Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day 2017

Hola darlings!  I hope you will all enjoy today - Earth Day.  The one day we should at least spare a few minutes to think about our beautiful sparking blue and white and green and brown jewel of a planet hanging in the midnight star-spangled expanse of the universe.


Earth is photographed with a high-definition 121megapixel camera - creating the sharpest image of our planet yet.....WOW,...LOOKS VERY NICE FROM AFAR....GREAT PIC:
From The Daily Mail, May 11, 2012, Eddie Wren for Mail Online
Photo taken by Russian weather satellite Electro-L with
resolution of 121 megapixels.  


Please, think about what we can all do, individually and together as countries and, hopefully someday, as a single united people the world over, to keep her safe, secure, and beautiful for all.  When enough of us do the "small" things, it has an enormous impact.

Use natural gardening practices, stop using pesticides and poisons; recycle; grow your own fresh vegetables in the summer and learn how to preserve them for use through the winter; encourage energy-saving technologies by harnessing the power of our waves, our Sun, and our wind.  Conserve, re-use, re-imagination and recreate.  Plant trees.  Volunteer to help clean up public parkways and plant flowers.  Hound your Congressional representatives and Senators to keep our water and our air and our soil free from pollutants and to clean up our "Superfund" sites.  In your home, when old appliances die, recycle them, and buy new water-conserving models of washers; hang your wash in the backyard to dry (if you have one) instead of using a dryer; replace old water-wasting toilets with low volume/high air velocity flush toilets; get those dripping faucets fixed, you'd be amazed how much water drips down the drain every single day.  Go energy efficient with your windows, insulation, roofing, and indoor lighting and heating/cooling.

We can each do more than we think we can, and it all makes a difference!  Love your Mother Earth.

Friday, April 21, 2017

11th Annual Grand Pacific Open

Hola!  Goddesschess has provided sponsorship for female chessplayers for this event for several years now.  This year we had ten female players in all sections, five (5!!!) in the top rated PREMIER Section.  The women in the PREMIER section took all of the Goddesschess prize money this year.

The event is held annually over Easter in Victoria, BC, Canada at the beautiful Grand Pacific Hotel.  This year's GPO was held April 14 - 17, 2017, with a guaranteed prize fund of $5,000 Canadian.  Prizes are slated to the top five female players in the PREMIER Section; if there are fewer players than five, remaining prizes are awarded to the top female finishers in the next highest rated Section, and so on.

Here are this year's results!

Premier Section (33 players)
1.  8th place, WFM Adela Fratila (2038) 3.5/6 $125.00
2.  15th place, WFM Valeria Gansvind (2254), 3.0/6, $90.00
3.  17th place, WFM Naomi Bashkansky (2018), 3.0/6, $90.00
4. 25th place, Shi Yuan (Sherry) Tian (1818), 2.0/6, $50.00
5.  32nd place, WFM Chouchanik Airapetian (2015) (former U.S. women's chess championship competitor), 0.5/5, $25.00

Under 2000 Section (37 players)
6.  9th place, Anna Vang (1469), 4.0/6

Under 1700 (45 players)
7.  31st place, Bo Wen (Angelina) Yang (1013), 2.5/6

Under 1200 (31 players)
8.  11th place,  Gillian Mok (852), 3.5/6
9.  14th place, Amanda Yang (731), 3.0/6
10.  17th place, Shannon Gong (UNR), 3.0/6

Congratulations to top overall female chess femme WFM Adela Fratila, and to all of our prize winners, and two thumbs up to all of the chess femmes for their fighting spirit.

WFM Airapetian had a "not so good" tournament this event,  She has played rather sporadically over the past several years, but I remember her well from prior U.S. Women's Chess Championships for her sunny smile and always upbeat spirit and disposition.  In 2004, Airapetian made American chess history by becoming the first female player to earn a spot in the U.S. Chess Championship, by She was a favorite amongst players at the U.S. events.  I hope she will come back next year and try again!  

Stay tuned.  We are considering changing up the prize structure for this Canadian event to more closely align it with the sponsorship format we provide to the Hales Corners Chess Challenges in Milwaukee.  Our goal is always to encourage more female chessplayers to participate in such events and to reward them for their hard play.  I only wish we had unlimited financial resources to be able to make it so, all across the U.S. and Mr. Don's beloved Canada!

2017 U.S. Women's Chess Championship - Final Resorts (Very Late - Sorry, Darlings!)

Mea culpa!  I totally lost track of the U.S.'s premiere female chess event, held in St. Louis, Missouri in the beautiful (but small!) Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.

Without further ado (as if you didn't know!), the winner is:

WGM SABINA-FRANCESCA FOISOR (2272).

Foisor took clear first place with a score of 8.0/11.  Well done, and congratulations.

Here is a dramatic description of the final game, which took place less than three months after WGM Foisor's mother, IM Cristina Foisor (five-time Romanian women's chess champion) in January, 2017.  Tensions mounted as Foisor and her fiance' watched in the downstairs commentary room and waited for the results of IM Nazi Pakidze's game to see if there would be a play-off.

Cross-table (final) with results/standings:

Cross table after round 11

RankNameRating123456789101112Score
1WGM Foisor, Sabina-Francesca2272x½ 0 1 1 ½ 0 1 1 1 1 1 8.0
2IM Paikidze, Nazi2369½ x1 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 7.0
3GM Krush, Irina24441 0 x½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 6.5
4IM Zatonskih, Anna24510 1 ½ x½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 0 1 6.0
5WGM Sharevich, Anna22570 ½ ½ ½ x1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 6.0
6WIM Yu, Jennifer R2196½ 1 1 1 0 x0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 6.0
7WCM Feng, Maggie21621 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 x0 ½ ½ ½ 1 6.0
8WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev23640 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 x½ 1 ½ 1 5.5
9WGM Nemcova, Katerina23590 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ x1 1 ½ 5.5
10WFM Virkud, Apurva22620 0 0 0 1 1 ½ 0 0 x1 1 4.5
11WFM Yip, Carissa22340 0 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 x1 4.0
12WIM Nguyen, Emily21730 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 x1.0
Generated by Swiss Master for Windows on 09-04-2017 at 17:43

It was a tough outing for WFM Carissa Yip, the player I chose to eyeball this year to see how she'd do.  No doubt lack of age and experience, despite her extensive (and impressive) record of play, had a lot to do with her overall performance.  She is only eleven, after all.  At eleven, I was dancing to the Four Seasons and Bobby Rydell on the radio and experimenting with Annette Funicello hairstyles, har!  I also was skinny and cute (but had awful hair!), and sassy as all get out, and had my first serious boyfriend, Jimmy Celeste (sigh, so Italian and so handsome),  just so you know.  My games were cribbage and five card stud, deuces wild, with Grandpa Newton.

The chess baton seems to have been passed to a younger generation of players, most of whom do not have the kind of international experience necessary to really get their ELOs "up there," if you know what I mean.  Sadly, I see a decline in the overall quality of female chessplayers on our national scene, not an improvement.  We lose too many to the practicalities of life - such as - MAKING A LIVING and RAISING FAMILIES!  Drives me INSANE, this drift backwards, not forward.

Okay, end of my angst session.

The China Institute Presents a New Gallery Show/Program: Dreams of the Kings

WOW! I would love to see this.  Hmmm....


Discover China Through Art (DCTA)
Program in conjunction with the exhibition
Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity, Treasures of the Han Dynasty from Xuzhou

May 30 – November 12, 2017
Discover China Through Art (DCTA), China Institute Gallery’s innovative art education program for groups, will introduce participants to our new exhibition Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit for Eternity, Treasures of the Han Dynasty from Xuzhou. Each group visit consists of a three-part program featuring an introductory video presentation, a docent-led gallery tour, and a hands-on art workshop, all of which can be adapted for different age groups and interests.
By exploring great collections from the Xuzhou museum at close range in the Gallery, participants will see a rare jade burial suit, terracotta performers, and carved stone animal sculptures. These objects are extraordinary testimony to customs and beliefs surrounding life and death during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 8 CE).
Two workshops are offered:
I. Color and Decorating Workshop (K – 3rd grade)
II. Pattern Making Workshop (3rd grade – adult)

Schedule: Available for booking weekday
Mornings 10:30 AM-12:00 PM & Afternoons 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Please reserve a tour at least two weeks in advance of the requested date.
Please contact us for evenings and weekends programs.
Speaker Name
Gallery Docents
Fee: Weekdays: $120 per group
Evenings & weekends: $160 per group
Up to 30 participants per group; we can accommodate 2 groups at one time
Contact: Yue Ma 212-744-8181 x 147 or by email at yma@chinainstitute.org

About Discover China Through Art (DCTA)

Discover China Through Art (DCTA) is an innovative art education program that China Institute Gallery offers to schools and the general public. Created in 1992, DCTA introduces audiences to Chinese art and culture through a three-part interactive program that complements the Gallery’s exhibitions. The participants experiment with Chinese art through an introductory video presentation, a docent-led gallery discussion, and a hands-on art workshop. It is in these popular workshops that our participants experience Chinese art up close and have the opportunity to learn and apply fundamental techniques.
The program also offers special Chinese art and culture workshops in between of exhibitions, which consist of an interactive video presentation and an experimental hands-on workshop.

nyculture
Discover China Through Art is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
nyculture

Hales Corners Chess Challenge XXV! It's Tomorrow, Darlings!

Update April 22, 2017:

Hi darlings!  Great news!  Got the final count of chess femmes from the wonderful folks at Southwest Chess Club who run the Hales Corners Challenges, and there are FIVE chess femmes in the Open Section and EIGHT chess femmes in the Reserve Section, out of 73 players, for a total participation rate  of 17.8%!!!!!!!! (Notice I'm using Trumpian punctuation here - he actually stole the idea from me, I've been doing THAT for years, as you all know, darlings :))  Other than scholastic events, I cannot think of any other event in which female players make up such a large percentage of players.  WHOOP WHOOP!  I'm proud of you, ladies!
_________________________________________________________________

Hola everyone!  Happy spring, which in Milwaukee is always celebrated by the Hales Corners Chess Challenge, at least in my little corner of the world :)

Goddesschess first began providing prize money to the HCCC way back in Challenge VIII, and we've consistently improved our prizes and increased the amounts since that time.  We have also been successful in achieving our goal, with the eager cooperation of the people of the Southwest Chess Club, of increasing the participation of female chessplayers in the tournaments, and we now can brag of some of the highest percentages of female participation in open mixed tournaments in the US.  That's something to be proud of, and our female players have made it possible!

This year, Challenge XXV is TOMORROW!!!!!!  You can find all of the details here.

Goddesschess prizes are awarded in addition to any other prize that a female participant may qualify for, they are not mutually exclusive.  (In October HCCC, Goddesschess also provides two special prizes for male players in honor or our late webmaster and partner, Don McLean).  For Challenge XXV, we offer the following incentives to participating female chessplayers:

Open:

$50 per win; $25 per draw; $80 prize for a perfect score of 4.0
Entry fee paid if top scorer participates in next HCCC

Reserve:

$20 per win; $10 per draw; $40 prize for a perfect score of 4.0
Entry fee paid if top scorer participates in next HCCC

I haven't played at the Olympia Resort but I understand it is a great playing venue and provides very nice accommodations for those staying overnight.  So -- please come out and join us, and help us once again make good on increasing our female chessplayer rate of participation in Goddesschess sponsored events!

Fingers crossed we have the best participation rates of ALL players ever!  Good luck to all.  I'll be following along on the SWCC blog.
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