Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hales Corners Chess Challenge XVII -- Final Standings!

I'll get right to the chase - here's how the chess femmes did:

No. Name St Rate Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Score

1. Santarius, Erik (1)........... WI 2394 W9 W14 W8 D5 3.5
2. Smail, Benedict A (7)......... WI 2120 W41 D5 W21 W15 3.5
3. Harder, Brady R (9)........... WI 2069 W42 W12 D4 W17 3.5
4. Ulrich, Rachel J (18)......... WI 1896 W11 W6 D3 W13 3.5

48. Huang, Alena (47)............. WI 1485 L27 W51 L25 L39 1.0
52. Pahl, Sandra R (49)........... WI 1441 L18 L31 L22 L49 0.0

Hales Corners Challenge XVII -- Reserve Cross Table No. Name St Rate 1 2 3 4 Score

1. Ulrich, Anne E (11)........... WI 1396 W10 W27 W23 D3 3.5

3. Huang, Sabrina (21)........... WI 1209 W24 W19 W6 D1 3.5
21. Pandey, Ritika (26)........... WI 1074 W38 L10 W33 L7 2.0
24. Vootkur, Manisha (31)......... WI 903 L3 W40 L19 W33 2.0
25. Wanek, Ellen Ann (32)......... WI 844 W13 W17 L2 L10 2.0

30. Pandey, Divya (28)............ WI 1048 W9 L33 D28 L12 1.5
40. Martz, Carolyn And (37)....... WI nnnn L22 L24 L36 L38 0.0

The Ulrich sisters rock!  Rachel, 13 years old, had an outstanding tournament playing against tough players in the Open.  For her 3 wins and 1 draw she'll take home $140 in Goddesschess prize money.  Anne Ulrich, (I believe she is a junior in high school), tied for first with Sabrina Huang in the Reserve Section and Allen Becker kindly emailed me and wrote:  Sabrina Huang tied for first in the Reserve with Anne Ulrich. Sabrina actually won the section on tiebreaks.

 In addition to whatever prizes they qualify for by virtue of their scores, both Anne and Sabrina will take home $70 each in Goddesschess prize money.

Other Goddesschess prize winners:

Alena Huang (Open) won $40
Ritika Pandey (Reserve) won $40
My buddy Ellen Wanek (Reserve) won $40
Divya Pandey (Reserve) won $30

Full cross-tables.

Congratulations to all of the chess femmes who played today, and to Rachel Ulrich and Anne Ulrich, highest place female players in each section.  They both win gift bags from Goddesschess and free entry into the next Hales Corners Challenge in October, should they choose to play. 

Hales Corners Challenge XVII TOMORROW!

Hola darlings!

The Hales Corners Chess Challenge XVII, worth TEN USCF Grand Prix points, takes place tomorrow in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It's four grueling rounds in one jam-packed day! 

Registration is open tomorrow before start time, so come on down and register if you have not already done so! Necessary information if you wish to register - and stay overnight for that matter, as it truly is a long day (I've played in a couple and speak from experience!)

The latest count of pre-registered players for the Hales Corners Chess Challenge XVII, as of  8:00 p.m. this evening, is 74 - WOO WOO! 

Five national masters are registered to play in the Open! But you know me, I'm primarily interested in the chess femmes because, after all, we're Goddesschess!  So, how are we doing right now?

In the Open and Reserve, pre-registered chess femmes - 10 as of the last count I received an official email about earlier today (GREAT NUMBER!).  My apologies, ladies, if I have not recognized all of YOUR names so I may be missing some of you and, mea culpa to any chess dude I may have inadvertently included on this list.  I didn't do it on purpose, it's just that, sometimes, I am not able to distinguishing certain cultures' males and female names from each other. Guys (organizers) -- I've mentioned this before -- it would be extremely helpful if you would add an "F" after a female player, makes things a lot faster from my end:

14 Ulrich, Rachel 1896 
35 Huang, Alena 1485
37 Pahl, Sandra R 1441

In the Reserve (U1600),  pre-registered chess femmes:

10 Ulrich, Anne 1396
18 Huang, Sabrina 1209

23 Pandey, Ritika 1074 
25 Pandey, Divya 1048
27 Vootkur, Manisha 903
28 Wanek, Ellen Ann 844
34 Martz, Carolyn unr

Of course I recognize the Ulrich sisters! I haven't met Tom Ulrich, but he is one of the top ranked players and one of NMs playing in the Open. The Huang sisters are also playing - so happy about that!, and the Pandey sisters - so happy about that!

I am very happy about each and every one of the chess femmes playing tomorrow.  I have had the pleasure of meeting many of you, and becoming friends with some of you.  But, I say, you are all very close to my heart, whether I have met you or not.  Having you come out and play in tournaments such as the Hales Corners Challenges is what Goddesschess is about.  It is about YOU!

I wish I could be there with you tomorrow but, truly, my health just does not permit me to play competitive (or more truthfully, non-competitive) chess right now. I just don't have the stamina it takes to last through four intense games in one long long day.  On the other hand, if I were to play a pick-up game at my kitchen table, with no clock involved, well then, that might be a different story, LOL!  Okay, so I like to delude myself as to my individual chess greatness...

I am particularly pleased to see a number of new unrated players coming to play in the Hales Corners Challenge for the first time. I did that too, to get a rating, a couple Challenges ago.  Yep, I have my very own official USCF rating.  It's low, but it's mine, all mine :)

May dozens and dozens of chess femmes appear tomorrow morning and register to play in the Hales Corner Chess Challenge XVII!  That is my prayer, Oh Caissa, and Oh Athena, Goddesses of Chess.

Tomorrow I will be following the results of the rounds closely at the Southwest Chess Club blog and will be reporting on them as regards the chess femmes as results are posted.

A special shout-out to Ellen Wanek, who is doing wonderful things for chess in the Sheboygan area.  I've got my fingers crossed for you, Elie Mae :)

Good luck to all the chess femmes. May you win lots and lots of Goddessches prize money! 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Teen rape is discussed in this post. Stay away if you want to remain an ostrich.

We are obviously raising a culture of males in North America that teaches them RAPE IS JUST FINE, FUN!.  Something to laugh about on You Tube and Facebook.  Something to do to make jollies with your peers, dudes, as you post pictures of the victim, videos too, to laugh and laugh over and wave your penises in front of the cell phone cams for all the world to see.  Big joke, ha ha.

What is even more pathetic and UTTERLY pathological are the young females who join in the derision and the laughter, the ridicule and the afterwards abuse of the rape victim, as if this is something that could not POSSIBILY ever happen to them, nosirree. Nor to their mothers, nor to their sisters, their aunts, their teachers or, Goddess Forbid, their so-called friends. Or to them.  Nope.  Won't ever happen to them.  Enablers. Nope, won't ever happen to them

They call the victim Whore and Ho, and - I cannot even begin to describe the disgusting antics of these penised-jerk-offs schmucks and their female enablers in the aftermath of these horrific crimes.  Even news reports gloss over the worst details of their abuse.  Perhaps that is part of the problem.  Perhaps if people actually understood the true awfulness and horror of what these teenagers and young people are perpetrating on the female victims in the aftermath of the rape, we would rise up en masse and demand a major change in laws and in our culture.

Perhaps the most awful thing and worst abuse of all is that, in most cases, the perps and their enablers GET AWAY WITH IT. 

You may have read about the rape trial out east, the two oh-so-fucking-hot football players, brainless pricks, who apparently thought they were untouchables because they were football stars in a town that only had football to rave about, and those young men were destined to be going places, dontchaknow...  Guess what dudes, you're going places, all right.  Right to prison, where you'll be fodder for pricks shoved up your soon to not be virgin assholes.  How it is going to feel, I wonder, when you get raped, and raped, and raped, and males.

Pay back is a bitch, aint it.  As for every female enabler of these rapists and female abusers, Eye for an Eye is the most suitable punishment for your crimes.  Just think of it, girlfriends!  You too, would be gang raped and videoed for all the world to see on You Tube and Facebook, exchanged emails from dude to dude throughout the entire county where you live, news reports woud give out just enough details so that determined pricks would be able to hunt you and your family down, men who are strangers to you -- emailing you, soliciting you, posting their grossest fantasies about what they would do to you on pornographic websites, Facebook and whatever the hottest social network of the month happens to be.  Describe a rape in 140 letters or less...  They would be hanging out in front of your home, tailing you, showing up at our school, endlessly soliciting you for sex.  Hey, Ho, wanna get it on?  And your negative response, your repugnance at the thought (your GAG RESPONSE, if you don't know how to use a dictionary and look up the word REPUGNANCE) doesn't make any difference. They'll just wait until you're incapacitated drunk at some party or other down the line and you will soon find yourself on You Tube and Smart Phone videos flashed everywhere around the world.  Oh, you're suddenly famous.  Aren't you happy now, chickees!

Think I'm exaggerating?  Wish I was. I cannot even begin to write here what I truly think and feel about these horrific crimes I've read about recently, I've tried to tone things down because some people who will be grossly offended by what I'm writing here despite my warning in the title to this post.

What I have posted below is just a miniscule recent sampling of what I'm writing about.  Read it and weep for your children, Rachel.  Weep for your children

Think this can't happen to your daughter, niece, grandchild, friend, girlfriend?

March 18, 2013, 9:51 pm
How Blogger Helped the Steubenville Rape Case Unfold Online
By Paula Newton, CNN
updated 5:31 PM EDT, Wed April 10, 2013

Yahoo News, April 12, 2013
3 teens arrested for assault after girl's suicide

Thursday, April 11, 2013

How Old is the Sea of Galilee?

According to my understanding of this article from the Encyclopedia Britannica online, a larger version of the lake as we know it (since shrunk down much) was around at least 20,000 years ago.  So, keep that figure in mind when reading the following article:

Mysterious Stone Structure Discovered Beneath Sea of Galilee

A giant "monumental" stone structure discovered beneath the waters of the Sea of Galilee in Israel has archaeologists puzzled as to its purpose and even how long ago it was built.

The mysterious structure is cone shaped, made of "unhewn basalt cobbles and boulders," and weighs an estimated 60,000 tons the researchers said. That makes it heavier than most modern-day warships.
Rising nearly 32 feet (10 meters) high, it has a diameter of about 230 feet (70 meters). To put that in perspective, the outer stone circle of Stonehenge has a diameter just half that with its tallest stones not reaching that height.

It appears to be a giant cairn, rocks piled on top of each other. Structures like this are known from elsewhere in the world and are sometimes used to mark burials. Researchers do not know if the newly discovered structure was used for this purpose.

The structure was first detected in the summer of 2003 during a sonar survey of the southwest portion of the sea. Divers have since been down to investigate, they write in the latest issue of the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.

"Close inspection by scuba diving revealed that the structure is made of basalt boulders up to 1 m (3.2 feet) long with no apparent construction pattern," the researchers write in their journal article. "The boulders have natural faces with no signs of cutting or chiselling. Similarly, we did not find any sign of arrangement or walls that delineate this structure." [See Photos of the Mysterious Sea of Galilee Structure]

They say it is definitely human-made and probably was built on land, only later to be covered by the Sea of Galilee as the water level rose. "The shape and composition of the submerged structure does not resemble any natural feature. We therefore conclude that it is man-made and might be termed a cairn," the researchers write.

More than 4,000 years old?

Underwater archaeological excavation is needed so scientists can find associated artifacts and determine the structure's date and purpose, the researchers said.

Researcher Yitzhak Paz, of the Israel Antiquities Authority and Ben-Gurion University, believes it could date back more than 4,000 years. "The more logical possibility is that it belongs to the third millennium B.C., because there are other megalithic phenomena [from that time] that are found close by," Paz told LiveScience in an interview, noting that those sites are associated with fortified settlements.

The researchers list several examples of megalithic structures found close to the Sea of Galilee that are more than 4,000 years-old. One example is the monumental site of Khirbet Beteiha, located some 19 miles (30 kilometers) north-east of the submerged stone structure, the researchers write. It "comprises three concentric stone circles, the largest of which is 56 m [184 feet] in diameter."

An ancient city

If the third-millennium B.C. date idea proves correct it would put the structure about a mile to the north of a city that researchers call "Bet Yerah" or "Khirbet Kerak."

During the third millennium B.C. the city was one of the biggest sites in the region, Paz said. "It's the most powerful and fortified town in this region and, as a matter of fact, in the whole of Israel."

Archaeologist Raphael Greenberg describes it in a chapter of the book "Daily Life, Materiality, and Complexity in Early Urban Communities of the Southern Levant" (Eisenbrauns, 2011) as being a heavily fortified 74-acre (30 hectares) site with up to 5,000 inhabitants.

With paved streets and towering defenses its people were clearly well organized. "They also indicate the existence of some kind of municipal authority able to maintain public structures ..." Greenberg writes.

The research team says that, like the leaders of Bet Yerah, whoever built the newly discovered Sea of Galilee structure needed sophisticated organization and planning skills to construct it. The "effort invested in such an enterprise is indicative of a complex, well-organized society, with planning skills and economic ability," they write in their journal paper.

Paz added that "in order to build such a structure a lot of working hours were required" in an organized community effort.

Future exploration

Paz said that he hopes soon that an underwater archaeological expedition will set out to excavate the structure. They can search for artifacts and try to determine its date with certainty.

He said that the Israel Antiquities Authority has a research branch capable of excavating it. "We will try to do it in the near future, I hope, but it depends on a lot of factors."


First of all, I am dismissing any speculation that the "mysterious structure" beneath the water of the lake is a mere 4,000 years old.  The Canaanites had settlements around the lake that date back to between the 2nd and 1st millennium, BCE.  In order for that structure to be that "young" means that it had to have been constructed by boat after boat lugging heavy boulders out to the water and then dumping the boulders into the lake!  Since the "structure" is even now 32 feet high and is still covered by water that has evaporated greatly over the years as well as lake height and volume being radically reduced since 1967 due to water being siphoned off the lake itself as well as the rivers that serve to feed it, I highly doubt that this was the method used to construct this "structure" -- if indeed it is anything actually constructed by anyone other than Mother Nature.

Secondly, if the speculation is correct that the "structure" must have been constructed by someone BEFORE the area was covered by water, that means it had to have been constructed more than 20,000 years ago.  How likely is it that scientists will accept such a hypothesis? 

Thirdly, it absolutely amazes me that no one thought to ask the simple question of - how old is the lake?  I mean -- really!  Here is this mysterious "structure" found underwater and the speculation is that it somehow was built while the lake was even deeper than it is now -- possibly as a burial cairn?  Really?  Did the builders dump the body into the lake inside a weighted-down coffin of some type and then went through the process of rowing boulders (as aforesaid) out to the location and dumping them, one by one, until a 32 foot high "cairn" was constructed.  Well, isn't considering that just as outrageous as considering that the "cairn" may have been built by people who were around the area more than 20,000 years ago?

Fourthly, you know, it could be those aliens who did it...

That's a joke, darlings :)

New Light on an Easter Island Statue with Carvings

I had no idea any of the statues had carvings on them.  This is an interesting article for that reason alone:

From Science Daily

Archaeologists Shine New Light On Easter Island Statue

Apr. 11, 2013 — A team of archaeologists from the University of Southampton have used the latest in digital imaging technology to record and analyse carvings on the Easter Island statue Hoa Hakananai'a

James Miles, Hembo Pagi and Dr Graeme Earl from the Archaeological Computing Research Group at the University of Southampton teamed up with archaeologist and editor of British Archaeology Mike Pitts to examine the statue at the Wellcome Trust Gallery in the British Museum, London.
Dr Earl explains: "The Hoa Hakananai'a statue has rarely been studied at first hand by archaeologists, but developments in digital imaging technology have now allowed us to examine it in unprecedented detail."

Hoa Hakananai'a was brought to England in 1869 by the crew of HMS Topaze. It is traditionally said to have been carved around AD1200. The Island is home to around 1,000 similar statues, but Hoa Hakananai'a is of particular interest because of the intricate carvings on its back.

It is popularly believed that around AD1600 the Easter Islanders faced an ecological crisis and stopped worshipping their iconic statues. The Rapa Nui, as they are known, turned instead to a new birdman religion, or cult. This included a ritual based around collecting the first egg of migrating terns from a nearby islet, Motu Nui. The 'winner', whose representative swam to the islet and then back with the egg, was afforded sacred status for a year.

Hoa Hakananai'a survived this shift in religious beliefs by being placed in a stone hut and covered in carved 'petroglyphs', or rock engravings, depicting motifs from the birdman cult. As such, it may be representative of the transition from the cult of statues to the cult of the birdman.

The team from the University of Southampton examined Hoa Hakananai'a using two different techniques: Photogrammetric Modelling; which involved taking hundreds of photos from different angles to produce a fully textured computer model of the statue, capable of being rotated in 360 degrees; and Reflectance Transformation Imaging; a process which allows a virtual light source to be moved across the surface of a digital image of the statue, using the difference between light and shadow to highlight never-seen-before details.

James Miles, a PhD student at Southampton, comments: "Despite the wonders of modern technology, creating accurate, detailed geometric models of these kinds of complex surfaces remains a painstaking task. We have more work to do but the virtual versions already provide a more interactive way of studying Hoa Hakananai'a."

Using these techniques, Mike Pitts and the team made some fascinating discoveries, perhaps the most significant being the apparently simple recognition that a carved bird beak is short and round, not long and pointed as previously described: this allowed the two birdmen on the back to be marked as male and female, unlocking a narrative story to the whole composition relating to Easter Island's unique birdman cult. They also realised that the statue is one of the few on Easter Island that did not stand on a platform beside the shore. It is now believed to have always stood in the ground, where it was found, on top of a 300 metre cliff.

Mike comments: "Study of the tapering base suggests that rather than being the result of thinning to make it fit into a pit, as often suggested, it is more likely part of the original boulder or outcrop from which it was carved. This may also explain why, as we now see it in the British Museum, it appears to lean slightly to the left -- its uneven end resulted in its being incorrectly set into its 19th century plinth."

Other observations from the digital imaging include:

.. When it was half-buried by soil and food debris, small designs known as komari, representing female genitalia, were carved on the back of the head.

.. At a later date, the whole of the back was covered with a scene showing a male chick leaving the nest, watched by its half-bird, half-human parents -- the story at the heart of the birdman ceremony, recorded in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

.. A round beak on the right birdman in the scene described above. This can be read as a sign of female gender, and confirmation of the male / female bird 'parents'. The female birdman is matched by the female komari on the right ear of the statue, and the male on the left by a paddle on the left ear -- a symbol of male authority.

.. A rounded shape near the lower part of the right birdman, possibly the egg the male chick hatched from. Another possibility is the ring clutched in the two birdmen's arms has been re-imagined as an egg.

.. Faint indications of fingers around the navel, which may have once been more prominent, but later removed.

It's hoped the imaging carried out by the University of Southampton's Archaeological Computing Research Group will open new debate on the significance of the engravings of Hoa Hakananai'a on display at the British Museum, which is visited by some six million people every year.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Gonur Tepe, Turkmenistan

What an amazing site!  I stumbled across this at Art Daily  article a few days ago.  Unfortunately, if you read there you know how that site operates -- I never know the exact date an item was posted!  None of the artifacts mentioned in passing in the article were featured in the article.  Note: These ruins are part of the Bactria-Margiana civilization, during which one or two experienced "amateurs" (not Goddesschess folks but we met a few) in the history of ancient games think it's possible that through a synthesis of various old games a form of the new game we call chess today, first arose. 

Take a moment and think about it.  Doesn't she look like a chess piece...a woman who is also shaped in the form of a "throne" -- her type of distinctive figurine is called a "Bactrian princess:"

This particular "Bactrian princess", above, is from the Lourve Museum website.  I have seen other surviving examples where the flat chair-like surface is much more pronounced.

After being uncovered by Soviet archaeologists, ancient mysteries revealed in Turkmen desert sands

By: Igor Sasin
MARY (AFP).- Over four millennia ago, the fortress town of Gonur-Tepe might have been a rare advanced civilisation before it was buried for centuries under the dust of the Kara Kum desert in remote western Turkmenistan.

After being uncovered by Soviet archaeologists in the last century, Gonur-Tepe, once home to thousands of people and the centre of a thriving region, is gradually revealing its mysteries with new artifacts being uncovered on every summer dig.

The scale of the huge complex which spans some 30 hectares can only be properly appreciated from the air, from where the former buildings look like a maze in the desert surrounded by vast walls.
Aerial view of Gonur Tepe, Turkmenistan, from Stan Tours.

Just 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the celebrated ancient city of Merv outside the modern city of Mary, the ruins of Gonur-Tepe are an indication of the archeological riches of Turkmenistan, one of the most isolated countries in the world.

Around 2,000 BC, Gonur-Tepe was the main settlement of the Margush or Margiana region that was home to one of the most sophisticated, but little-known Bronze Age civilisations.

The site -- which until the last century was covered by desert and scrub -- was uncovered in Soviet times by the celebrated archeologist Viktor Sarianidi who, at the age of 84, is about to spend another summer working on the site.

"I remember so well my joy when I first encountered this archaeological Klondike. A sensation right under your feet," the Russian professor told AFP.

Every digging season at Gonur-Tepe yields new discoveries showing the quality of the craftsmanship of the Bronze Age artisans in the town which at the time would likely have been home to thousands of residents.

The town's craftsmen could mould metal, make silver and gold trinkets, create materials for cult worship and carve bone and stone.

"It's amazing to what extent the people possessed advanced techniques. The craftsmen learned how to change the form of natural stone at a high temperature and then glazed it so that it was preserved," said archeologist Nadezhda Dubova.

"This year, Gonur has given us another surprise, a fantastic mosaic," she said, noting that such an object pre-dated the standard era of mosaic-making in Greek and Roman antiquity.

-- 'Anticipating Brunelleschi' --

The ruins of Gonur-Tepe are the centrepiece of a network of towns and settlements in the delta region of the river Morghab that flows through Turkmenistan from its source in Afghanistan.

Gonur-Tepe is a three-hour drive from the provincial centre of Mary -- two hours along a bumpy asphalt road that passes former collective farms that have now fallen into disuse, and then another hour-long slog through the desert scrub.

Mary, 380 kilometres from the capital Ashgabat, is a typical Turkmen provincial city, home to 200,000 people and largely built in the Soviet style with a railway connection and low-rise apartment buildings.

Some 30 kilometres (19 miles) outside Mary lies the other great glory of the region -- the great ruined city of Merv, whose importance goes back to the time of the Achaemenid Persians and reached a peak under Turkic rule in the 12th century AD.

Merv went into terminal decline after it was sacked by the Mongols in 1221 in a deadly conquest that left tens of thousands dead. Its ruins are as deserted as those of Gonur-Tepe.

Its greatest treasure is the still preserved mausoleum of the Seljuk Sultan Sanjar under whose rule Merv was a city of 200,000 people and briefly one of the most heavily populated settlements in the world.

The mausoleum, which is crowned by a cupola with a diameter of over 17 metres, was revolutionary in its design, Turkmen architectural historian Ruslan Muradov told AFP.

The design of the dome "anticipates by 300 years the ideas of the great Renaissance architect Filippo Brunelleschi" who designed the great dome of the cathedral in Florence, he said.

Unlike the ruins of Gonur-Tepe, ancient Merv was excavated as far back as Tsarist times when today's Turkmenistan was a far-flung outpost of the Russian Empire. It has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1999.

Archaeologists have only just begun to scratch the surface of the huge riches of the Mary region, said Viktor Turik, a historian who works at the Mary history museum.

"In the region there are 354 archeological monuments, 95 percent of which have, until now, not been studied by experts," he said.

Turkmenistan remains one of the most isolated countries in the world but still sees a trickle of foreign tourists every year, mostly on organised special interest tours.

Mary has just three hotels although President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has recently ordered the construction of a new 350-bed hotel in an apparent bid to boost tourism.

Meanwhile the question remains about what to do with the extraordinary silver and gold artefacts that are being unearthed in the region but which need painstaking restoration and conservation.

An employee of Turkmenistan's national heritage department said a joint project had been mooted with the antiquities department of the Louvre in Paris, but had fallen through.

"Many unique discoveries which are like nothing in the world are waiting their moments in the storage departments of Turkmen museums," said the employee who asked not to be named.

© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse

9 Queens 6th Annual Chess Fest!

Woo woo!  It's so hard to believe it's going on six years now.  Truly, time is flying by for yours truly these days, and I apologize for making this tardy announcement.  This wonderful event will be held this Saturday, April 13, 2013 in Tucson, Arizona:

Particulars from the email: 

Local Chess Master Honored at 6th Annual Chess Fest
On April 13, 2013 from 2-5 pm at the Hotel Congress (311 E. Congress St., Tucson, Arizona, 85701), Tucsonans will have the opportunity to show Women's FIDE Master Amanda Mateer and International Master Mac Molner their best moves. Husband and wife chess power couple, Mateer and Molner, will play in a tandem chess simultaneous exhibition playing forty games at the same time during the 9 Queens Chess Fest. The 6th Annual Chess Fest will feature a range of free chess themed activities.
In contrast to traditional chess tournaments and events, the Chess Fest will have something for everyone, regardless of age or chess experience. Activities include: beginner chess lessons, pick-up chess games, face painting, chess simultaneous exhibits.
Women's FIDE Master Amanda Mateer will be presented with the 9 Queens Award.The 9 Queens Award is given to a player who embodies the mission of 9 Queens and our commitment to empowering under-served and under-represented populations.
"As a prominent chess player and coach Amanda has done so much to make Tucson one of the most vibrant and rich chess communities in the country," explains 9 Queens co-founder Jean Hoffman.
Amanda Mateer is no stranger to Tucson's chess scene. She is a co-founder of Tucson Chess Alliance, which is another Tucson community chess group, a member of the Southern Arizona Chess Alliance Board, a nationally recognized tournament director and is one of the most liked coaches in the Old Pueblo by adults and children alike. All activities are free and open to the public. No pre-registration is necessary. Email for more information

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

2013 Supernationals: Final Standings of All IS 318 Players

Hola!  Here is the final group that I was too tired to post last night.  And, guess what!  You will have to zoom down to the very bottom of the list to find the number 1 player in the toughest group.  YAH!

Section K6                 Zongshan Ouyang 2.0 - 165/198
Section K12U1600    Ariel Peguero 3.5 - 218/394
Section K8                 Markus Pond 5.5 - 13/256
Section K9U1250      Krustian Psujek 3.0 - 157/240
Section K6                 Nasir Rasheed 3.5 - 95/198
Section K12U1600    Gabriel Rivera 2.5 - 291/394
Section K8U1000      Jordan Rodriguez 4.0 - 50/181
Section K12U1600    Christopher James Rush 5.5 - 21/394
Section K8U750        Freddie Sanchez 4.5 - 71/329
Section K8U750        Paul Sheehan 4.0 - 138/329
Section K8                 Carlos Tapia 3.5 - 120/256
Section K8                 Mubassar Uddin 5.0 - 37/256
Section K6                 Nancy Wang 4.0 - 57/198
Section K8                 Jack Wen 4.5 - 62/256
Section K12U1600    Shanniah Wright 4.0 - 143/394
Section K6                 Calvin Yang 3.5 - 110/198
Section K8U1000      Cindy Ye 3.0 - 101/181
Section K9U1250      Michael Yu 5.0 - 26/240
Section K12U1600    William Yu  2.0 - 342/394
Section K12U1600    Stefek Yurgel 3.5 - 203/394
Section K9U1250      Jordan Zamor 4.0 - 93/240
Section K12U1600    Tommy Zhang 6.5 - 1/394

That's it for the kids from IS 318.  Woop woop!  Hats off to the coaches and staff and the long-suffering chaperones :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Supernationals V: IS 318 Kids - How'd They Do?

I am in the process of updating the player list with final scores and standings for each of the players that represented IS 318 at the Supernationals V -- the largest yet with over 5,500 players attending this year.  Whew!  See below.

You can find the original list with player particulars here.  It's not complete yet - there are a lot of kids!  I'm about 3/5th of the way through and hope to add the rest here tomorrow night.  Full cross-tables compiled by the USCF here

Section K9U1250    Allen, David 3.0 - 135/240
Section K6               Antunish, Lennin 4.0 - 70/198
Section K8               Arthur, Brian 3.5 - 114/256
Section K8               Assevino, Anthony S. Jr. 3.5 - 118/256
Section K12U1600  Barayev, Jacob  4.0 - 127/394
Section K9U1250    Baugh, Rashaan 5.5 - 9/240
Section K9U1250    Baugh, Rashad 2.5 - 174/240
Section K12U1600  Bennett Jr., Richard 4.0 - 164/394
Section K8U1000    Bento-Simon, Ishmael 4.0 - 53/181
Section K6               Bullock, Jayvon 3.5 - 12/198
Section K6               Calixte, Eldridge 4.0 - 68/198
Section K9U1250    Chanderdatt, Joshua 5.5 - 10/240
Section K12U1600  Chase, Earl 2.5 - 294/394
Section K6               Chen, Mengnan 3.0 - 120/198
Section K8               Clifton, Raphael 4.0 - 84/256
Section K8U750      Cordero, Fernando 3.5 - 156/329
Section K12U1600  Cuate, Edeli 4.0 - 147/394
Section K8               Dalhouse, Tristan 4.0 - 80/256
Section K12U1600  Diallo, Haby 4.5 - 73/394
Section K8U1000    Edwards, Kayla 2.5 - 134/181
Section K9U1250    Garcia, Sebastian 6.0 - 3/240
Section K9U1250    Gomez, Vincente 5.0 - 21/240
Section K8U750      Gonzalez, Henry 5.5 - 15/329
Section K6               Idemudia, Aaron 3.5 - 111/198
Section K6               Idemudia, Sean 3.0 - 116/198
Section K6               Jobe, Kirk 3.5 - 96/198
Section K9U1250    John-Burnley, Elijah Kidane 3.0 - 160/198
Section K9U1250    Lawrence, William 6.0 - 7/198
Section K12U1600  Lewis, Isaiah 4.0 - 149/394
Section K8               Marin, Kevin 4.0 - 76/256
Section K8U750      Marshall, Jelani 3.0 - 211/329
Section K8U1000    Nowosadko, Michal 2.5 - 133/181
Section K12U1600  Ntango, Edmond 1.0 9th? --not sure what's going on with this score -- playing

That's it for tonight!

Imperial Chinese Bowl Breaks Auction Record in Hong Kong

What can I say - this bowl is simply E-X-Q-U-I-S-I-T-E...

The artistry, the depth and clarity of the glazes, the perfection of the pattern and combination of colors, and those blues and blue-greens -- just wonderful!

Here's the article from Yahoo News:

Record-breaking imperial Chinese bowl shines at Hong Kong sale

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A red bowl with a lotus pattern broke the world record for Chinese Kangxi ceramics on Monday, fetching over $9 million after a bidding war won by a Hong Kong ceramics dealer at the last day of spring sales for global auctioneer Sotheby's.

The five days of sales in wine, jewelry, Asian and Chinese art, ceramics and watches, an indicator of China's appetite for luxury goods, are being keenly watched after sluggish economic growth in 2012 and a crackdown on lavish official spending.

The Ruby-Ground Double-Lotus "falangcai" bowl from the Kangxi period of 1662-1722 went for HK$74 million ($9.5 million), handily beating pre-sale estimates of HK$70 million and selling for more than 140 times the price paid three decades ago in a sign of surging demand.

More than 400 customers turned up for the auction of 57 ceramic pieces in the morning session, with several rows of people packed into the back of the auction room and telephone lines busy with bidders. The bowl ultimately went to Hong Kong ceramics dealer William Chak.

"Of course, at the very, very top of the market, you do have lots of participation from overseas and other parts of Greater China," said Nicolas Chow, Deputy Chairman of Sotheby's Asia and International Head of Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art.

"But in terms of quantity, the largest quantity of objects traded today of Chinese art go back towards the mainland."

The red bowl with a design of pink and blue lotuses sold for HK$528,000 the first time it went under the hammer at Sotheby's in 1983. In 1999, it fetched HK$12 million.

A mainland collector who gave his name only as Ren and was bidding for a friend said demand for Chinese ceramics was growing among mainland buyers.

"Of course we're interested in these things. There's a Chinese element in them and they are the things from our ancestors, so we always feel attached to them," he added.

Though the auction scene in Hong Kong has long been dominated by international goliaths like Christie's and Sotheby's, leading Chinese auctioneer China Guardian last autumn muscled in on their turf with a debut sale and held another last week.

Chow said this trend was "a great thing".

"That helps draw more people towards Hong Kong and makes Hong Kong an even greater center for the art trade, particularly in this field," he told Reuters.

Sotheby's sold HK$2 billion worth of Asian and Chinese artwork and luxury goods at its autumn sales in Hong Kong in October, down 37 percent from the same period a year earlier. ($1 = 7.7660 Hong Kong dollars)

Margaret Thatcher Died

She was once one of the most powerful leaders on Earth, an "iron fist in a velvet glove."  Iconic, books have been written about her and a movie was made.  Margaret Thatcher, died of a stroke, age 87. 

Thatcher outside number 10 Downing Street, after winning re-election on June 10, 1983.

From The New York Times:

Lady Thatcher, Britain’s ‘Iron Lady,’ Dies

“It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning,” a statement from her spokesman, Lord Tim Bell, said.
Lady Thatcher had been in poor health for months. She served as prime minister for 11 years, beginning in 1979. She was known variously as the ‘Iron Lady,’ a stern Conservative who transformed Britain’s way of thinking about its economic and political life, broke union power and opened the way to far greater private ownership. [As per usual, the result of this "social revolution" was that a few benefited greatly and reaped all of the benefits while the vast majority of average people and their families were hurt and continue tobe hurt today.]
She was leader of Britain through its 1982 war in the Falklands and stamped her skepticism about European integration onto her country’s political landscape for decades.
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