Sunday, September 6, 2015

FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2015-2016

Hola darlings!

FIDE has announced the nominees and schedule for the FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2015-2016, consisting of four events (only four - how low we have fallen).  Top finishers will -- if I understand this correctly -- qualify for the Women's World Chess Championship Match in 2017.  You can find all of the info here.


* 2-16 October 2015 in Monte Carlo, MONACO 
* February 2016 in Kish, IRAN 
* May 2016 in Tbilisi, GEORGIA 
* July 2016 in Chengdu, CHINA

In total 16 players will participate, 10 qualifiers as per regulations (listed below) plus 4 nominees from the organisers of each tournament (to be announced) plus 2 nominees of the FIDE President.

FIDE President has nominated Alexandra Kosteniuk and Antoaneta Stefanova, 

The 10 original qualifiers who have to confirm their participation by 20 August 2015 are: 

01. Muzychuk, Mariya (World Champion, Sochi 2015) 
02. Pogonina, Natalija (finalist world championship, Sochi 2015) 
03. Cramling, Pia (semi-finalist world championship, Sochi 2015) 
04. Harika, Dronavalli (semi-finalist world championship, Sochi 2015) 
05. Hou, Yifan (by rating, 12 std lists 8/14 to 7/15: average 2674.83 in 88 games) 
06. Koneru, Humpy (by rating, 12 std lists 8/14 to 7/15: average 2585.83 in 39 games) 
07. Dzagnidze, Nana (by rating, 12 std lists 8/14 to 7/15: average 2568.50 in 50 games) 
08. Ju, Wenjun (by rating, 12 std lists 8/14 to 7/15: average 2557.91 in 92 games) 
09. Muzychuk, Anna (by rating, 12 std lists 8/14 to 7/15: average 2548.41 in 63 games) 
10. Gunina, Valentina (by rating, 12 std lists 8/14 to 7/15: average 2532.91 in 83 games) 

The first reserve for any replacement needed is Kosteniuk, Alexandra (by rating 2532.00 in 69 games, average 12 std lists 8/2014 to 7/2015). 

The full regulations of the Women's Grand Prix 2015-2016 are published here.

Each player will participate in exactly three (3) out of the four tournaments. Players must rank their preference of tournaments but FIDE reserves the right to assign players to tournaments according to the organizational needs and the players for each tournament will be announced before the cycle begins.

Here is the prize structure:

7. Prize Money & Grand Prix Points. 

7.1. The prize money which will be offered by host city organisers for each tournament is 75,000 Euros (net amount, after all local taxes are deducted) and is split 60,000 Euros as direct prize money for the tournament and 15,000 Euros towards an accumulated prize fund for the players at the end of the series: 

1 st € 10,000 120 points + 40 bonus 
2 nd € 8,250 110 points + 20 bonus 
3 rd € 6,750 100 points + 10 bonus 
4 th € 5,750 90 points 
5 th € 5,000 80 points 
6 th € 4,500 70 points 
7 th € 4,250 60 points 
8 th € 4,000 50 points 
9 th € 3,250 40 points 
10th € 3,000 30 points 
11th € 2,750 20 points 
12th € 2,500 10 points Total 60,000 euros 850 points 

In the case of any tie in any tournament, the Grand Prix ranking points and prize money will be split equally. 

The overall winner of the Grand Prix will be the one who will score the most number of cumulative points. The cumulative score will be calculated from the best three results for each player. The winner of the Grand prix agrees to play a match against the World Champion as per FIDE regulations in 2017. 

7.2. Tie Break for Overall Winner: In the case of two or more players having equal cumulative points at the top of the GP standings, with the objective of determining a clear, single winner to play in the World Championship Match, the following criteria (in descending order) will be utilized to decide the overall GP top winner(s):

7.3. Accumulated Prize Fund. 9 prizes will be awarded from the minimum accumulated prize fund of €90,000 (Euros) as follows : 

Overall Place Accumulated Prize (Euros) 
1st 25,000 
2nd 20,000
3rd 15,000 
4th 10,000 
5th 7,500 
6th 5,500 
7th 4,000 
8th 3,000 €90,000 

In the case of any joint overall ranking, the respective accumulated prizes will also be split equally. 

Of course, FIDE, rather than CONTRIBUTING FUNDS toward women's prizes sucks more money out of the organizers and local chess organizations who are stupid enough sponsoring events:

7.4. FIDE Contributions. The organiser will pay FIDE an additional sum of 20% (15,000 Euros), over and above, the above total host city prize fund (75,000 Euros). 7.5. Global Chess Contribution. The organiser will pay Global Chess the sum of 15,000 euros for the assistance provided in the co-ordination and management of this event. This will include the cost of 4 people to cover organisation assistance and setup (2 persons), event reporting and commentary in Russian and English (2 persons). All travel expenses in economy class, and hotel accommodation on full board basis will be covered by organisers.   

I don't know about how you feel, but frankly, I'm a little tired of seeing the same players over and over and over again.  There have been no break-through female players since Hou Yifan when she was a pre-teen.  Where is the next Judit Polgar?  Will the world ever produce the like of her again?

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