Tonight beginning at 6:00 p.m. are the grand-opening ceremonies for the 2013 U.S. Chess Championships, of which the Women's Championship is a part. I don't get it - why aren't there live blog reports at the websites of U.S. Chess Champs and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, this year's host for the Championships? Am I missing something?
I will be attempting to following the live action at U.S. Chess Champions' dedicated website, but since Round 1 begins tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. St. Louis time, I'll be up to my eyeballs trying to put out various fires at the office -- Fridays are always the WORST day in my line of work, EEK!
I will be following the action Saturday and Sunday. I am extremely interested in this year's line-up of female players. Does Las Vegas have a line on the ladies, I wonder???
The toughest players, year after year, have proven to be Abrahamyan, Krush and Zatonskih. Abrahamyan -- always a bridesmaid, never a bride, yet... Will she finally break loose, once and for all?
Dark horses I'll be watching are Belakovskaia and Kats. Kats is young and her ELO and relative level of experience would indicate that she'll be a player who will beat-up on. Except - except -- something tells me otherwise. Of course, my instincts have often been notoriously wrong when it comes to picking "winners", LOL!
Belakovskaia, on the other hand, was a seasoned veteran by the time she was 17, and is a three-time U.S. Women's chess champion herself. But after those three titles were won, she went to college, earned a degree and then a master's degree in the rather esoteric field of mathematics, worked in an incredibly edgy field and had a glamorous career, winning accolades from her peers. And then, she got married, had three children! Wonder how much chess she's played since her hey-day?
Have both ladies been training their butts off in preparation for this event?
I'm just very happy to see young players, such as Kats, and a true "Wild Card," Belakovskaia, in the mix.
U.S. Chess Champs - Women's Championship.
Interview with 2012 U.S. Women's Chess Champion IM Irina Krush. Powerful, honest, poignant. Read it!
Live coverage of the games (men and women) starts tomorrow, May 3, 2013.