|Source: Copyright Chess Queen.|
Goddesschess has sponsored a special prize at the U.S. Women's Chess Championship since 2007, except for 2012.
2007: Goddesschess "Brillancy Prize" of $300 and was awarded to Elizabeth Vicary Spiegel for her win against Camille Baginskaite. As you know, Elizabeth is one of the coaches at IS 318 in Brooklyn, New York, a program that has gained international recognition for its excellence!
2008: Goddesschess Fighting Chess Award of $500 was awarded to Tatev Abrahamyan by judge GM Susan Polgar for Tatev's performance of 6 wins and 3 losses - no draws! Goddesschess' contribution was $350 and those wild and crazy guys over at Chessville.com contributed $150 to make the total prize $500.
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.
2010: Goddesschess teamed with 9 Queens and offered a Fighting Spirit Award (which I kept calling the Fighting Chess Award) of $1,000! The winner, selected by our new judge, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, 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.
2011: GM Alexandra Kosteniuk chose Sabina Foisor as the winner! This is what she wrote at her blog about selecting the winner of the 2011 Goddesschess Fighting Chess Award:
I was chosen as the judge for this award, and I had a very hard time, as many players are deserving, starting with the eventual winner, Anna Zatonskih, but also certainly Tatev Abrahamyan who fought to the end, and Irina Krush, who won the initial tournament. However, after looking over most of the games, I saw that Sabina Foisor's style was also uncompromising, and she was the only player to have beaten Irina Krush in the preliminary tournament. I have decided to vote for the Fighting Chess Award to go to Sabina Foisor, congratulations!
In 2011, in honor of the other players considered for the Award by GM Kosteniuk, at the conclusion of the tournament Goddesschess donated $100 each to 9Queens in the names of Anna Zatonskih, Tatev Abrahamyan, and Irina Krush. It was truly an outstanding championship.
We are very grateful to have obtained the assistance and judgment of great players in awarding the Goddesschess Fighting Chess/Fighting Spirit Award! And despite her busy schedule, GM Kosteniuk agreed to act as our judge again this year! Thank you so much!
An interesting and varied field has accepted the invitations to St. Louis for 2013. Who will be the winner this year???
The 2013 U.S. Women's Chess Championship will be held in the beautiful headquarters of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, which will be celebrating its 5th anniversary of hosting the prestigious U.S. Chess Championships! If you can possibly attend one or more sessions, I urge you to do so. The Club is fantastic. I had the pleasure of visiting in person in September, 2011 while in St. Louis and greatly enjoyed sitting in the lower level to listen to the live commentary during the Kings v. Queens match at which, incidentally, GM Kosteniuk was part of the Queens' team.
Full coverage of the Championships will be provided at U.S. Chess Champs. Stay tuned!