Friday, October 9, 2015

Hales Corners Chess Challenge XXII!

Where did my summer go?  October is upon us and with October comes the semi-annual Hales Corners Chess Challenge tournaments, held in October and April each year.

October 2015 is no exception.  This year's great Hales Corners Challenge will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2015, at the beautiful Olympia Resort in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.  Hang on to your hats, darlings! Goddesschess has changed things up a bit this Challenge in the prize structure, woo woo!

Goddesschess has sponsored prizes since Challenge VIII, Holy Hathor!  Now here we are at Challenge XXII, and my cohort in Goddesschess, Georgia "Isis" Albert, and I have cooked up some new things for this Challenge to encourage our local and regional chess femmes to come on out and play!

Important to know:  As always, Goddesschess prize money is in addition to any other prizes you may win.

First off, we are beginning a new prize offering:  PERFECT SCORE PRIZE (female players only).  Any female player who wins all four of her games in each of the Open and Reserve sections will receive $80 and $40, respectively.  No limit on the number of perfect game scores, chess femmes!  So if all of you should begin to channel vibes from GM Judit Polgar - well, Georgia and I certainly would be gob-smacked and have to open up the Goddesschess wallet a little bit more, and we would LOVE to do so just for you!

You may already know that while I haven't sat down and done the math for hundreds of tournaments held across the country comparable in scale to the Hales Corners Challenges each year, I am pretty darn sure that our female player participation rate in the Challenges is among the top in the country, if not the highest.  My cohort in Goddesschess and I want to keep that momentum going, thus the Perfect Score Prize.

We've also shaken things up a little bit this year by offering a higher pay-off for wins and draws earned by female players in the Open Section.  We think it's high time some of you spread your wings a little bit wider and ventured into the Open Section instead of staying in the safe confines of the Reserve Section.  Come on chess femmes - give it a try.  We want to pay you more, more, more! We won' go bankrupt - pinky promise.  Chess femmes playing in the Open will now earn Goddesschess prize money of $50 per win, and $25 per draw.  Female players in the Reserve Section will win $20 per win and $10 per draw.

As we have for many years, Goddesschess will also pay the entry fee of the top finishing female player in each of the Open and Reserve Sections to the next Hales Corners Challenge.

This being the October Challenge, it is once again time to remember our dearly departed Mr. Don McLean, long-time webmaster, correspondent, writer and master researcher for Goddesschess, who passed away on October 12, 2012.  Don loved chess.  He couldn't play worth a damn, just like I can't, so we enjoyed many head-butting games OTB, LOL!  Oh, the stories I could tell you about some of those games, oh my :)  We honor Don in October with special prizes to spread the love to the chess dudes: $100 to the top finishing male player in the Open, and $50 to the top finishing male player in the Reserve. There are all sorts of tie-breaks that I do not understand in the least, so only one player in each section walks away with the top prize -- NO SPLITS, OUCH!

Come on out and play, chess femmes, please.  Do Georgia and I proud!  Let's break a record for female participation in Challenge XXII!  Let's shoot for the stars.

You can find further tournament information at the Southwest Chess Club website and their blog.

Please come on out, support us, and have fun, everyone.  Good luck, and we're rooting for the chess femmes :)

2015 FIDE Women's Grand Prix: Monaco


One of my favorite players, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, is playing in this Grand Prix, along with some of the best chessplayers in the world (all female), a truly stellar line-up of chess talent.  What's not to love?

Official website.  Photo gallery, extensive information on games/rounds, live video including live broadcast of games.

Here are the standings after 6 rounds, Holy Hathor!

FIDE Women Grand Prix 2015-16
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Ranking Crosstable after Round 6
18GMHou Yifan2671CHN0
26GMKoneru Humpy2578IND0
33GMMuzychuk Mariya2528UKR0
45GMCramling Pia2513SWE0
54GMKosteniuk Alexandra2525RUS0
610GMStefanova Antoaneta2500BUL30
77WGMPogonina Natalija2445RUS30
82GMZhukova Natalia2485UKR30
99IMSkripchenko Almira2441FRA21
1012GMMuzychuk Anna2549UKR20
111IMKhademalsharieh Sarasadat2402IRI0
1211GMDzagnidze Nana2573GEO10

Here is the schedule for the remainder of the tournament:

October,10 201515:00 Round 7
October,11 201515:00 Round 8
October,12 201515:00 Free Day
18:30 Reception of the Minister of State
October,13 201515:00  Round 9
October,14 201515:00Round 10
October,15 201511:00 Round 11
17:00 Closing Ceremony

Round 7 Match-Ups tomorrow (U.S. Central Time Zone, games begin 3:00 p.m.):

Round 7 on 2015/10/10 at 15:00
4GMKosteniuk Alexandra2525-GMMuzychuk Anna254912
5GMCramling Pia2513-GMMuzychuk Mariya25283
6GMKoneru Humpy2578-GMZhukova Natalia24852
7WGMPogonina Natalija2445-IMKhademalsharieh Sarasadat24021
8GMHou Yifan2671-GMDzagnidze Nana257311
9IMSkripchenko Almira2441-GMStefanova Antoaneta250010

I wish all of the chess femmes bon chance.

Ladies' Knight: A Female Perspective on Chess

Hola darlings!

I'm still alive and kicking, just been busy with other projects and the summer social scene.  In SE Wisconsin we must get things in while the weather cooperates, because Goddess knows once winter hits some time in (I hope late) November I'll be mostly at home for 6 months.  I've got another visit with Isis in Las Vegas coming up in mid November and I don't want my flight to be grounded by bad weather.  I'm gambling that a blizzard won't hit on either my trip out or my trip back and that the weather in Vegas holds in the mid-70's during the day while I'm there.  It is, of course, a craps shoot, har :)  

Got an email about this new exhibit at the World Chess Hall of Fame (seems I missed the announcement about them dropping "Museum" out of their title) and it sounds pretty cool.  If you are in the St. Louis area, or are planning a visit soon, worth checking out:

Ladies’ Knight: A Female Perspective on Chess

Opening Reception Thursday, October 29 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Ladies’ Knight: A Female Perspective on Chess examines how a game often dominated by men inspires contemporary women artists. The exhibition presents works by artists Crystal Fischetti, Debbie Han, Barbara Kruger, Liliya Lifanova, Goshka Macuga, Sophie Matisse, Yoko Ono, Daniela Raytchev, Jennifer Shahade, Yuko Suga, Diana Thater, and Rachel Whiteread. Their diverse interpretations of the game range from the playful and feminine to the serious and encourage dialogue about subjects like crime, language, peace and conflict, and inequality. 

Opening Reception
Thursday, October 29, 2015
6 - 8 p.m.
6:30 p.m. Remarks by Shannon Bailey, Chief Curator, World Chess Hall of Fame

Free and open to the public. 
Complimentary valet. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
RSVP to Erica Kelly at
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