Monday, April 29, 2019

2019 Grand Pacific Open - Final Results/Standings

Hola darlings!

Full Section standings and cross-tables.

Premier Section (49 players): (Female Players)

  5.  WGM Nino Maisuradze (2344):  4.5/6
14.  WFM Valeria Gansvind (2119):  4.0/6
22.  WFM Anne Marie Velea (2090):  3.0/6
26.  Kate Jiang (1810):  3.0/6

U2100 Section (36 players):  (Female Players)

18.  Sophie Velea (1861):  3.0/6
21.  Larysa Plostak (1750):  2.5/6
30.  Stephanie Velea (1836):  2.0/6
31.  Julia O'Neill (1711):  2.0/6

U1700 Section (36 players):  (Female Players)

7.  Yu Han (Veronica) Guo (1335):  4.0/6
15.  Helen Cheng (1404):  3.0/6
34.  Amanda Yang (1072):  1.5/6

U1200 Section (37 players):  (Female Players)

5.0  Inna Rabinovich (1079):  4.0/6
31.  Collete Eisenberg (805):  2.0/6

Goddesschess Prizes:

WGM Nino Maisuradze $125
Valeria Gansvind $100
Anne-Marie Velea, Kate Jiang $65 each
Sophie Velea  $25

Section Prizes:

Premier:  3rd/4th WGM Nino Maisuradze $220
Premier (U2100):  Anne Marie Velea  $20; Kate Jiang $20
U1700 (U1400):  Yu Han (Veronica) Guo $75

Congratulations to all of the chess femmes who played in this event.  You were 8.2% of the turnout this year.  We're taking a look at the Goddesschess prize structure for the top finishing female players to see how we can encourage more of you to play in next year's event.  

Sunday, April 14, 2019

2019 Hales Corners Chess Challenge (Challenge XXIX)

Hola darlings!

The 2019 spring Hales Corners Chess Challenge has finished and prizes awarded.  This year's event was brought back to Milwaukee (YAY!) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, South 13th Street and College Avenue. 

This year's Challenge hosted 31 players in the Open and 34 players in the Reserve.  As you know, Goddesschess has been helping support female chess players since Challenge VIII.  Our prize structure has changed quite a bit since then but our goal remains the same - to encourage more chess femmes to play in tournaments and match themselves against stronger players. That's the way to grow your skills.

This year's Challenge XXIX conflicted with the All Girls National Open in Chicago hosted over the weekend, and it seems that drew a lot of chess femmes who might have otherwise considered playing in the Challenge to Chicago to compete in the All Girls National Open. But we still had a good percentage of chess femmes attending, 9.2%. 

You know the drill by now (I hope!):  Goddesschess prizes are in addition to any prize a female player may earn, and the top finishing female player in each Section receives Goddesschess paid registration if she chooses to play in the next Hales Corners Chess Challenge. 

The report:

Open Players; Goddesschess Prizes Awarded (if any):
Susanna Ulrich (2079) $125 (plus paid registration for next event)
Madeline Weber (1718) $100

Reserve Players; Goddesschess Prizes Awarded (if any):
Lizzie Brahin (1289) $50 (plus paid registration for next event)
Ellen Wanek (1234) $40
Sandra Hoffman 81371) $20
Katerina Tarra (375) (no prize won but scored lots of experience points!)

My chess buddy Ellen Wanek sent me a couple of photos of the chess femmes!

Ladies, you brought a smile to my face!

Okay, I probably should have used this one instead but I couldn't resist using the first one (I always make faces in photographs, too):

I LUV you all!  Thanks for coming out and supporting your fellow female chess femmes at this great event.  I plan on seeing you ALL in person at the Autumn Hales Corners Chess Challenge on October 5th, same time, same place (but I won't be playing - it makes my eyes cross and gives me a headache that would kill a man to play chess these days, UGH!) 

2019 U.S. Women's Chess Championship - Final Standings

Congratulations to Jennifer Yu, who came out of the gate on fire and stayed on fire throughout the entire 2019 tournament, finishing with 10 out of 11 possible points.  She had 2 draws and 9 wins!  WHOOP WHOOP!  Yu took sole first place in the Women's Championship for $25,000.  Veterans to the U.S. Women's Championship Tatev Abrahamyan and Anna Zatonskih tied for 2nd place with 7.5/11 and each took home $15,500.

Final standings (11 rounds):

Here is the final cross-table:

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

2019 Grand Pacific Open

Hola!  The 2019 Grand Pacific Open (13th Annual Grand Pacific Open)  will be here before you know it:  April 19 - 22, 2019 in beautiful Victoria, BC over Easter weekend.  You can find all the details and registration information/forms, etc. at the link (above). 

WGM Nino Maisuradze is returning to play in the Premier Section after an absence of several years, hooray!  WFM Valeria Gansvind is also returning and will play in the Premier Section as well.

Goddesschess has provided prize and sponsorship money for female chessplayers at various tournaments throughout the years.  I believe we've been providing prize money and some sponsorship funds to the GPO since 2010.  I can't check exactly when we first started because a few months ago I updated my email and cleaned out a whole bunch of stuff, keeping correspondence and records only since 2017.  Oh well :)

We've been trying to get WGM Maisuradze back for some time, but she's married to a chessplayer and they try to schedule where there will be several events that they can play in either together or in separate events simultaneously within a certain time period and relatively close (distance wise) together.  This year WGM Maisuradze's husband, GM Alexandr Fier, is playing in the 2019 GPO too!

The 2019 GPO is a FIDE and CFC rated 6-round Swiss.  Top prize in the Premier Section is $1,000.  Goddesschess prizes are awarded separately and do not affect any prize money awarded out of the GPO prize fund. 

We're hoping for another great turnout in 2019 - especially your chess femmes!!!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

XXIX Hales Corners Challenge (Southwest Chess Club)

Hola darlings!  It's that time of year once again.  Goddesschess is sponsoring cash prizes for female players which are paid in addition to any prize money for which the player may qualify.  Goddesschess is pleased to have provided prize money for Southwest Chess Club's Spring and Fall tournaments since Hales Corners Challenge VIII!

This year's 29th Spring Tournament will be held on Saturday April 13, 2019 - 4 rounds in one day, whew!  We're back in a Milwaukee location, whoop whoop!  This year's event will be held at the Crowne Plaza Milwaukee Airport Hotel at 6401 South 13th Street in Milwaukee.

US Chess Grand Prix Points: 10
Wisconsin Tour event! 
4SS, G/60;d6. 2 Sections: Open & Reserve (under 1600). 

You can find further details at the Southwest Chess Club blog, as well as a link to the flyer. 

Goddesschess Prizes:

Open: $50 per win/$25 per draw
Reserve: $20 per win/$10 per draw
Perfect Score Prizes for Females: $80 in Open/$40 in Reserve

This year we're scheduled at the same time as a national girl's chess competition in Chicago so some of our best female players may not be with us this spring.  This may present a great opportunity for some new chess femme future stars to shine at the Hales Corners Challenge!!!!!  They're great events, I hope there will be a "fabulous, dahling" turnout!

2019 U.S. Women's Chess Championship

It's that time of year again, darlings!  Yes, once again, the "St. Louis Chess Club," whose formal name is too long for me to remember, something with Chess and Scholastic and Center in it -- is hosting the U.S. Chess Championships.  It's smaller than you'd expect (at least it was in 2009 when I visited the city) in a great location on this wonderful mini-pedestrian mall area in an upscale neighborhood of St. Louis, right across the street from the World Chess Hall of Fame with its fabulous shows and displays. 

This year's Championships started on March 18 and end on April 1.  Not exactly an auspicious date (in my humble opinion) for ending a world-class tournament.  The prize fund is $100,000, which is fabulous.  Except the male players are competing for $185,000 in total prizes.  And the $64,000 Fischer Award will be paid to ANY player(s) who have a perfect score.  Yeah - well, you never know...

This year's field of twelve players features some "venerable veterans" and several young and eager up and comers, many with ELOs below 2400. Here's the Field:

GM Irina Krush 2533, age 35
IM Anna Zatonskih 2489, age 40
WGM Tatev Abrahamyan 2462, age 31
WGM Jennifer Yu 2398, age 17
WIM Carissa Yip 2384, age 15
WGM Sabina Foisor 2362, age 29
WIM Annie Wang 2360, age 16
WGM Anna Sharevich 2354, age 33
WIM Akshita Gorti 2352, age 16
WIM Maggie Feng 2333, age 18
WIM Emily Nguyen 2310, age 16
WIM Ashritha Eswaran 2295, age 18

Standings after Round 3 (chart courtesy of

Cross-Table and Round 3 Pairings (chart courtesy of

Tani Adewumi Wins His Age Group in New York State Championship While Family Lives in Homeless Shelter

By now you would have heard the story.  There is more coverage at The New York Times:

This 8-Year Old Chess Champion Will Make You Smile
Overcoming Life's Basic Truth:  Talent is universal, but opportunity is not.
By Nicholas Kristol (Opinion writer)
March 16, 2019

Our Chess Champion Has a Home
The 8-year old refuge who last week was thrilled to have a trophy suddenly has so much more.
By Nicholas Kristol (Opinion writer)
March 3, 2019

This article is from The Washington Post.  Tani made the big time!

Chess victory is ticket out of shelter for 
8-year-old boy
From AP
March 19, 2019

NEW YORK — An 8-year-old boy’s victory as New York state chess champion will be his family’s ticket out of a homeless shelter.
The New York Times reported that Tani Adewumi (TAH’-nee ah-deh-WOO’-mee) won the state chess title for his age group this month even though he learned to play only about a year ago.
Tani and his family have lived in a New York City shelter since fleeing Nigeria in 2017. The Christian family feared attacks by the militant group Boko Haram.
Tani’s chess coach Russell Makofsky (muh-KAHF’-skee) set up a GoFundMe account for the family after Tani won the championship.
Makofsky joined Tani on NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday and said that thanks to donations, the family is moving into an apartment.
Tani says he “felt surprised” by his win.

And Garry Kasparov wrote a piece for The Washington Post.

By Garry Kasparov
Contributor, PostEverything

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Trying to Stay Warm and Staying Alive, Staying Alive...

February 9, 2019 (sorry for the delay!)

Hola darlings!

Housebound yet again this snowy and super-cold winter in southeast Wisconsin.  UGH!  We got at least 8 more inches of snow overnight.  I shoveled once yesterday, once this morning, and need to go out and do what I hope will be a final shovel a bit later on.  It's still snowing although flurries now, not the wet heavy stuff that pounded us overnight and earlier this morning.

Anyway, after Polar Vortexes, and freezing sleets and ice skating on the sidewalk (not kidding!), and the snow banks reaching up so high I can't throw the snow much higher than it already is, who has time for blogging?  Not moi.  And now tax season is upon us.

Americans, have you seen what the IRS has NOW inflicted upon us?  Not just a single page (on both sides) regular 1040 Federal Income Tax Return that has been the standard for years.  The form where everybody knows what lines to fill out.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.  Now the return is two half-pages long and you need to attach SCHEDULES.  This was supposed to make the #&$@#*! process simpler, was it not?  Instead, leave it to this clueless wonder of the most stupid administration ever in the entire history of the world to EFF it up even worse than it already was.  The instructions for Form 1040 alone are 117 pages long.  Not joking.  And you have to figure out what schedules you need to fill out in order to complete your Form 1040, and what to attach. RUTSA RUCK!  I've a feeling a lot of people are going to be getting letters from the IRS that will read something like this:

Dear Taxpayer:  Blah blah blah you really effed up your 2018 U.S. Federal Income Tax Return and Schedules.  Please remit $10,000 via wire transfer to Prince Abuki Kababoi, care of Sudanese Embassy, Hanoi, Vietnam.  Please remit within ten (10) days or you will be arrested and sent to a prison camp in an undisclosed southwest desert location with no due process of law.  Because - that's the way we do things in the Trump administration now.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.

I started reading the instructions (no way am I printing out 117 pages on my little printer) online yesterday, a process that is driving me bonkers (can you tell?), and I think I have the Schedules I need now printed to complete the Form 1040.  What a pain in the ASS! I am now enjoying a much needed glass of wine.

I am going to have to tackle my income tax return either later today or tomorrow.  I want to file early this year instead of not receiving my refund check until July, LOL!  Of course, with my luck, Trumpypoo will shut the government down and I won't get a refund check until July anyway.  July 2020.

On a happier note, I just saw this commercial that brilliantly uses chess and thought it was great.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

New Year!

Hola darlings!  How are you all - hope you're doing great!  I can tell you right now I'm sure enjoying this January thaw that's enveloped my home town for the past 3 days, just wonderful to not be freezing my fingers and toes off every time I step out the door.  Yesterday it got up to 54 degrees F and the Sun felt fabulous!

Sad news.  As the new year churns forward, we are losing more and more of the generation of my Dad (Dad passed at the age of 80 a week before Veterans' Day in November 2002).  I read this morning in The Washington Post that Christine McGuire, the oldest sister of the three McGuire Sisters, had passed away.  Link to article.

As part of the baby-boomer generation, the McGuire sisters were already grown up by the time I and my younger siblings came along after the end of WWII, when millions of GIs came home, got married, got jobs or went on to college, and got married in droves.  And they nearly all had children, often large families.  My family of six was not considered unduly large in those days and was more the norm in the neighborhoods were I grew up.  One of our neighbors had 14 children in their family!  The family we lived upstairs from for years had five kids.

I literally grew up watching black and white movies on television - FOR FREE! - back in those "old" days in the 1950s and 1960s.

I remember the McGuire sisters only from those old movies.  One song I remember in particular was "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" and the McGuire sisters dancing while dressed up as WACs in WWII.  I actually found an old clip of the McGuires performing the song from the 1941 movie, "Buck Privates" starring Abbott and Costello, thanks to TCM online - Turner Classic Movies.  The sisters rocked out the song!  Many years later, the incomparable Bette Midler featured the song in several of her shows over the years - this montage is a hoot (from Youtube):

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