Friday, August 16, 2019

I Love Me A Good Squirrel Commercial

This is so cute!  It rather reminds me of my backyard when I put out the hazelnuts in the morning and evening for my tribe of squirrels.  I've yet, however, to have a man show up with a squirrel's mask on.  Probably a good thing - I'd likely attack him with my broom...


Monday, August 12, 2019

FIDE Women's Grand Prix Series 2019-2020

The places and dates are set, along with the List of Players.  FIDE announcement on the upcoming events.  Players must play in 3 of the 4 events. 

   SkolkovoMonacoLausanneSardinia
PLAYERRATING September
10th – 23rd 2019
December 
2nd – 15th 2019
March
1st – 14th 2020
May 
2nd – 15th 2020
Harika, Dronavalli2492 +++-
Goryachkina, Aleksandra2564 +++-
Kosteniuk, Alexandra2517 +++-
Cramling, Pia2479 +++-
Koneru, Humpy2558 ++-+
Gunina, Valentina2497 ++-+
Lagno, Kateryna2549 ++-+
Paehtz, Elisabeth2473 ++-+
Ju, Wenjun2595 +-++
Stefanova, Antoaneta2474 +-++
Kashlinskaya, Alina2492 +-++
Sebag, Marie2451 +-++
Muzychuk, Anna2547 -+++
Muzychuk, Mariya2551 -+++
Dzagnidze, Nana2511 -+++
Zhao, Xue2485 -+++
       
Average Rating  2512251825132515

2019 FIDE World Cup

The 2019 FIDE World Cup event is set to start and the pairings are up for Round 1.  I won't be following the men's event because, frankly - I find them boring, but there are six Americans playing:  GM Wesley So (seems like a nice young man, GM Sam Shankland (who once declared after a dismal performance at, I believe, a U.S. Chess Championship some years ago that he was quitting, quitting, quitting the game forever), GM Hikaru Nakamura (I get bad vibes from this dude), GM Leinier Dominguez Perez (don't know who this player is), GM Samuel Sevian (been reading about him off and on since he was a promising kid - what am I saying, he's only 18!), and GM Jeffery Xiong (don't know who this player is). 

Action is set to start with Round 1 September 10 - 12, 2019.  Good luck, dudes.

Some information on the 2019 FIDE World Cup at Revolvy website.
Official website.


Medieval Islamic Style Chess Piece Found in Wallingford, England (Story from 2016)

Another bit of news from an older story, reported in April 2016 at ArcheoFeed, that I didn't find I'd reported here at Goddesschess Blog.

Medieval chess piece discovered


In a recent dig at Wallinford Museum a small medieval Arabic chess piece was discovered. Closer examination revealed it was made from the tip of an antler. Once the artefact was cleaned up it was identified as a gaming piece, highly decorated with ring and dot designs.
Chess bishop piece found in Wallingford (by Oxford Times)
It is one of only about 50 medieval chess pieces found in England and, at only 21.7 mm high [Note: 0.8543307 of an inch for Americans], it is unique in being the smallest medieval Arabic chess piece known in the country. It is dated to 12th-13th century. It was identified as a bishop and it can be estimated that the other pieces in the set must have been really small as well – it may also have been part of a travelling set. Archaeologist suspect that further pieces can be found when a second dig will be carried out in July.
 (after Oxford Times)

Silver Coins Found Inside Ivory Chess Piece

I missed this article - all the way back from May, 2017, but better late than never.  I haven't been able to find out anything about what happened to the Bishop these 10 silver coins were supposedly found in - inside a false bottom.  How big was the piece to have contained 10 coins in a false bottom?

You will note - not a word was said about the chess piece itself.  Evidently thus far this is the only chess piece  in this area because I've read nothing on any other chess pieces being discovered.  But even a single ivory piece dating back to the time of Ivan the Terrible, first Czar of Russia from 1547 to 1584 would, I assume, be valuable.  I could not locate any photographs of the piece itself or any further mention of what happened to the chess piece.

Silver Coins Hidden In Chess Figure Date Back To Ivan The Terrible’s Days – Discovery In Moscow



A collection of silver coins dating back to the days of Ivan the Terrible. was recently unearthed during construction work in downtown Moscow, Russia.
SIlver coins date back to Ivan the Terrible's times. Image credit: TASS
Silver coins date back to Ivan the Terrible's times. Image credit: TASS
Ten silver coins found in an ivory chess bishop, were probably hidden from thieves or robbers according to Alexey Yemelyanov,  head of Moscow’s Cultural Heritage Department.
"Chess was a game played for money at that time. Maybe the person who owned the chess set did not want to carry money in a purse out of fear of being robbed, but wanted to be able to pay in case he lost," Yemelyanov said.
"In another version, Prechistenka [district in downtown Moscow] of that time had a lot of inns where chess was played, and this was the way inn owners stored the money,"said Yemelyanov, adding that "ten hand-minted silver coins were stashed in a bishop made of ivory. The total sum is five kopecks."

This is rather a unique  discovery because  money is found only on rare occasions, and now Moscow museum workers will study the ancient chess pieces in their collections to look for more potential treasures stowed inside them, reports Russian News Agency TASS.
The deputy director general of a company providing archeological survey during construction work, Vladimir Berkovich, said the volunteer who had found the treasure trove was not rewarded for his discovery. "This is not customary among Moscow volunteers," he said. He also declined to reveal the treasure’s value, saying coin collectors must be consulted.
The coins date from the mid-16th century and among them, one was minted in Tver (a city about 174 kilometers northwest of Moscow) and the other nine - in Moscow.
"If each chess piece had the same stowage, the total sum of the stashed coins could amount to 160 kopecks," Yemelyanov noted, adding that no other chess pieces had been found yet.

Note:  There are only 9 coins in the photo, one of which appears to be halfway out of the empty bottom of something - the chess piece?  Who knows!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Doing A Little Catch-Up:

Hola everyone!

It's a humid day threatening rain here in Milwaukee, but the stormy weather has given me a chance to do some catch-up at my poor, languishing Goddesschess blog.  As you know (or if not, I'm telling you now), I've been a member of the Chess Collectors International or CCI for many years.  I don't remember exactly when I joined, but I believe it may have been in the early to mid 2000's.  I receive the CCI magazines/news letters and the USA branch of the CCI also produces it own magazine that comes to me three times a year.

Recently I wrote about an exciting development - the CCI is going to be holding its biennial meeting in St. Louis, Missouri (USA) once again next year!  The first (to my knowledge) was in 2011, then in 2015, and now again next year in 2020.  Since I received the information, I've been thinking about possibly attending. I have a while before I need to make a decision.  I always like having those "whiles." 

The only CCI meeting I attended was in 2011, also in St. Louis.  It coincided at the time with the Kings v. Queens Tournament (also called "The Battle of the Sexes" Tournament) of American and international players being hosted at the St. Louis Chess Club, just a few blocks away from the hotel I booked a suite at for my friend of nearly 30 years, Georgia, and myself.  The chess club is right across the street from the World Chess Hall of Fame (and museum that features several new special exhibits, as well as shows and creative activities all year round.)  The Gift Shop at the World Chess Hall of Fame is something special - if you have a chance, visit it!

I went back earlier today to blog entries here from 2011 and refreshed my memories of the CCI meeting in 2011.  I did a summary in 2011 and in it I mentioned a few of the people I met as well as a special purchase or two I made at the CCI Auction that always closes out CCI get-togethers.

I met Duncan and Ann Pohl - Duncan is the current editor of the CCI-USA Magazine, and a most excellent job he does.  Mr. Pohl was one of the presenters in 2011; he started out a bit nervous, but soon got into the groove of his presentation on "vintage" American chess sets that don't cost an arm and a leg as many of the rare sets (or pieces) do that were crafted in the Old World, merely a couple of fingers or maybe a hand.  Yikes!  Both Duncan Pohl and his wife, Ann, were at a round table shared with  attendees (were there 10 or 12 of us - don't remember) including Georgia and I, at the CCI meeting at a lovely cocktail and dinner party.  I struck it off right away with Ann Pohl - such a lovely lady.  It was a lively group - the conversation hummed!

Mr. Pohl has produced a couple of books on American chess sets that would be of great help to a collector and of interest to any fan of the ancient game of the Goddess who wants to learn about American producers of chess sets, the materials used to make them, the rarity (or not) of such sets today, etc.  Both can be found at Amazon:

Chess Sets of the United States: Ready for Some Chess 'Tenite'? Paperback – May 14, 2014


Vintage Chess Sets of the United States Paperback – November 23, 2016


Later that evening after dinner, Ann Pohl introduced me to Rick Knowlton, who had also given a fascinating presentation at one of the CCI sessions.  We had a long chat about ancient chess and its origins, at least 30 minutes.  Among other things, Mr. Knowlton maintains a website on Ancient Chess (which I am particularly interested in).  He also did a "diary" online of his visit to St. Louis for the 2011 CCI meeting.  How wonderful then, to see that Mr. Knowlton and well-known chess historian Jean-Louis Cazaux produced a book (which you can find a Youtube video on), "A World of Chess:  Its Development and Variations through Centuries and Civilizations."  Also offered at Amazon

I also see that the BBC New program "The Forum" produced an episode by Mr. Knowlton and Mr. Cazaux that aired on April 19, 2019 and is available online in Podcast, "Chess: A Chequered History."

You just never know what these chess collectors and chess historians may get up to! 

2019 Perseid Meteor Showers

Hola darlings!

My birthday is a bit later this month and as I'm getting younger each year I won't bore you with the young age I'll be achieving soon :)

Tomorrow and Tuesday - August 12 and 13 - if you have clear skies check for the Perseid Meteor showers where you may see as many as 50 meteorites streaking across the sky each hour!  You should be able to see them all across the United States.  If you live in an urban area, don't expect to see much before 10 p.m. when the sky is dark enough for you to catch the brightest "falling stars."  Out in the countryside away from bright city lights, about an hour after sunset should give you a front-row seat.

You can read more about this year's Perseids in this article at The Washington Post

Monday, August 5, 2019

Interesting Observations on Kingship

I've had reason recently to dip back into Barbara G. Walker's incredibly informative "The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets" and I came across this entry on KINGSHIP.  Here is a part of it, verbatim, that I typed word for word from my 1986 edition.

If you want to read the entirety of the lengthy and very informative/interesting entry online, you can find a scanned edition of "The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets" online at archive.org (also in various formats, including PDF and in various zip formats, that you can read online or download).  It is the complete 2007 edition with footnotes and Bibliography.  I have found this book to be an invaluable resource in doing my research over the years and it is a treasure trove of information.

Kingship

In early Asiatic civilizations, kingship depended on the choices of women.  There was no law of primogeniture.  Kings were rarely succeeded by their sons.  Kings of Sumeria and Assyria were of unknown fatherhood.  King Esakhuruna was called "the son of Nobody." (1)  Women were the kingmakers in the land he ruled. (2)

Marriage with the earthly representative of the Goddess, in the form of the queen, was essential to the position of kingship; this was the original meaning of "holy matrimony" (hieros gamos).  Akkadian kings apparently went on military expeditions chiefly to prove themselves worthy of the sacred marriage. (3)

Ashurbanipal said he ruled by the grace of the Goddess Ishtar, he was he king "whom her hands created."  Shamash-shum-ukin of Babylon said he was chosen for kingship by the same Goddess under her title of Eura, Queen of the Gods.  King Esarhaddon of Assyria said he was "beloved of Queen Ishtar, the goddess of everything, the unsparing weapon, who brings destruction to the land of the enemy." (4)  Ishme-Dagan, king of Isin in 1860 B.C., said he was "he whom Inanna, queen of heaven and earth, has chosen for her beloved husband.(5)  The Bronze Age King Iion of Thessalian Lapithis married the Mother of the Gods after killing her former mate, described as his father-in-law, because each king's successor was supposed to call his defeated rival "father."(6)  The queens were the same as Goddess, or Mother of God.  The pharaoh Amenhotep III built a temple for his wife Ti, who was worshipped as the Goddess. (7)

The goddess-queen's choice largely depended on the candidate's sex appeal.  If she tired of the king's lovemaking, he could be deposed or killed, for the queen's sexual acceptance of him determined the fertility of the land.  In many early societies the old king was killed by the new king, usually called a "son," though he was no blood relative.  Hence the unbroken chain of Oedipal murders that puzzled modern scholars before it was known that the words "father" and "son" were used in a different sense.  A Babylonian tablet says:

Haharni laid claim for himself to lordship over Dunnu.  Earth raised her face to her son Anakandu, "Come let me make love to you,"she said to him; in Dunnu, which he loved, they laid him to rest.  And Anakandu took over his father's lordship and Nether Sea, his sister, he took (as wife).  Lahar, son of Anakandu, came and Anakandu he killed and in Dunnu in the (tomb) of his father he caused him to rest.  Nether Sea, his mother, he took (as wife). (8)

After this Lahar's son killed Lahar and took his sister River as wife; he in turn was killed by his son, who married his sister Ningesh-tinna, "Lady of the Vine of Heaven," a shortened name of the Goddess Nin-gest-inanna.  Sovereignty passed from mother to the daughter, beginning with Earth, the Goddess Dunnu herself, foundress of the line - the same as Crete's Danuna, Anatolia's Danu, Greece's Danae, the Gaulish Diana.  Kings were expected to kill their predecessors or pseudo-fathers, "Son" meant "successwor," and "wsister" was synonymous with "wife." (9)

The length of a king's reign was often predetermined, because people thought the Goddess needed the refreshment of a new lover at stated intervals.  Up to 1810 A.D., kings of Zimbabwe were ceremonially strangled to death by their wives at the moon temple every four years. (1)  Kings of ancient Thebes reigned for seven years; so did kings of Canaan.  Myths suggest a similar seven-year period for each king of Crete.  Cretan kings were never allowed to grow old, they always died in the full bloom of youth. (11)  More recently, Nigerian kings were strangled after the queen's pregnancy was established, which meant each king fulfilled his role in life by begetting one royal offspring. (12)

White explorers in Africa spoke of tribal "kings," but rarely mentioned that the real rulers of the tribes were queens.  "In the oldest times there were no reigning princes in Africa, but the negroes had large kingdoms [sic] which were ruled by goddesses. (13)  Ghana was governed by kings of matrilineal succession whose divine right passed through sisters' sons.  The Lovedu were ruled by a female "king" who took a series of lovers but always left the government to one of the royal princesses. (14)  Angola was ruled by women until the Portuguese invasions.  Ashanti was ruled by queens until the British Protectorate in 1895.  Its kings were subject to the queen mothers; its princesses took no husbands but kept a series of lovers.  Similar customs obtained in Loango, Daura, the country of the Abrons, and other African nations.  The queen of Ubemba was called Manfumer, "Mother of Kings," and did all the governing. (15)

The Gospels' "Candace queen of the Ethiopeans" (Acts 8:27) was not a single individual but the hereditary title of queen mothers who governed the Nubian states. (16) Ethiopian kings were ritually slain from the earliest times.  Regicide was still the custom of Nubian Kassites of the Upper Nile in the 1st century B.C.  Diodorus said only one Ethiopian monarch escaped the kingly fate because he was educated in Greece and dared to disobey tribal law.  He led a party of soldiers into the sanctuary and killed all the priests before they could kill him. (17)

The Javanese Singasari dynasty had matriarchal queens similar to Candace, typified by Queen Dedes whose statues show her as a beautiful Shakti of wisdom.   She married a number of new kings after they killed her previous consorts, each apparently holding office for a seven-year period. (18)

Legends consistently associate kingship with ceremonial death.  A seal from Lagash shows the Goddess taking her new kin by the hand, while he raises a weapon to slay the old king, prostrate under the queen's feet. (19)  King Sennacherib of Assyria was "beaten to death with stauettes of the gods," in the temple at Nineveh.  Perpetrators of the deed were his "sons," one of whom succeeded him as King Esarhaddon.  Upon his succession, Esarhaddon proclaimed"  "I am powerful.  I am omnipotent.  I am a hero, I was gigantic, I am colossal!" (20)

Sometimes, kings had to proclaim they were embodiments of the Goddess herself so as to rule with the same authority as queens.  Antiochus of Commagene announced that he could rule because he was the Goddess. (21)  A king's investiture used to mean putting on female robes, so the king could be displayed as a transvestite Goddess (see Transvestism).

In the ancient Middle East generally, kings were not so much governing figures as ceremonial ones, primarily concerned with dedication of temples and other religious responsibilities. (22)  Sometimes they were also war leaders, able to preserve their lives in time of danger by convincing the people that no one else could defeat the enemy.  In such a case, a surrogate victim might be found - a real or adopted son, a prophet, a condemned criminal, or a divine animal.

A war leader of Carthage "clothed his best and most beloved son in royal robes and crucified him as a sacrifice" to secure the blessing of Baal on his military campaigns. (23)  Similarly, the god-king Isra-El clothed his only-begotten son Ieud in royal robes and sacrificed him "according to the custom of the Jews," as Philo said. (24)   The king became Jesus, "king" of the Jews (John 18:33).  Since a king was God, any king's real or adopted son was naturally the Son of God, and Yahweh himself was embodied in the Jewish king.  "In the early period of the Hebrew monarchy the central element of the annual New Year festival was the ritual enthronement of Jahveh as King. (25)

Son-killing was a habit, not only of the Jewish god-king but of many other god-kings who modified the old custom by shedding the blood of someone else in the proper season.  A Swedish king named Aun extended his reign for nine years by sacrificing one of his nine sons each year to ransom his own life. (26)

Footnotes and Bibliography for the material above:

1.  Assyr. & Bab. Lit., 198.
2.  Bachofen, 215.
3.  Hooke, S. P., 49.
4.  Assyr. & Bab. Lit., 91, 114, 130.
5.  Gray, 59.
6.  Campbell, C. M., 422.
7.  Budge, D. N., 83.
8   Albright, 94.
9.  Albright, 94, 128.
10.  Lederer, 132.
11.  Campbell, Oc. M., 59.
12.  Stone, 132.
13.  Briffault 3, 26-32.
14.  Hays, 296, 312.
15.  Hartley, 161.
16.  Briffault 3, 41.
17.  Campbell, P. M., 200.
18.  Campbell, M. I., 216-17.
19.  Campbell, Oc. M., 42.
20.  de Camp, A. E, 64.
21.  Cumont, M. M., 95.
22.  Hooke, S. P., 49.
23.  de Lys, 450.
24.  Frazer, G. B., 341.
25.  Hooke, S. P., 110.
26.  Frazer, G. B., 337.

1.  Assyrian and Babylonian Literature, Selected Translations, New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1901.
2.  Bachofen, J. J., Myth, Religion and Mother Rite, Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1967.
3.  Hooke, S. H., The Siege Perilous, Freeport, N. Y.:  Books for Libraries Press, 1970.
4.  Assyrian and  Babylonian Literature, Selected Translations, Ibid.
5.  Gray, John, Near Eastern Mythology, London: Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd., 1963.
6.  Campbell, Joseph, The Masks of God: Creative Mythology, New York; Viking Press, 1970.
7.  Budge, Sir E. A. Wallis, Dwellers on the Nile, New York: Dover Publications, 1977.
8.  Albright, William Powell, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan, New York: Doubleday & Co., 1968.
9.  Albright, William Powell, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan, Ibid.
10.  Lederer, Wolfgang, The Fear of Women, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc., 1968.
11.  Campbell, Joseph, The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology, New York:  Viking Press, 1964.
12.  Stone, Merlin, When God was a Woman, New York: Dial Press, 1976.
13.  Briffault, Robert, The Mothers (3 vols.), New York: Macmillan, 1927.
14.  Hays, H. R., In the Beginnings, New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1963.
15.  Hartley, C. Gasquoine, The Truth About Woman, New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1913.
16.  Briffault, Robert, The Mothers (3 vols.,) Ibid.
17.  Campbell, Joseph, The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology, New York: Viking Press, 1959.
18.  Campbell, Joseph, The Mythic Image, Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1974.
19.  Campbell, Joseph, The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology, Ibid.
20.  de Camp, L. Sprague, The Ancient Engineers, New York: Ballantine Books, 1960.
21.  Cumont, Franz, The Mysteries of Mithra, New York: Dover Publications, 1956.
22.  Hooke, S. H., The Siege Perilous, Ibid.
23.  De Lys, Claudia, The Giant Book of Superstitions, Secaucus, N. J.: Citadel Press, 1979.
24.  Frazer, Sir James G., The Golden Bough, New York: Macmillan, 1922.
25.  Hooke, S. H., The Siege Perilous, Ibid.
26.  Frazer, Sir. James G., The Golden Bough, Ibid.

My Notes:

1.  Frazer's The Golden Bough (my edition is a 1963 paperback issued by Collier Books of Macmillan Publishing Company, New York) has an entire chapter devoted to "The Killing of the Divine King" (Ch. XXIV) and consisting of:  I.  The Mortality of the Gods; II.  Kings Killed When Their Strength Fails; and III.  Kings Killed at the End of a Fixed Term.

There are also separate chapters devoted to:  Ch. XXV -- Temporary Kings; and Ch. XXVI -- Sacrifice of the King's Son (also cited in Walker's "The Woman's Encyclopedia...").  This would be considered a form of "substitute" King sacrifice.

2.  Wikipedia has an interesting entry on the ancient Egyptian Sed festival or "Jubilee," that tested the stamina and physical/mental fitness of the Pharaohs.  You may want to follow-up on Footnote 4 in the Wikipedia entry:

3.  For some "light" reading (har!), check out Human Sacrifice in Jewish and Christian Tradition by Karin Finsterbusch Amin Lange at Google Books online starting on page 21 under "5.3.  Ritual of the Substitute King."

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Chess Collectors International - USA News and Looking for a Webmaster

Hola darlings!

Yes yes yes, I've been very delinquent, I know.  I've been consumed with gardening and traveling.

You'll see the news in the post below this one about the fantastical "discovery" and sale at auction of a genuine Lewis chess piece (a "Warder") on July 2, 2019 for nearly $1 million.  Although I am a reader of The Washington Post, I somehow missed this story - but then I realized I was visiting one of the family compounds up north Wisconsin and was out of my usual routine of reading the WaPo news much more thoroughly than I do while on vacation :)  Anyway, it's an incredible story.  As far as I've been able to determine, the piece was sold to an "anonymous" bidder.  Wonder who it was...

CCI USA is also looking for a webmaster.  Here's the "ad" from the news letter/magazine:

CCI needs a web presence!  Unfortunately, it's been several years since CCI has had a functioning English language website.   Crazy, right?  We are looking for a volunteer who can create and maintain a basic, no-frills website for the club on one of the free or inexpensive services such as Wix, Go Daddy, etc.  If you have web design and development skills, and would like to be our club's new webmaster's, please contact Tom Gallegos at livinginthepast@comcast.net and let's discuss.  

The other big news is the planned CCI 19th Biennial Congress set for May 27 - 31, 2020 in St. Lewis.  I attended an earlier biennial, also held in St. Louis, in 2011 (how time flies!) and it was wonderful!  It coincided with the Kings v. Queens chess tournament at the St. Louis Chess Club as it's popularly called, directly across the street from the lovely building housing the World Chess Hall of Fame where I was able to watch live action and also spent considerable time in the lower level listening to the live games coverage by the commentators, IM Jennifer Shahade and GM Yasser Seirawan.  I also did a lot of exploring of the local neighborhood around the club, the chess museum and the hotel where I was staying and posted about it at this blog.  Here's one of the posts about the Kings v. Queens Tournament.  


Ancient Lewis Chess Piece Discovered in a Drawer Sold for Nearly One Million Dollars

Holy Hathor!  I found out about the discovery from the CCI-USA June 2019 news/magazine edition which is edited by Duncan Pohl (CCI is Chess Collectors International).  I finally had a chance to read it while I was waiting at a doctor's office for my appointment to be called!

The story itself about how the piece was discovered is absolutely amazing.  The piece came up for auction on July 2, 2019 at Sotheby's London, and was estimated to go for as much as $1.3 million, the first time any Lewis chess piece has been offered for auction.

The piece itself is called a "Warder" and is the equivalent of a modern Rook (Castle), carved from Walrus ivory.  You can read more about the piece, it's discovery and the auction at the links below.

A newly discovered Lewis Chessman at Sotheby's London. Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Sotheby's.
Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Sotheby’s.

A Lewis Chessman, Bought for $6 and Then Tucked Away in a Drawer for Decades, Just Sold at Auction for Almost $1 Million
Sarah Cascone, July 3, 2019
ArtNet News

A Newly Discovered Lewis Chessman Comes to Auction
Jue 4, 2019
By Sotheby's

Why this single chess piece could fetch $1 million in an upcoming auction
Alex Horton, June 3, 2019
The Washington Post

Lewis Chess Piece Bought for 5 Pounds and Kept in Drawer Sells for 735,000 Pounds
Simon Johnson, 2 July 2019
The Telegraph

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:


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