The opening ceremony of the 2017 Women’s World Chess Championship was held on Friday in Tehran.
The tournament is taking place from 11 February to 3 March in the five-star Espinas Palace Hotel on the northern edge of the Iranian capital of Tehran.
In total, the event will take three weeks. The prize fund is $450,000 with a first prize of $60,000 for the new women’s world champion, the runner-up $30,000 and first-round losers also taking home $3,750.
64 players are competing in a 6-round, 20-day knockout that will determine a new Women’s World Champion.
The knock-out tournament will have the participation of some of the world’s top players, including the former Women’s World Champions Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia), Anna Ushenina (Ukraine), Zhu Chen (Qatar) and Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria), the current Women’s World Rapid and Blitz Champion Anna Muzychuk, the winner of the FIDE Grand Prix Series 2015-2016 Ju Wenjun (China), the three-time Russian champion and two-time European Champion Valentina Gunina and other leading grandmasters.
Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, Atousa Pourkashiyan and Mitra Hejazipour will represent Iran in the prestigious event.
The new Women’s World Champion is expected to play a 10-game World Championship match against the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix winner Ju Wenjun, while if Ju Wenjun wins the knockout she’ll play Grand Prix runner-up Humpy Koneru.
(Photo) Left to Right: Atousa Pourkashiyan, Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, and Mitra Hejazipour (Mehr News)