Saturday, September 18, 2010

2010 Women's World Blitz Chess Championship

From FIDE website news:

GM Kateryna Lahno, winner 2010 Women's World Blitz Ch.
GM Kateryna Lahno (Ukraine) won the 2010 Women's World Blitz Chess Championship. She finished with 20,0/30, a full point ahead of GM Tatiana Kosintseva (silver medal), and 1,5 points ahead of WGM Valentina Gunina (bronze medal).

The competition was organized by the Russian State Social University and the Moscow Chess Federation in co-operation with the Russian Chess Federation and under the aegis of FIDE. The event was open to all women players representing their National Chess Federations regardless of their title or rating and consisted of qualifications, semi final, and final. The games were 3 minutes plus 2 seconds per move, starting from move one (G 3’+2”) and tiebreak scores were based on direct results, followed by number of wins.

The next event for GM Kateryna Lahno will be the World Olympiad 2010 where she will play on board 1 for Ukraine.

All information and details on the official website:
NOW there is an official website? Geez! Well, better late than never.

Final standings
1 GM Lahno, Kateryna UKR 2539 20
2 GM Kosintseva, Tatiana RUS 2573 19
3 WGM Gunina, Valentina RUS 2465 18.5
4 GM Stefanova, Antoaneta BUL 2551 17.5
5 GM Koneru, Humpy IND 2593 17.5
6 GM Kosteniuk, Alexandra RUS 2524 17
7 IM Gaponenko, Inna UKR 2469 15.5
8 IM Kosintseva, Nadezhda RUS 2565 15.5
9 GM Sebag, Marie FRA 2499 15
10 IM Muzychuk, Anna SLO 2535 15
11 IM Muzychuk, Mariya UKR 2464 12.5
12 WGM Paikidze, Nazi GEO 2376 12.5
13 IM Skripchenko, Almira FRA 2464 12.5
14 IM Krush, Irina USA 2490 12
15 GM Zhukova, Natalia UKR 2499 10.5
16 WGM Nebolsina, Vera RUS 2360 9.5

More news at GM Susan Polgar's blog.  Click on the tag Women's World Blitz Championship for all of the news at Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information to get all of SP's posts on the Championship. 

Congratulations to GM Lahno for an outstanding performance!  She, and many of the other players are now heading to somewhere in Siberia (Mansky Kamsky or something like that) to play in the 39th Chess Olympiad.  Never heard of this place in Siberia, although other tournaments have been held there. How can a world championship be held in a place that no one has ever heard of and doesn't even have a fricking airport of its own?  FIDE - DUH!  Bad job, boys, bad job.  Who the hell wants to play chess in Siberia?  I don't understand this - FIDE could not find sponsorship to host this important championship anywhere else in the entire world?  That's pathetic. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Origins of Chess: Chaturaji - "Four Kings"

Chess Variants contains concise information on how the game and several variants were played.  There was a version that was played without dice and two different versions that played with dice:

Basic chaturaji set-up
In the end of the 19th century, researchers thought that this game was the original predecessor of chess, and that it was three thousand years old. In the beginning of this century, the now common assumption was taken (e.g. by Murray in his History of Chess) that this game is a variant of Chaturanga for two players.

The Oxford Companion to Chess by David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld (New Edition, Oxford University Press 1992) does not contain a description of the game of Chaturaji.  It does, however, have a short but interesting entry on "dice:"

dice, used long before ches for gambling purposes, and perhaps even earlir for divination.  it has been conjectured, without supporting evidence, that a forerunner of chess may have involved the use of four-sided dice to determine which piece was to be moved [sounds like Chaturaji].  There ar equal grounds for the suggestion that the first form of proto-chess was an oracular ceremony involving dice and that these were discarded in order to create a game of skill.

Rediscovery of Tomb of Karakhamun

From Heritage Key
Ancient Egyptian tomb of Karakhamun at Assasif: a major tomb for a minor priest?
Submitted by Ann on Wed, 09/15/2010 - 10:28
Archaeologists have rediscovered the 'lost' tomb an ancient Egyptian priest at the Theban Necropolis in Egypt. It was announced today by Egypt's Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny, that the team excavating and conservating the tomb has now cleared the burial shaft of tomb and reached its burial chamber.

Imperishable stars from a wall painting in Tomb of Karakhamun
The tomb is located at Qurnet Murai, south Assasif, on the west bank of the Nile opposite to Luxor, and belonged to a priest named Karakhamun. It dates to the 25th Dynasty (the Reign of Shabaqo, circa 700BC) and is referenced as TT223 (Theban Tomb 223). The el-Assasif area is a well known archaeological site, containing nobles’ tombs from the New Kingdom, as well as the 25-26th Dynasties.

Dr Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that the team discovered the burial chamber of Karakhamun at the bottom of an 8m deep burial shaft. He added it is in very good condition and contains beautifully painted scenes.
The entrance to the chamber is decorated with an image of Karakhamun and the ceiling is decorated with several astrological scenes, including a depiction of the sky goddess, Nut.

More information:

From Discovery News
Astrological Scene Found on Egyptian Tomb Ceiling
Analysis by Rossella Lorenzi
Thu Sep 16, 2010 03:41 PM ET
"The chamber was found at the bottom of an eight meter deep burial shaft,” Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said.

The room is in very good condition and contains beautiful painted scenes in vivid colors. Blue and yellow dominate the ceiling, as the goddess Nut welcomes with raised arms the body of the deceased.

Named Karakhamun was a priest who lived during the 25th dynasty (755-656 B.C.). His tomb, known as TT223, was first discovered in the 19th century, but then it collapsed and disappeared under the desert sands.

It was rediscovered by an Egyptian-American expedition in 2006. In addition to the tomb of Karakhamun, the team is also working on two other neglected Nubian tombs nearby: the tomb of Karabasken, the Mayor of Thebes, and the tomb of Irtieru, the Chief Attendant to the Divine Consort of Amun, Nitocris.

Described by 19th-century travelers as some of the most beautiful Theban tombs, the burials were wrongly believed to have been completely destroyed. In fact, they were all rediscovered four years ago.

“Their painted ceiling, stunning relief, and elegant architecture are not obliterated, merely hidden beneath layers of soot, veiled by dust and cobwebs, and blocked by piles of debris,” team leader Elena Pischikova, director of the South Asasif Conservation Project (ACP), wrote on the project’s website.

According to Pischikova, Karakhamun’s tomb is possibly the largest in the necropolis. However, when the ACP team found the burial, it was barely visible and totally inaccessible. Almost hidden beneath the sand, the only trace of its location was a blackened crack in the bedrock.

“Some days of tedious digging soon yielded much more than we could have hoped for – a wall of carving, almost completely intact, with a life size figure of Karakhamun in front of an offering table,” Pischikova said.

Little is known of the priest, who remains the most enigmatic figure in the necropolis. Karakhamun did not appear to hold any important administrative position and his priestly title wasn’t particularly important.

Yet his tomb, featuring two pillared halls, paintings and exquisite relief carvings, was one of the most beautiful in the necropolis.

Iron Age Tombs Found in Greece

From Yahoo News
Greek archaeologists uncover ancient tombs
Thu Sep 16, 3:00 pm ET
A handout photo shows a warrior's bronze
helmet with gold mouth protector dated to
the 6th century BC, found at the west cemetary
 in Archontiko Pellas, northern Greece. Greek
archaeologists on Thursday announced
 the discovery of 37 ancient tombs dating back
to the iron age in a cemetery near
the ancient Macedonian capital of Pellas.(AFP/HO)
ATHENS (AFP) – Greek archaeologists on Thursday announced the discovery of 37 ancient tombs dating back to the iron age in a cemetery near the ancient Macedonian capital of Pellas.

Discoveries at the site included a bronze helmet with a gold mouthplate, with weapons and jewellery, in the tomb of a warrior from the 6th century BC.

A total of 37 new tombs were discovered during excavation work this year, adding to more than 1,000 tombs since work began in 2000, researchers said.

The tombs date from 650-280 BC, covering the iron age up to the Hellenistic period (323-146 BC).

The tombs contain iron swords, spears and daggers, plus vases, pottery and jewellery made of gold, silver and iron.

According to the researchers, the excavated area only represents five percent of the total site.

Chess Femme News!

From The Times of Malta
17 September, 2010
Juniors take centre-stage at Stella Maris College
Jamie Farrugia
[The Malta Junior Chess Championship] organised by the Malta Chess Federation (MCF), was held last week at Stella Maris College in Gżira where junior chess is on the up thanks to the efforts of College director Brother David, a keen chess enthusiast himself, and members of the MCF.

‘Eternal rivals’ Jamie Farrugia, Adrian Cutajar and Gabriel Farrugia were involved in a gruelling three-round title decider on the last day of the competition in the U-12 category.

At the end, Jamie Farrugia’s cool nerves won her the day as she beat her rivals in time-troubled Blitz games to win the U-12 title. Gabriel Farrugia was second ahead of Cutajar.

Women's World Blitz Chess Championship - Moscow (through September 18, 2010)
I found at the French website a button to do a Google translation to English, since my French is limited to strange verbs, the months of the year and numbers through twenty.  So much for four years of French in school.  Report by Gérard Demuydt, 17 September, 2010.  There are many very nice photographs of the players.  This one cracks me up - it looks like Irina Krush is catching 40 winks...

List of the players in the final - some qualified by means other than playing the last couple of days:

01 Kosteniuk, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Alexandra g g RUS RUS 2524 2524
02 02 Koneru, Humpy Koneru, Humpy g g IND IND 2593 2593
03 03 Stefanova, Antoaneta Stefanova, Antoaneta g g BUL BUL 2551 2551
04 04 Kosintseva, Nadezhda Kosintseva, Nadezhda g g RUS RUS 2565 2565
05 05 Kosintseva, Tatiana Kosintseva Tatiana g g RUS RUS 2573 2573
06 06 Muzychuk, Anna Muzychuk Anna m m SLO SLO 2535 2535
07 07 Krush, Irina Krush, Irina m m USA USA 2490 2490
08 08 Nebolsina, Vera Nebolsin Vera wg wg RUS RUS 2360 2360
09 09 Zhukova, Natalia Zhukova, Natalia g g UKR UKR 2499 2499
10 10 Gaponenko, Inna Gaponenko, Inna m m UKR UKR 2469 2469
11 11 Skripchenko, Almira Skripchenko, Almira m m FRA FRA 2464 2464
12 12 Muzychuk, Mariya Muzychuk, Mariya m m UKR UKR 2464 2464
13 13 Paikidze, Nazi Paikidze, Nat wg wg GEO GEO 2376 2376
14 14 Gunina, Valentina Gunina Valentina wg wg RUS RUS 2465 2465
15 15 Lahno, Kateryna Lahno, Kateryna g g UKR UKR 2539 2539
16 16 Sebag, Marie Sebag, Marie g g FRA FRA 2499 2499

Here's something I'm intested in - prize money:
Final - Semi-final

1st place € 10,000 - 1st place € 1,000
2nd Place € 8,000 - 2nd Place € 900
3rd Place € 6,000 - 3rd Place € 800
4th Place € 5,000 - 4th Place € 700
5th Place € 4,500 - 5th Place € 600
6th Place € 4,000 - 6th Place € 500
7th Place € 3,500 - 7-21e Places € 300
8th Place € 2,500 - 22-25th Places € 250
9th Place € 1,500 - -
10-12th Places € 1,000 - -
13th-16th Places € 500 - -

The GM who never sleeps, Susan Polgar, has a current report at her chess blog at the conclusion of the first day's play of the final.  As per usual she is on top of things.

GM Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine is in first place with a one point lead over GM Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria.  An upset is potentially brewing in that GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, whom many thought would take this crown, is back in 6th place with 8.0, one point behind GM Koneru Humpy of India who has 9.0.  IM Irina Krush who finished the semi-final in strong first place is also back in the pack, in 10th with 7.0.  But there is a lot of blitz left to play tomorrow.  I'm not a fan of blitz, it obviously degrades the quality of chess play, but it demands a certain skill set and has its own fan base.  Yes, I'm sure chess dudes all around the world are watching the play for the love of blitz chess, and not because it so happens this is a gathering of some extremely lovely ladies. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Was It Murder?

A skeleton of a girl found in the foundations of Roman Barracks at Vindolanda
From the

Hadrian's Wall child murder: estimated time of death pre-367AD
Gaul legionnaires seen as main suspects after skeleton of girl is found buried under Roman barracks at Vindolanda
Martin Wainwright, Wednesday 15 September 2010 11.11 BST

The murderous reputation of one of Britain's best-known Roman towns has been raised by the discovery of a child's hastily buried skeleton under a barrack room floor.

Archaeologists at Vindolanda fort near Hadrian's Wall are preparing for a repeat of a celebrated coroner's inquest in the 1930s that concluded two other corpses unearthed near the site were "victims of murder by persons unknown shortly before 367AD".

The latest discovery at the frontier settlement in Northumberland is thought to be the remains of a girl aged between eight and 10 who may have been tied up before she died.

Her burial place is reckoned to be almost certain evidence of a crime, according to specialists at the Vindolanda Trust, which has made thousands of finds at the town and its associated fort since the 1920s.

Human burials were strictly forbidden within built-up areas in Roman times, and Vindolanda followed regulations requiring cemeteries to be laid out on the settlement's outskirts. The bones, initially thought to have been those of a large dog, were in a shallow pit dug in a corner of the garrison's living quarters at the heart of the fort.
Patricia Birley, director of the Vindolanda Trust, said: "This definitely looks like a case of foul play. It has been very sad to find a child in this shallow grave under the barrack floor.

"It would have been very difficult to get a body out of the barracks, through the wider fort and out of the gate, but we may never know if the burial took place with or without the collusion of the men who shared the barracks."

Fresco of Tyche, Goddess of Fortune, Found at Sussita

From Haifa University's website
Goddess of Fortune found at Sussita
September 16, 2010

Tyche fresco.  Hmmm, those eyes - they
don't look so happy. Maybe she's seeing
bad fortune...
A wall painting (fresco) of Tyche, the Greek goddess of fortune, was exposed during the 11th season of excavation at the Sussita site, on the east shore of the Sea of Galilee, which was conducted by researchers of the University of Haifa. Another female figure was found during this season, of a maenad, one of the companions of the wine god Dionysus.

“It is interesting to see that although the private residence in which two goddesses were found was in existence during the Byzantine period, when Christianity negated and eradicated idolatrous cults, one can still find clear evidence of earlier beliefs,” said Prof. Arthur Segal and Dr. Michael Eisenberg of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa, who headed the excavation. The city of Sussita is located within the Sussita National Park under the management of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, which has accompanied and assisted the excavation teams this season in enabling the continuation of excavation work and the conservation of the archaeological finds.

During the course of the excavations conducted by the team from the University of Concordia under the direction of Prof. Mark Schuler, in a residence that appeared, by the quality and complexity of its construction, to belong to one of the city notables, the excavators reached an inner courtyard with a small fountain at its center. Near the fountain they found a fresco of Tyche, who was apparently deified as the city’s goddess of fortune. Her head is crowned, her youthful gaze is focused, and she has abundant brown hair beneath her crown. According to the researchers, artistic analysis has indicated that the wall painting may be dated to the end of the Roman period or the beginning of the Byzantine period (3rd-4th centuries C.E.).

The goddess Tyche was not the only mythological figure to be discovered in this compound. Found on a bone plate was a wonderfully etched relief of a maenad, one of a group of female followers of Dionysus, the god of wine. According to Greek mythology, the maenads accompanied Dionysus with frenzied dances while holding a thyrsus, a device symbolizing sexuality, fertility, and the male sexual organ associated with sexual pleasure. The maenad of Sussita was also depicted as being in the midst of a frenzied dance. The researchers believe that both manifestations of the cult of Graeco-Roman female goddesses can be dated to the end of the Roman period, but there is no doubt that the residence in which they were found continued to exist even after Christianity triumphed over idolatry.

Chess Femme News!

GM Susan Polgar is reporting on the Women's World Blitz Chess Championship currently taking place in Moscow (September 16 - 18, 2010).  Unfortunately, FIDE and/or whoever organized this event did not see fit to provide a website where one can go to obtain information on the players and the results!  I checked at and also did not see any report there.  So, thank you GM Polgar, for your efforts to bring us information on this event.  Please check out the coverage at her blog - it contains several articles and information including the scoop on the non-appearing invitation to GM Susan Polgar, who was the last official Women's World Blitz Chess Champion.  Doesn't exactly make FIDE look organized, does it - forgetting to invite the prior champion.  Geez!

I also found this report at Chessbase.  The final will be held tomorrow and on the 18th, evidently.  These six players from the semi-final advance to the final:

Rk. Title Name Nat. Rating Total
1 IM Krush, Irina USA 2490 19.0
2 WGM Nebolsina, Vera RUS 2360 17.5
3 GM Zhukova, Natalia UKR 2499 16.5
4 IM Gaponenko, Inna UKR 2469 15.5
5 IM Skripchenko, Almira FRA 2464 15.5
6 IM Muzychuk, Mariya UKR 2464 15.0

2010 Chess Olympiad (September 19 - October 4, 2010) - official website?
Is this a Russian thing - either non-existent websites for FIDE events or the crappiest websites on the face of the earth?  I dug up the website and let me tell you, it's not exactly inspiring confidence when in yellow tape across the top of my screen I see a warning that the website may not be safe.  Gee, thanks, Russians.  Putin's kiss off to the world - infect every computer that visits, right?  I won't be back, darling.  Kiss my grits.

Where are the Olympiad teams listed at this website?  Geez!  I found a list of Men's and Women's Teams at - but as far as I know, the Georgian Women's Team STILL has not been named.  What?  That cannot be correct - but I can't find information on who is playing for the Georgian Women's Team anywhere - at least anywhere that I can read the alphabet!  Guess it will just be a big surprise.

A refresher:  Here is the American Women's Team, which is #6 (very impressive) on the list of 119 teams - but no listing for Georgia:
6. United States of Americ (USA / RtgAvg:2413)

1 IM Zatonskykh Anna 2480
2 IM Krush Irina 2490
3 WGM Foisor Sabina-Francesca 2293
4 WGM Baginskaite Kamile 2328
5 WFM Abrahamyan Tatev 2352

Information on this event showed up about 3 hours ago at, although it was held in July!
Organizer(s) FENANIC
Chief-Arbiter Moraga, Obando Pablo. FA ID 6
Date 2010/07/17 to 2010/07/25
Rating-Ø 1411

Rk. Name Rtg FED 1.Rd 2.Rd 3.Rd 4.Rd Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 Madrigal Ana Daniela 1884 NCA 6s1 3w1 2s½ 4w½ 2,5 0,5 5,5 0,0
2 Rivera Azucena 1756 NCA 7w1 5s1 1w½ 3s 2,5 0,5 5,5 0,0
3 Hernandez Leydi 0 NCA 8w1 1s0 5w1 2w 2,0 0,0 4,0 0,0
4 Mendieta Pamela 1648 NCA 5s0 7w1 6s1 1s½ 2,0 0,0 3,0 0,0
5 Marquez Amaya Armenia 0 NCA 4w1 2w0 3s0 -1 1,0 0,0 3,0 0,0
6 Leiva Rocha Mariel 0 NCA 1w0 8s1 4w0 7s 1,0 0,0 2,0 0,0
7 Lopez Leary 0 NCA 2s0 4s0 8w+ 6w 1,0 0,0 1,0 0,0
8 Mercado Morales Ilse 0 NCA 3s0 6w0 7s- -0 0,0 0,0 0,0 0,0

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

2011 All Girls Scholastic Chess Championship Set for Clarksville, Tennessee USA

News from

Clarksville to Host All-Girls Tournament
Roy Manners • Reader Submitted • September 14, 2010

Clarksville [Tennessee, USA] has been chosen as the site of the 2011 All-Girls Scholastic Chess Championship. The All-Girls Chess tournament is held every year to determine the State Champion among girls eighteen years of age and younger. The winner is Tennessee's official representative to the National Championship for girls.

The tournament will be held Saturday April 9, 2011 at the Montgomery County Civic Hall in Veteran's Plaza, 350 Pageant Lane, Clarksville, TN 37040. The tournament will be in two sections. The Championship Section will be open to all TN girls age 18 and Under and will be USCF rated. The Competition Section will be open to all girls age 18 and Under from anywhere and will not be rated. Each section will have three divisions according to age: 18 and Under, 14 and Under, 10 and Under. Trophies and prizes will be awarded in each division.

The Championship section will also offer a Grand Prize to the State Champion of a partial Scholarship to the college of her choice. Money is being raised for this purpose even now. The goal is to be able to offer the winner a $1000 scholarship.

The tournament format was designed in order to encourage more girls to participate. The winner in the 18 and Under division of the Championship Section will be crowned the TN All-Girls State Champion and be TN's official representative to the All-Girls National events. The Competition Section was included “just for fun” so more girls could participate without the pressure of competing for the title or risk losing rating points. The prizes and trophies in both sections are very comparable.

In each of the past four years only nineteen girls have participated in the TN All-Girls Tournament. The goal in 2011 is to get forty girls in each section, so the tournament was designed to give girls a choice about which way they'd like to compete.

The Competition Section even though not rated, is not just consolation play. It is set up to be just as much fun and just as exciting as any other tournament. There is no risk to anyone's rating. No memberships of any kind are required. Just pay the entry fee and play. It is hoped that this will encourage first time girls to participate. A girl does not have to be unrated to play in the Competition section. It is open to all girls, rated or not, from anywhere.

Please Say Hello To...

the latest edition to the extended Newton family: Baby Girl Hauke, the daughter of my #1 nephew (that's birth order, that's the only way I can keep them straight because my sisters and brothers have so many children!) and his wife.

Mamma, baby and daddy came through a scheduled delivery just fine. Baby Girl Hauke appeared yesterday, September 14, 2009 and weighed in at 8 lbs. 3 oz. and 19 and 3/4 inches long.  In those respects she greatly resembles Niece #1 who was born in 1976 and is now a 3-times mom herself!  Ah, the memories - and where the heck did that time go???  She's so beautiful.

And so, I am once again a proud Great-Aunt.  I just re-counted and confirmed - this is #9, and the way things are going, in a few years I might become a Great-Great Aunty because Great-Nephew #1 is into his teens now :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

2010 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships - Postscripts

Hola darlings!

I'm wrapping up this year's coverage of the 2010 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships.  Don McLean will have a report at Goddesschess in due course, perhaps by this weekend.  Here are some final items I wish to offer:
  • This link to GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's blog report on the Championnat and accompanying video of player Danny Goldenberg's interview of GM Bator Sambuev at the conclusion of the Championnat (he finished in joint 1st but the title went to IM Leonid Gerzhoy on tie-breaks).  When you watch the video you will see why I sent it to GM Kosteniuk :) 
  • One last time - here is the link to the official website for the 2010 Championnat. 
  • Our friends at the Ahuntsic Chess Club took over organizing this venerable tournament a few years ago and in our quest to help promote female players in local chess events, we contacted Ahuntsic last year and offered to fund some prizes for female chessplayers in the 2009 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships (the 89th).  The rest, as they say, is herstory :) 

    One of the new features that the Ahuntsic organizers introduced to the Championnat last year was providing waived registration fees to qualifying members of Chess 'n Math, Canada's national scholastic chess organization.   The locality of Chess 'n Math with which we are most familiar is in Montreal on Rue St. Denis, a lovely street that reminds me of the old Milwaukee neighborhood where I grew up.  Bernard Ouimet of Ahuntsic wrote to me this morning: 

    The promotion was agreed upon last year between Chess’n Math Association (CMA) and Club Ahuntsic: Every kid with a CMA rating of at least 900 pts who has never played in a tournament open to all (vs kids only events), played at a regular rate of play (vs blitz or semi rapid) and FQE (Quebec Chess Federation) or CFC (Canadian Chess Federation) rated can play for free in CHOM (the 2010 Championnat) – all the kid has to pay is his/her FQE membership card. The purpose of this promotion is to widen the base of chessplayers and fill in the void left by older members as they become inactive. 

    Last year we had 2 such free entries that I can recall, a girl and a boy. The boy won 1st prize in section D. He was back this year [paid an entry fee]. 

    With CHOM2010 we got 4 free entries. CMA is happy about that, we are happy about that.

    And so is Goddesschess :)  We believe it is vitally important that young players be brought into and incorporated into "main stream" chess events - not isolated/insulated in scholastic-only events.  Do not get us wrong, we support scholastic events too (not publicized), but we believe the goal of organizers and chess federations should always be the smooth integration of our younger players into the 'real world' of tournaments where kids are not just playing other kids, but are playing a whole mix of people of different ages and differing chess skills.  And we think it's good for adults to play against younger ones too!  After all, chess skills and ability are not limited by one's age (young or older) or gender.  If that were so, we would never have had a Bobby Fischer or a Susan Polgar. 

    This is one of my favorite photographs of the 2010 Championnat.  It has such vitality and power in it - and it arises from the wonderful mix of old/young/male/female players that is evident.  I think it is magical, but then, I think chess is magical :)

Another video - the background is rather noisy but listen closely to the conversation between Mr. Arthur Holler, who came to chess 'late in life' and Goddesschess' Don McLean behind the videocam. Memo to self: When I return to Montreal, be sure not to play chess with Mr. Holler, of whom I have no doubt would beat me around the block :))

Monday, September 13, 2010

2010 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships: Chesnut Interviews Lenderman

American player and 2010 Championnat participant Walter Chestnut interviews American GM Alex Lenderman after Round 2, Goddesschess' Don McLean recording.

Southwest Chess Club Action!

I don't know who comes up with the names for my adopted chess club's events, but you sure are creative!  Love the names!

This Thursday - Colored Leaves Rattle-the-Pawns Blitz!

Colored Leaves Rattle-the-Pawns Blitz II: September 16, 2010
Multi-Round (Round-Robin) in One or more Sections
(depending on number of players). Game/5 minutes.
USCF Quick-Rated. EF: $5. TD is Fogec; ATD is Grochowski

One or more sections of Game in 5 minutes chess, a real change of pace. This is a double round robin, one night event with a $5 entry fee. Results will affect only your Quick Rating, not your Regular Rating. Sign up at the club on Thursday night between 6:20 and 6:50. Late arrivals may not be able to participate, given the format and time control of this tournament. If you have any questions, you can email me at or call at 414-405-4207.

Also this Thursday:

Lecture:  "Painful Truths About Chess Improvement"
David Dathe
Lecture starts at 6 pm.

David has conducted numerous lectures at Southwest Chess Club and always does a great job, so do not miss his presentation.

Website.  Check out the blog.  It amazes me how much trash talking goes on between chessplayers, particularly when gearing up for a tournament!

2010 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships - Final Standings

Lots to cover tonight since the information was not available at the official website before I turned in last night (I did turn in early - before 9:00 p.m.)

First of all - OFFICIAL COUNT: 204!!!! The organizers were very pleased with this number and so are we!  In difficult economic times the players came out to support the Championnat. There were 191 participants in the 2009 Championnat.


Even better - Bernard Ouimet of Ahuntsic Chess Club (organizers) gave me very good news via email this morning - confirmed FIFTEEN chess femmes participated in the Championnat, not the ten I was able to identify the other day.  This is one less female player than last year, when Goddesschess first offered special prizes for the ladies.


Here are the female players, their final standings and scores:

Section A (2 of 51)

(10) WIM Yuan Yuanling (CAN 2363) 3.5 - new Montreal Women’s Champion
(35) Miraym Roy (CAN 1884) 2.0

Section B (4 of 56)

(13) Yun Chang 3.0 - best woman (Goddesschess prize and certificate)
(38) Wang, Kelly (CAN 1538) 2.0 - woman no. 2 (Goddesschess prize and certificate)
(48) Ma, Indy 1.5
(51) Shi Lingyun 1.0

Section C (6 of 64)

(9) Yu Ke Xin 4.0 - best woman (Goddesschess prize and certificate)
(16) Yang, Marguerite (CAN 1529) 3.0 - woman no. 2 (Goddesschess prize and certificate)
(48) Trottier, Claire (CAN 1236) 2.0
(53) Zang Wenyue (CAN 1108) 1.5
(55) Dubois, Lorraine (CAN 1184) 1.5
(59) Nicole, Chantal (CAN 1295) 1.0

Section D (3 of 33)

(18) Roussel, Lauriane (CAN 1051) 2.5 - best woman (Gddesschess prize and certificate)
(24) Roussel, Marina (CAN 1070) 2.0 - woman no. 2 (Goddesschess prize and certificate) – yes, they are sisters!
(26) Zhao Jiayun 1.5

Congratulations to IM Yuan Yuanling, the 2010 Woman Champion of the City of Montreal and to the winners of the Goddesschess prizes and certificates.


Full final standings here

The Open was won by IM Leonid Gerzhoy with 4.5/5.  Second place to GM Bator Sambuev also with 4.5, but Gerzhoy won on tie breaks.  American GM Alex Lenderman took 3rd place with 4.0 and IM Jean Hebert and IM Arnaud Rainfray took 4th and 5th places, respectively, with 4.0 each, based on tie breaks.  It was a tough battle this year among the top players for the title and top prize money.  Congratulations to all of these fine players.



Section B

Section C

Section D


What an excellent Championnat this year!  From what I can tell, everything went off fairly smoothly.  Many thanks and kudos to the organizers and to the sponsors of this year's Championnat for putting together a wonderful tournament in beautiful surroundings. Thank you to the anonymous webmaster who put together the official website - very easy to navigate and nicely organized.  I was not able to read the blog because I have very little French, but I was able to read the pairings and the results with ease.

I have reason to know just how hard a lot of people worked to put this together and bring it to a successful fruition.  My contacts "behind the scenes" so to speak make me appreciate all the more just how much goes into conceiving, oganizing, setting up and actually bringing about a successful chess tournament.  Thanks and lots of kisses to all of you who worked so hard for so long to bring this about.

Thanks to the players for coming out to play.  Thanks to GM Susan Polgar and our friends at for publishing notice of the 2010 Championnat and to all of those who picked up and passed that news along to your readers. 

There's more to follow.  Goddeschess' Don McLean has video and more photos to share with the official website and with us. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

2010 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships - R5

Some Open top board results - screen shots:

2010 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships - R4 Results, R5 Pairings

Results up for R4 - at last. 

R4, Open, top standings - things are tight at the top!

R4 top standings, Section B:

R4 top standings, Section C:

R4 top standings, Section D:

R5 Open - top pairings only:

2010 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships - R5

No R4 results up, no R5 pairings.  But - the live games reporting is working (top 3 boards only being reported for this championship), so here are screen shots - good to see Lenderman back up in the top boards, where he belongs!

Wisconsin Archaeologists at Emergency Excavation

Archaeology in triage mode - how unfortunate.

From (Local Channel 12 television)
Archaeologists Find Wealth Of Artifacts At Dig
Amy Wagner
POSTED: 11:49 am CDT September 12, 2010
UPDATED: 11:58 am CDT September 12, 2010

KOSHKONONG TOWNSHIP, Wis. -- Although scientists tend to cringe when terms such as "treasure trove" are applied to archaeological sites, it's hard to describe the Finch Site at Highway 26 north of Milton any other way.

What else would you call a two-acre strip of wooded hills that archaeologists say holds 160 identified pits where prehistoric Native American people dumped everything from deer bones to weapon shards to burnt and broken clay cookware?

What do you call a property that contains, at the very minimum, 100,000 Native American artifacts which scientists believe date from 5000 B.C. to 1200 A.D.?

Call it what you'd like. But one thing's certain: The Finch Site, which is located northeast of the intersection of Highway 26 and Pond Road in the Koshkonong Township, soon will be buried by a state highway.

Archaeologists who've been digging at the site since late last year have nearly wrapped up contract work for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Their charge: To excavate 25 percent of the site and identify its contents before the state purchases and paves over most of it with the planned Highway 26 expansion in 2013.

Although 75 percent of the site remains untouched, the Wisconsin DOT has known since conducting an archaeological survey in 1999 that the area holds a significant amount of native artifacts. As for the site's dug-up portions? Pardon the scientific crudeness, but they've been a real gold mine.

"What we've found here suggests extremely intense, long-term use of this site," said Ricky Kubicek, an archaeologist from the Great Lakes Archaeological Research Center, the Milwaukee-based research group the Wisconsin DOT hired for the excavation.

"We're not necessarily sure that there were villages or settlements here, but it's clear that throughout time, different groups of people kept coming back over and over," Kubicek said.

Many of the items crews unearthed at the site came from the Woodland Era, a period in prehistoric Native American history 2,500 to 800 years ago. Other items, including some knife and arrow points, come from the Mississippian Era and would have been used by native hunters in southern Wisconsin 1,200 to 500 years ago, crews at the dig said.

Although archaeologists have found no human remains at the site, one key discovery was a 1,200-year-old deer bone. It has visible cut marks in it, probably from stone tools, Kubicek said. "They're like prehistoric butcher marks. This was from somebody's dinner," he said.

To find such a concentrated and varied cache of ancient human materials is rare, Kubicek said, and was only possible because the hilly, wooded site was left undisturbed by modern plows. Its contents stayed locked for ages in the soils' stratified layers, encased under old-growth timber and native vegetation.

The area was so pristine, Kubicek said, researchers were able to find in soil samples tiny plant and animal remains, such as fish bones and burned seeds. That helped researchers to pinpoint what the site's former inhabitants ate and even the seasons when different native groups used the sites.

Archaeologist Katie Cera was recently using a water tub to separate rocks and plant material from soil samples at various pits at the site, a job she's done for nearly a year.

"We've been finding a lot of corn, squash and bean seeds here," Cera said.

Earlier this year, while she was dumping rocks that sifted to the bottom of her water tub, she found a big surprise-an 8,000-year-old spearhead known as a Folsom point. It's a rare find and one that doesn't match the chronology of other items at the dig site. Archaeologists at the dig say it's not clear how the weapon found its way there.

The artifacts' next stop is UW-Milwaukee, where researchers will curate and analyze them further.

The items, all of which now belong to the state of Wisconsin, could end up in museums or at state-supported historical societies as part of an agreement between the state, Native American groups and scientists involved in the dig, officials said.

Meanwhile, Great Lakes Archaeological Research Center plans to continue work at the site through 2012, but at a slower pace, with an emphasis on more analysis of plant and animal remains.

"Anything else that we do in the coming months will be done on a volunteer basis and not at professional speed," Kubicek said. Kubicek said public interest in his group's dig has continued to grow since work started last year. He said this spring, droves of people wandered onto the site, carrying copies of newspaper articles about the dig.

"People wanted a closer look. Teachers were interested in doing class work. Finding stuff in the ground is right up a child's alley," Kubicek said.

Now that excavation work has slowed, Kubicek said his group is considering occasional public outreaches, which could include supervised digs at some of the site's existing excavation areas. Kubicek said that could give the public a chance to learn more about ancient people of southern Wisconsin before a future roadway alters the course of history.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

2010 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships - More Photos

Still waiting for standings and new pairings to go up - I'll keep checking but it's already 3:15 Montreal time, the final round starts in 15 minutes, eek!
Young and old once again came together in the 2010 Championnat.
R4: Bolduc (right) v. WIM Yuan Yuanling
Oasis banner, one of the sponsors of the 2010 Championnat.
A great mix of people in a beautiful venue.

2010 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships

R4 results are not yet up at the official website.  R5 starts in a little over an hour, Montreal time (it's about 2:23 p.m. there now).

Here is a screen shot of WIM Yuan Yuanling's R4 game which, unfortunately, she lost::

Here are some photos sent by Don McLean from the playing hall:
WIM Yuan Yuanling and Qin Zi Yi

R3: Hebert (right) v.  Sambuev
R3: Yuan (right) v. Robichard
Our little Goddesschess way-station :)  No action now but Don McLean
said many players and parents stopped by before the beginning of the
tournament to pick up a flyer on Goddesschess and chat for a few moments.

2010 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships - The Ladies

While Bernard O.  is too busy at the moment to get me a list of the chess femmes who entered the Championnat (totally understandable), I spent some time last night going through the lists and checking names against FIDE's players list to see if I could confirm the chess femmes.  In some cases I am not able to determine the gender of a player from a name (due entirely to my cultural ignorance), and in many cases FIDE's list did not help because those players were not listed.  But Bernard did confirm that he counted 10 ladies, and so did I - so they compose 5% of the total registered players.  Here they are:

WIM Yuan Yuanling (CAN 2363)
Miraym Roy (CAN 1884)

Section B:
Kelly Wang (CAN 1538)

Section C:
Marguerite Yang (CAN 1529)
Chantal Nicole (CAN 1295)
Zhang Wenyue (CAN 1108)
Claire Trottier (CAN 1236)
Lorraine Dubois (CAN 1184)

Section D:
Marina Roussel (CAN 1070?)
Lauriane Roussel (CAN 1051)

I will post the tournament results for each of the ladies at the conclusion of the Championnat.  Right now there are several photographs of the players, including several chess femmes, at the official website, but I cannot positively identify any of them!

2010 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships, R4 Top Boards

R4 starts at 9:30 a.m. Montreal time.  Here are the pairings for the top boards of the Open:

Official website.

You can watch the top three board games here - click on "parties en direct."

As you can see from the above pairings for R4, WIM Yuan Yuanling is at 2.5/3. 

Kelly Wang, as far as I have been able to determine the only chess femme playing in Group B, is at 1.0/3 and at 43/56 at the moment. 

Today is going to be a crazy day - I have an investment club meeting this morning, am filming a commercial for my sister who is a L'Bri skin care consultant (with the other ladies of the investment club) and yard work awaits!  It rained most of yesterday and when it finally cleared it was too wet to do anything outside.  So today I must do it all, including a trek to the supermarket and back and laundry.  Phew!  In my "spare" time (har!) I will report on Rounds 4 and 5.

2010 City of Montreal Open Chess Championships R3 Results

Top standings, all sections:


Section B:

Section C (in 2 parts):

Section D:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...