Sorry I haven't been posting much the past few days. We switched to "daylight savings time" last week (the week before?) -- I don't remember exactly when. I'm having a hard time adjusting, just like I had a hard time in the spring this year when we "leaped ahead" an hour. Yeah, I supposedly gained an hour of sleep one Saturday night, but honestly, I've been heading to bed at 9 p.m. or shortly after, because my body is telling me it is actually 10 p.m. or after! I just cannot win!
This year's European Team Chess Championships are now herstory. The top three women's teams were:
I have my favorite players that I follow when I see them listed in events. In this year's ETCC-Women, I had 10 players I was following, and I lost track of some of them, because they were alternating with other players on their teams and weren't playing every single game. I won't go into all the details of their performances here, but I would like to point out some things.
First of all, I was following the 12th Women's World Chess Champion, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk. She had some very tough tournaments earlier this year where she did not perform well. But - the important thing - she never gave up. She kept playing, she kept fighting. Event after event, a very full schedule for this mother away from her husband and young daughter for so long! Now, I don't follow gossip on line or participate in message boards or post messages at blogs the way I used to years ago, so I don't know for a fact that some people may have been saying that Alexadra was no longer a top-tier female player - but I'll bet such things were said and/or implied.
Anyone who would say or snidely imply such things just doesn't know this woman or understand how women work, in general! I don't claim a great acquaintance with Alexandra, but after exchanging correspondence over the years, I did meet her (finally) in person in September in St. Louis, while she was there to participate in the Kings v. Queens Tournament at the St. Louis Chess Club. I know that Alexandra has a great heart and a great spirit, like all the women's chess champions do. One simply cannot achieve that peak of success as a chessplayer without having such heart and spirit. I will never, ever count Alexandra down and out!
And Alexandra proved that she still has what it takes to win! In addition to winning a Gold Medal for her part in her Team's performance, Alexandra also won an individual Gold Medal for her performance on Board 4. A well-deserved medal, I might add. She was great!
You can check out her numbers performance (statistics measuring lots of different performances) at chess-results.com (tournament) and also at chessqueen.com (story). We've been invited to share the photos posted there - great photos -- you can check them out in more detail:
A happy Russian Women's Team - and rightfully so. Anyone who thinks chess is a game of nerds hasn't seen these women, that's for sure!
Alexandra wrote at chessqueen.com:
All the players in our team had a great result. I got 5.5 out of 7 (4 wins and 3 draws) and got the highest rating performance of my team, 2575 ELO. Our team’s average rating performance was 2523, even higher than our starting average rating of 2509, which was the highest team average at the start of the championship. Out of the 9 x 4 = 36 games played by our team, we only lost 3 individual games, but never lost a single match.
Of 124 female players, Alexandra's performance ranked 4th overall (top 10 only shown, below):
The best players sorted according Rp,Pts,games,%,board (Final Ranking after 9 Rounds)
Another Goddesschess friend, IM Salome Melia, (who married in early summer this year) playing on the Georgian Women's Team, also won two medals: A Team Bronze Medal and an Individual Bronze Medal for her performance on Board 5:
Rank Name Rtg Team Rp Rtg-O Pts G %
1 WGM Pogonina, Natalija 2451 RUS 2518 2278 4 5 80.0
2 IM Muzychuk, Mariya 2460 UKR 2468 2327 5,5 8 68.8
3 IM Melia, Salome 2392 GEO 2460 2302 5 7 71.4
Come on, Salome! I have faith that you can earn a GM title.
GM Kateryna Lahno did well for her team and for herself. While the Ukrainian Women's Team finished out of contention for a Team Medal, Lahno won an individual Silver Medal for her excellent performance on Board 1:
Rank Name Rtg Team Rp Rtg-O Pts G %
1 IM Muzychuk, Anna 2557 SLO 2782 2338 8,5 9 94.4
2 GM Lahno, Kateryna 2549 UKR 2632 2474 5 7 71.43 GM Dzagnidze, Nana 2516 GEO 2593 2498 5 8 62.5
Performance wise, here is how the women I was following placed (of 124 female players):
21 IM Dembo Yelena 2468 Greece 2459 5.5 9 61.1 1
|70||WGM||Calzetta Ruiz Monica||2301||Spain||2284||4.5||7||64.3||2|
So, it looks like Kateryna Lahno, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Melia Salome, Dana Reizniece-Ozola and Narmin Kazimova will gain some ratings points as a result of their performances at the 2011 European Team Chess Championships - Women. Congratulations!