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Women Play for Diamonds Print E-mail
By Jennifer Shahade   
July 27, 2007
Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant joins leaders in Monroi after victory against Jovanka Houska. Photo courtesy Monroi.com

by Jennifer Shahade

Jovanka Houvska of England, Pia Cramling of Sweden and Ketevan Arakhamia Grant of Georgia lead the Monroi International Women's Grand Prix (Montreal, Canada July 21-30) with 3.5/5 each. U.S. Women's champion Irina Krush has an even score. Watch her face off against Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant today on monroi.com at 5 PM EST. The unique event included a spa day for all participants, and features a diamond watch for the winner, sponsored by Galazzo jewelers.

Monroi International Women's Grand Prix Finale
Standings after five rounds
1-3. IM Jovanka Houska ENG 2401, GM Pia Cramling, SWE 2533 and IM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant GEO 2418- 3.5
4. IM Lela Javakhishvili GEO 2460 3.0
5-6. IM Irina Krush USA 2479 and IM Iweta Rajlich POL 2406 2.5
7. IM Cristina Adela Foisor ROM 2372 1.5
8. Myriam Roy CAN 1925 0.0

Jovanka defeated Irina in round four in a well-played c3 Sicilian, an opening that is perenially annoying to Sicilian players. (If you disagree, please post a comment!)


Jovanka was a full point ahead of the field going into round 5, but lost to Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant. Now it's anyone's tournament.


Photo Gallery

Pia Cramling, the top seed in Montreal, is one of 14 female GMs in the World. Read an interview with Pia Cramling.

Irina Krush arrived in Montreal fresh from her U.S. women's championship victory in Oklahoma, and hopes to get in the black soon. Today she plays one of the leaders, Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant. She explains this photo: "That's me, with a wild wolf outside the Doubletree hotel. Pascal (Charbonneau) asked if there was a convention of mascots, but the guy said, "no, it's a convention of people who like to dress up as animals." I guess there are all kinds of people in the world :)"

26-year-old IM Iweta Rajlich is married to Vasik Rajlich, creator of the Rybka chess engine. Iweta is the main Rybka tester.

The beautiful city of Montreal hosts the "Just for Laughs" festival from July 9-27- something to cheer up players after a tough loss...

Ketevan Arakhamia and Cristina Foisor attended four out of seven tournaments to qualify for the Grand Prix finale. Monroi CEO Brana says "Such determination is great!"