Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Goddesschess Fighting Chess Award

For the 2011 U.S. Women's Chess Championship that will be held once again in St. Louis, Missouri at the beautiful complex of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis April 15 - 29, 2011, Goddesschess is sponsoring a Fighting Chess Award.  We are pleased to carry on the tradition established in 2007!

The 2007 prize of $300 was a "brilliancy prize" and was ultimately awarded to Elizabeth Vicary for her win against Camille Baginskaite. 

2008 saw the name of the prize changed to the Fighting Chess Award, in honor of the kind of chess exemplified by the play of the Polgar sisters.  We increased the prize fund to $350 but not known to us at the time (but suspected), another $150 was contributed to the prize money, for a total of  $500.  Turns out those chess dudes over at threw in the extra money, which was a very nice gesture as I was working as a columnist for them at the time, writing on women's chess events and female chess players.  Thanks, guys!  Tatev Abrahamyan won the award that year for her performance of 6 wins and 3 losses - no draws!

In 2009, Anna Zatonskih not only swept away the entire field of players and finished the Championship with an oustanding 8.5/9, she also won the Fighting Chess Award.  She did not sit back in the later stages of play and coast to victory, even after it was clear that no one would be able to catch her. 

In 2010, Goddesschess teamed with 9 Queens and offered a Fighting Spirit Award (which I kept calling a Fighting Chess Award) of $1,000!  The winner was Tatev Abrahamyan for her uncompromising play: she finished in 3rd place, although tied with Anna Zatonskih (who finished in 2nd place overall) with an incredible 7.5/9.  Tatev had 7 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss.

Our judges have been GM Susan Polgar (Women's World Champion 1996-1999) and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (Women's World Champion 2008-2010). We are so grateful to have obtained the judgment of these outstanding chessplayers in awarding the Goddesschess prize!

GM Kosteniuk has agreed to be our judge again this year. The Fighting Chess Award is back for 2011, this year $600. 

Who will win it this year?

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