Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Swiss Museum of Games - Musee Suisse du Jeu

Goddesschess first met Dr. Ulrich Schaedler in Amsterdam at the end of November, 2001 when Don McLean, Georgia Albert, her daughter Michelle, and I attended a symposium of chess historians, scholars and interested parties at the Max Euwe Institute under the auspices of the Initiativ Gruppe Konigstein ("IGK"). 



Dr. Schaedler or, Stooping Wolf, as we know him (we all gave ourselves 'nicknames' over the years), has been a friend of Gchess ever since.  A year or so ago he visited Georgia in Las Vegas with friends/family to attend a concert at the MGM Grand performed by a group that he'd always wanted to see.  At the time the euro v. dollar ratio was so favorable, the trip was made at a greatly discounted price.  When we first visited Amsterdam in 2001, the price ratio was the just the opposite, and we got round-trip airfares out of Montreal for $333 each, and hotel rooms in Amsterdam for about $30 USD a night.  Back then, we paid in The Netherlands' old currency -- the Euro hadn't been officially adopted by the country at the time!  How times change...

But we don't.  Oh yes, we grow older as we look at ourselves in the mirror and in photographs, but in our heart and in our mind's eye, we remain the same forever -- at whatever "age" we thought we were our "best" ...  In truth, we are always at our best, even as we age, as long as we maintain our zest to always make ourselves better and to keep on learning new things.  Shhhhh, that's a secret not everyone has realized. 

While visiting GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's chessqueen.com, I found photographs of Alexandra and Dr. Ulrich Schaedler taken at The Swiss Museum of Games when she visited there in October, 2011.  Ulrich has been curator at the Museum for several years. When Ulrich first took over as curator, the Musee did not even have a decent website!  Glad to say that now, it does!

In 1999, Don McLean represented Goddesschess at an IGK Symposium in Hamburg, Germany, and gave a talk about how the internet would change the future of research into the origins of chess and other ancient boardgames and how it would facilitate collaberation and the publication of research.  Back then, Don's talk was met with some skeptical eyes, but what he talked about that day proved to be true as the internet grew and grew and grew, and Goddesschess grew along with it.  Now, we take it for granted that you can type in just about any subject you want to find out more about into your favorite search engine, and you will get some results.  But back then, it was still new, and there wasn't much information available like the info we compiled.

On May 6, 2012, Goddesschess will celebrate its 13th anniversary online.  Whew!  Hard to believe.  We're not getting older, we're just getting better and better and better...

Stooping Wolf, you're a handsome man!

2011 European Team Chess Championships - Women

Hola darlings!

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:

Rk.SNoTeamTeamGames+ = - TB1 TB2 TB3 TB4 TB5
11
RussiaRUS98101725.5177.0165.50137.5
25
PolandPOL96211423.0178.0133.25138.5
33
GeorgiaGEO97021422.5181.0134.00139.0

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.
As for individual performances, everyone in our team did great! Apart from everyone in our Russian women’s team getting a team Gold medal, I got an individual Gold medal on the 4th board, as did Tatiana Kosintseva on board 2 and Natalija Pogonina on board 5. Valentina Gunina got an individual Bronze medal on board 3, and Nadezhda Kosintseva barely missed a medal with her 4th place on the 1st board, which is still a great performance. In all our 5-person team got 9 medals (8 Gold, 1 Bronze), almost the maximum!

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)

No.NameRtgTeamRpPts.Games%Bo.
1IMMuzychuk Anna2557Slovenia27828.5994.41
2GMLahno Kateryna2549Ukraine26325.0771.41
3GMDzagnidze Nana2516Georgia25935.0862.51
4GMKosteniuk Alexandra2439Russia25755.5778.63
5IMKhurtsidze Nino2440Georgia25736.5881.33
6GMKosintseva Tatiana2526Russia25596.0875.02
7IMUshenina Anna2463Ukraine25386.0875.02
8WGMZawadzka Jolanta2326Poland25245.5868.82
9GMKosintseva Nadezhda2546Russia25245.5961.11
10WIMOhme Melanie2361Germany25216.5881.32

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:

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:

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):

No.NameRtgTeamRpPts.Games%Bo.

2GMLahno Kateryna2549Ukraine26325.0771.41
4GMKosteniuk Alexandra2439Russia25755.5778.63
20 IM Melia Salome 2392 Georgia 2460 5.0 7 71.4 4
21 IM Dembo Yelena 2468 Greece 2459 5.5 9 61.1 1
50WGMReizniece-Ozola Dana2281Latvia23445.0955.61
61WGML’ami Alina2364Romania23083.0742.91
68WGMRudolf Anna2347Hungary22863.5750.02
70WGMCalzetta Ruiz Monica2301Spain22844.5764.32
73WIMKazimova Narmin2241Azerbaijan22783.5750.02
87IMHouska Jovanka2415England22212.5831.31

 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!

Friday, November 11, 2011

2011 European Team Chess Championships - Women

And the winner is ...  RUSSIA!

Final Ranking after 9 Rounds

Rk.SNoTeamTeamGames+ = - TB1 TB2 TB3 TB4 TB5
11
RussiaRUS98101725.5177.0165.50137.5
25
PolandPOL96211423.0178.0133.25138.5
33
GeorgiaGEO97021422.5181.0134.00139.0
42
UkraineUKR96031221.5180.0110.50138.0
512
FranceFRA96031221.0172.5107.50133.5
68
BulgariaBUL95131119.5175.5100.00135.5
74
ArmeniaARM94321119.0182.0104.00139.5
87
GermanyGER94231020.5161.586.50125.5
915
IsraelISR94231019.0164.585.00125.5
1011
SloveniaSLO94231019.0146.074.50119.5
1110
SpainESP9414919.5152.069.00117.5
1218
Czech Rep.CZE9333918.0176.085.00136.0
1313
NetherlandsNED9333918.0167.081.25128.5
1421
AustriaAUT9414917.5150.062.25120.5
156
HungaryHUN9333917.0172.079.00129.5
1619
CroatiaCRO9414917.0169.079.25129.0
179
RomaniaROM9414916.5184.584.75142.0
1814
SerbiaSRB9324819.5151.052.75124.5
1923
ItalyITA9324818.0132.548.25110.5
2017
AzerbaijanAZE9324817.5159.565.75123.5
2116
GreeceGRE9243817.0165.570.25127.0
2227
TurkeyTUR9315717.0157.558.00124.0
2322
EnglandENG9315717.0146.544.00122.0
2426
LithuaniaLTU9144615.5147.537.50122.5
2525
SwitzerlandSUI9225614.0152.539.25125.5
2620
LatviaLAT9216517.0133.526.50110.5
2724
MontenegroMNE9216513.5150.530.50125.5
2828
NorwayNOR900904.0151.00.00118.0
Annotation:
Tie Break1: Matchpoints (2 for wins, 1 for Draws, 0 for Losses)
Tie Break2: points (game-points)
Tie Break3: Buchholz Tie-Breaks (sum of team-points of the opponents)
Tie Break4: Sonneborn-Berger-Tie-Break (with real points)
Tie Break5: Buchholz Tie-Breaks (variabel with parameter)

Here are the final match results for Round 9:

Round 9 on 2011/11/11 at 13:00
Bo.1
Russia
Rtg-21
Austria
Rtg3 : 1
1.1GMKosintseva Nadezhda2546-IMMoser Eva2448½ - ½
1.2IMGunina Valentina2514-WIMKopinits Anna-Christina22761 - 0
1.3GMKosteniuk Alexandra2439-WFMNewrkla Katharina21311 - 0
1.4WGMPogonina Natalija2451-WFMNovkovic Julia2089½ - ½
Bo.4
Armenia
Rtg-5
Poland
Rtg2 : 2
2.1GMDanielian Elina2507-GMSocko Monika2479½ - ½
2.2IMMkrtchian Lilit2469-WGMZawadzka Jolanta23260 - 1
2.3IMGalojan Lilit2383-WGMMajdan-Gajewska Joanna23861 - 0
2.4WGMKursova Maria2315-WGMSzczepkowska-Horowska Karina2379½ - ½
Bo.12
France
Rtg-2
Ukraine
Rtg3 : 1
3.1IMMilliet Sophie2386-GMZhukova Natalia24271 - 0
3.2WGMMaisuradze Nino2315-IMUshenina Anna2463½ - ½
3.3WGMGuichard Pauline2305-IMGaponenko Inna24351 - 0
3.4WGMLeconte Maria2282-IMMuzychuk Mariya2460½ - ½
Bo.9
Romania
Rtg-3
Georgia
Rtg1½:2½
4.1IMFoisor Cristina-Adela2418-GMDzagnidze Nana25160 - 1
4.2WGMCosma Elena-Luminita2335-IMJavakhishvili Lela2475½ - ½
4.3WIMBulmaga Irina2334-IMKhurtsidze Nino24401 - 0
4.4WGMVoicu-Jagodzinsky Carmen2300-IMMelia Salome23920 - 1
Bo.15
Israel
Rtg-7
Germany
Rtg2 : 2
5.1IMKlinova Masha2316-WGMMichna Marta23821 - 0
5.2WIMPorat Maya2299-WIMOhme Melanie23610 - 1
5.3WIMEfroimski Marsel2230-WGMLevushkina Elena23070 - 1
5.4WIMVasiliev Olga2305-WIMHoolt Sarah22861 - 0
Bo.18
Czech Rep.
Rtg-8
Bulgaria
Rtg1 : 3
6.1WGMKulovana Eva2297-GMStefanova Antoaneta2531½ - ½
6.2WGMNemcova Katerina2276-WGMVidenova Iva2297½ - ½
6.3WIMHavlikova Kristyna2285-WGMVoiska Margarita23280 - 1
6.4WIMOlsarova Tereza2232-WGMNikolova Adriana22860 - 1
Bo.11
Slovenia
Rtg-14
Serbia
Rtg2½:1½
7.1IMMuzychuk Anna2557-IMBojkovic Natasa23961 - 0
7.2WGMKrivec Jana2291-WGMChelushkina Irina22761 - 0
7.3WGMSrebrnic Ana2219-WGMStojanovic Andjelija22800 - 1
7.4WIMRozic Vesna2263-WIMDrljevic Ljilja2273½ - ½
Bo.6
Hungary
Rtg-17
Azerbaijan
Rtg2 : 2
8.1GMHoang Thanh Trang2446-WGMMamedjarova Zeinab2314½ - ½
8.2WGMRudolf Anna2347-WIMKazimova Narmin2241½ - ½
8.3WGMGara Ticia2375-WIMMammadova Gulnar22900 - 1
8.4IMGara Anita2340-WIMUmudova Nargiz22101 - 0
Bo.13
Netherlands
Rtg-22
England
Rtg3 : 1
9.1GMPeng Zhaoqin2379-IMHouska Jovanka24151 - 0
9.2IMLanchava Tea2320-WFMYurenok Maria S21061 - 0
9.3WIMBensdorp Marlies2242-WFMBhatia Kanwal K20871 - 0
9.4WIMHaast Anne2268-WFMHegarty Sarah N20600 - 1
Bo.27
Turkey
Rtg-19
Croatia
Rtg1½:2½
10.1WIMYildiz Betul Cemre2301-WGMGolubenko Valentina22931 - 0
10.2WIMOzturk Kubra2239-WIMFranciskovic Borka2280½ - ½
10.3Cemhan Kardelen1881-WGMMedic Mirjana22360 - 1
10.4Menzi Nezihe Ezgi1911-WIMJelica Mara22340 - 1
Bo.10
Spain
Rtg-26
Lithuania
Rtg3½: ½
11.1IMAlexandrova Olga2423-WGMDaulyte Deimante22381 - 0
11.2WGMVega Gutierrez Sabrina2327-WIMZaksaite Salomeja2200½ - ½
11.3WGMCalzetta Ruiz Monica2301-Batkovskyte Dominyka21021 - 0
11.4WIMHernandez Estevez Yudania2284-Vanagaite Giedre19581 - 0
Bo.16
Greece
Rtg-20
Latvia
Rtg2½:1½
12.1IMDembo Yelena2468-WGMReizniece-Ozola Dana2281½ - ½
12.2WGMBotsari Anna-Maria2313-WGMBerzina Ilze23201 - 0
12.3WIMFakhiridou Ekaterini2180-WIMSkinke Katrina2227½ - ½
12.4WIMPavlidou Ekaterini2176-WGMErneste Inguna2218½ - ½
Bo.23
Italy
Rtg-24
Montenegro
Rtg2½:1½
13.1IMSedina Elena2343-WGMVojinovic Jovana2346½ - ½
13.2IMZimina Olga2338-WFMMilovic Aleksandra21711 - 0
13.3WIMBrunello Marina2221-WFMStojanovic Marija R2095½ - ½
13.4Panella Fiammetta2014-Blagojevic Tijana1925½ - ½
Bo.28
Norway
Rtg-25
Switzerland
Rtg1½:2½
14.1WFMJohnsen Sylvia2028-WIMSeps Monika21980 - 1
14.2Reppen Ellisiv1949-WIMHeinatz Dr Gundula22050 - 1
14.3Carlsen Ellen Oen1931-De Seroux Camille2056½ - ½
14.4Hansen Erle Andrea Marki1762-Stoeri Laura19391 - 0

I skipped a couple days - c'est la vie.  You can find full results for the European Women's Team Chess Championship at chess-results.com.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

15,000 Year Old Cave "Paintings" Found in Swabia

Isn't Swabia where they found a carved bone "Venus"???  I'll check on that  -- (see below)

Stone Age paintings found in Swabia
Published: 9 Nov 11 07:25 CET

Archaeologists have found cave paintings thought to be Central Europe's oldest such artwork in Baden-W├╝rttemberg’s Swabian Alps.

They found four painted stones from the cave Hohle Fels near Schelklingen, although the meaning of the red-brown spots is still a mystery.

The stone paintings, thought to be 15,000 years old, are being displayed at a special exhibition at the University of T├╝bingen’s museum.

The spots don’t seem particularly artistic at first glance. But they are important because they represent the first time such old paintings have been found in Central Europe, although similar work has been seen in France and Spain.

The stones at Hohe Fels appear to have been painted with a mixture of red chalk and lime, with water from the cave, said excavation technician Maria Malina.

“These spots are anything but accidental,” said archaeologist Nicholas Conard who assisted on the find. “It is quite clear that they have relevant content.”

What it all really means remains unclear. There is speculation the spots could refer to shamanism or be a menstrual calendar of sorts.

Hohle Fels has been a magnet for archaeologists in recent years after researchers working there found a Venus figure and flutes thought to be 40,000 years old.

The Local/DPA/mdm

****************************************************************
Related Links:

35,000 Year Old "Venus" Figurine
November 3, 2009

World's Oldest Flute?
June 24, 2009

New "Venus" Figurine Discovered
May 15, 2009

2011 European Team Chess Championships - Women

The best players sorted according Rp,Pts,games,%,board (Rank after Round 7)

No. NameRtgTeamRpPts.Games%Bo.
1
IMMuzychuk Anna2557Slovenia27416.5792.91
2
IMKhurtsidze Nino2440Georgia27235.5691.73
3
GMLahno Kateryna2549Ukraine26714.5675.01
4
WGMPogonina Natalija2451Russia26102.5383.34
5
GMKosintseva Tatiana2526Russia26035.5778.62
6
GMKosteniuk Alexandra2439Russia25744.5675.03
7
GMDzagnidze Nana2516Georgia25633.5658.31
8
WGMSzczepkowska-H. Karina2379Poland25515.5778.63
9
IMUshenina Anna2463Ukraine25354.5675.02
10
GMSocko Monika2479Poland25334.5764.31

Board Pairings

Round 7 on 2011/11/09 at 15:00
Bo.4
Armenia
Rtg-1
Russia
Rtg1½:2½
1.1GMDanielian Elina2507-GMKosintseva Nadezhda2546½ - ½
1.2IMMkrtchian Lilit2469-GMKosintseva Tatiana2526½ - ½
1.3IMGalojan Lilit2383-GMKosteniuk Alexandra2439½ - ½
1.4WGMKursova Maria2315-WGMPogonina Natalija24510 - 1
Bo.5
Poland
Rtg-2
Ukraine
Rtg2½:1½
2.1GMSocko Monika2479-GMLahno Kateryna25491 - 0
2.2WGMZawadzka Jolanta2326-GMZhukova Natalia24271 - 0
2.3WGMMajdan Gajewska Joanna2386-IMUshenina Anna2463½ - ½
2.4WGMSzczepkowska-H. Karina2379-IMMuzychuk Mariya24600 - 1
Bo.3
Georgia
Rtg-11
Slovenia
Rtg3½: ½
3.1GMDzagnidze Nana2516-IMMuzychuk Anna2557½ - ½
3.2IMJavakhishvili Lela2475-WGMKrivec Jana22911 - 0
3.3IMKhurtsidze Nino2440-WGMSrebrnic Ana22191 - 0
3.4IMMelia Salome2392-WIMRozic Vesna22631 - 0
Bo.12
France
Rtg-14
Serbia
Rtg3 : 1
4.1IMMilliet Sophie2386-IMBojkovic Natasa23961 - 0
4.2WGMMaisuradze Nino2315-WGMChelushkina Irina22761 - 0
4.3WGMGuichard Pauline2305-WGMStojanovic Andjelija2280½ - ½
4.4WGMLeconte Maria2282-WIMEric Jovana2236½ - ½
Bo.8
Bulgaria
Rtg-7
Germany
Rtg2½:1½
5.1GMStefanova Antoaneta2531-IMPaehtz Elisabeth24571 - 0
5.2WGMVidenova Iva2297-WGMMichna Marta23820 - 1
5.3WGMDjingarova Emilia2309-WIMOhme Melanie2361½ - ½
5.4WGMNikolova Adriana2286-WIMHoolt Sarah22861 - 0
Bo.17
Azerbaijan
Rtg-18
Czech Rep.
Rtg1 : 3
6.1WGMMamedjarova Zeinab2314-WGMKulovana Eva22970 - 1
6.2WIMKazimova Narmin2241-WGMNemcova Katerina2276½ - ½
6.3WIMMammadova Gulnar2290-WIMHavlikova Kristyna2285½ - ½
6.4WIMUmudova Nargiz2210-WIMOlsarova Tereza22320 - 1
Bo.13
Netherlands
Rtg-6
Hungary
Rtg1½:2½
7.1GMPeng Zhaoqin2379-GMHoang Thanh Trang2446½ - ½
7.2IMLanchava Tea2320-IMMadl Ildiko2399½ - ½
7.3WIMBensdorp Marlies2242-WGMRudolf Anna2347½ - ½
7.4WIMHaast Anne2268-IMGara Anita23400 - 1
Bo.9
Romania
Rtg-20
Latvia
Rtg2½:1½
8.1IMFoisor Cristina-Adela2418-WGMReizniece-Ozola Dana22811 - 0
8.2WGML'ami Alina2364-WGMBerzina Ilze23200 - 1
8.3WIMBulmaga Irina2334-WIMSkinke Katrina22271 - 0
8.4WGMVoicu Jagodzinsky Carmen2300-WFMUngure Liga2066½ - ½
Bo.10
Spain
Rtg-21
Austria
Rtg1½:2½
9.1WGMVega Gutierrez Sabrina2327-IMMoser Eva24480 - 1
9.2WGMCalzetta Ruiz Monica2301-WFMExler Veronika2124½ - ½
9.3WIMHernandez Estevez Yudania2284-WIMKopinits Anna-Christina22761 - 0
9.4WFMPascual Palomo Lucia2104-WFMNewrkla Katharina21310 - 1
Bo.27
Turkey
Rtg-15
Israel
Rtg1½:2½
10.1WIMYildiz Betul Cemre2301-IMKlinova Masha2316½ - ½
10.2WIMOzturk Kubra2239-WIMPorat Maya22990 - 1
10.3Cemhan Kardelen1881-WIMEfroimski Marsel22301 - 0
10.4Menzi Nezihe Ezgi1911-WIMVasiliev Olga23050 - 1
Bo.19
Croatia
Rtg-23
Italy
Rtg2½:1½
11.1WGMGolubenko Valentina2293-IMZimina Olga2338½ - ½
11.2WGMMedic Mirjana2236-WIMBrunello Marina22210 - 1
11.3WIMSaric Kristina2255-Messina Roberta19641 - 0
11.4WIMJelica Mara2234-Panella Fiammetta20141 - 0
Bo.22
England
Rtg-16
Greece
Rtg2 : 2
12.1IMHouska Jovanka2415-IMDembo Yelena24680 - 1
12.2IMCiuksyte Dagne2327-WGMBotsari Anna-Maria23131 - 0
12.3WFMYurenok Maria S2106-WGMMakropoulou Marina22011 - 0
12.4WFMHegarty Sarah N2060-WIMFakhiridou Ekaterini21800 - 1
Bo.25
Switzerland
Rtg-26
Lithuania
Rtg2 : 2
13.1WIMSeps Monika2198-WGMDaulyte Deimante2238½ - ½
13.2WIMHeinatz Dr Gundula2205-WIMZaksaite Salomeja2200½ - ½
13.3De Seroux Camille2056-Batkovskyte Dominyka21021 - 0
13.4Stoeri Laura1939-Vanagaite Giedre19580 - 1
Bo.24
Montenegro
Rtg-28
Norway
Rtg2½:1½
14.1WGMVojinovic Jovana2346-WFMJohnsen Sylvia20281 - 0
14.2WFMMilovic Aleksandra2171-Reppen Ellisiv19491 - 0
14.3WFMStojanovic Marija R2095-Carlsen Ellen Oen1931½ - ½
14.4Blagojevic Tijana1925-Hansen Erle Andrea Marki17620 - 1
xxxxx

Mary Ann Gomes Arrives!

From The Times of India:

Mary arrives on the big stage


CHENNAI: For 12 years, Mary Ann Gomes played and won chess tournaments of different levels. On Wednesday, her career reached a new road which will put the 22-year-old on par with the few stalwarts of Indian women's chess. Her first Premier national women's title will give Mary Ann a ticket to the Indian team's journey to the biennial Olympiad next year but more that what the Kolkata girl would be pleased about her performance in Chennai in the last two weeks is the way she methodically achieved her targets.

"I was not looking at the title when I started," said Mary Ann, who first won a national title (under-10) in 1999. "I had made two IM norms (men's) and I was happy that I could add the third (and the title) in the penultimate round," she added. India has only two (men's) Grandmasters among women in Koneru Humpy and D Harika and only four IMs in the fairer sex, though there are many Women's Grandmasters.

To her credit, Mary Ann, who is on a contract with AAI, has achieved everything without much help from outside. "I used to train with GM Dibyendu Barua but now I am on my own," says the new champion proudly. Of course, women's chess in India is at a crossroads with even the likes of Humpy and Harika not able to get the right coaches to further their career.

However, Mary Ann, at the moment, is not bugged by this. "When I started, I liked chess and so I did not think about anything else. I did not set any goals for me," she said as she held the trophy closely. "Dad (Charles Gomes) used to play chess. Maybe, when I played in the Ahmedabad age-group national when I was 9, I thought I should set goals for myself."

She achieved two of the goals in Chennai in the last fortnight (IM title and Premier national trophy) but Mary Ann knows her journey has just started and not reached anywhere. "I have a long way to go," she looked afar and muttered, maybe to herself. She will add some 30 Elo points from the Chennai meet and could move closer to the rating requirement for IM title (2400 points). Mary Ann knows that she will be going to the Olympiad but then she has already got enough experience in that area.

"I played in the Olympiad in 2006 (Turin) and 2008 (Dresden). The last time, I won a silver medal on the reserve board," recalled Mary of her Dresden performance. The new champion's next goal should be to emulate Humpy and Harika and belong to the men's field completely.

38th Indian Women's National Chess Championship

OHMYGODDESS!  Mary Ann Gomes wins the title!

From The Times of India.

Mary Ann Gomes bags maiden national title


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Free Man In Paris

Tonight I want to write about a song Ive have in my head for MONTHS. It all started in some dream or other, something from one of my past lives, maybe.  Not sure I've had any, by the way, but I sure do dream about them often enough and I tend to be generous with myself when it comes to this sort of thing, so maybe it's actually true... 



The longer I've resisted writing about the particular 'thing,' the stronger and stronger Joni Mitchell has been insisting on singing this song full tilt inside my head!  No doubt there is a sound psychological reason for it - like I turned 60 this year, for instance, and I'm going through some sort of mental review of my past herstory.  Or I could just be - finally - losing my mind.  I don't think early onset Alzheimers exhibits this particular kind of symptom, which is a relief.  Sigh!  Then again...

ta...ta......ta....(harmonious blending of sounds from guitars, drums and horns in the background)...ta... ta...... ta....I am hearing those chords echoing in my brain from THAT SONG, all the time, and it's driving me mad, I tell you, MAD. Not that I wasn't already quite MAD before, but now I mean it.  I'm really, really MAD. 

Walking down to the bus stop in the morning, it's especially strong.  Somehow, my cadence always seems to match that song playing inside my brain, ta...ta......ta.... OH OH... time to call out the men in the white coats 'They're coming to take me away, aha! They're coming to take me away, ho ho!..."   Oh boy.

Okay, maybe it's work related.  Or weather related?  Seems the only time I'm going out at barely sunrise in the cold dark days of November, December, January, February, March is when I'm marching down to the bus stop to head to the office -- well, you get the picture.  And now, since so-called "Daylight Savings Time" has kicked in, I'm not only waking up to darkness in the morning, I'm also going home in the dark too.  And I do mean dark.  Tonight, in the storm, it was pitch black out there, couldn't even see a tree limb coming at me if my life depended upon it...  How does this damn cell phone work?  I got a new one about a month ago now, and it's been sitting inside a draw ever since because I haven't had time to figure out how it goes together and how to run the damn thing.  I purchased the subscription (or whatever it's called) through the office not to communicate with anyone other than 911, just in case I slip on some ice in the dark on the long walk home from the bus stop, or I happen to get smushed underneath a tree limb some dark, stormy night, like tonight...

FREE MAN IN PARIS - YEAH, I'M THE MAN. Or maybe I'm Joni Mitchell, in my next life...the way I see it... you just can't win it...

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