Saturday, August 9, 2008

Chess Legend to Play Rising Chess Star

What a great idea - kudos to the promoter who came up with this idea. It's a perfect way to promote chess in the Philippines and, indeed, garner international interest, since folks are interested in GM Wesley So's progress in the chess world. Story from Sports. Inquirer.Net Chess Legend vs Chess Wonder Boy P1 million showdown slated By Marlon Bernardino Cebu Daily News First Posted 09:43:00 08/09/2008 IT'S all system's go for the richest sports event in the country when the undisputed Chess Legend takes on the Chess Boy Wonder in a P1 Million showdown to be held in Quezon City, Davao, Iloilo and Cebu. Eugene Torre, Asia's first grandmaster, and Wesley So, presently the world's youngest grandmaster at 14, will face each other in a one-on-one duel consisting of ten games. Two games each will be played in Quezon City, Davao, Iloilo and Cebu and if the match remains unresolved, another two games will be played in Quezon City. A knockout game will ensue if the duel is tied at 5-5. This was announced yesterday by the event's project director lawyer Samuel Estimo after Quezon City representative Matias Defensor agreed to bankroll the match in a meeting last Monday. “Magandang proyekto ito kaya nagpapasalamat tayo kay Cong. (Mat) Defensor na sumuporta sa event na ito,” said Estimo, a former secretary-general of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP). NCFP region 11 coordinator James Infiesto is pleased when he learned that Davao City is one of the four venues of the event dubbed as “Dream Match.” “We are privileged and honored that our city is one of the four venues in the Torre and So one-on-one duel,” said Infiesto. “Maganda ito, legend versus future of Philippine chess.” “Tiyak aabangan ito hindi lamang sa Pilipinas kundi pati sa buong mundo,” said Reginald Tee, consultant and spokesman of Wesley So who is currently playing in Turkey for the World Junior Chess Championship. The match will be held at a date to be agreed upon by the two GMs preferably after So and Torre have fulfilled all their international tournaments. “Baka February 2009 after sa event ni Wesley (So) sa Corus,” said Tee. Torre will leave on August 8 for the United States where he will also visit his daughter, Nicolle, who is now based in Alaska. According to Estimo, the two chess luminaries had drawn their three previous games with Torre nearly winning their last encounter. The first to score 5 1/2 (5.5) points will win the match and the P600,000 winner's prize while the loser will earn P400,000. Another P100,000.00 will go to the winner of each leg while the loser will take home P50,000. It shall be recalled that Torre and arch rival GM Rogelio “Joey” Antonio Jr., settled for a 3-3 draw in their recent “Quezon City Chess Road Show” one-on-one. Copyright 2008 Cebu Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. According to my calculations, 1 million P equals $22,540.30 USD (1.00 PHP = 0.0225403 USD)

Harika Dronavalli Leads World Juniors Girls

Article from Press Trust of India: Harika beats Nakhbayeva, takes sole lead in World Jr Chess From Our Chess Correspondent Gaziantep (Turkey), Aug 9 (PTI) Top seeded International Master India's Dronavalli Harika today scored a clinical victory over Guliskhan Nakhbayeva of Kazakhstan to emerge as the sole leader after the 7th round of ongoing World Junior Girls' Chess Championship here. Playing the white side of a Nimzo Indian defense, Harika attained a slight advantage out of the opening and nurtured her position well enough to knock down one black pawn before tightening the noose. Guliskhan did not have answers of the precise technical display and called it a day when she was about to lose the second pawn too. The victory helped Harika take her tally to 6 points out of a possible 7 and she now enjoys a half point lead over nearest rivals Adriana Nikolova of Bulgaria and Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine. Amongst the other Indian girls in the fray, only Soumya Swaminathan scored a victory and inched herself up to 5 points at the expense of compatriot Kruttika Nadig. Soumya won with black pieces. Also reaching 5 points with her cool display was R Preethi, who held erstwhile sole leader Tatev Abrahamyan to a draw in a rook and pawns endgame. Top chess femme standings after 7 rounds. USA's Tatev Abrahamyan is in 4th place with 5.0, leading a pack of several chess femmes also with 5.0.

Art and Chess

A fine article in The about artists who happen to be chessplayers (or is that vice versa?) (Cruella DeVille as the black queen by Maurizio Cattelan) From Duchamp to Damien Hirst, chess has long inspired the big names of the art world. Alastair Sooke reports Last Updated: 12:01am BST 09/08/2008 In 1927, Marcel Duchamp, the French-born trail-blazer of conceptual art, married a young heiress called Lydie Sarazin-Lavassor. The honeymoon did not go well. "Duchamp spent most of the week studying chess problems," recalled the artist's close friend Man Ray, "and his bride, in desperate retaliation, got up one night when he was asleep and glued the chess pieces to the board." Bad move. They were divorced three months later. Full article.

Correspondence Chess

In the old days, it was done with postcards. Now, it's played on the internet. I didn't realize it, but I've been playing correspondence chess for years! It's any game at a website server where you make a move, the other player is notified via email and has a certain time limit to make a responsive move, etc. etc. I have played at Its Your Turn and Red Hot Pawn. Unfortunately, this format practically invites unethical players to cheat by utilizing a chess program to "suggest" moves. Of course, no one has to cheat against me, I'm so bad a player you can win even if I were using a computer! Been playing for years and I still hang pieces, don't understand the concept of controlling the center, and manage to lose winning positions (but I don't know they're winning positions). LOL! I saw this announcement at Susan Polgar's chess blog: The International Correspondence Chess Federation is considering holding a World Championship for young women, and is asking anyone who is possibly interested to contact us so we can determine if there will be enough participants to schedule the event. The event will be played on the ICCF webserver ( Moves are made on a chessboard via drag and drop, an easy way to play, with the server sending the move to the opponent, and keeping track of moves, time used, and even sending reminders. Any young woman who will have her 20th birthday after March 1, 2009 will be eligible to play, and is requested to send a note expressing your interest to Any questions will certainly be welcome. Details will be determined later, but there are no ICCF dues, and the entry fee for the recent Junior World Championship was 20 CHF, about $20. Time controls are typically 50 days for 10 moves. Finally, I want to express heartfelt thanks to Susan Polgar for volunteering to post this note on her websites and blogs. Corky Schakel, ICCF-US Secretary

A Fairy Tale Castle

I saw this at Yahoo Travel - hard to believe it's actually real! It's the perfect castle for Cinderella, or Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, or JanXena. It's the Lichtenstein Castle near Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo credit: Greg Gawlowski - Lonely Planet Images)

Section 8 Housing Experiment a Failure in Antioch, CA

An article in The New York Times about Section 8 (subsidized) Housing shows that you can take people out of the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out of people. Sociologists have long claimed that leaving behind high-crime, low-employment neighborhoods for the middle-class suburbs buoys the fortunes of impoverished tenants. An article in the July/August edition of The Atlantic Monthly, however, cited findings by researchers at the University of Memphis that crime in Memphis appeared to migrate with voucher recipients. More broadly, a 2006 Georgia Institute of Technology study found that every time a neighborhood experienced three foreclosures per 100 owner-occupied properties in a year, violent crime increased by approximately 7 percent. As Antioch’s population grew to 101,000 in 2005, from 73,386 in 1995, the city built about 4,000 housing units in the early years of this decade. Now it has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the state, with about 23 of every 1,000 homeowners losing their homes as of June, according to DataQuick, a real estate information clearinghouse. While total crime in Antioch declined by 15 percent in the first three months of this year, compared to the same period in 2007, violent crime increased by about 16 percent, according to city statistics. Robberies and assaults accounted for most of that rise. In an incident report filed with the Antioch Police Department, Natalie and Darin Rouse complained of constant problems with gang members’ blaring car stereos and under-age drinking on the street. In a written account, they blamed “gross community overdevelopment, affirmative action loopholes and incompetent state government management of federal affordable housing programs” for the problems. Full article.

Russian Terrorism Comes Out in the Open

Russia's unprovked attacks on civilians in Georgia shows just what kind of barbarians they are. Under the excuse of "protecting" Russian citizens - all of whom became so by fiat when Russia decided to side with a separatist movement in South Ossetia in Georgia - Russia sent tanks and troops into Georgia and has bombed both civilian and military targets far away from the alleged site of conflict in South Ossetia. And - get this - they're saying it's all the fault of the USA. Talk about bullshit! But you see what has happened - Bush has so weakened our military strength by bogging us down in "wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan (we should have been out of both places years ago) that we cannot adequately mount a military response to the Russian terrorists. Putin and his puppets are thumbing their noses at us and killing Georgian civilians with impunity. And we can't do a damn thing about it. Welcome to the new world order.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Night Miscellany

The weather has turned clement at last! The air has dried out from 70 dew point (may as well wear a loin cloth and live in the jungle with that kind of dew point) earlier in the week and I've been able to live for the past two days without central air conditioning! What's more, we may get some scattered showers tomorrow. We need rain - desperately! NBC has the Olympics Opening Ceremony on tonight for FOUR HOURS. That was YESTERDAY'S NEWS. Oh please. Trying to jerk viewers into thinking this is "live." What a joke - and even funnier (and sad) is that people will fall for it! I am, instead, watching the 2004 "Hellboy." Well, it was that or "Washington Week." What would you watch? Actually, it's pretty engaging :) To tickle your ironic bone, your funny bone, your sore toe bone, your sniffly nose bone, your bad hair day bone, and whatever other bone you can think of, including empty pocketbook bone:
  • Evidence is piling up that a new mini-Ice Age could descend suddenly and take hold within 365 little old days, with catastrophic consequences. One of the ironies of global warming!
  • Only girls being born in Arctic - I've written about this elsewhere - this is scary as hell.
  • Victim of Indian temple stampede rises from the dead
  • Tee hee hee - The Sun never fails to amuse. Our old International Chessoid was modeled after it. Check out the "leprechaun alien."

Was that a cue, perchance? Meet our Mr. June, 2000 pin-up from the cheesy chess tabloid formerly known as The International Chessoid a/k/a TIC. He's none other than GM Ivan Vassalhunk, known to be a bit high strung but with an ELO of 3452 and that bod, I doubt you'll hear many complaints from the chess femmes...


2008 World Juniors Chess Championship (Girls)

Rank after round 7 Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED Pts Fide Rtg+/- Ra Rp 1 1 IM HARIKA Dronavalli 2461 IND 6 24½ 7 2256 2565 2 2 WGM MUZYCHUK Mariya 2413 UKR 5½ 24 8 2276 2506 3 23 WFM NIKOLOVA Adriana 2242 BUL 5½ 20½ 26 2198 2428 4 13 WFM ABRAHAMYAN Tatev 2277 USA 5 24 21 2268 2426 5 18 WIM MIKADZE Miranda 2258 GEO 5 21½ 14 2191 2349 6 31 WFM OZTURK Kubra 2188 TUR 5 21 24 2262 2297 33 WFM NAKHBAYEVA Guliskhan 2170 KAZ 5 21 25 2250 2287 8 6 WIM MAJDAN Joanna 2323 POL 5 20 6 2204 2362 9 32 PREETHI Rajkumar 2183 IND 5 19½ 21 2229 2268 10 12 WGM MAMEDJAROVA Turkan 2284 AZE 5 18½ 3 2131 2259 11 10 WIM SOUMYA Swaminathan 2293 IND 5 18 2 2142 2300 Those are the top players with 5 to 6 points, battling for the top 3 spots. Dronavalli has the sole lead now after winning her Round 7 game and she's going to be very difficult to knock out of the top spot, having garnered tons of international experience against tough fields during the past year, and playing particularly fine chess since January of this year in major events. How is Narmin Kazimova doing? Right now she's in 25th place with 4 points, a more than respectable showing after 6 rounds against the toughest competition she's likely to face anywhere in the world. Narmin came to my attention by way of her perfomance in the European Women's Individual Championships earlier this year. India's Mary Ann Gomes, Padmini Rout and Nadig Kruttika are in 19th, 20th places, respectively, also with 4 points. There are 9 players from Turkey, which isn't surprising to me since the event is being hosted in Turkey; on the other hand, I saw only one US player, Tatev Abrahamyan (go, Tatev!) India has 6 players and they're all in the top 21 (2 in the top 10)! Play is half over; tomorrow is a free day and then the second half begins on August 10th. There are a total of 13 rounds, and from the looks of things it will be a tight race all the way to the end. In the juniors (guys) section, Hou Yifan is hanging tough in 5th place with 5.5 after Round 7.

Who's Doped and Who's Not?

When watching the Olympics for the next two weeks, remember this quote: In an interview with Craig Lord, John Leonard, President of the World Swimming Coaches Association, said: 'We know that any performance that comes from outside the world top ten in the year [before the Games] to the podium is an anomalous performance and literally everyone of those performances over the last four years has later been proven to be doped. So if we get performances that are coming from outside the world top ten in the 2008 Olympic Games, no matter what nation they are from, we have to look long and hard that performances.'

What that means, in simple English, is that if a bunch of Chinese unknowns suddenly start winning medals in the swimming competitions, they were probably doped and stopped taking the stuff 2 weeks ago so it wouldn't show in urine tests. There are reasons why Chinese swimmers, particularly the females, look just like the East German women's swim team did in the 1980's, and it's not because they train 24-7! The NOVA special on the devastating results of doping those East German athletes in the 1980's should be enough to make anyone pee their pants. One woman was so altered by the constant overdoses of steroids and testosterone that she had a sex change operation and became a "he."

Here's the full story about the Chinese and doping: Spectre Of Doping Haunts China On Eve Of Games, Jul 21, 2008, by Craig Lord,

Of course, doping is not limited to the Chinese, but it is interesting that as of the date of this story, no members of the Chinese swim team had yet been named! Were they waiting to see who would pass their internal urine tests prior to naming the team???

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Chariot and Horse Burial Uncovered in Bulgaria

I am fascinated by this kind of burial - it is so evocative of the ancient chess piece the ruhkh (warrior and chariot) and the "King's Champion" - Ruhkh - utilized by the Shahs of ancient Persia. Until the game of chess was modernized, probably in Spain at the end of the 14th century (The Chief, Ricardo Calvo, wrote extensively on this) the "rook" (a/k/a ruhkh) was the most powerful piece on the board, capable of broad sweeping moves. Bulgarian archaeologists discover ancient chariot By VESELIN TOSHKOV, Associated Press Writer Thu Aug 7, 12:24 PM ET SOFIA, Bulgaria - Archaeologists have unearthed a 1,900-year-old well-preserved chariot at an ancient Thracian tomb in southeastern Bulgaria, the head of the excavation said Thursday. Daniela Agre said her team found the four-wheel chariot during excavations near the village of Borisovo, around 180 miles east of the capital, Sofia. "This is the first time that we have found a completely preserved chariot in Bulgaria," said Agre, a senior archaeologist at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She said previous excavations had only unearthed single parts of chariots — often because ancients sites had been looted. At the funerary mound, the team also discovered table pottery, glass vessels and other gifts for the funeral of a wealthy Thracian aristocrat. In a separate pit, they unearthed skeletons of two riding horses apparently sacrificed during the funeral of the nobleman, along with well preserved bronze and leather objects, some believed to horse harnesses. The Culture Ministry confirmed the find and announced $3,900 in financial assistance for Agre's excavation. Agre said an additional amount of $7,800 will be allocated by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for an initial restoration and conservation of the chariot and the other Thracian finds. The Thracians were an ancient people that inhabited the lands of present day Bulgaria and parts of modern Greece, Turkey, Macedonia and Romania between 4,000 B.C. and the 6th century, when they were assimilated by the invading Slavs. Some 10,000 Thracian mounds — some of them covering monumental stone tombs — are scattered across Bulgaria.

Chess News Update

Chess Femme News has been updated, and my August column at Chessville is now up and running. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Search for a German Stonehenge Begins

German scientists dig for their own Stonehenge Wed Aug 6, 2008 10:23am EDT (From Reuters) BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - Archaeologists have discovered traces of a Bronze Age place of worship in Germany in what they say might be the country's answer to Stonehenge. Scientists from a university in Halle are excavating a roughly 4,000 year-old circular site in eastern Germany which contains graves that bear a strong resemblance to Stonehenge, a prehistoric stone circle of towering megaliths in southern Britain. "It is the first finding of this kind on the European mainland which we have been able to fully excavate and which shows a structure we have until now only seen in Britain," Andre Spatzier, head of the excavation team, told Reuters TV. He thinks rituals and ceremonies took place at the site, possibly even sacrifices. "The way it is built, with many concentrated rings of graves, walls, palisades and pillars are very similar to the British monument at Stonehenge," added Spatzier. The site, near the town of Poemmelte, was discovered through aerial photos which showed the formation of the graves in a ring with a diameter of about 80 meters (yards). One difference to Stonehenge, however, is that the remains are made out of wood rather than stone. So far the scientists have found few items such as bones or pieces of glass, but they expect to find more as the dig continues. The final results are expected to take up to three years. Stonehenge goes back to 3,100 BC when native Neolithic people started its construction. There is no consensus among scholars on whether it was a temple, burial ground or an astronomical site. (Reporting by Reuters Television, Writing by Madeline Chambers, editing by Paul Casciato)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mysterious Object Crashes Near Needles, CA

This is "old" news, from May, 2008. Here's the You Tube link (video) to the news broadcast out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Normally, darlings, I don't pay any attention to this sort of thing, but I have to admit I found this rather intriguing and a very well done news report! I don't think it's an "alien spacecraft" - more likely a test on a top secret aircraft being developed for/by the US government that went awry. That would be a fascinating story, though, all by itself.

Knights Templar Launch Legal Battle Against Pope

From The If even a tenth of what is said in some of the myths of the Templars is true, they sure were an interesting group - supposedly the progenitors of the Masons (Scottish rite), the first pirates flying under the "Jolly Roger" flag, the engineers of the mysterious "money pit," the architects of the mysterious Roslyn Chapel. The heirs of the Knights Templar have launched a legal battle in Spain to force the Pope to restore the reputation of the disgraced order which was accused of heresy and dissolved seven centuries ago. By Fiona Govan, Madrid Correspondent Last Updated: 1:07PM BST 04 Aug 2008 The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ, whose members claim to be descended from the legendary crusaders, have filed a lawsuit against Benedict XVI calling for him to recognise the seizure of assets worth 100 billion euros (£79 billion). They claim that when the order was dissolved by his predecessor Pope Clement V in 1307, more than 9,000 properties as well as countless pastures, mills and other commercial ventures belonging to the knights were appropriated by the church. But their motive is not to reclaim damages [yeah, right] only to restore the "good name" of the Knights Templar. "We are not trying to cause the economic collapse of the Roman Catholic Church, but to illustrate to the court the magnitude of the plot against our Order," said a statement issued by the self-proclaimed modern day knights. The Templars was a powerful secretive group of warrior monks founded by French knight Hugues de Payens after the First Crusade of 1099 to protect pilgrims en route to Jerusalem. They amassed enormous wealth and helped to finance wars waged by European monarchs, but spectacularly fell from grace after the Muslims reconquered the Holy Land in 1244 and rumours surfaced of their heretic practices. The Knights were accused of denying Jesus, worshipping icons of the devil in secret initiation ceremonies, and practising sodomy. Many Templars confessed to their crimes under torture and some, including the Grand Master Jacques de Molay, were burned at the stake. The legal move by the Spanish group comes follows the unprecedented step by the Vatican towards the rehabilitation of the group when last October it released copies of parchments recording the trials of the Knights between 1307 and 1312. The papers lay hidden for more than three centuries having been "misfiled" within papal archives until they were discovered by an academic in 2001. The Chinon parchment revealed that, contrary to historic belief, Clement V had declared the Templars were not heretics but disbanded the order anyway to maintain peace with their accuser, King Philip IV of France. Over the centuries, various groups have claimed to be descended from the Templars and legend abounds over hidden treasures, secret rituals, and their rumoured guardianship of the Holy Grail. Most recently the knights have fascinated the modern generation after being featured in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code.

4000 Year Old Canaanite Warrior Found

This is a rather sad discovery because the archaeologists are saying this "warrior" was between 15 and 20 years old when he was buried. Hardly even time to have a life. Lebanon Daily Star By Mohammed Zaatari Daily Star staff Tuesday, August 05, 2008 SIDON: The British Museum's excavation team in Sidon have recently unearthed a new grave containing human skeletal remains belonging to a Canaanite warrior, archeology expert and field supervisor Claude Doumet Serhal told The Daily Star on Monday. According to Serhal, the delegation made the discovery at the "Freres" excavation site near Sidon's crusader castle. "This is the 77th grave that we have discovered at this site since our digging activities has started ten years ago with Lebanese-British financing," she said. According to Serhal, the remains go back to 2000 B.C., with a British archeologist saying the warrior had been buried at the age of 15 to 20 along with a spear and two stamps. "We have discovered earlier this year a jar also belonging to the Canaanite period i.e. to 2,000 years B.C. where a skeleton for a newborn baby had been found," she added. The archeologist said that Freres "is the first excavation site in old Sidon that is located on a land owned by the General Directorate of Antiquities." "We can say that through the discoveries we have been making at this site, we will be able to draw a graph showing the history of this ancient Mediterranean merchant city since 3000 BC," she added. Serhal said the British delegation would continue its work until the first of September "when we will announce the discoveries we have made." "Among the institutions that have taken in charge the financing of our project, are the British Old House Institution, the Issam Fares Foundation, the National Cement Company, the Hariri Foundation and Sidon's school network in addition to Byblos Bank," she said. Serhal had described Sidon as one of the most important metropolises of the Near East from the earliest of times. "It is mentioned 38 times in the Old Testament and appears in Genesis as the oldest Canaanite city, 'the firstborn of Canaan,'" she said. During those 10 years ago of excavation the discoveries were continuous: tombs and burial jars for children and adults, jugs, pieces of pottery with Phoenician inscription, bronze weapons for warriors in addition to jewelry. "Last year, for example, we found tons of wheat going back to 3000 BC," Serhal added. The British Museum launched earlier this year an archaeological documentary entitled "Sidon 5,000 years" with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the ancient history of the southern port city.

2008 World Junior Chess Championship (Girls)

Standings after Round 4: Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED Pts Fide 1 13 WFM ABRAHAMYAN Tatev 2277 USA 4 10 2 1 IM HARIKA Dronavalli 2461 IND 3½ 9½ 2 WGM MUZYCHUK Mariya 2413 UKR 3½ 9½ 4 17 WIM DAULETOVA Gulmira 2267 KAZ 3½ 9 5 7 WIM GOMES Mary Ann 2316 IND 3½ 8½ 6 18 WIM MIKADZE Miranda 2258 GEO 3 8½ 29 ISGANDAROVA Khayala 2207 AZE 3 8½ 31 WFM OZTURK Kubra 2188 TUR 3 8½ 9 19 WIM PADMINI Rout 2257 IND 3 8 24 MUMINOVA Nafisa 2242 UZB 3 8 11 22 WIM IVAKHINOVA Inna 2248 RUS 3 7½ 12 9 WFM HOOLT Sarah 2298 GER 3 7 23 WFM NIKOLOVA Adriana 2242 BUL 3 7 33 WFM NAKHBAYEVA Guliskhan 2170 KAZ 3 7 15 6 WIM MAJDAN Joanna 2323 POL 2½ 8 30 WFM LEKS Hanna 2198 POL 2½ 8 17 25 WIM NADIG Kruttika 2241 IND 2½ 7½ 26 WIM YILDIZ Betül Cemre 2236 TUR 2½ 7½ 27 WFM PERTLOVA Sona 2217 CZE 2½ 7½ 20 4 WGM NEMCOVA Katerina 2372 CZE 2½ 6½ 12 WGM MAMEDJAROVA Turkan 2284 AZE 2½ 6½ 15 WIM TSATSALASHVILI Keti 2271 GEO 2½ 6½ 16 WIM POURKASHIYAN Atousa 2269 IRI 2½ 6½ 21 WFM BOROSOVA Zuzana 2254 SVK 2½ 6½ 32 PREETHI Rajkumar 2183 IND 2½ 6½ 26 11 WIM DAULYTE Deimante 2288 LTU 2½ 6 27 47 KALASHYAN Varduhi 2049 ARM 2½ 5½ 28 48 GUO Qi 2048 CHN 2½ 5 29 38 KAZIMOVA Narmin 2148 AZE 2½ 4½ 30 8 WFM SEVERIUKHINA Zoja 2300 RUS 2 6½ 31 10 WIM SOUMYA Swaminathan 2293 IND 2 6 28 WFM GASIK Anna 2211 POL 2 6 33 5 WGM FOISOR Sabina-Francesca 2337 ROU 2 5½ 34 34 WFM SGIRCEA Silvia-Raluca 2167 ROU 2 5 60 ALAVI Hour Homa 1723 IRI 2 5 36 45 IKONOMOPOULOU Maria 2074 GRE 2 4½ 37 40 WFM TJOLSEN Katrine 2121 NOR 2 4 41 WFM ERIC Jovena 2111 SRB 2 4 46 MIDDELVELD Martine 2073 NED 2 4 49 WFM CHIERICI Marianna 2037 ITA 2 4 51 ALBANO Jeremias Bianca 1990 POR 2 4 52 HEGARTY Sarah 1966 ENG 2 4 43 42 WFM BERKE Ana 2100 CRO 2 3½ 44 43 WFM SHAMIMA Akter 2099 BAN 2 3 45 14 WFM PAIKIDZE Nazi 2277 GEO 1½ 5 37 WFM KLIMETS Elena 2150 BLR 1½ 5 47 3 WFM BODNARUK Anastasia 2394 RUS 1½ 4 48 35 WFM DAVLETBAYEVA Madina 2155 KAZ 1½ 2½ 49 44 WFM EFROIMSKI Marsel 2091 ISR 1½ 2 63 KAYA Sena Nur 1529 TUR 1½ 2 51 20 WGM CORKE Anya 2255 HKG 1 4 52 36 WFM TOTH Sarolta 2151 HUN 1 3 39 WIM HAMRAKULOVA Yulduz 2145 UZB 1 3 50 WFM BAYRAK Asli 2013 TUR 1 3 53 WFM WIID Daleen 1931 RSA 1 3 61 ANTON Sarah 1681 AUS 1 3 57 54 ACAR Gizem 1931 TUR 1 2½ 56 MISOVIC Sanja 1914 MNE 1 2½ 59 55 BUKOVEC Tina 1929 SLO 1 2 57 BOYARCHENKO Marie 1895 LUX 1 2 58 ANTONOVA Nadezhda 1883 TJK 1 2 62 KARAYAYLALI Pinar 1597 TUR 1 2 63 65 DAI Irmak 0 TUR 1 1 67 OZMUT Perinisa 0 TUR 1 1 65 59 GARCIA Liria Caetano 1792 BRA ½ 1½ 66 64 BOSNJAK Antonija 0 BIH 0 0 66 KAYA Saadet 0 TUR 0 0 68 SALATIC Milica 0 BIH 0 0

Monday, August 4, 2008

Aussie School Girl Wins Coveted Weiqi Spot

Fascinating. This young lady has her head together - and the potential to earn "millions of dollars" playing Go! Reported in The Australian D. D. McNicoll August 05, 2008 Schoolgirl passes go JOANNE Missingham, a 14-year-old schoolgirl from Brisbane, has become the first Aussie to join the ranks of professional go players in China. Go, or weiqi as it is known in China, is an ancient strategy game with similarities to chess. In Hangzhou last month, Joanne faced fierce competition as players from across China battled for one of only two playing positions offered by the Chinese Weiqi Association each year. The top professional go players can earn millions of dollars each year. Australian Go Association president John Hardy says Joanne's achievement is extraordinary. "Remember in 2006 how underdog Marcos Baghdatis from Cyprus fought his way to the final of the Australian Open (tennis)? Joanne's achievement must seem like that to the Chinese," Hardy says. Joanne will also represent Australia in the World Mind Sports Games, which will be held in Beijing after the Olympics.

Supporting Local Chess: Announcements

Atascocita, Texas From Our August 4, 2008 Atascocita Library 19520 Pinehurst Trail Drive, is open Sunday 1-5 p.m., Monday and Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Tuesday 1-9 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday 1-6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 281-812-2162. August programs: Aug. 7 at 1 p.m. Third annual Tween and Teen Chess Tournament. Sign up for an exciting afternoon of chess. Check out our amazing trophies in the display case. Registration is required since space is limited. ***************************************************************************************** Washington, D.C. From an article in the Mercury (San Jose, CA) Check out the competitive chess players who congregate at Dupont Circle [Washington, D.C.] More on the chessplayers at Dupont Circle: Checkmate: Dupont Circle Chess for Newbies TOM MURPHY BALKS at my use of the word "intimidating" to describe the chess players at Dupont Circle. Then again, I have to remember to take what he says with a grain of salt. One of the most skillful players at Dupont, Murphy claims to know only "a little something" about chess. Having just sat through a chess lesson with him, I beg to differ. To a beginner like me, Murphy's mastery of the board game — featured prominently in The Washington Post Magazine's "The Days and Knights of Tom Murphy" last fall — is nothing short of mind-boggling, and the chess tables at Dupont Circle are downright scary. Walk through the northeast quadrant of the park and, unless you're a competitive chess player yourself, you're bound to agree. Luckily, according to Murphy, there's hope for even the most clueless chess newbie — as long as you follow a few basic rules. Rest of article. ************************************************************************************************** Announcement from Emporia Gazette! I have no idea where Emporia is - there is not an ounce of identifying markers in the page from which these announcements are taken. I believe they both refer to the same chess club: Saturday (August 9, 2008) The Emporia Chess Society meets from 1:30 to 4 p.m. every Saturday at Pyramid Pizza. All ages and skill levels are welcome, including children. There is no charge. Aug. 11 The Emporia Chess Society meets from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Granada Coffee Company. All ages and skill levels are welcome, including children. There is no charge.

Dragon Monument Found in Azerbaijan?

Ancient stone monument found in Lenkoran, Azerbaijan BAKU. JULY 28. KAZINFORM. A stone monument with an image of an unusual animal, similar to a dragon on it, was found in Kozalar village, of Lenkoran, Azerbaijan. The animal has a crown on his head, with fire coming out of its mouth. According to archaeologist Janvashir Hasanzade the age of the stone with the image of a dragon is at least 2000 years. He said the discovery is an anthem of the Girkan state on the Ptolemy's map. The ruins of ancient buildings were found in this territory. They locate at an area of 2 hectares. An underground tunnel of 3 meters in height and 1 meter in width was discovered during the digs in 1988. [! 1988? Nothing like these archaeologists being current in their field publications. Geez!] Due to the tense situation in the country, no studies were held there. [In 1988? or now?] The underground tunnel is in four directions. The west part of the tunnel extends to 6 kilometers to the ruins of Bellebur tower, Kazinform cites TodayAZ.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Official Chinese News Agency Reports 16 Police Killed

Can this be confirmed by independent sources? If not, I don't believe it. Report: 16 police killed in China border attack By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: August 4, 2008 Filed at 12:13 a.m. ET BEIJING (AP) -- China's official Xinhua News Agency says an attack on a border patrol station on the country's frontier with Central Asia has killed 16 police officers. The report says the assailants used a dump truck to ram their way into the paramilitary police station in Kashi and then tossed two hand grenades. Besides the dead, Xinhua says 16 officers were injured. Xinhua, citing police, said two attackers were arrested. It did not identify them. The area is home to a Muslim Turkic people, the Uighurs (WEE'-gurs). The Uighurs have waged a simmering rebellion against Chinese rule. The attack comes four days before the opening of the Olympics in Beijing. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below. BEIJING (AP) -- China's official Xinhua News Agency says an unknown group of people has attacked a border patrol station on the country's frontier with Central Asia, leaving dozens of police officers injured. The report says the assailants drove two vehicles inside the paramilitary police station in the Kashi region Monday and then threw two grenades. The brief Xinhua dispatch described the attackers as ''rioters.'' The area is home to a Muslim Turkic people, the Uighurs (WEE'-gurs). The Uighurs have waged a simmering rebellion against Chinese rule, with some drawn to the militant Islam that has buffeted Central Asia.

Chess News

Hola! I've been working like a maniac for the past two days on the August, 2008 Chessville column, that I submitted just a few minutes ago to my editor for review. It should be up and running soon. Keep your eyes out. Meanwhile, dondelion has updated Random Round-up at Goddesschess, and has a report on the award of the Goddesschess Promoted Pawn Prize at the 2008 Canadian Open. Vacation is over - back to work.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...