Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chicagoland Richards High School to Post All-Female Chess Team

Check ... this out: Richards boasts first all-girls chess team lineup

2012 FIDE Women's World Chess Championship

Results from R3, Game 1.  From 64 we're now down to 16.  The Kosintseva sisters played each other.  Ridiculous!  Winners in bold, Americans in red (well, only one left, IM Irina Krush):

NameG1G2 R1 R2 r3 r4 B1 B2 SDTot
Round 3 Match 01
Socko, Monika (POL)0 0
Stefanova, Antoaneta (BUL)1 1

Round 3 Match 02
Ju, Wenjun (CHN)1 1
Zhukova, Natalia (UKR)0 0

Round 3 Match 03
Ushenina, Anna (UKR)1 1
Pogonina, Natalija (RUS)0 0

Round 3 Match 04
Muzychuk, Mariya (UKR)½ 0.5
Zhao, Xue (CHN)½ 0.5

Round 3 Match 05
Javakhishvili, Lela (GEO)½ 0.5
Harika, Dronavalli (IND)½ 0.5

Round 3 Match 06
Kosintseva, Tatiana (RUS)½ 0.5
Kosintseva, Nadezhda (RUS)½ 0.5

Round 3 Match 07
Huang, Qian (CHN)0 0
Krush, Irina (USA)1 1

Round 3 Match 08
Galliamova, Alisa (RUS)0 0
Sebag, Marie (FRA)1 1

Friday, November 16, 2012

2012 FIDE Women's World Chess Championship

Hou Yifan crashes and burns! Monika Socko, who earned her GM title the traditional way, is knocking off all comers INCLUDING HOU and is on fire, but will these play-off games take a toll? 

Maybe not!!! Irina Krush advanced into R3 after battling through a second straight play-off (she also battled through a play-off in R1), whomping veteran GM Pia Cramling, who also earned her title the traditional way.  Krush was taking no prisoners today.

Some favorites have been eliminated; indeed, if they're betting on this in Las Vegas, the odds have no doubt gone absolutely nut-so after elimination of the favorites (Hou and Koneru, among others).  WOW!  One American is left (Krush) -- Anna Zatonskih battled Ju Wenjun for FOUR play-off games, trying to find a way to advance.  She couldn't.  She goes home bruised and battered, but I hope she feels good about herself.  She fought her heart out!  This sure is turning into one damn interesting Women's World Championship, woo woo!

Results from R2 play-offs.  Players advancing are in bold, Americans in red.

Round 2 Match 01
Socko, Monika (POL)0111 3
Hou, Yifan (CHN)10001

Round 2 Match 03
Ushenina, Anna (UKR)½½11 3
Muzychuk, Anna (SLO)½½001

Round 2 Match 04
Zhao, Xue (CHN)101½ 2.5
Khurtsidze, Nino (GEO)010½1.5

Round 2 Match 06
Kosintseva, Nadezhda (RUS)½½011½ 3.5
Mkrtchian, Lilit (ARM)½½100½2.5

Round 2 Match 10
Cramling, Pia (SWE)10001
Krush, Irina (USA)0111 3

Round 2 Match 15
Zatonskih, Anna (USA)½½½½00 2
Ju, Wenjun (CHN)½½½½11 4

Thursday, November 15, 2012

2012 FIDE Women's World Chess Championship

Koneru Humpy is OUT!  Hou Yifan LOST and has to go to a play-off tomorrow.  Maybe the world is going to end on December 21, 2012 after all...  Players going through to R3 are in bold, Americans in red.  USA's Irina Krush goes into her second play-off round tomorrow; Anna Zatonskih goes into her first play-off.  A lot of play-offs tomorrow, wooo wooo, this is getting good!

Results R2, Game 2:

NameG1G2 R1 R2 r3 r4 B1 B2 SDTot
Round 2 Match 01
Socko, Monika (POL)01 1
Hou, Yifan (CHN)10 1

Round 2 Match 02
Koneru, Humpy (IND)00 0
Zhukova, Natalia (UKR)11 2

Round 2 Match 03
Ushenina, Anna (UKR)½½ 1
Muzychuk, Anna (SLO)½½ 1

Round 2 Match 04
Zhao, Xue (CHN)10 1
Khurtsidze, Nino (GEO)01 1

Round 2 Match 05
Javakhishvili, Lela (GEO)½1 1.5
Lahno, Kateryna (UKR)½0 0.5

Round 2 Match 06
Kosintseva, Nadezhda (RUS)½½ 1
Mkrtchian, Lilit (ARM)½½ 1

Round 2 Match 07
Huang, Qian (CHN)½1 1.5
Cmilyte, Viktorija (LTU)½0 0.5

Round 2 Match 08
Sebag, Marie (FRA)½1 1.5
Girya, Olga (RUS)½0 0.5

Round 2 Match 09
Galliamova, Alisa (RUS)½1 1.5
Gunina, Valentina (RUS)½0 0.5

Round 2 Match 10
Cramling, Pia (SWE)10 1
Krush, Irina (USA)01 1

Round 2 Match 11
Hoang, Thanh Trang (HUN)½0 0.5
Kosintseva, Tatiana (RUS)½1 1.5

Round 2 Match 12
Harika, Dronavalli (IND)1½ 1.5
Danielian, Elina (ARM)0½ 0.5

Round 2 Match 13
Muzychuk, Mariya (UKR)1½ 1.5
Arribas Robaina, Maritza (CUB)0½ 0.5

Round 2 Match 14
Kosteniuk, Alexandra (RUS)½0 0.5
Pogonina, Natalija (RUS)½1 1.5

Round 2 Match 15
Zatonskih, Anna (USA)½½ 1
Ju, Wenjun (CHN)½½ 1

Round 2 Match 16
Stefanova, Antoaneta (BUL)½1 1.5
Zhu, Chen (QAT)½0 0.5

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Auction Watch: Noguchi Table Sells for Over $100,000

Noguchi chess table captures $109,250 at S and S Auction

Written by Auction House PR
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 15:32


[Excerpted]  REPAUPO, N.J. – A rare and important chess table designed by Isamu Noguchi for Herman Miller in the 1940s and discovered by a contractor renovating a home outside Newark, sold for $109,250 at an estates sale Oct. 22 conducted by S&S Auction Inc.

“The contractor found the table – in sections,” said Glenn Sweeney of S&S Auction Inc. “Someone suggested he bring it to our auction, which he did, along with four other modern pieces. He had no idea of the table's importance until he saw it featured on the home page of our website. In the end, a buyer in Los Angeles purchased it for $95,000, plus the buyer's premium.”

The original design for the table was made in 1944 for the Imagery of Chess exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York City. There, it was lauded as “the most beautiful piece in the show.” In 1947, designer George Nelson convinced Herman Miller to commercially produce the table, but in limited quantities. Only about eight of this particular table are known to exist.

The table was by far the top lot in a two-session auction that featured uncataloged items in the daytime and cataloged lots in the evening. The table sold in the evening session, along with 232 other lots, most of which were fresh-to-the-market items pulled from prominent estates and local collections. Over the course of a long day, around 500 people attended the auction live.

In addition, more than 250 people registered to bid online, through, and phone and absentee bids were brisk at both sessions. Most lots were sold via the phone and the Internet.

“The table helped make a good sale a great sale,” Sweeney remarked, “with healthy prices realized for many of the better items proving the upper end of the market remains strong.”

No mention of how the contractor managed to take the table (and the other items) -- with or without the owner's consent?  In lieu of pay?  Because the owners were stupid and said haul away that shit?  Also, no mention of how the table was restored (it came in "sections," after all, something had to be done to put it back together, or was it just like a jig-saw puzzle?) or how much any restoration work cost. 

31-Year Old Woman Dies After Being Denied "Abortion"

Please read this news article all the way through.  Have YOU ever heard of a 17 week old fetus surviving outside of the womb?  Do the math - that's one week over 4 months, give or take a few days;.  I sure haven't.  This mother, who was probably not a practicing Roman Catholic, was SACRIFICED IN THE NAME OF RELIGIOUS PURITY.  It's disgusting, absolutely disgusting that in this day and age, in a western so-called "civilized" country, this sort of thing is still allowed to take place.  I hope all of the people responsible for this mother's death ROT IN HELL FOREVER AND EVER pursuant to their very own belief system, because they deliberately took an innocent life by their inaction.  And, no doubt, they're all congratulating themselves right now on how PIOUS they all are for doing so.  No different than the Taliban.  They pray to the same god by a different name, the same blood-sucking god who demands the blood of innocent children and women every year to satisfy his blood-lust.

The Irish Times - Thursday, November 15, 2012

Public inquiry demanded into death of woman refused abortion


The death of Savita Halappanavar must be the subject of an independent public inquiry, according to a Galway-based surgeon who is a close friend of the 31-year-old woman and her husband Praveen.

Dr CVR Prasad, an orthopaedic surgeon at Merlin Park Hospital in Galway, said such an inquiry must be taken out of the hands of the Health Service Executive or University Hospital Galway.

The Government is not ruling out an independent inquiry into the tragic death of Ms Halappanavar, who presented on October 21st with back pain at Galway University Hospital where she was found to be miscarrying at 17 weeks. She died of septicaemia on October 28th.

Her husband, an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, had described how she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated, given that she was in pain and was miscarrying. He said the request was refused by medical staff who said they could not do anything because there was still a foetal heartbeat. He said they were told that this was the law and that “this is a Catholic country”.

He said she spent more than three days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped. The dead foetus was removed, but Ms Halappanavar’s condition deteriorated and she died.

The HSE said last night an independent external expert in obstetrics and gynaecology would be appointed to strengthen the incident management team it has asked to investigate the circumstances of Ms Halappanavar’s death.

Next of kin

The terms of reference for this review and the members of the team were currently being finalised, a spokeswoman said. The team would liaise with Mr Halappanavar as next of kin.

“The process of incident review seeks to ascertain the facts relating to the incident, draw conclusions and make recommendations in relation to any steps that may need to be taken to prevent a similar incident occurring again.” She extended the HSE’s deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Ms Halappanavar. Both the hospital and the HSE said they would not be commenting on the circumstances of the case.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny did not rule out an independent inquiry when it was suggested by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. He said it was appropriate for Dr Reilly to first receive the reports of the hospital and the HSE.

The case, which attracted worldwide media attention yesterday, has increased pressure on the Government to legislate for the implications of the X case 20 years ago.

Dr Prasad, who visited Ms Halappanavar in hospital before she died, said: “Any inquiry should be public. That is the way it should be, it should not be conducted by the HSE or the hospital. It should be independent.I hope that might save the life of another women. This should never happen to another woman. Religion and medicine should never mix.” [Indeed, do not doctors take a solemn oath - with no exceptions for religious beliefs?  This is disgusting, sickening, that ANY doctor would allow this to happen.]

Mr Halappanavar yesterday repeated his belief that his wife would not have died if she had been given the termination that the couple repeatedly asked for in the hospital. Asked whether he thought things could have turned out differently if a termination had been carried out, he said: “Yes of course.”

Speaking to The Irish Times from Belgaum in southwestern India, his wife’s home region, he said Ireland’s reputation for being a “good place to have a baby” was among the factors in their decision to start a family here. “All our friends had great stories to tell about the babies they had in Ireland. So we decided we’d go there. We had heard Ireland was a good place to have a baby. Most of our friends there had babies there and they’re all fine and so we decided: have a baby in Ireland.”

A postmortem has been carried out on Ms Halappanavar and the coroner has been notified. [Right, so the post-mortem and any inquest will be carried out by rabid Irish Roman Catholics looking to cover their asses from potential civil liability.  That's justice for you, for sure, mourning husband, ha!] The couple came to Ireland in 2008. She had a dental post in Westport, Co Mayo.

Several hundred people gathered at Leinster House last night to demonstrate in favour of abortion legislation, while candle-lit vigils were held in Cork, Limerick and London. Further protests are planned in Dublin, Limerick, Belfast and Galway in coming days.

Minister for Health Dr James Reilly said it would be an extremely serious matter if there had been any hesitation in relation to Ms Halappanavar because of moral or religious beliefs. However, he said he had no evidence of the application of a Catholic bias in relation to treatment and he warned against prejudging the circumstances surrounding the death.

Dr Reilly said it was a terrible tragedy for the family involved. For the staff involved, it was an emotionally traumatic time and they were entitled to due process.

Speaking in the Dáil, he said he had asked his officials to consider the report of the expert group on abortion, which had been submitted to his department on Tuesday.

Deeply tragic

Independent Senator Ronan Mullen described the case as deeply tragic but said it should not be “used as a wedge by abortion campaigners.”

He added: “Its regrettable that some people are seeking to use this tragedy as an argument for legislating for the Supreme Court decision in the X case”.  [Oh yeah, dude, I believe it is safe to say you didn't give a jack shit about the woman who was suffering through a miscarriage gone wrong, who was allowed to die by doctors sworn to protect and preserve life no matter what except for the a religious belief -- but the Physician's Oath does not allow for this kind of exception.  So what kind of doctors do you actually allow to practice medicine in your country, where they can pick and choose which women they'll allow to live?  YOU TREAT YOUR CATTLE BETTER.]

Two years ago, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Ireland had failed to provide for abortion in circumstances where the mother’s life is at risk. The decision means Ireland has to legislate but Dr Reilly is facing resistance from within Fine Gael to any liberalisation of the laws on abortion.

Oh No! Humpy Crashed and Burned in R2, G1

Humpy shocked by Zhukova in world women's chess c'ship

Other Sports, Posted on Nov 14, 2012 at 10:52pm IST

Khanty Mansiysk: Top-rated Grandmaster Koneru Humpy suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Natalia Zhukova of Ukraine in the first game of the second round of world women's chess championship here on Wednesdat.

It turned out to be a bad day in office for the highest rated girl in the fray as she could not find her rhythm and now finds herself in a must-win situation with black pieces in the return game to stay in the knockout championship.

While Humpy faces ouster threat, the other remaining Indian Grandmaster D Harika made early inroads to the pre-quarterfinals defeating Elina Danielian of Armenia in her first game of the second round.

At the top of the tables, defending champion Yifan Hou of China remained on course for third round appearance with an easy victory over experienced Monika Socko of Poland. The 18-year old Chinese was a picture of confidence as she thwarted the attempts for complications by Socko and recorded a smooth victory with black pieces.

Veteran Grandmaster Pia Cramling of Sweden also won her game at the expense of Irina Krush of United States and is now sitting pretty along with the other first game winners Zhao Xue of China and Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine.

Humpy faced the Tarrasch defense against Zhukova and it was not surprising as the Ukrainian's husband is a renowned expert of the variation. Surprisingly enough, the players spent some time in the opening although much of the game was theoretical.

Humpy felt the heat on the 22nd move when a correct move would have held the position together and already it existed as a game had been played till that position. It was clear from here that the opening surprise by Zhukova had paid off well as the Indian continued to struggle even as there were mutual mistakes in the remainder of the game.

Humpy now has a daunting task on hand as she needs a victory with black pieces. Zhukova showed her depth in preparation in the first game and the Indian will have to somehow get a playable position in the return game and look for a fight till the end.

Harika played a highly inspirational game to get the better of Danielian. Side-stepping in the Benoni defense as white was a success for the Indian, Danielian fell in a prolonged tactical battle wherein pieces flew off the board almost in a frenzy. When the dust subsided, Harika had two extra pawns and it was over in just 33 moves.

2012 FIDE Women's World Chess Championship

Results after R2, Game 1 (winners in bold, Americans in red).  And just like that (seemingly), it was down to 32 players from 64...

NameG1G2 R1 R2 r3 r4 B1 B2 SDTot
Round 2 Match 01
Socko, Monika (POL)0 0
Hou, Yifan (CHN)1 1

Round 2 Match 02
Koneru, Humpy (IND)0 0
Zhukova, Natalia (UKR)1 1

Round 2 Match 03
Ushenina, Anna (UKR)½ 0.5
Muzychuk, Anna (SLO)½ 0.5

Round 2 Match 04
Zhao, Xue (CHN)1 1
Khurtsidze, Nino (GEO)0 0

Round 2 Match 05
Javakhishvili, Lela (GEO)½ 0.5
Lahno, Kateryna (UKR)½ 0.5

Round 2 Match 06
Kosintseva, Nadezhda (RUS)½ 0.5
Mkrtchian, Lilit (ARM)½ 0.5

Round 2 Match 07
Huang, Qian (CHN)½ 0.5
Cmilyte, Viktorija (LTU)½ 0.5

Round 2 Match 08
Sebag, Marie (FRA)½ 0.5
Girya, Olga (RUS)½ 0.5

Round 2 Match 09
Galliamova, Alisa (RUS)½ 0.5
Gunina, Valentina (RUS)½ 0.5

Round 2 Match 10
Cramling, Pia (SWE)1 1
Krush, Irina (USA)0 0

Round 2 Match 11
Hoang, Thanh Trang (HUN)½ 0.5
Kosintseva, Tatiana (RUS)½ 0.5

Round 2 Match 12
Harika, Dronavalli (IND)1 1
Danielian, Elina (ARM)0 0

Round 2 Match 13
Muzychuk, Mariya (UKR)1 1
Arribas Robaina, Maritza (CUB)0 0

Round 2 Match 14
Kosteniuk, Alexandra (RUS)½ 0.5
Pogonina, Natalija (RUS)½ 0.5

Round 2 Match 15
Zatonskih, Anna (USA)½ 0.5
Ju, Wenjun (CHN)½ 0.5

Round 2 Match 16
Stefanova, Antoaneta (BUL)½ 0.5
Zhu, Chen (QAT)½ 0.5

Humpy lost to Natalia Zhukova with the white pieces.  WTF?  OHMYGODDESS!  She's on the tightrope now; has to win tomorrow in order to force a play-off.  Can she do it?  Oy vey, Humpy! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Different View on Those Ancient "Venuses"

'Palaeo-porn': we've got it all wrong
  • 13 November 2012 by Jude Isabella
  • Magazine issue 2890
The idea that curvaceous figurines are prehistoric pornography is an excuse to legitimise modern behaviour as having ancient roots, says archaeologist April Nowell
"Lady of Villners-Carbonnel", 2011.
Which Palaeolithic images and artefacts have been described as pornography?

The Venus figurines of women, some with exaggerated anatomical features, and ancient rock art, like the image from the Abri Castanet site in France that is supposedly of female genitalia.
You take issue with this interpretation. Who is responsible for spreading it, journalists or scientists?

People are fascinated by prehistory, and the media want to write stories that attract readers - to use a cliché, sex sells. But when a New York Times headline reads "A Precursor to Playboy: Graphic Images in Rock", and Discover magazine asserts that man's obsession with pornography dates back to "Cro-Magnon days" based on "the famous 26,000-year-old Venus of Willendorf statuette...[with] GG-cup breasts and a hippopotamal butt", I think a line is crossed. To be fair, archaeologists are partially responsible - we need to choose our words carefully.
Having studied Upper Palaeolithic figurines closely, what did you find?

They are incredibly varied beyond the few figurines seen over and over again: the Venus of Hohle Fels, the Venus of Willendorf and the Venus of Dolní Veˇstonice. Some are male, some are female; some are human, some are animals or fantastical creatures; some wear items of clothing, others do not. A recent study by my doctoral student Allison Tripp and her colleague Naomi Schmidt demonstrated that the body shapes of female figurines from around 25,000 years ago correspond to women at many different stages of life; they're a variety of shapes and sizes. All of this suggests that there are multiple interpretations.
Aren't other interpretations of palaeo-art just as speculative as calling them pornographic?

Yes, but when we interpret Palaeolithic art more broadly, we talk about "hunting magic" or "religion" or "fertility magic." I don't think these interpretations have the same social ramifications as pornography. When respected journals - Nature for example - use terms such as "Prehistoric pin-up" and "35,000-year-old sex object", and a German museum proclaims that a figurine is either an "earth mother or pin-up girl" (as if no other roles for women could have existed in prehistory), they carry weight and authority. This allows journalists and researchers, evolutionary psychologists in particular, to legitimise and naturalise contemporary western values and behaviours by tracing them back to the "mist of prehistory".
Will we ever understand what ancient art really means?

The French, in particular, are doing incredible work analysing paint recipes and tracing the movement of the ancient artists as they painted. We may never have the knowledge to say, "This painting of a bison meant this", but I am confident that a detailed study of the corpus of ice age imagery, including the figurines, will give us a window on to the "lived life" in the Palaeolithic.


April Nowell is a Palaeolithic archaeologist at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Her paper "Pornography is in the eye of the beholder: Sex, sexuality and sexism in the study of Upper Paleolithic figurines", co-authored with Melanie Chang, will appear next year.


Well, she may well be correct with respect to some of the figurines and representations found over the years; but then again, it's hard to dismiss the so-called of "Lady of Villners-Carbonnel" (photograph from a 2011 article) as something other than a representation of a very impressive woman, indeed.  Now, was she a fertility figure?  Was she meant to be a Mother Goddess?  Was she an icon of a powerful female shamanic figure?  Was she a representation of a female clan leader?  Who knows?  I do not agree with calling this kind of art "pornographic" but certainly it was a very important part of prehistoric humans' legacy to us today and until we can uncover thousands of  figurines such as this one, as well as male and animal representations, I think the lady dost protest a wee bit too much. 

Let's wait and see what we find in the future, what dating tells us, what our own eyes tell us, what context tells us (if anything), and for now, let's just enjoy and marvel at the unique and wonderful beauty of each and every one of these pieces that have been found.  Imagine surviving 5,000 years?  Imagine surviving 25,000 years?  Maybe I'm being totally lame-o here, but I do not think that so many figurines of female figures survived BY ACCIDENT.  Just saying...

Altai Mountains: Crossroads Where People Met and...Woo Woo!

A press release from Eureka Alert:

Public release date: 12-Nov-2012
Maria Jesus Delgado
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

Mongolia and the Altai Mountains: Origins of genetic blending between Europeans and Asians

A group of researchers led by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) has discovered the first scientific evidence of genetic blending between Europeans and Asians in the remains of ancient Scythian warriors living over 2,000 years ago in the Altai region of Mongolia. Contrary to what was believed until now, the results published in PLoS ONE indicate that this blending was not due to an eastward migration of Europeans, but to a demographic expansion of local Central Asian populations, thanks to the technological improvements the Scythian culture brought with them.

The Altai is a mountain range in Central Asia occupying territories of Russia and Kazakhstan to the west and of Mongolia and China to the east. Historically, the Central Asian steppes have been a corridor for Asian and European populations, resulting in the region's large diversity in population today. In ancient times however the Altai Mountains, located in the middle of the steppes, represented an important barrier for the coexistence and mixture of the populations living on each side. And so they lived isolated during millennia: Europeans on the western side and Asians on the eastern side.

The research conducted by researchers from the UAB, the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont and the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (UPF-CSIC) sheds new light on when and how this Eurasian genetic blending took place.

At the UAB palaeogenetic laboratory researchers analysed mitochondrial DNA (inherited from the mother, it allows us to trace our ancestors) extracted from the bones and teeth of 19 skeletons from the Bronze Age (7th to 10th century BCE) and from the Iron Age (2nd to 7th century BCE) from the Mongolian Altai Mountains. The remains were extracted from the tombs discovered seven years ago, in which the skeletons of Scythian warriors were discovered and which represented the first scientific evidence of this culture in East Asia.

The results obtained demonstrate that the population from the Iron Age, corresponding to the time when the Scythian culture resided in the Altai Mountains, had a perfect blend (50%) of European and Asian mitochondrial DNA lineages or sequences. The discovery is relevant, taking into account that previous populations showed no signs of lineage mixture: the DNA analysed in the tombs located in Russia and Kazakhstan belong to European lineages, whereas DNA from the eastern part, in Mongolia, contain Asian lineages.

"The results provide exceptionally valuable information about how and when the population diversity found today in Central Asian steppes appeared. They point to the possibility that this occurred in Altai over 2,000 years ago between the local population on both sides of the mountain range, coinciding with the expansion of the Scythian culture, which came from the west", explains Assumpció Malgosa, professor of Biological Anthropology at UAB and coordinator of the research.

One of the Scythian tombs discovered in the Altai Mountains on the Mongolian side.  Source.
Studies conducted until now on ancient DNA samples from the Altai region already indicated that the Scythians were the first large population to be a mixture between Europeans and Asians. However, the only populations to be studied were those on the western part of the Eurasian steppes, suggesting that this mixture was due to population migrations from Europe to the east.

The current research is the first to offer scientific evidence of this population mixture on the eastern side of the Altai and indicates that the contact between European and Asian lineages occurred before the Iron Age when populations were present on both sides of the mountain. The study suggests that the Asian population adopted the Scythian culture, technologically and socially more advanced, and this made them improve demographically by favouring their expansion and contact with Europeans.

The idea poses a new hypothesis on the origin of today's population diversity in Central Asia and allows for a better understanding of the demographic processes which took place.

Frozen Scythian Warrior Tombs

From 2005 to 2007, UAB researchers worked jointly with French and Mongolian researchers in a European project to excavate Scythian tombs in Mongolia's Altai Mountains. In the three excavation campaigns carried out over twenty tombs were excavated. Many of them were frozen and contained mummified human remains of warriors buried with their possessions and horses. This was the first time Scythian warrior tombs had been discovered in Mongolia, since all other tombs previously found had been located on the western side of Altai.

The Scythians were an Indo-European people dedicated to nomadic pasturing and horse breeding. They crossed the Eurasian steppes from the Caspian Sea until reaching the Altai Mountains during the 2nd and 7th century BCE. The Scythians are known most of all thanks to ancient texts written by the Greek historian Herodotus.


The photograph above accompanied the press release, and I find it particularly poignant because it contains what looks like the remains of a woman, a man, a horse, and an infant.  Was it a family?  Were the woman and infant sacrificed to accompany the man?  Were the man and infant sacrificed to accompany the woman?  Did the family die of some dread disease?  What is the story behind this burial?  If one family member died, was the entire family sacrificed accompany the deceased to the Land of No Return, including the horse? 

2012 FIDE Women's World Chess Championship

Results from R1 tie-breakers.  Players going through to R2 are in bold, Americans in red:

Round 1 Match 13
Khotenashvili, Bela (GEO)100½1.5
Arribas Robaina, Maritza (CUB)011½2.5
Round 1 Match 15
Ju, Wenjun (CHN)10½½11 4
Pourkashiyan, Atousa (IRI)01½½00 2
Round 1 Match 19
Pogonina, Natalija (RUS)½½11 3
Matveeva, Svetlana (RUS)½½00 1
Round 1 Match 20
Foisor, Cristina-Adela (ROU)½½½½1010½4.5
Muzychuk, Mariya (UKR)½½½½0101½ *4.5
Round 1 Match 21
Danielian, Elina (ARM)100111 4
Khukhashvili, Sopiko (GEO)011000 2
Round 1 Match 23
Krush, Irina (USA)½½1010½1 4.5
Li, Ruofan (SIN)½½0101½0 3.5
Round 1 Match 24
Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina (RUS)½½00 1
Galliamova, Alisa (RUS)½½11 3
Round 1 Match 28
Bodnaruk, Anastasia (RUS)10½½½0 2.5
Javakhishvili, Lela (GEO)01½½½1 3.5

Monday, November 12, 2012

India's Koneru Humpy Through to R2 Women's World Chess Championship

Chess: Humpy in second round of World Championship

  • Press Trust of India
  • Last updated on Monday, 12 November 2012 19:27

Khanty Mansiysk, Russia:  Koneru Humpy effortlessly defeated Denise Frick of South Africa while D Harika outplayed compatriot Soumya Swaminathan to move to the second round of the World Women's chess championship, here.

GM Koneru Humpy at Mansky Kamsky (where?)
Having had to sweat a little in the first game of the first round, Humpy was terrific in the return game and scored an easy victory to see herself through to the round of 32 in the knockout championship.

Harika was not far behind but of course it was hard work for her against Soumya Swaminathan who will now have to return home.

The other higher-ranked players also cruised to the second round and topping the list was reigning world champion Yifan Hou of China who scored easily over Sachini Ranasinghe of Sri Lanka.

The Sub-continent girl had missed her flight and reached here only thanks to some deft planning at the last minute but the match against Yifan turned out to be one sided.

Amongst the fancied, Ju Wenjun of China was the only exception as she suffered a reversal against Atousa Pourkashiyan of Iran and the two will now battle it out in the tie-break games of shorter duration.

Apart from Humpy and Yifan Hao, Anna Muzychuk of Slovenia, Zhao Xue of China, Pia Crampling of Sweden, Nadezhda Kosintseva and Valentina Gunina of Russia, Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine and former champion Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria also completed a 2-0 white wash against respective opponents.

Humpy faced the Slav defense and stuck to basics in the opening to get tangible advantage. As the Indian girl posted her knight in the center, Denise blundered a couple of pawns and was never in the game. Humpy finished the proceedings in just 26 moves.

Harika made use of her white pieces to good effect against Soumya in an English opening game. After attaining a playable position in the middle game, Soumya went wrong with an erroneous plan and handed Harika initiative.

By simply improving her position, Harika caused some damage to black and Soumya ran short of time before making the decisive error. The game lasted 33 moves.

The USD 450000 prize money Championship will be reduced to 32 players from 64 in the next round and more fighting matches will ensue in the rounds to come. Those who return home after the first round will be richer by USD 3000.

Polgar to Play in London Chess Classic!!!!!

Oh yes!!

Judit Polgar: 'Everything was about chess'

Judit Polgar was the youngest ever grandmaster at 15 and is the best female chess player of all time. When will more join her at the top?
  • The Guardian,

    2012 FIDE Women's World Chess Championship

    Results after Game 2, Round 1.  Players advancing to Round 2 are in bold; the rest will have play-offs tomorrow.  Americans in red.  Tatev is going home, as is Canadian champion Natalia Khoudgarian.

    NameG1G2 R1 R2 r3 r4 B1 B2 SDTot
    Round 1 Match 01
    Hou, Yifan (CHN)11 2
    Ranasinghe, S D (SRI)00 0
    Round 1 Match 02
    Frick, Denise (RSA)00 0
    Koneru, Humpy (IND)11 2
    Round 1 Match 03
    Muzychuk, Anna (SLO)11 2
    Mezioud, Amina (ALG)00 0
    Round 1 Match 04
    Khoudgarian, Natalia (CAN)00 0
    Zhao, Xue (CHN)11 2
    Round 1 Match 05
    Lahno, Kateryna (UKR)11 2
    Mona, Khaled (EGY)00 0
    Round 1 Match 06
    Castrillon Gomez, Melissa (COL)00 0
    Kosintseva, Nadezhda (RUS)11 2
    Round 1 Match 07
    Cmilyte, Viktorija (LTU)½1 1.5
    Aliaga Fernandez, Ingrid Y (PER)½0 0.5
    Round 1 Match 08
    Berezina, Irina (AUS)½0 0.5
    Sebag, Marie (FRA)½1 1.5
    Round 1 Match 09
    Gunina, Valentina (RUS)11 2
    Gu, Xiaobing (CHN)00 0
    Round 1 Match 10
    Ghader Pour, Shayesteh (IRI)00 0
    Cramling, Pia (SWE)11 2
    Round 1 Match 11
    Kosintseva, Tatiana (RUS)½1 1.5
    Davletbayeva, Madina (KAZ)½0 0.5
    Round 1 Match 12
    Soumya, Swaminathan (IND)½0 0.5
    Harika, Dronavalli (IND)½1 1.5
    Round 1 Match 13
    Khotenashvili, Bela (GEO)10 1
    Arribas Robaina, Maritza (CUB)01 1
    Round 1 Match 14
    Abrahamyan, Tatev (USA)½0 0.5
    Kosteniuk, Alexandra (RUS)½1 1.5
    Round 1 Match 15
    Ju, Wenjun (CHN)10 1
    Pourkashiyan, Atousa (IRI)01 1
    Round 1 Match 16
    Romanko, Marina (RUS)00 0
    Stefanova, Antoaneta (BUL)11 2
    Round 1 Match 17
    Zhu, Chen (QAT)11 2
    Ziaziulkina, Nastassia (BLR)00 0
    Round 1 Match 18
    Lujan, Carolina (ARG)½0 0.5
    Zatonskih, Anna (USA)½1 1.5
    Round 1 Match 19
    Pogonina, Natalija (RUS)½½ 1
    Matveeva, Svetlana (RUS)½½ 1
    Round 1 Match 20
    Foisor, Cristina-Adela (ROU)½½ 1
    Muzychuk, Mariya (UKR)½½ 1
    Round 1 Match 21
    Danielian, Elina (ARM)10 1
    Khukhashvili, Sopiko (GEO)01 1
    Round 1 Match 22
    Ovod, Evgenija (RUS)½0 0.5
    Hoang, Thanh Trang (HUN)½1 1.5
    Round 1 Match 23
    Krush, Irina (USA)½½ 1
    Li, Ruofan (SIN)½½ 1
    Round 1 Match 24
    Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina (RUS)½½ 1
    Galliamova, Alisa (RUS)½½ 1
    Round 1 Match 25
    Girya, Olga (RUS)½1 1.5
    Rajlich, Iweta (POL)½0 0.5
    Round 1 Match 26
    Shen, Yang (CHN)0½ 0.5
    Huang, Qian (CHN)1½ 1.5
    Round 1 Match 27
    Mkrtchian, Lilit (ARM)11 2
    Arakhamia-Grant, Ketevan (SCO)00 0
    Round 1 Match 28
    Bodnaruk, Anastasia (RUS)10 1
    Javakhishvili, Lela (GEO)01 1
    Round 1 Match 29
    Dembo, Yelena (GRE)½0 0.5
    Khurtsidze, Nino (GEO)½1 1.5
    Round 1 Match 30
    Cori T., Deysi (PER)½0 0.5
    Ushenina, Anna (UKR)½1 1.5
    Round 1 Match 31
    Zhukova, Natalia (UKR)½1 1.5
    Guo, Qi (CHN)½0 0.5
    Round 1 Match 32
    Skripchenko, Almira (FRA)0½ 0.5
    Socko, Monika (POL)1½ 1.5
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