Sunday, October 14, 2018

Hales Corners Chess Challenge 28! RESULTS RESULTS RESULTS (Goddesschess Winners)

Hola darlings:

Fresh from Robin via email, here are the prize winners of Goddesschess prizes and the Don McLean Award, which is awarded annually in October to the top male finishers in each section in honor of our late webmaster for many years and Goddesschess partner:

Susanna Ulrich won $125
Gauri Menon won $150
Madeline Weber won $100
Sandra Hoffman (played in the Open section this time and did not score any points)

Simran Bhatia won $50
Aradh Kaur won $60
Radhika Gupta won $50
Ellen Wanek won $50
Jind Kaur won $40
Delenn Kier won $40

Nine of the ten chess femmes at Hales Corners Chess Challenge XXVIII (28)!  Photo sent by Ellen Wanek,
my chess buddy of some years - she's the beautiful blonde in the back row.

Free entry to both sections is $70.00 (Gauri Menon and Aradh Kaur)

Don McLean Performance Award is $100.00 in Open for IM Erik Santarius and $50 in Reserve for Jacob Schwartz.

Congratulations to all of our winners!  I hope you will all come back and participate again in the spring 2019 Hales Corners Chess Challenge.

We had a female participation rate this event of 25%!  Thank you, chess femmes, for coming out and participating in this great event.  

Monday, October 8, 2018

Hales Corners Chess Challenge 28 (Forget the Roman Numerals Already, Pul-leeze!)

Hola Darlings!

Yes, I am still alive and kicking, just been uber-busy protesting the hell out of what's been going on politically in our country and working on registering voters (particularly FEMALE voters, YAY!), sending out more money than I can afford to back candidates (all won their primaries, now fingers crossed for mid-terms), writing my too large butt off on political commentary sites and throwing verbal bombs EVERYWHERE!  I am a tornado in action.  Or maybe I should call myself a HERricane...

Anyway, back to chess, at least for this splinter of time that it takes me to post about Goddesschess' relationship with the Hales Corners Chess Club since Challenge VIII.  I'm getting too old to fuss about writing out 28 - which is the Challenge that is unfolding NEXT WEEK!!!

Goddesschess is sponsoring prizes again this Challenge, including the annual Don McClean Award of $100 to the top finishing male player in the Open and $50 to the top finishing male player in the Reserve sections.  This is in honor of our dearly beloved and now departed long-time Goddesschess partner and former webmaster genius extraordinaire, Don McClean, who passed away far too young in 2012. 

There are also Goddesschess prizes for the chess femmes, which are awarded in addition to whatever other prizes players (both female and male) may also qualify for.  Whoop whoop!  Chess femme prizes:

Open:  $50 per win/$25 per draw
Reserve:  $20 per win/$10 per draw
Perfect Score:  Open $100; Reserve $50

Here's the scoop - it's this SATURDAY, darlings!  Where has the time flown, Geez Louise.  I think the warm sunny weather here today after Monsoon season (you'd think we lived in the tropics, except for the temperatures, for pete's sake!) tricked me into thinking it's still summer.  Oh well.  BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!  Register today, pul-leeze! 

Love you all, smooches from Jan.

Dear chessplayers,

Coming SATURDAY, October 13, 2018, the Southwest Chess Club will be presenting the Hales Corners Challenge XXVIII at the Hilton Garden Inn in Oshkosh.  This will be a USCF Grand Prix event, USCF Junior Grand Prixevent, and a Wisconsin Tour event.  The flyer is online (print and mail it in to enter), and also below in text format.

You may enter (and pay) online, using the following link:

Here is the blog post where we will post pre-entries and news updates for the event.

Some notable features:

Numerous Masters and Experts typically play in our Challenge events.  So far, IM Erik Santarius has entered the event!

* USCF Grand Prix (10 points),  USCF Junior Grand Prix event, and Wisconsin TOUR event.

 Goddesschess Prizes for female chess players:  $50 for each win and $25 for each draw in the Open Section and $20 for each win and $10 for each draw in the Reserve Section.  Plus, a "Perfect Score Prize for Females"  $100 in Open Section, $50 in Reserve Section. 
Don McLean Award for Top Finishing Male in each Section: $100 in Open/$50 in Reserve.

*  Two Sections, and Class Prizes that give everyone a chance to win a prize.
NOTE:   If you haven't paid your entry fee by 9:30 am on Saturday you run the risk of not being paired in Rd 1.

Southwest Chess Club

Hales Corners Challenge XXVIII
Sponsored by The Southwest Chess Club 

Saturday, October 13, 2018
Two Sections – Open & Reserve (Under 1600)

FORMAT:  Four Round Swiss System - Four Games in One Day - USCF Rated 

TIME CONTROL:  Game in 60 Minutes; 6 second delay

ENTRY FEE:  $40 – Open;  $30 – Reserve
(both sections $10 more after October 11, 2018)

Comp Entry Fee for USCF 2200+:  Entry fee subtracted from any prizes won

SITE REGISTRATION: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
ROUNDS:  10 am -- 1 pm -- 3:30 pm -- 6 pm 

Pairings by WinTD---No Computer Entries---No Smoking

             OPEN                        RESERVE
             1st—$325                 1st—$100
             2nd—$175                2nd—$75
             A—$100                    D—$50
             B & Below—$75      E & Below—$40

Goddesschess Prizes for Females in Addition to Above Prizes:
Open: $50 per win/$25 per draw; Reserve: $20 per win/$10 per draw 
Perfect Score Prizes for Females:  $100 in Open/$50 in Reserve.
Don McLean Award for Top Finishing Male in each Section: $100 in Open/$50 in Reserve.

Tournament Director:  Chris Wainscott
Assistant Tournament Directors: Robin J. Grochowski  

SITE:   Hilton Garden Inn---1355 W 20th Ave---Oshkosh, WI 54902—920-966-1300

(Mailed) ENTRIES TO:   Robin Grochowski, 3835 E. Morris Avenue, Cudahy, WI 53110;

Or, enter online:

QUESTIONS TO:   TD Chris Wainscott – 414-839-5232 (cell), after 5:30 pm, or
USCF I.D. Required -- Bring your own clocks – Sets and Boards Provided 
Checks payable to Southwest Chess Club          
                  (Please indicate section desired)       __Open Section     __Reserve Section

 Half point byes requested (circle one):    RD1     RD2     RD3     (RD 4=0 pt bye)

 Name: ____________________________________________________________

 USCF ID#: _________________ Rating: _________ Expire Date: ____________

 Address: __________________________________________________________

 City: __________________________________ State: _______ Zip: __________

 Phone:  __________________  e-mail Address: __________________________

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Nine Year Old Chess Prodigy and Family Receive Reprieve from Deportation

From The Washington Post:

After visa woes, a 9-year-old chess prodigy may have won his fight to stay in Britain

Siobhan O'Grady, August 11, 2018

Last year, Shreyas Royal became the world’s youngest chess “candidate master.” Worldwide, he’s ranked fourth for his age group, and English Chess Federation officials have called him “the greatest British chess prospect in a generation.”
He only started playing chess a few years ago, but Royal is now considered a prodigy.
Oh, and he’s 9-years-old.
The chess champion has grabbed international attention in recent months as his family struggled to find a way to keep him in the United Kingdom to continue playing chess. He was born in India, and moved to London with his parents when he was 3. His father’s computer services job has sponsored their visas since then, but his work visa is set to expire in September.
Then, this week, following an intervention from a number of lawmakers, British Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he made a personal decision to help keep the family in the U.K. His reasoning: Royal’s chess skills.
Jitendra Singh, Royal’s father, told the BBC that the family “started jumping on the sofa” after he received the news from the Home Office via email on Friday that he could apply to renew his visa.
“The U.K. is a country that fosters world class talent and Shreyas is one of the most gifted chess players in his generation,” Javid said in a statement. “We have always been clear we want a world-class immigration system that welcomes highly-talented individuals from across the globe."

Before Javid stepped in, Singh’s five-year work visa could only be renewed if his salary was increased to more than 120,000 British pounds per year, prompting the family to prepare to return to India. The New York Times reported that just a day before Javid’s decision was announced, a spokesman for the Home Office said “there is no route within the immigration rules which would allow the family to remain in the U.K.”
In early August, the Home Office sent Royal’s family a letter saying that despite the 9-year-old’s “immense promise,” he couldn’t necessarily stay in the U.K., the Guardian reported.
But despite the challenges, there were many advocates pushing to keep the child in Britain.
Lawmakers Rachel Reeves and Matthew Pennycook took up Royal’s case, penning a letter to Javid earlier this month. “Nine years old, he spends his spare time traveling around the country and the world to play in chess tournaments and regularly beats competitors a decade older than he is,” the pair wrote. After explaining his father’s visa situation, they wrote that if Royal “is forced to leave the U.K. and return to India, the country will lose an exceptional talent.”

Royal belongs to the Battersea Chess Club, which released a statement on Friday saying that “in ten years' time we hope he’ll be a household name as England’s first world champion.”


Surely the United Kingdom has an exception in its immigration regulations to allow for the immigration of people with special skills and talents.  In Shreyas Royal's case, his talent is indisputable.  But if for some reason things don't work out in England, maybe Rex Sinquefield can use his billionaire influence to convince the current administration to allow Royal and his family to come to the United States, despite the fact that they aren't from Norway.  We need chess talent (Royal) and computer experts (his father) here, too.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Buried in Income Tax Paperwork and Ice

I would say a cheery "Hola!" to everybody but I'm not in a very good mood this morning.  The weather forecast has been spot on.  My area of Wisconsin is right underneath that massive storm system that is ever so slowly moving east.  It's been blowing uncomfortably cold air here since Friday afternoon when it started raining; and except for brief interludes, it hasn't stopped since. 

Overnight, we got an extra goody treat - FREEZING RAIN, SLEET AND SNOW!  It was sleeting out with ice pellets beating against the windows on the east side of the house when I got up at 6:30 a.m.  Then it started snowing, and right now it's snowing rather hard.  I tried an experiment "push" of the built-up accumulation on my patio steps earlier this morning (it's now about 9:29 a.m.) with my trusty broom, but it didn't really even make a dent.  Oh oh.  It is going to be monstrous trying to remove this stuff once it finally stops falling!  And I don't have enough de-icer pellets left to put enough down on the entire area that needs to be shoveled for the public and the postal carrier to do a decent job melting it all away.

Fingers crossed that it does, indeed, warm into the 40s by Tuesday as is currently forecasted.  So far, the forecast has been spot on.  More than a foot of snow and blizzard conditions as of last night in northern Wisconsin, and its worse in areas in the western plains states.  UGH!

I grabbed my ancient Nikon digital (all 5.1 Megapixels of it) and took some photos for your enjoyment in the sunny warm climes, about 9 a.m.:
Looking out my front door to the southwest (driveway base is buried under ice chunks!

Looking out my front door to the northwest.
Three of my squirrel tribe braving the sleet/snow combo falling to munch on some hazelnuts
by my Shezebo in the backyard.
Now, please excuse me while I cry in my coffee and settle down at the kitchen table to attempt to complete my 2017 federal and state income tax returns.  I figure it should only take another 12 hours or so...

Monday, March 26, 2018

Yes: Smart Women Are Scarier

Based on personal experiences throughout my life, with a 130 IQ, I know this to be true.  I didn't pretend to be dumb and "nice;" the alternative to being accepted as a smart human being, though, appeared mostly to be labeled as a bitch and man-hater (as to the bitch part that depends on who you ask, as to the man-hater part, definitely not!!!)  And I didn't go into a STEM area in undergrad and post-undergrad.  Article from Salon online.

Are smart women scary? Study suggests women are punished for academic success with lower pay

Call it the Hermione effect: New study shows employers would rather hire women who got B’s than those who got A’s

By Amanda Marcotte
March 26, 2018

There are two schools of thought when it comes to what fuels the gender pay gap. Feminists tend to point to systematic discrimination, arguing that through various means over the course of women's lives, they are pushed out of higher-paid work into underpaid or unpaid labor. Anti-feminists argue that women themselves are the problem, suggesting that women tend to be too dull, lazy or frivolous to compete with men and choose instead to take on less challenging careers or a life of domesticity.

"Women, far more than men, appear to be drawn to jobs in the caring professions; and men are more likely to turn up in people-free zones," anti-feminist Christina Hoff Sommers has written, without interrogating why "caring" professions are routinely underpaid. (Probably because they're largely done by women.)

"Want to close wage gap? Step one: Change your major from feminist dance therapy to electrical engineering," she tweeted in 2015, in a snottier version of the argument that made clear her view that women simply are duller and lazier than men.

But what happens to women when they take Sommers' advice, and apply themselves energetically in college? A new study to be published in April's American Sociological Review shows that potential employers often hold that against them. For women who pick a traditionally "masculine" major, like math or the physical sciences, the discrimination they face for being a high achiever is even greater.

"There’s been a lot of research in sociology about how women now earn more college degrees than men, so it’s more likely for women to go to college than men and also to graduate," Natasha Quadlin, an assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University, told Salon. "But there’s still lots of documented evidence of gender inequalities in the workplace and in society more broadly."

Monday, February 26, 2018

Wu Zetian - China's One and Only Female Emperor

This an excerpt from a forthcoming "graphic novel" Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, by Penelope Bagieu, due to be out on March 6, 2018.  The excerpt was published at The Lily, a product of The Washington Post.

I'm not going to attempt to cut and paste the graphics here, complete with text.  Here's the link.  Enjoy - it's a fast read, and fascinating.  You can find a lot more about Wu Zetian online.  The Empress created her own dynasty (which did not outlive her); aging and sick, she ceded the throne to back to her son Zhong Zhong in 705 CE, and died in 713 CE at the age of 81. 

All of this intrigue and action took place under the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE), during which the game called "Chinese chess" - Xiangqi - had fully evolved from the ancient Han Dynasty game of Liubo (played with "Generals" and "pawns" and moves determined by dice) into a game of multiple pieces and from a game of chance using dice to determine moves to one of strategy, where moves were constrained only by certain rules and the knowledge and abilities of the respective players. 

I'll bet Empress Wu was a great fan of Xiangqi.  A few years back, a tomb of one of the Empress' trusted female aides was discovered and excavated, and I wrote about it and some about Wu Zetian.  Link

Thursday, February 15, 2018

UBS Freezes FIDE Bank Accounts - Bank: Get Rid of Ilyumzhinov OR No Accounts

So: They finally decided to bust the crook after ALL these years.  First Obama and now Trump backing Kasparov in this tit-for-tat proxy fight as tensions with Russia continue to heat up - despite whatever hold Putin has over Trump ...]

World chess body has Swiss bank accounts frozen after president accused of links to Isil oil deals

 Leon Watson,The Telegraph Tue, Feb 13 12:22 PM CST 

The world governing body of chess has had its financial dealings halted amid allegations its scandal-hit president facilitated the funding of Islamic State terrorists.
Fide, the Lausanne-based federation which runs the game, disclosed on Tuesday that Swiss bank UBS closed its accounts after finally losing patience with its failure to depose Russian millionaire Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
Mr Ilyumzhinov, who was once part of Vladimir Putin's inner circle, was placed on a US wanted list in November 2015 for allegedly being involved in oil deals which left a financial trail to the terror group Isil via the Syrian government.
But despite repeatedly denying the allegations, and claiming he is the victim of a US-led plot to topple him, Mr Ilyumzhinov has been unable to clear his name.

In a letter published on the Fide website, treasurer Dr Adrian Siegel revealed UBS had shut its bank accounts and the federation faces a "serious problem" paying bills just weeks before the Candidates, its flagship world championship play-off tournament in Berlin which has a prize fund of $460,000.
Dr Siegal laid the blame squarely on Ilyumzhinov, saying the allegations "severely damaged Fide's business activities".
"It was only a matter of time before we faced this serious problem," he said. "In summary, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov's problems severely damaged Fide's business activities and we have to look for a new banking connection."

The decision by UBS, the world’s largest wealth manager, comes amid a wider attempt in Switzerland to clean up the reputation of its banking sector, which has long been accused of turning a blind eye to criminal activity.
It is doubtful whether any other bank will agree to take on Fide's accounts while Mr Ilyumzhinov remains president. Mr Ilyumzhinov, an eccentric former politician who claims he was abducted by aliens twice, has reigned as the king of chess for 23 years.
But after the US Department of Justice's decision to investigate him, rumours of back-stabbing and in-fighting began to swirl around Fide.
The embattled head was unable to attend the 2016 world chess championship held in New York for fear of arrest and became increasingly sidelined.

Last year, Fide officially announced Mr Ilyumzhinov had stepped down but then backtracked when the former head of the Russian semi-autonomous republic of Kalmykia insisted it was "fake news".
David Kramaley, founder of chess learning site, said: "This kind of turmoil at the top of chess has got to stop for the good of the game.
The game needs stable leadership." In 2014 Mr Ilyumzhinov overcame an attempt to unseat him led by his US-based rival Garry Kasparov amid widespread allegations of vote-rigging, allegations Mr Ilyumzhinov and Fide denied.
In a comment a spokesperson for UBS said: "We can't comment on whether individuals or organizations are clients of UBS. We follow all laws and regulations that are applicable to us."
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