Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hales Corners Chess Challenge XXI - Final Results for the Chess Femmes

First of all, congratulations to Rachel Ulrich who competed in the Open and finished with two wins and two draws for a score of 3.0/4.  Rachel's performance qualifies her for the U.S. national master title at the age of 14, whoop whoop! 

Rachel has joined a select group of other young chess femmes who have also recently earned national master titles:  Carissa Yip, 11 years old, who earned her NM title this February, and Jennifer Yu, now age 13, who participated in the recently concluded 2015 U.S. Women's Chess Championship in St. Louis, Missouri.  Jennifer earned her NM title in 2014.  Another rising young CF, Apurva Virkud, also earned her NM title in 2014 (age 15 or 16, not sure).

Ninety players participated in the Hales Corners Chess Challenge XXI; twelve chess femmes made up their number, for an overall female participation rate of 13.3%.  Three CFs played in the Open, and nine CFs played in the Reserve section (rated under 1600).  Here are the final results:

Open (52 players):

  8.    Ulrich, Rachel J (7) .........  WI 2177 W23   W4    D1    D7      3.0
  16.    Ulrich, Susanna G (41) .......  WI 1586 W41   D24   L13   W33     2.5
  43.    Huang, Alena (35) ............  WI 1657 W51   L19   L22   L25     1.0

Rachel earned $120.00 in Goddesschess prize money.
Susanna earned $100.00 in Goddesschess prize money.
Alena earned $40.00 in Goddesschess prize money.

Reserve (38 players):

  2.    Huang, Sabrina (4) ...........  WI 1436 W6    W17   W7    W12     4.0
 5.    Hoffman, Sandra R (7) ........  WI 1359 L17   W25   W20   W21     3.0
 17.    Wanek, Ellen Ann (16) ........  WI 1171 W5    L2    W33   L8      2.0
 22.    Ball, Salli (25) .............  WI  945 W33   W36   L3    L6      2.0
 30.    Przedwiecki, Alyssa (29) .....  WI  799 L20   L33   L14   W34     1.0
  33.    Gaddipati, Haasa (35) ........  WI  631 L22   W30   L17   L18     1.0
 35.    Romich, Brianna (38) .........  WI nnnn W29   L28   L15   L23     1.0
 37.    Van Oss, Jeanne Marshelle (32)  WI  712 -H-   L6    L13   -N-     0.5
38.    Rice, Dorothea M (21) ........  WI 1052 L23   L31   L29   -U-     0.0

I'll leave it to Robin Grochowski of the Southwest Chess Club to figure out the exact amount of Goddesschess prize money won by each of these chess femmes, but from what I can figure out for myself:

Sabrina earned $80.00 in Goddesschess prize money.
Sandra earned $60.00 in Goddesschess prize money.
Ellen earned $40.00 in Goddesschess prize money.
Sallie earned $40.00 in Goddesschess prize money.
Alyssa earned $20.00 in Goddesschess prize money.
Haasa earned $20.00 in Goddesschess prize money.
Brianna earned $20.00 in Goddesschess prize money and also gets a USCF rating.

Planning is already in progress for HCCC XXII in October, 2015.  This year's U.S. Women's Chess Championship saw the implementation of the Fischer Award for a perfect score for the women (such an award has been tangling out there like a carrot in the U.S. Chess Championship for several years); Goddesschess is working out details for our own version of the perfect score award for chess femmes in the Hales Corners Chess Challenges. Stay tuned! 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

China Pursuing Water Security? Good luck with that, dudes!

AFP feed to Yahoo News, April 18, 2015:

China's struggle for water security

By Giles Hewitt

Way back in 1999, before he became China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao warned that water scarcity posed one of the greatest threats to the "survival of the nation".
Sixteen years later, that threat looms ever larger, casting a forbidding shadow over China's energy and food security and demanding urgent solutions with significant regional, and even global, consequences.
The mounting pressure on China's scarce, unequally distributed and often highly polluted water supply was highlighted in a report released at the World Water Forum this week in Daegu, South Korea.
Published by the Hong Kong-based NGO, China Water Risk (CWR), it underlined the complexity of the challenge facing China as it seeks to juggle inextricably linked and often competing concerns over water, energy supply and climate change.
"There are no one-size-fits-all solutions to China's water-energy-climate nexus," the report said.
"More importantly, China's energy choices do not only impact global climate change, but affect water availability for Asia," it said, warning of the danger of future "water wars" given China's upstream control over Asia's mightiest rivers.
The Qinghai-Tibetan plateau is essentially the world's largest water tank and the origin of some of Asia's most extensive river systems including the Indus, Brahmaputra and Mekong. The most significant link in the nexus the report describes is the fact that 93 percent of China's power generation is water-reliant.
"Chinese officials are starting to say water security comes first," the report's author Debra Tan told AFP in Daegu. "Because without it, there is no energy security and, of course, no food security."Agriculture accounts for between 65 and 70 percent of China's water use and vast amounts are wasted by inefficient irrigation.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Hales Corners Chess Challenge XXI

Hola everyone!

There is plenty of time yet to register for HCCC XXI which is this Saturday, April 18th.  Four rounds in one days at the beautiful Olympia Resort in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.  There are two sections -- Open and Reserve.  As of this morning, I was notified that there are 75 pre-registered, which is great -- 12 are chess femmes :)

You can find more information here.  There will be walk-up registration tomorrow morning prior to the start of the tournament.

Goddesschess provides prizes for female players in both the Open and Reserve sections, in addition to a gift back to the top female finisher in each section.  All Goddesschess prizes are in ADDITION to prizes offered by the HCCC.

I'll be up to my eyeballs in nut shells tomorrow (spring yard clean-up), but my thoughts will be with you all, and I'll be checking the results from time to time at Southwest Chess Club's blog.

Good luck, everyone!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Chess Cheat Caught Using Grody Toilet-Paper Wrapped I-Phone In Men's Bathroom

Oh gag me!

Even worse, the news was disgusting enough to make it onto the front page of Yahoo!  Like chess doesn't already have a quirked-eyebrow reputation amongst the general population?  And now this kind of incident gets world-wide publicity.  Gee, thanks for nothing, Schmuck Nigalidze.  I hope Bobb Fischer haunts your dreams with his own personal pitchfork for as long as you live.

Chess champion caught cheating by hiding an iPhone in the bathroom

A 25-year-old chess champion named Gaioz Nigalidze was recently caught cheating via his iPhone while playing at the 17th annual Dubai Open Chess Tournament.
According to tournament investigators, Nigalidze made suspiciously frequent trips to a bathroom stall where, come to find out, he had hidden his iPhone behind a toilet, appropriately wrapped and concealed in wads of toilet paper.
Nigaldze’s opponent, a grandmaster named Tigran Petrosian, initially became suspicious when he noticed Nigaldze consistently running to the toilet after making a move. Petrosian lodged a complaint which then prompted an “on the scene” investigation, according to a report in The Telegraph.
When the toilet paper covered iPhone was discovered, Nigalidze denied it was his, a plea which comically fell on deaf ears once investigators began poking around and discovered open social networking apps which clearly belonged to Nigalidze. Not helping matters was an open chess app that just so happened to be analyzing Nigalidze and Petrosian’s ongoing match.
Naturally, Nigalidze was banned from the tournament. What’s more, the validity of his entire career is now being called into question. A purported rising star within the chess community, Nigalidze was the reigning Georgian Chess champion for two years running.

Monday, April 13, 2015

2015 U.S. Women's Chess Championship: Final Results and Standings

Hola darlings!

Here's the poop:

Pairings round 11 

1WIM Ni, Viktorija6.02188WCM Virkud, Apurva3.521321-0
2IM Paikidze, Nazi7.02333WGM Foisor, Sabina-Francesca5.02235½-½
3GM Krush, Irina8.02477WGM Nemcova, Katerina7.02279½-½
4IM Goletiani, Rusudan5.52311WFM Yu, Jennifer R2.02180½-½
5WGM Sharevich, Anna5.52267WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev5.523221-0
6WIM Wang, Annie2.51901FM Melekhina, Alisa2.522351-0

Generated by Swiss Master for Windows on 12-04-2015 at 18:22

Kudos to Annie Wang for her final game being a win over much higher rated Melekhina whom, I would venture to say, is much out of practice after spending the majority of the past 3-4 years in college.  Well, one has to make a living and one is not very likely to make a good living playing chess, when all is said and done.  Ni secured her victory against Apurva Virkud for 4th place, while Paikidze and Nemcova settled into a share of second/third place money.  I'd say my biggest surprise was Abrahamyan's middling performance. I so want her to win this title -- I think she has the goods!  She has been so fricking close in prior events but has never made that break-through.  I thought this year, maybe she could do it.

Here are the final standings:


1GM Krush, Irina8.5F24772444-0.25½1011½1111½
2IM Paikidze, Nazi7.5F23332366+0.64½½1½½½1½11½
3WGM Nemcova, Katerina7.5F22792368+1.43½111½11½½0½
4WIM Ni, Viktorija7.0F21882345+2.32½00½11½1½11
5WGM Sharevich, Anna6.5F22672301+0.63100½½½1½½11
6IM Goletiani, Rusudan6.0F23112269-0.53½11½0101½0½
7WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev5.5F23222233-1.210011½1½½010
8WGM Foisor, Sabina-Francesca5.5F22352239+0.08½011½0½½10½
9WCM Virkud, Apurva3.5F21322115-0.351½00100½0½0
10WIM Wang, Annie3.5F19012114+2.2210000½00½½1
11FM Melekhina, Alisa2.5F22352028-2.9201½0½000½00
12WFM Yu, Jennifer R2.5F21802033-2.0601½000½000½
Generated by Swiss Master for Windows on 12-04-2015 at 18:22

Confirming my eyeballing of round by round results, WIM Viktorija Ni out-performed her rating by 157 points; but Annie Wang out-performed by 213 points, woo woo!  Congrats to both chess femmes for showing that ELO isn't necessarily the best measurement of one's true grit when it comes to the game.

It will be interesting to see how the "new kids on the block" perform over the next few years -- will we see some of the names in the lower half of the rankings back again next year?
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