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FIDE Women GP series 2013-2014
banner smallA beautiful lake hidden in the surrounding mountains, with lots of ducks and swans feeling at home, clouds and woods offering a shelter against Georgia's torrid sun - welcome to the natural paradise in the, for some, Terra Incognita of Lopota! If we add the comfort at the highest European standards, we get the picture of the perfect peaceful place for meditating or playing chess and can only wonder why Georgia is not on the tourists' must-see-list.

But over the next two weeks, during the FIDE Women Grand Prix, Lopota will surely stay in the local people's limelight, since chess is enormously popular in Georgia; so popular that a chess set is a common part of any young bride's bottom drawer! And chess lovers all over the world may also follow the tournament with great interest, as there are several good reasons to hope for beautiful, entertaining, fighting games. All these are general threads of woman chess, but in addition, the quality of the games is ensured by the fact that many of the participants are grandmasters! Besides, as the organizers said during the opening ceremony, the tournament might have quite good chances to eclipse the football World Cup from Brazil.


The 12 elegant chess Amazons will have good reasons to try giving out their best. The prize fund is quite attractive (60.000, from which 10.000 will go to the winner), but some may be more attracted by accumulating Grand Prix points. For instance, the unshared first place would collect 160 points, meaning a big step ahead towards the overall win in the 2013-2014 FIDE Women Grand Prix circuit.
Now is the right moment to explain the system of qualifying briefly. Each player has the right to play in four out of the six Grand Prix tournaments, but only the best three results will count. The player accumulating the highest number of points will get the right to a match with the World Cup winner, who will, until then, be considered a World Champion! If the same player wins both events, the second placed in the Grand Prix circuit will become the challenger.

The participation of the two highest rated female players (with the exception of Judit Polgar), Hou Yifan and Humpy Koneru will be an important point of attraction. But local audience may be more interested in how their heroes, Bella Khotenashvili and Nana Dzagnidze will do; will the native territory help them, or, on the contrary, playing surrounded by their fans will put additional psychological pressure on their shoulders?

But now that the drawing of lots has taken place, none of the players thinks of such general things anymore; time has come for preparing and focusing on the tomorrow's opponent. Which doesn't prevent me from adding that the opening ceremony was honoured by the presence of the FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and other FIDE VIPs. I would kindly recommend you to visit our photo gallery of the Opening Ceremony.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Women Grand Prix has officially started!

By Alina l'Ami

© FIDE Grand Prix 2014    |    |