banner gallery2
logo2015 180
sponsor logo gpb

sponsor sbm
sponsor casino

sponsor federation

sponsor ee
The Monaco Chess Tradition
The Monaco Chess Tradition

Monaco will host the first leg of the Women’s Grand Prix Series 2015 - 2016

From 2nd to 16th of October 2015, the city of Monte Carlo will host the first tournament of the new Women’s Grand Prix 2015-2016. 

The event will be held at the famous Casino of Monte Carlo. Prize fund is 60.000 euros, with 10.000 for the winner. A further 15,000 euros goes towards an accumulated fund for the overall best placed women.

The line-up is very impressive, and includes the current Women World Champion Mariya Muzychuk  (Ukraine) and  former World Champions Hou Yifan (China), Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria) and Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia).

Not to mention, of course, other top players such as Humpy Koneru (India), Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine) and Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia). With an average rating of 2517, it will be probably one of the strongest tournament in the history of women’s chess.

List of players (September 2015 rating list)

Hou, Yifan    2671
Koneru, Humpy    2578
Dzagnidze, Nana    2573
Muzychuk, Anna    2549
Kosteniuk, Alexandra    2530
Muzychuk, Mariya    2528
Cramling, Pia    2513
Stefanova, Antoaneta    2500
Zhukova, Natalia    2482
Pogonina, Natalija    2445
Skripchenko, Almira    2441
Khademalsharieh, Sarasadat    2397

The Grand Prix is a serie of four tournaments held over two years (2015-16). The overall winner gets the right to play a match for the Women’s World Championship. The next tournaments are scheduled in Kish (Iran, February  of 2016), Borjomi (Georgia, April of 2016) and Chengdu( China, July of 2016).

Monaco, a country with great chess tradition.

Despite being a small country, Monaco has a great chess tradition.

The Monte Carlo chess tournament was established in 1901. There were a series of very strong tournaments held in Monte Carlo, from 1901 to 1904, and again after a long break from 1967 to 1969. ( )

At the beginning of the previous century the best players in the World used to meet in Monte Carlo to play a very strong round-robin. The 1902 edition was particularly strong, with Maroczy taking first place ahead of Pillsbury and Janowsky. Next year it was Tarrasch who got the glory, with a fantastic performance, 20 points out of 26 games. Lucky for our ladies, modern tournaments aren’t that  long!

The poster of the 1967 famous tournament    1.pdf

The players of the 1967 event     2.pdf

Later, in 1967, the legendary Bobby Fischer was the winner of the Grand Prix ahead of a very strong field, which included the 7th world champion Vassily Smyslov, the legend of Yugoslavian chess Svetozar Gligoric, the Dane Bent Larsen, and other stars of that time. That event produced the famous game Fischer-Geller, which went around the World. The story of that game was very peculiar: that same morning Efim Geller had to play an adjourned game against Bent Larsen, and lost a tough fight after more than three hours. Only 30 minutes later he had to face Bobby Fischer. Surprisingly enough the soviet grandmaster played won with the black pieces in just 25 moves! At the end, Fischer scored 7 out of 9 and took clear first, half a point ahead of Smyslov.

Two super tournaments took place in Monaco on the next years. Bent Larsen (1968) and Vasily Smyslov (1969) were the winners of that events.

In the year 1993, Monaco hold two important events for the women's chess.

First it was the candidates final between Susan Polgar and Nana Ioseliani, in February. It was a  very dramatic encounter. After losing the first two games Ioseliani made a fantastic comeback to set the score even ( 4-4). Polgar won the first tiebreak game and Ioseliani had to win the next to force another tiebreak. Ioseliani did win, but then lost the first game of the second tiebreak. Here Ioseliani once again managed to equalize in her last chance, and won the lottery that eventually decided the winner.

Few months later, the 31 year old Nana Ioseliani came back to Monte Carlo as the official candidate to the title of the current champion 23 year old Jun Xie from China. The match was held in the Métropole Palace Hotel, commencing October 24th. The total prize fund was SFR 300,000. Xie Jun dominated and the match ended with a convincing victory for her (8,5:2,5).


During that event, in 1993, Monaco organized the 1st edition of the “European Small Nation Tournament” with eight teams. Next years the number of participant countries grew to ten: Andorra, Malta, Cyprus, Jersey, Guernsey, Luxembourg, San Marino, Faroe Island, Liechtenstein and Monaco.

4 resize

Monaco was again the organizer of the next two editions of this event, in 1995 and 1997, but unfortunately it was only 12 years later when Andorra took over the tradition and organized the fourth edition in 2009. Since then the “European Small Nation Tournament” took place every two years: 2011 in Faroe Island, 2013 back in Monaco and 2015 in Guernsey. In 2017, the event is scheduled to take place in Andorra, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Andorra Chess Federation.


Amber 2011, sourse:

From 1992 to 2011 Monaco hosted the Amber chess tournament (officially the Amber Rapid and Blindfold Chess Tournament, previously Melody Amber) . It was an annual invitation-only event for some of the world's best players. Since the second edition, the event uniquely combined blindfold chess and speed chess, and has been held in Monte Carlo. The tournament is sponsored by the Dutch businessman and world champion of correspondence chess, Joop van Oosterom. Named after his daughter, the tournament was usually held in March.
Nearly every world class player has played in the tournament but Garry Kasparov.[1] Vassily Ivanchuk is the only player to have played in all 20 editions.

The player with the most overall titles (as of 2010) is Vladimir Kramnik, with six. Viswanathan Anand is the only player to have won both the rapid and blindfold events in the same year (he did it twice, in 1997 and 2005). The most rapid events have been won by Anand (nine times), and the most blindfold events have been won by Kramnik (nine times).


The “Cercle d'Echecs de Monte-Carlo (CEMC)” is also very much involved with women’s chess, and the CEMC team won 5 times (absolute record!) the women European Club Cup : 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013.

6 resize

Almira Skripchenko was the team Captain during these years, with Pia Cramling, Humpy Koneru and recently Hou Yifan and Anna Muzychuk joining the team.


Prince Albert II awards a medal to Almira Skripchenko, captain d'Echecs de Monte-Carlo. (November 18th, 2013)
© FIDE Grand Prix 2015    |    |