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İş Bank Atatürk Women Masters, the women's supertournament held in Istanbul for the first time last year is now going to be the first tournament of FIDE Women Grand Prix Series 2009/2010 organized by FIDE and Global Chess BV from 6 to 20 March 2009 in İş Bank Art Gallery, İstanbul.  FIDE press release is below with all the details about FIDE Women Grand Prix.
The Turkish Chess Federation in collaboration with FIDE and Global Chess is organising the first event for the new Women Grand Prix series 2009/2010. The tournament will be held in Istanbul, Turkey beginning on the 6th of March 2009. It will also be the second in a series organised by the Turkish Chess Federation commemorating the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

In conjunction with the tournament, the organisers will show their customary hospitality and will be hosting the FIDE Presidential Board for the 1st Quarter meeting of 2009 from 5-8 March. The sponsor of the event is Türkiye İş Bankası.

isbank_towers.jpgThe event will be held in İş Sanat Gallery (İş Bankası Art Gallery) on the entrance floor of İş Bank Towers in İstanbul. Opening Ceremony will be held on the 41st floor of İş Bank Towers which is the highest place of İstanbul and Southern Europe. İş Bankası is the corporate sponsor of the Turkish Chess Federation and supports the "Turkish Chess in School Curriculum" for the last four years.

The Turkish Chess Federation is one of the most active national Federations and has already organised in 2009 the Mediterranean Championships and the Turkish Youth Championships with 996 players.

Turkey has also host some other prestigious FIDE tournaments this year including the World Men's Team Championship, the World Youth Championships and the world U-16 Olympiad.  TCF is granted to host the 2012 World Chess Olympiad İstanbul, during the 79th FIDE Congress in Dresden on 24th November 2008.
The FIDE Women Grand Prix is a new series of elite tournaments which will be organised by FIDE and Global Chess. There will be 6 legs over two years in various countries around the world with three tournaments every year. The next tournament is planned in Nanjing, China at the end of September.

The winner of each tournament will win 6,500 euros out of a prize fund of 40,000 euros and the overall winner of the series will win a further 15,000 euros at the end of the series.

This is the first time that such a series is being organised and is a significant development for the chess world. The introduction of the Grand Prix series means that there will be a World Championship contest annually now from 2010. In that year, the Champion will be determined from the World Championship Knockout which will also be held in Turkey and the following year, 2011, the World Champions will face the Winner of the Grand Prix series 2009/2010 in a match for the title.

This will be one of the strongest women tournaments of all times and it is important to point out that there are three ex-world Champions taking part as well as the highest ranked women players in the world.
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