneru will be keen to score well – if things go her way she could take home the special £5,000 Commonwealth prize. Anna Muzychuk, from Slovakia, has been in scintillating form lately, and looks a good bet for a high placing.
Other female stars to follow include former World Champions Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria) and Zhu Chen (Qatar), former European Champion Pia Cramling, and American rivals Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih.
From Georgia, a nation famous for its support of women’s chess, come four top players, including last year’s joint female winners: Nana Dzagnidze and Salome Melia. Let’s also not forget British Women’s champion Jovanka Houska, who in December recorded a career-best performance at the London Chess Classic.
The action starts on January 24th!