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Hou Yifan is the only leader after round 8
Mr. Bachar Kouatly, director of chess magazine “Europe Echecs”,
making the first move in the game between Mariya Muzychuk and Humpy Koneru.

The round eight was very important for the leaders: two of them played each other, Mariya Muzychuk versus Koneru. From the very first move Mariya took the initiative, Koneru blundered in the endgame and lost. Kosteniuk-Cramling and Zhukova-Pogonina finished in a draw by threefold repetition.  Khademalsharieh and Hou played a very long game, and the more experienced Chinese won in a very complicated fight.  Dzagnidze played in her usual aggressive style and won her first game after Almira made two mistakes in a raw. The battle between Anna Muzychuk and Stefanova finished in a long draw, being the last game of this round.
Big favorites Koneru and Hou, leaders after round seven
The model of the official placard of Grand Prix in Monaco, Juliette Rapaire,
making the first move in the game Koneru-Zhukova

The tournament entered today into the second half, and some ladies probably start to be a bit tired. In round seven, no less than three games finished with draw by repetition, but in a very different way. Nobody wanted to take a risk in the game Cramling vs. Mariya Muzychuk and it was a fast draw in only 13 moves. The game between Skripchenko and Stefanova was a bit longer, but still quiet equal and the final draw looked like a very logical result. Kosteniuk and Anna Muzychuk were the last to finish their game, also by three time repetition, but in a beautiful fight without compromise. Pogonina was very inspired and won her second game in a raw, this time versus Sarasadat Khademalsharieh. And the favorites, Yifan Hou and Humpy Koneru, won again, against Dzagnidze and Zhukova respectively, and now both are leading with 5,5 out of 7.
Hou and Koneru win again, and join Mariya Muzychuk on the top
His Excellency Mr. Henri Fissore, Ambassador Adviser to the Minister of State of Monaco making
the first move in the game between Mariya Muzychuk and Alexandra Kosteniuk

Yifan Hou, Humpy Koneru and Mariya Muzychuk share first place after six rounds at the Women’s Grand Prix in Monaco. The number one and two of the tournament – and of the World - won their games against Stefanova and Khademalsharieh, respectively. Humpy won very fast, while Yifan had to fight for the victory in a very long game. Mariya Muzychuk escaped with a draw against Kosteniuk, after being pawn dawn for most of the game. Zhukova and Skripchenko won their first game in the tournament, against Cramling and Anna Muzychuk. Finally, Pogonina won with Black pieces against Dzagnidze, who for the moment can’t find her best play. 
The favorites reduce the gap with the leader
Hou Yifan 3,5 out of 5

In round five Mariya made a fast draw with her sister Anna, allowing her persecutors to get closer, at only half point distance. Hou Yifan won a very difficult endgame versus Almira Skripchenko, and with 3,5 points is sharing 2nd place. With the same points we find Humpy Koneru, who beat Dzagnidze quite fast, and Pia Cramling, who got the best from her experience to defeat Sarasadat Khademalsharieh in a very didactical endgame. Kosteniuk and Zhukova played a very sharp game which finished in a fair draw after the time control. The last game to finish was played between Pogonina and Stefanova, a battle which went as far as move 113, the longest in the tournament so far. The Bulgarian won a very dramatic endgame after several mistakes from both sides.
Simul of WGM Olga Alexandrova
Salle Medecin of the Casino Monte Carlo

On the rest day a simultaneous exhibition took place, with WGM and press officer Olga Alexandrova replacing her colleague Almira Skripchenko, who was feeling too tired the day before. The level of the simul was very high, and Alexandrova had to work hard to deal with the fourteen boards which were set up at the magnificient salle Medecin of the Casino Monte Carlo.  

Among the participants we shall highlight the only female, Monaco Woman Champion Svetlana Berezovska, and his Excellency Mr. Henri Fissore, Ambassador Adviser to the Minister of State of Monaco.

WGM Olga Alexandrova greets Mr. Henri Fissore and Mr. Jean Michel Rapaire

Mr. Fissore, a bridge expert, is also a declared chess fan. He showed good skills at handling the Black side of a Tartakower Variation of the Queen’s Gambit Declined Orthodox Defense. The game was balanced for more than two hours, but finally Black had to resign, after losing a central pawn in a very precise maneouvre of the Grandmaster.

After more than three hours of play the final result was 9 wins and 5 draws for Alexandrova. The lucky scorers were Jean Michel Rapaire, President of the Monaco Chess Federation, Jean Michel Pechine, journalist of Europe Echecs, Stephane Escafre, Arbiter Assistant, and two more representatives of Monaco chess community.
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