Dzagnidze dominates in Jermuk

Jermuk, Armenia was the venue for the fourth leg of the Women's Grand Prix.
Although three former World Champions were present it was the less experienced twenty-three year old Nana Dzagnidze from neighbouring Georgia who was on top from start to finish.

Already on July 1st the young Georgian had moved up to 2498 and was ranked seventeenth on the FIDE women's list. A significant gain in rating points here will take Dzagnidze (provisionally) into the world's top ten.

The closest challenger was world number four, the Russian Tatiana Kosintseva who is twenty-four-years-old and has been also gaining rating points of late. Their individual encounter went in Dzagnidze's favour, which essentially split the difference between them.

The top Russian Tatiana Kosintseva © official site.

The three ex-World Champions present were veteran Maia Chiburdanidze, who hasn't been that active in recent years, Bulgarian Antoaneta Stefanova (World No.5) and the Chinese Xu Yuhua.

Gone are the days when Maia Chiburdinidze dominated women's chess in the pre-Polgar era but she is still officially the Georgian number one (for now!). Maia will be 50-years-old next January but has maintained her 2500 plus status, her highest ever rating being 2560 in 1988.

Many time World Champion and former world number one, Maia Chiburdanidze © official site.
The 2008 World Champion, Antoaneta Stefanova from Bulgaria © official site.

With an impressive score of 9/11 Dzagnidze obtained a remarkable 2746 performance and gained 36 points which I calculate will take her to eighth (still provisionally) on the women's world ranking list.

RankingTitle,NameCountryMay 1st ratingJuly 1st ratingPoints
1GM Nana DzagnidzeGEO247824989
2GM Tatiana KosintsevaRUS253425627.5
3IM Lilit MkrtchianARM247724686.5
4GM Antoaneta StefanovaBUL256025606.5
5IM Elina DanielianARM247324316.5
6GM Hou YifanCHN258925776
7GM Pia CramlingSWE253625175.5
8WGM Yang ShenCHN245224355.5
9GM Maia ChiburdanidzeGEO251425144.5
10GM Xu YuhuaCHN248424884
11WGM Baira KovanovaRUS236623763
12IM Martha Fierro BaqueroECU236323721.5

In the bottom half, European champion Pia Cramling (who recovered somewhat at the end) and former World champion Xu Juhua would have been disappointed with their performances.

The 2006 World champion from China Xu Yuhua © official site.

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