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Tehran 2016 Grand Prix


Tehran the capital city of Iran was host to the 2nd edition of the Ladies Grand Prix series 2015/16 which ran from 10th to 24th February 2016. The 1st edition was held in Monte Carlo, Monaco from 2nd to 16th October 2015.  The other two editions will be held in Tiblisi, Georgia in May 2016 and in Chengdu, China in July 2016.

Tehran skyline
Beautiful photo of one of the many mosques.
Splendour of the past

A total of 12 players from 8 federations were present.

FIDE ID Name Fed. Title BYear Rating
5008123 Koneru, Humpy IND GM 1987 2583
8603006 Ju, Wenjun CHN GM 1991 2558
13601903 Dzagnidze, Nana GEO GM 1987 2529
1700030 Cramling, Pia SWE GM 1963 2521
5015197 Harika, Dronavalli IND GM 1991 2511
2902257 Stefanova, Antoaneta BUL GM 1979 2509
8601283 Zhao, Xue CHN GM 1985 2506
4167570 Gunina, Valentina RUS GM 1989 2496
13602993 Batsiashvili, Nino GEO IM 1987 2485
14101513 Zhukova, Natalia UKR GM 1979 2484
4147855 Pogonina, Natalija RUS WGM 1985 2454
12512214 Khademalsharieh, Sarasadat IRI IM 1997 2403
Poster of the event

Round 1 of this event commenced on 11th February 2016 which was a public holiday to commemorate Revolution Day.  The Phalavi dynasty under the late Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was overthrown and replaced by a National republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.  This was probably Iran’s darkest hour with civil unrest and the death of an estimated 2,700 to 8,000 civilians.  You can read more of this story on Iranian Revolution.

Enough of history and now back to chess.

The interesting thing about this event is that it was the first high profile FIDE event organised by the Iranian Chess Federation which was great news for Iran.  However this event attract a huge amount of adverse publicity when the news broke out that the ladies had to play chess while wearing a head scarf.

I have enclosed a sample of some of the comments;Capture 1 capture 2 Capture 3The main reason for putting up this story on my website is to tell all these narrow minded chess players that  chess is bigger than any person, federation or country.

I am very happy that this event took part in Iran which has been facing severe economic sanctions imposed by USA and Western nations as in the end chess came out tops.

I now leave you with some fine photos of the event and you can then decide whether you agree with my views or if you want to join the legions of the rabid chess players!

We were extremely fortunate Alina L’Ami was the photographer for this event and she has very kindly given me permission to publish them on this website.  Alina is an IM and was World Under 10 World Youth Chess Champion in 1995.  She is a regular reporter with one of my favorite chess website http://www.chessbase.com.  I do consider Alina L’Ami to be one of the world’s best chess photographer and I am sure you will agree with me.

IM Alin L’Ami – our charming photographer in Tehran.

We were also very lucky that a number of the chess players were not just talented but extremely beautiful.  I believe that the head scarves made the ladies look so much more elegant in this charming and historic city.  Here are a sample of some of the photos.

Start of Round 1
Beautiful GM Natalia Zhukova of Ukraine and who is rated 2484.
The setting for the event with the blue gives an incredible aura for the event.
Gorgeous GM Nino Batsiashvili from Georgia who is rated 2485. She drew against World Champion Magnus Carlsen during the 2015 Qatar Masters.

We also have some games which shows some exciting chess being played.

Another photo of GM Natalia Zhukova of Ukraine.
Nana Dzagnidze from Georgia and who is rated 2529.

In the end Ju Wenjun of China prevailed to win the event with 7.5/11 points to go home with a cash prize of Euro 10,000.

Wenjun Ju from China who is rated 2558 and winner of the Tehran Grand Prix on her way to victory.
Another photo of the beautiful Nino Batsiashvili from Georgia.

This was a great event and we look forward to the 3rd edition in Tibilisi, Georgia.

I end the story with two more photos which will convince you that it is worth visiting Tehran despite all the negatives comments we see in our media.

Sights of Tehran
Chess is truly a great sport. When will we see chess being played in the markets and shopping areas of Nairobi?
Final cross table.