Anna Ushenina, the classical World Champion in 2012, defeated Valentina Gunina in the final, leaving the score 7-4 in her favor. The Ukrainian outplayed her rival and was a deserved winner: a better opening preparation gave her the upper hand in most of the games, and she was also more accurate. Taking an early lead in the match was also an important factor that conditioned the rest of the final.

Valentina was in general faster, as it is characteristic of her. But speed alone was not enough to prevail in this match and, in fact, none of the games was decided by the clock. Only in the last of the 3+1 games, when the Russian seemed to be gaining momentum, the comeback looked possible, but in a dramatic turn of events, a mouse slip when she was delivering checkmate in one move made her blunder her queen instead. After this blow, the remaining games became almost irrelevant.

“It’s a really interesting tournament and a very hard one because everyone is very strong. I enjoyed being part of it,” said Anna Ushenina in a post-match interview.

Leaderboard after the first of the four Grand Prix tournaments:

GM Anna UsheninaUKR12 GP points
GM Valentina GuninaRUS8 GP points
GM Alexandra KosteniukRUS6 GP points
WIM Vaishali Rameshbabu IND5 GP points
GM Katerina LagnoRUS2 GP points
GM Ju WenjunCHN2 GP points
WIM Munkhzul TurmunkhMGL2 GP points
WGM Le Thao Nguyen PhamVIE2 GP points

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