Saturday, July 10, 2010

2010 U.S. Women's Chess Championship

The first report is already up and running at the website for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, site of the 2010 U.S. Women's Chess Championship!  Check it out

I'm going to be revving up Chess Femme News for coverage of the Championship - I wanted to do that tonight, but it's already 10:45 p.m. and I haven't even eaten supper.  A phone call from a friend and an unexpected matter that arose from a family tree thing communique took WAY too much time and darlings, I'm tired, hungry, and just about done for this evening.  I was going to updatge Chess Femme News tonight - that's just a pipe dream now. 

After I cut the front and back yards tomorrow before the next wave of uber-heat and uber-uber-humidity hits here tomorrow afternoon, I will update.  I've been meaning to get back to Chess Femme News for months - and it's a bad bad girl I am for letting it slide for so long.  Oh well - such is life, at least, such is my life.  Too many pots cooking on too few burners, and only these two hands to try and shuffle all those pots around so they don't burn.

Round one of the Women's Championshp begins tomorrow, July 10, at 2 p.m. CDT. A treat for Round 1 -  commentary by GM Hikaru Nakamura and WGM Jennifer Shahade during round one (not sure if they are also going to be commentating on the Juniors' Closed Championship, which is taking place concurrently). GM Ben Finegold will provide commentary with Nakamrua during round two, and Finegold and Shahade will take over for the remainder of the live broadcasts.

Okay - so now all I have to do is create a new page at Ches Femme News for the Championship and fill it with information and links - photographs of the lovely players too - make my predictions - and get the front yard and back yard cut and trek to the grocery storey and back and figure out just what the heck time the games actually start Milwaukee time (I'm no good at this time zone stuff) and have it all done before then so I can sit down and turn on the live commentary and pretend I actually understand what's happening on the boards. LOL! 

Abby Marshall cut her hair!  I like it short but like, holy wow!  She used to wear it down to practically her ankles.  Well, okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration.  I just saw a photograph of her at the website for  - you know, why don't they just change the name to the St. Louis Chess Club and be done with it?  Back to Abby Marshall's hair.  I like it, I like it!  Stylish, slick, flattering.  She doesn't look so determinedly teenaged any more - which is a ridiculous statement because she is what, all of 18 years old! 

In fact, it seems so many of the players are teenagers - darlings, the future has arrived and they are among us NOW! 

Here are the R1 match-ups and my comments:

WIM Iryna Zenyuk vs. WGM Sabina Foisor:  I will be keeping my eye on this game.  Zenyuk hasn't played much, while Foisor is a member of the Texas Tech Chess Team and has been playing regularly as well as receiving tutoring from the Texas Tech coaches, including GM Susan Polgar.  Both players have been playing since they were in diapers (almost) and bring lots of international experience to the board.  Foisor outrates Zenyuk but Zenyuk has more experience and has white.  Now here I go, getting all "feely", but the truth is that my feelings are telling me that both of these players are entering this Championship thinking they have some things to prove - to themselves, and to the audience.  Although both players have been playing international tournament chess for years, Foisor is poised at the beginning of what might be an outstanding career.  On the other hand, Zenyuk has her college education behind her, and stands at a cross-roads.  The demands of developing a career and earning actual money, which most chessplayers just can't do in this country, are prodding her in one direction, and her love for chess is tugging her in a different direction.  If she has a good showing in this Championship, what might she do?  In 2009's Championship she gave a good effort but finished near the bottom of the rankings.  But she came back for another try in 2010 and qualified by winning the U.S. Women's Open.  Her zeal for the game clearly has not diminished - but --  If I were Foisor, I would be going all the way for a win.

WFM Abby Marshall vs. WIM Alisa Melekhina:  Holy Goddess!  As far as I'm concerned, this is one of the key match-ups of the entire Championship and here it's smacking us in the face right in R1.  I don't know what kind of record, if any, Marshall and Melekhina have against each other.  Yaah yaah, some commentator I am.  Well, I don't pretend to be.  I fly mostly by the seat of my pants and instinct, and what I remember from what I've read about each of the players in the past.  Marshall, the first female to win the prestigious Denker Tournament, makes her first appearance in the Championship.  She's going to be looking to make her mark and establish herself firmly in the "bigs."  Melekhina is a seasoned veteran at what - 19 years old? - of the U.S. Women's Chess Championship!  This is her third appearance, her first being in 2007.  I think the game will be intense, deep, and  - relatively short.  Both players will have in mind that they've got to play the rest of the field in turn, and they can't drain themselves down during the very first game.  Well, that's what rational thought says.  Actually, I think this will be a knock-down, drag-out fight that will end in a grudging draw.

WIM Beatriz Marinello vs. IM Irina Krush:  If Krush doesn't win this game, something is terribly wrong, like a bad case of PMS or an even worse hang-over.

WFM Tatev Abrahamyan vs. WGM Camilla Baginskaite:  Abrahamyan has stick-to-it-ness.  I love her stubborness, and she can be absolutely relentless, literally grinding out the smallest advantage that she eeks out of nowhere until her opponent drops over from exhaustion or runs out of time - and we'll never guess what's going on behind that sleepy-eyed facade. Dangerous.  But Baginskaite.  There's a reason she's been in the top ranks of U.S. female players for years, played on so many Olympiad teams, played in so many Championships.  She was in great form in the 2009 Championship.  Slight edge to Baginskaite.

IM Anna Zatonskih vs. WGM Katerina Rohanyan:  Honestly, I cannot tell you a single event that either of these players have played in during 2010.  Just by sheer dint of experience and rating, Zatonskih should win this game.

While typing this I have stuffed myself full of cheeseburger casserole and I'm really sleepy, I have a dozen emails to answer yet and I need to go to the bathroom really badly - so - goodnight.


Anonymous said...

Love your blog! Liz Marshall

Jan said...

Thank you, Liz Marshall. Are you a relative of Abby Marshall?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm her mom. I don't know chess at all, really, although I love the excitement of a blitz finish.

Chess journalism, on the other hand, I can follow. Is there an article on your site somewhere that describes the origins of goddesschess?

Jan said...

Hi Liz,

We've been around for so long (online since 1999 with our Goddesschess website -, I forget that there are a LOT (like billions) of people and not everyone knows Goddesschess or cares about the things we do, although I like to think we are world famous :) Here is the very first post I did, it explains how we all met and how Goddesschess began:

As we've matured over the years we have maintained our focus on the origins of ancient games while becoming more active in supporting and promoting female chessplayers.

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