On July 16, 2012, the 5th leg of the 2nd series of the Women's Grand Prix kicks off in Jermuk, Armenia with it's opening ceremony. Words of welcome were led by the President of Armenia (who doubles as the Chess Federation President) Serzh Sargsyan, who was joined on stage by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Notable chess luminaries in the audience included Global Chess President Geoffrey Borg as well as 5-time world champion Nona Gaprindashvili.
A total of 23 women chess players, including the reigning World Chess Champion, Grandmaster, Woman Grandmaster Hou Yifan (China), former World Chess Champion, Grandmaster Humpy Koneru (India), Grandmaster, Woman Grandmaster Zhao Xue (China), Grandmaster, Woman Grandmaster Kateryna Lahno (Ukraine), Woman Grandmaster Ju Wenjun (China), Grandmaster Nadezhda Kosintseva (Russia), Woman Grandmaster Ruan Lufei (China), Grandmaster Elina Danielian (Armenia), International Master Nino Khurtsidze (Georgia), Woman Grandmaster Lilit Mkrtchian (Armenia) and Woman Grandmaster Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (Russian Federation) are participating in this tournament, where International Master, Woman Grandmaster Batkhuyag MUNGUNTUUL (Mongolia) is also competing for the title.
On July 17, in her first round out of 11, B.Munguntuul
played the black sets and was matched against the reigning champion Hou Yifan (China), where the two had a draw at the 35th move. On July 18, the second round of the tournament had finished, where B.Munguntuul matched against the Woman Grandmaster Ruan Lufei (China), but unfortunately was defeated playing with the white set at the 64th move. And today, B.Munguntuul is playing against International Master Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (Russia). The 11th last round will be held on July 28, 2012.
Jermuk is a spa town in the southern Armenian province of Vayots Dzor, 53 km east of Yeghegnadzor, the capital of Vayots Dzor. It was a popular destination during the Soviet era and nowadays is still famous for its hot springs and its brand of mineral water that is bottled in the vicinity. The town is considered to be attractive for its huge waterfall, the natural bridge, the lake, its forests with its walking trails and mineral water pools. Jermuk is currently being redeveloped to become a modern centre of tourism and health services. The town is also being set up to become a sort of Chess centre, with numerous chess tournaments hosted or scheduled to be hosted. Finally, Jermuk is well-known among the Armenian people for its distinctively fresh air.