Queens’ Festival: Malak Ismayil and Chadha Meddeb win continental qualifiers

The Queens’ Festival 2023 kicked off with Online Blitz Qualification tournaments for Europe and Africa. 

The European event attracted 108 players from 33 countries. The title of the Queens’ Festival Continental European queen went to WFM Malak Ismayil from Azerbaijan, who managed to score 10½ points in 11 rounds. Her compatriot WFM Laman Hajiyeva finished second with 8½ points, and Arya Aydogan from Turkey with 8 points. According to the tournament regulations, all three players will receive two training sessions with Women Grandmasters.

The complete list of 25 qualifiers to advance into the semifinals of the Queens’ Festival from the European continent:

1WFMIsmayil MalakAZE10½
2WFMHajiyeva LamanAZE8½
3 Aydogan AryaTUR8
4WFMHead LouiseENG8
5WGMSikorova OlgaCZE7½
6 Hryshchenko KamilaENG7½
7 Omeri EkleaALB7½
8WGMRichtrova EliskaCZE7½
9WCMPert NinaENG7
10 Piddubna BozhenaUKR7
11WFMStangl Anita Dr.GER7
12WFMStefanidi Maria-AnnaGRE7
13 Ghitza ElenaMLT7
14 Nevska GerdaGCI7
15WIMKoskoska GabrielaMKD7
16WIMKanyamarala TrishaIRL6½
17 Valcu LaviniaSWE6½
18 Valkova AngelikaUKR6½
19 Subramanian AnushaENG6½
20 Muratet Carmona JuliaAND6½
21 Nadanyan KitiARM6
22 Huseynli AyanAZE6
23 Swati SinghaENG6
24 Bhaumik MehrFIN6
25 Batagan Ilinca-PetraROU6

One hundred twenty-eight players from 22 African countries competed in another Online Blitz Qualification tournament. WIM Chadha Meddeb from Tunisia scored 9/11, tied for first place with WIM Lina Nassr of Algeria and became the Queens’ Festival Continental Queen thanks to better tiebreaks. WIM Anika Du Plessis from South Africa was third with 8 points.

The top 25 players of the event who advanced to the semifinals are:

1WIMMeddeb ChadhaTUN9
2WIMNassr LinaALG9
3WIMDu Plessis AnikaRSA8
4 Oke AbiodunNGR8
5WFMMarape NalediBOT7½
6 Laamim RoaaMAR7
7WCMSelkirk RebeccaRSA7
8WIMCaxita EsperancaANG7
9 Ruth OtisitsweBOT7
10 Ndunakazi NobuhleRSA7
11WFMPires LuziaANG6½
12 Khoa LutopuNAM6½
13 Kayyar SanaUGA6½
14WCMAllam YaraEGY6
15 Marochkina NadezhdaSEN6
16WFMFrancis ThapeloBOT6
17WCMSharell Arona MoshoboroBOT6
18 Mugide SafinahUGA6
19 Adzinova SalimaMAR6
20 Paulo JemimaANG6
21WFMJunior EdnasiaANG6
22 Concillia Ndegwa AwuorKEN5½
23 Michael BridgetNGR5½
24 Milly TakaliUGA5
25 Andhin ChethanahMRI5

This weekend two more qualifying tournaments for players from the Americas and Asia will be played. The 25 players from each continent will advance to the semifinals scheduled for July 15th. The top eight finishers of the semifinals will compete in a round-robin tournament to determine the overall winner on July 16th.

About Queens’ Festival

The Queens’ Online Chess Festival, a series of continental women’s online blitz tournaments, has been held annually since 2021. The project organized by the FIDE Commission for Women’s Chess is a unique all-inclusive event aiming at developing a strong global women’s community in chess and enhancing female participation in all aspects of chess life.

This year, the festival offers a chance to participate in two competitions:

·Queens’ Women Open Tournament. Open to all female participants with FIDE ID;

·Unrated Princesses’ tournaments. For U16 (born on 1.1.2007 or later), female players with no FIDE rating.

 The winners of the Queens’ Women Open Tournament and the Princess’ Tournament will be invited to the 45th World Chess Olympiad 2024 in Budapest, Hungary. The ticket, full-board 3-day accommodation and invitations to the Opening Ceremony of the Chess Olympiad 2024 for the winner and one accompanying person will be covered.

The official Award ceremony for the Queens’ Festival 2023 will also take place during the 45th Chess Olympiad.