I just have to comment on this photo of the top two seeds during the opening ceremonies, Hump Koneru and Anna Muzychuk:
|Humpy: You know I'm going to wipe you all over the board.|
Anna: (Gasp!) Humpy: I'm going to win this sucka!
I had been thinking that Ruan Lufei had died; I mean, where has she been? Not playing chess -- not unless she's disguising herself as a chess dude these days and/or going by a fake name. I haven't seen her name listed in the more popular or prominent events. Of course, I don't examine each and every chess tournament everywhere around the world, either... But here she is now, voila! Resurrected from the ashes, as it were. Did she piss somebody off and had she been banished to the never-never land of not playing chess? Did she get bored with her graduate school studies? Whatever, darlings. She sassshays into Ankara with her artificially low ELO (kept that way in purpose, I think) and is rolling through the players while filing her nails, snore. Don't be fooled by the R4 charade enacted by Ruan and Zhau Xue. It was like scripted Michael Jackson video from "Thriller."
Stay tuned for the next batch of rounds. If I'm reading the schedule correctly, 2012 Ankara is the last event in the Women's Grand Prix for 2011-2012. Figuring out points and all that stuff -- I'll leave that for someone else.
Here's some info from the FIDE.com website -- beware, however, relying on this as writ on stone because FIDE regualrly changes things depending on which way the chess political winds (and who's coming up with the most money) are blowing...
FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2011–2012
The FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2011–2012 is a series of six chess tournaments exclusively for women, which formed part of the qualification cycle for the Women's World Chess Championship 2013. The winner of the Grand Prix (the one with most Grand Prix points) will challenge the 2012 Women's World Chess champion.
Blah blah blah...
...160 grand prix points for first place, 130 for second place, 110 for third place, and then 90 down to 10 points by steps of 10. In case of a tie in points the grand prix points are shared evenly by the tied players. Players only counted their best three tournament results. The player with the most grand prix points is the winner.
Grand Prix standings
Hou Yifan won the Grand Prix with a perfect score of three sole wins at the fifth Grand Prix in Jermuk [she won Rostov, Shenzhen and Jermuk, top 3 scores are counted for the total.]. Should Yifan win the 2012 World Championship[,] the runner-up will be her challenger in the 2013 Championship. Muzychuk, Humpy, Ju Wenjun and Zhao Xue are the only in contention of the Grand Prix runner-up.
So, it's pretty much been decided already who the challenger in 2013 will be, and the other players are only in this event now for the prize money, which is very good for female-only events, and I don't blame them one bit for participating. Hey, chess femmes have to make a living too and chess dudes do this stuff all the time. No wonder Stefanova is sleep-walking her way through Ankara.
Do you see, now, why introducing Ruan Lufei into the mix in this final tournament of this Women's Grand Prix series is dirty pool? She doesn't stand a snowball's chance in Hell of becoming a challenger, not even if she wins Ankara outright, but she's a great spoiler for other player's chances, and the Chinese know that full well. All rigged as far as can be arranged in favor of the Chinese "winning" the women's world chess championship title.