Reigning Women's World Chess Champion Ju Wenjun playing in Lausanne in March 2020

The FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2019–20 is a series of four chess tournaments exclusively for women, which will determine two players to play in the Women's Candidates Chess Championship in the year 2021. The winner of the Candidate's tournament will play a 12-game match against the world champion. Venues are Skolkovo (Russia), Monaco, Lausanne, and Sardinia (Italy).

In total, sixteen players compete in the four Woman GP (WPG) tournaments. Each of the sixteen players participate in three out of four WGP tournaments. Thus, each WGP tournament is played with twelve players in a round robin. 

In each FIDE Woman Grand Prix tournament every player scores points according to her position in the final standings; the winner of the whole series is the player who earned the highest number of cumulative points in the corresponding contests she played. 

Ju Wenjun, born in Shanghai in January 1991, since 2018 the reigning Women's World Chess Champion (she is female and male grandmaster), will also play! Other famous names include legendary Pia Cramling from Sweden, former World Championne Antoaneta Stefanova from Bulgaria, former World Championne Alexandra Kosteniuk from Russia, former World Championne Mariya Muzychuk from Ukraine, Aleksandra Goryachkina from Russia, and Marie Sebag from France.

The third GP tournament will be held in Lausanne, between March 1st and 14th 2020.


Earlier, in January next year, there will be the 2020 Women's World Chess Championship, an upcoming chess match for the Women's World Chess Championship title. It is contested by Ju Wenjun (winner of the 2018 knock-out championship) and her challenger, Aleksandra Goryachkina the winner of a newly established Candidates Tournament, that was held in 2019. 

That match is planned in two parts, one held in Shanghai (China) and one in Vladivostok (Russia) in January 2020. 

The match marks the return to a match only format for the title with qualifying Candidates Tournament, after new FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich expressed his dissatisfaction for the knock-out tournaments and its frequent different world champions. 

Ju Wenjun from China in play at the Chess Olympiad 2016. Photo: Karpidis aka Andreas Kontokanis from Piraeus, Greece via Wikipedia


Lausanne hosted the FIDE World Championship 1998 Final Match Karpov-Anand.

This summit had been followed by a prominent yearly Young Masters event from 1999 to 2006, plus an Open Chess Festival series, lasting from 1999 to 2013.

Carlsen played twice at the Lausanne Young Masters (LYM) tournament, held with 8 of the world's best under-20 player.

LAUSANNE Young Masters (LYM) 1999 – 2006

McShane, LYM 2003. Photo de Jean-François Croset

1999 Bacrot
2000 Grischuk
2001 Bruzon
2002 no tournaments
2003 McShane (5. Karjakin)
2004 McShane (5. Carlsen)
2005 Volokitin (5. Carlsen)
2006 Vachier-Lagrave

Further prominent young, promising players in the Lausanne Youth Masters (LYM):

Nakamura, Mamedyarov, Gashimov (RI.P.), Aronian, Asrian (R.I.P.), Navara, Ponomariov, Kasimdzhanov, Naiditsch, Wojtaszek, Fressinet, Alekseev, Predojevic, Ghaem Maghami, Leitão, Harikrishna, Sasikiran, Wang Yue, Bu Xiangzhi, amongst others,

and Alexandra Kosteniuk, Humpy Koneru, Kateryna Lahno, Elisabeth Pähtz, Tatiana Kosintseva, Nana Dzagnidze, Zhao Xue,

plus from the hosting nation Switzerland: Yannick Pelletier, Florian Jenni, Severin Papa

... then and today ...

Grischuk (born in 1983), while winning the LYM 2000. Photo: David Burnier

Grischuk (peak ranking as clear no. 3 of the world), while winning on tie-break the FIDE GP in Sharjah 2017. Photo by Max Avdeev

«Maîtres vs Éspoirs» (closed international tournament)

Triple winner Tukmakov. Photo 1973 by RIA Novost

2003 IM (GM in 2005) Alexander Raetsky

2004 GM Vladimir Tukmakov (on tie-break),
GM Cyril Marcelin from France, born in 1979

2005 GM Vladimir Tukmakov

2006 GM Vladimir Tukmakov

«Maîtres vs Éspoirs», ten players in a round robin tournament, was a side event at LYM

Lausanne Open Festivals 1999 – 2013

1999 Mark Hebden, 89 players (first edition)

2000 Mladen Palac, 87 players

2001 Petar Genov (on tie-break, then IM, leaving behind > 20 GMs), 114 players

2002 no tournaments

2003 Vladislav Borovikov (on tie-break), 133 players

2004 Vladimir Lazarev (on tie-break), 130 players

2005 Namig Guliyev (on tie-break), 140 players

2006 Daniel Fridman, 128 players

2007 WIM (later WGM) Pauline Guichard, France,
clear first ahead of GMs like Gheorghiu or Gallagher, 87 players

2008 Alexandre Dgebuadze (on tie-break), 95 players

2009 Sebastian Siebrecht, 84 players

2010 Alexandre Dgebuadze (on tie-break), 96 players

2011 Christian Bauer, 97 players

2012 Tigran Gharamian (on tie-break), 89 players

2013 Andrei Istratescu, 90 players (last edition)

Lausanne 1998: A peculiar match

Twenty years ago, in January 1998, Viswanathan Anand and Anatoly Karpov battled their match for the FIDE World Chess Championship in Lausanne — under rather peculiar circumstances:

Anand had qualified for the match by winning the big knock-out tournament in Groningen but then had to go immediately to Lausanne to play for the title — without a break or time for preparation.

Karpov was seeded directly into that match, without any qualification stages.

Garry Kasparov, PCA World Champion, was absent. Vladimir Kramnik, then number two in world, too, boycotted the World Championship in Groningen because he did not agree with the privileges given to Karpov. Anand, then no. 3 of the world, thus was the highest rated player in Groningen, and he won the knock-out competition in December 1997.

The venue of the title match in January 1998 was the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, located directly at Lake Geneva.

Landlord of the beautiful building was Juan Antonio Samaranch, at that time President of the International Olympic Committee. He visited the match every day and followed the games.

FIDE and its president Kirsan Ilyumshinov tried to make Chess an Olympic discipline.
Alas, since then there has not been any progress in this direction..

Retrospective report by Dagobert Kohlmeyer in ChessBase: 


(survey in english / french)