Here was my intro report. Official website (for full details and photos). And here are the final results, ta da!
IM Mariya Muzychuk took top honors for the women:
Congratulations to Ukranian IM Mariya Muzychuk for winning the top female prize of £15,000. She drew her last round game against GM Simen Agdestein and achieved a score of 7/10 (+6,=2,-2) and with it, a GM norm!
What a fantastic showing for Muzychuk! She picked up over 21 ratings points for this performance:
The world is, sadly, aware of the political turmoil engulfing Ukraine for the past few months. I find it truly amazing that people like Mariya Muzychuk and the Ukrainian athletes participating in the Winter Olympics at Sochi (where dog slaughter is a state-sanctioned sport) are able to continue doing the amazing things they do when their hearts must be filled with angst.
I'm trying to pick out the chess femmes' results (Masters' Tournament) from the final results at Chess-Results.com. Apologies if I've missed any chess femme:
|44||53||GM||Hoang Thanh Trang||HUN||2511||6.5||2487||2487||6.5||6.52||-0.02||10||-0.2|
|66 47||GM||Cramling Pia||SWE||2525||6.0||2430||2430||6||7.07||-1.07||10||-10.7|
There were 256 players. The women listed above finished at 50% or higher in the field (I may have missed a few). As you can see, a number of highly rated veterans, some of whom have played in this event before, didn't do too well this year. The competition is getting tougher. We may now be passing the time when a female chessplayer can make a name for herself in the small world of chess by safely playing mostly in the ratings ghetto of female only events. The transition period will be agonizingly painful for many players personally and to watch from afar but, like the changing economy as we work through a 21st century paradigm, it must be and will be fought through no matter what.
I do not have a breakdown of which other chess femmes won prize money, I did not see it at the official website. However, here are items of note:
Zhao Xue (China) had led the chase for the £15,000 women's prize after her breathtaking streak of five wins between rounds five and nine but it was brought to an end in the last round when she had Black against Nikita Vitiugov. This loss left her on 7 points and she was caught on that score by Mariya Muzychuk (avove), who finished with a draw against Simen Agdestein, and Nataliya Zhukova, who did well to defeat US GM Alex Lenderman in the last round and finishing with a burst of 3/3. The tournament rule for this prestigious prize specifies that the £15,000 goes to the player with the best tournament performance rating. Mariya's was 2654 – incidentally, more than enough to qualify for a GM norm – while Zhao Xue's was 2561 and Nataliya's 2553, so the honour and money went to Mariya. It was a fitting reward for a consistently excellent result, having played six grandmasters and beaten two of them.
For the record, pairings and results for Mariya Muzychuk:
|55||182||Kenney Jason||2112||0||0 - 1||0||IM||Muzychuk Mariya||2503||55|
|47||55||IM||Muzychuk Mariya||2503||1||1 - 0||1||WIM||Fuchs Judith||2315||120|
|9||14||GM||Li Chao B||2680||2||1 - 0||2||IM||Muzychuk Mariya||2503||55|
|37||55||IM||Muzychuk Mariya||2503||2||1 - 0||2||IM||Welling Gerard||2326||116|
|10||6||GM||Tomashevsky Evgeny||2715||3||½ - ½||3||IM||Muzychuk Mariya||2503||55|
|16||55||IM||Muzychuk Mariya||2503||3½||0 - 1||3½||GM||Edouard Romain||2658||20|
|42||109||FM||Ben Artzi Ido||2344||3½||0 - 1||3½||IM||Muzychuk Mariya||2503||55|
|22||55||IM||Muzychuk Mariya||2503||4½||1 - 0||4½||GM||Sutovsky Emil||2663||18|
|13||25||GM||Sandipan Chanda||2609||5½||0 - 1||5½||IM||Muzychuk Mariya||2503||55|
|11||55||IM||Muzychuk Mariya||2503||6½||½ - ½||6½||GM||Agdestein Simen||2627||22|
One remarkable feature of the tournament was the achievement of GM norms solely by female competitors – Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine), Lela Javakishvili (Georgia) and Tan Zhongyi (China). This is quite appropriate for a tournament that prides itself on promoting and supporting women’s chess (not to mention one in which the women beat the men in the Battle of the Sexes rapidplay). Women also chalked up a number of the IM norms: Natalia Pogonina (Russia), [and] Qi Guo (China).
Last, but not least, ladies beat the dudes at some fun rapid chess:
On the evening of 1 February, there was a Battle of the Sexes rapid match between the Men (captained by Nigel Short) and the Women (captained by Viktorija Cmilyte) at a time limit of 10 minutes for all the moves plus an increment of 5 seconds a move. Photos (and not entirely serious captions) here.
The Women won the match by 2-0, with a third game (played at 10+0) played and won by the Men.
The winning team: Viktorija Cmilyte, Irina Krush, Thanh Trang Hoang, Tania Sachdev, Jovana Vojinovic, Elisabeth Paehtz, and Natalia Zhukova.