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New Delhi Women's Grand Prix delayed, FIDE President apologizes

New Delhi Women's Grand Prix delayed, FIDE President apologizes

Baku, March 26, AZERTAC

The FIDE Women's Grand Prix in New Delhi, scheduled to start on Saturday, has been delayed after Kazakh GM Zhansaya Abdumalik withdrew upon arrival, according to chess.com.

A letter signed by the players requests that the event be canceled or postponed. However, after issuing an apology for errors by "local" organizers, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich insists the event will go on with 11 players.

The New Delhi Women's Grand Prix is the third of four events of the 2022-2023 FIDE Women's Grand Prix. The initial two were held in Astana, Kazakhstan, last September (won by GM Kateryna Lagno) and in Munich last month (won by GM Alexandra Kosteniuk).

Round 1 was scheduled to take place on Saturday, but the event has instead been postponed as Abdumalik withdrew upon arriving in India.

Dvorkovich says the tournament will "continue with adjustments made for the remaining players" and that he doesn't want to set a precedent "that the whole event can be terminated and other players’ plans influenced due to the decision of a player to withdraw." He added that the first-round pairings will remain as they are and changes to the remaining pairings will be limited to balance colors "where it is possible."

Planning for the New Delhi Women's Grand Prix was already upset before the start when the Muzychuk sisters, GMs Anna and Mariya, both withdrew. They were later replaced by GMs Nino Batsiashvili and Vaishali R.

The fourth event in the FIDE Women's Grand Prix was initially planned to be in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in May, but the venue has been removed from the schedule for unknown reasons.

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