Thursday, February 2, 2012

2012 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess

Nigel Short wins in play-offs 1.5 - 0.5 against Hou Yifan, but is suffering from cramps...  Photo © Ray Morris-Hill. |
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

1GMHou YifanCHN26058.02872.0
2GMShort Nigel DENG26778.02838.0
14GMPolgar JuditHUN27107.02693.0
29GMZhu ChenQAT24726.52598.0
30GMCramling PiaSWE24916.52591.0
31IMMuzychuk AnnaSLO25806.52586.0
34GMStefanova AntoanetaBUL25236.52571.0
38 IM Muzychuk MariyaUKR2483 6.5 2525.0
40IMZatonskih AnnaUSA25066.52502.0
41GMKosintseva NadezhdaRUS25376.52498.0
46GMDzagnidze NanaGEO25356.02620.0
50GMKoneru HumpyIND25896.02572.0
58GMZhukova NataliaUKR24266.02491.0
63WGMSoumya SwaminathanIND22806.02428.0
77IMKhurtsidze NinoGEO24445.52464.0
78IMKrush IrinaUSA24675.52450.0
IM83 Melia SalomeGEO23985.52399.0
89WGMVojinovic JovanaMNE23595.52335.0
90IMHouska JovankaENG24145.52332.0
92WIMSeps MonikaSUI21825.52326.0
99 WGM Borosova ZuzanaSVK22845.52290.0
108De Seroux CamilleSUI20765.52211.0
115IMJavakhishvili LelaGEO24545.02404.0
139WIMBenmesbah NatachaFRA22285.02102.0
140Kakulia ShalvaGEO21335.02094.0
145WIMDolgova OlgaRUS22064.52213.0
151WIMAgrest InnaSWE21894.52192.0
174Fransson AngelinaSWE19674.52070.0
194WFMYurenok Maria SENG21094.01978.0
206Leimeister WinfriedGER19184.01877.0
219Forsa EliseNOR17703.51926.0
241Neumanova MonikaCZE16963.01750.0
247Lochte SzilviaHUN19562.51837.0
254Chidi Lovinia SylviaGER18211.01683.0
256Kazmierczak EwaPOL14771.0951.0

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.

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