Nigel Short wins in play-offs 1.5 - 0.5 against Hou Yifan, but is suffering from cramps... Photo © Ray Morris-Hill. | http://www.rmhphoto.eu
Coverage of the play-offs at The Week in Chess.
It's in the books, people. All results are for the Masters, unless otherwise stated. My apologies to any chess femmes I may have left out of the final standings - it was inadvertent because I did not recognize your name.
Final Ranking after 10 Rounds
|2||GM||Short Nigel D||ENG||2677||8.0||2838.0|
|IM||83 Melia Salome||GEO||2398||5.5||2399.0|
|99 WGM||Borosova Zuzana||SVK||2284||5.5||2290.0|
|108||De Seroux Camille||SUI||2076||5.5||2211.0|
|194||WFM||Yurenok Maria S||ENG||2109||4.0||1978.0|
|254||Chidi Lovinia Sylvia||GER||1821||1.0||1683.0|
Let's talk about prize money! For securing clear second place overall, GM Hou Yifan takes home 12,000 British Pounds. Nice pay day, girl! If I am reading the "Prizes for best relative rating achievement" table correctly, Hou Yifan was closed out since her starting rating was above 2599 -- but I may be wrong about that.
After Hou Yifan, GM Judit Polgar was the top finishing female -- she ran out of games to gain ground before the end. As the top female finisher (after Hou Yifan, who qualified for the higher Masters prize of second place money), she takes home 10,000 British Pounds. Overall she finished in 14th place and would otherwise have been out of the money. I assume she qualified for the women's prize, of course!
The other women's prizes (all in British Pounds):
22,500 is divided 7 ways among GM Zhu Chen, GM Pia Cramlin, IM Anna Muzychuk, GM Antoaneta Stefanova, IM Mariya Muzychuk, IM Anna Zatonskih (USA's current women's champion), GM Nadezhda Kosintseva, (2-8th place money), all tied with 6.5/10.
Final prize winners of women's prizes split 1,000 among these players who all scored 6.0/10: Dzagnidze; Koneru; Zhukova; and Soumya Swaminathan. Not much for a lot of effort!
There was also a 5,000 British Pounds Commonwealth Prize on the line to eligible players. I wans't clear that a player who had already won a prize would be precluded from also winning this prize. If that's the case, GM Nigel Short won this prize. A VERY nice payday for Nigel. I believe he got over his cramps very soon, as I saw another photograph of him accepting his accolades and he had a very large smile (unless he took some Midol and a few shots of Glen Fiddiche before climbing up on stage to accept his praises). 25,000 British Pounds. Wooo wooo!
This Gibraltar will probably be talked about for years to come, given Hou Yifan's performance. Let's see if she continues to progress. No reason for her not to do so but, well, call me somewhat skeptical. I hope I AM wrong. I would like nothing better than to see a female player consistently kick butt of the top male players in the world, and take their prize money home instead. I want to see a female World Champion without the tag/negative epitaph "Women's" hung in front of it. Judit Polgar wasn't able to win that title. Can Hou Yifan?
Hou Yifan hasn't really been tested yet. Not like Judit has been tested. Judit's day may be past, but it may not yet be a new dawn for a chance at a female world champion.