Hou Takes Early Lead in Moscow
Hou Yifan of China is the early leader in the Moscow Grand Prix after she was only one to post a win in Round 1.
It is the second consecutive strong tournament start for Hou. In the Grenke Chess Classic last month, Hou won her first two games before fading down the stretch.
The Grand Prix is a four-tournament series to select two players for the 2018 Candidates tournament.
Twenty-four of the world’s best players are competing in the Grand Prix, with 18 of them participating in each of the tournaments.
Each Grand Prix has a prize fund of 130,000 euros. The Grand Prix is organized by Agon Limited, which has the commercial rights to the World Championship, and is sponsored by Kaspersky Lab, the global cybersecurity company, PhosAgro, a giant Russian fertilizer company, and EG Capital Advisors, a global financial management company.
The first Grand Prix tournament was held in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates, in February. Three players – Alexander Grischuk of Russia, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France – tied for first, with Grischuk winning on tiebreaks.
The Moscow Grand Prix is being held in the Telegraph, a landmark building that is steps from the Kremlin. The Telegraph was also the site of the 2016 Candidates tournament.