The 5th leg of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix: What are the chances?
The winner of the Women’s Grand Prix series 2015-16 will play with the Women World Champion in a 10-game match for the Women’s World Championship title.
According to the Regulations of the Women’s Grand Prix Series, the event consists of five tournaments held in Monte Carlo, Tehran, Batumi, Chengdu and Khanty-Mansiysk. Each player participates in 3 of 5 tournaments. The winner of a leg of the series scores 120 points + 40 bonus, the silver medalist gains 110 points + 20 bonus, and the third place winner – 100 points + 10 bonus. In the case of any tie in a tournament, the Grand Prix ranking points and prize money are split equally. The overall winner of the Grand Prix will be the one who will score the most number of cumulative points.
So what is the situation before the last, decisive, GP leg which starts in Khanty-Mansiysk on the 18th of November?
The current leader of the series is Humpy Koneru from India who has 335 points but has already taken part in three Grand Prix tournaments. The Chinese players Ju Wenjun and Zhao Xue occupy the second and third places in the overall standings with 235⅓ and 250 points respectively. However, Zhao Xue is not playing in Khanty-Mansiysk, so only Ju Wenjun will be able to get more ranking points.
Other players who have theoretical chances to win the series are the Russian grandmasters Valentina Gunina (205 points) and Alexandra Kosteniuk (195 points), and Dronavalli Harika from India (190 points).
Will Ju Wenjun continue her brilliant play during all previous Grand Prix legs? Or maybe the recent success of Alexandra Kosteniuk in the Russian Championship Superfinal will help the 12th Women’s World Chess Champion to create a sensation in Khanty-Mansiysk and fight for the crown? Will Valentina Gunina and Dronavalli Harika show amazing results as they did in Batumi and Chengdu respectively?
The name of the winner will become known on the 1st of December.
The current standings of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix series are published here.