FIDE Women’s Grand Prix in Monaco

The 2nd leg of FIDE Women’s Grand Prix 2019-2020 is underway in Monaco. Number one woman player Hou Yifan is missing this edition of the Grand Prix due to her studies at Oxford University.

The FIDE Women’s Grand Prix 2019-2020 is a series of four tournaments: Skolkovo finished in September where Humpy Koneru won first place, Monaco this month, Lausanne (Switzerland) in March and Sardinia (Italy) in May next year.

India’s Humpy Koneru and Russian Aleksandra Goryachkina are SBD’s favorites to finish top-two in Monaco. Kosteniuk held Humpy to a draw after missing a half chance in the opening. While Koneru’s Elo trails Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia, the 32-year-old Indian claimed first-place in Skolkovo and has a considerably higher peak Elo than Goryachkina (2623 vs 2575). Yes, that peak Elo came ten years ago, but her recent performance in Russia shows that she is getting back to her best since returning to competition in September of last year.

In Round 7 in Monaco, Koneru defeated Zhao Hue to share the lead with Goryachkina heading to the last 4 rounds:

Standings after Round 7, Monaco 2019

Superbet

After winning the Fischer Random championship, a bottom dweller in the next tournament. Indeed, you can’t bake your cake and have it.

The major problem is corruption. It’s hard for athletes to get financial assistance to compete abroad, especially if they don’t have connections. For example, we would send teams to the Asian Games and there would be more officials on the plane than athletes.
— Wesley So

Wesley So, in an interview with Chess.com, describes corruption, particularly in sports, in the Philippines.

Top 20 Best Chess Players Ranking History (2000-2019)

Amazing to see just how Magnus Carlsen held on to the No. 1 spot since July of 2011, almost 8 years now, and never looked back since then. I wonder how this kind of video will pan out in the future.

Aeroflot Open Round 1 Called Off After Bomb Threat

Shortly after the start, the first round of the Aeroflot Open has been canceled due to a bomb threat at the venue, Hotel Cosmos in Moscow. The round has been postponed until tomorrow.

Scary! Now, even chess tournaments — at high levels that is — are subjects of bomb threats.