Monday, April 18, 2022

St. Louis Chess Club Hosting The 2022 American Cup

 Hola darlings!  It's snowing/raining here today.  It's ONLY April 18, 2022 and Spring evidently doesn't intend to appear in Milwaukee this year since it decided to make an appearance during the last part of November and the first part of December 2021.  She can be rather temperamental, Ms. Spring.  

Soon to start, the 2022 American Cup hosted by the St. Louis Chess Club, and lots of players and lots of prize money to entertain you.

Here's a link providing you all the information on the grand event.  April 18 - 29, 2022 (play begins April 20).

My interest is the female players.  Here's the line-up of "Group B," which is the women. They only receive half the prize money that the male players will receive, even though of course their ELOs are not HALF of what the male players' ELOs are.  But - whatever darlings.

GM Irina Krush (USA 2421)
IM Anna Zatonskih (US 2393)
IM Stavroula Tsolakidou (GRE 2359) (currently at student in St. Louis)
WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova (US 2335)
WGM Katerina Nemcova (US 2335)
WIM Alice Lee (US 2334) (youngest player in the group)
WGM Tatev Abrahamyan (US 2311)
FM Ruiyang Yan (US 2283)


Friday, April 1, 2022

2022 - 15th Annual Grand Pacific Chess Open (Victoria, BC)

 Hola!  So pleased to see one of the tournaments that Goddesschess has sponsored women's prizes for many years is once again going to be ON - in person over the board, hooray!  

The tournament will be held at The Grand Pacific Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia (Canada).  

Quick Note:  For this event only Goddesschess is also sponsoring additional prizes for top finishing women in the U1700 group as follows:  $75, $50, $25.  All Goddesschess prizes are in addition to any other prize for which the player qualifies.

Registration for this tournament looks to be a record-breaker, and we're thrilled!  

15th Annual Grand Pacific Open
Easter 2022 
April 15 - 18
 

(Summary below - for more details, click on link above)

Online RegistratIon or by mail at 1012 Spiritwood Place, Victoria, BC  V8Y 1C6 (with cheques payable to "Victoria Chess") or contact us at grandpacificopen@gmail.com  THERE IS NO ONSITE REGISTRATION.

 

Sections: 4 Sections:  Premier (FIDE and CFC rated); U2000 (CFC rated), U1700 (CFC rated), U1100 (CFC rated)

 

Round Times: 
Rd 1 at 6:00 pm Friday April 15 ;
Rds 2 and 3 at 12:00 noon and 6:00 pm Saturday April 16;

Rds 4 and 5 at 12:00 noon and 6:00 pm Sunday April 17;
Rd 6 at 10:00 am Monday April 18

 

Prize Fund:  $7000 Guaranteed;   

 

Premier:    $1000+trophy / $600 / $400 / $250;  U2100 $450 + trophy / $350 / $175;  Top BC resident qualifies for BC Closed; 

Top Women: $375 / $275 / $175

U2000:  $400 + trophy / $300 / $200; U1800 $225 + trophy / $150 / $75

Top Women: $100, $75, $50

U1700:  $200 + trophy / $150 / $75;  U1400 $125 + trophy / $100 / $75;

U1100:  $125 + trophy / $100 / $75; U900: trophy

Misc: 

- Unrated (top score in any section) $100; 

- Biggest upset $50

- Door prizes for rounds 2-6 (must be present at start of round to win)

- Top women & biggest upset are in addition to any other prize won.   If there are not enough women in the Premier section, remaining prizes will be distributed in the U2000 section etc.  Sponsored by Goddess Chess  Thanks!  

 

Throwing Over the Chessboard - An Analogy for Our Times

When I saw this article (an opinion piece) at The New York Times today, I immediately thought of many old tales of Kings and men of high rank who have smashed chessboards after losing a game, or used the chessboard to strike at the winner, wiping chess pieces off the board in a display of temper, etc.  

Putin Just Threw Over the Chess Board and Russians Feel Shame and Dismay 
March 31, 2022
Serge Schmemann

Check out Chessmaniacs.com "Sore Losers and Tempers in Chess" for some examples (by no means all of them) of players throwing hissy fits after losing a game of chess. 

Listverse.com also has an interesting list of "10 Craziest Events in the History of Chess," which includes a review of several chessplaying greats from the past who were from the beginning or ended up being mentally unbalanced - some claim as a result of the game and what it does to one's mind.  Check Out #2 on the List - "Chess Rage."   

A trip down memory lane and as far as I can tell, the use of the term "throwing over the chessboard" by The New York Times for the first time.  Many of my readers may not have been born in 1993, and many of my readers may have forgotten about this period in chess history, so take a trip down memory lane when chessplayers around the world revolted against a corrupt FIDE and formed their own independent players' association and held their own independent tournaments.

From The New York Times
September 21, 1993
(From The New York Times' Digital Archives)


Saturday, March 19, 2022

Russian Invasion of Ukraine Affects FIDE and the World of Chess

Putin's unprovoked terrorist war against babies, pregnant women, mothers, children and the elderly civilians in Ukraine has affected the world of chess.  

From the US Chess Federation (online):

U.S. Chess Executive Board Statement on Russian Federation Invasion of Ukraine

By U.S. Chess
February 25, 2022
Excerpts: 

... The United States Chess Federation (US Chess) strongly condemns the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.  The unprovoked attack is unlawful and endangers the political sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Chess and all international sports unite people, but it cannot do so when nations are under attack.  Effective immediately, US Chess will not send a delegation to any official FIDE event (such as the 2022 Olympiad) held in the Russian Federation as long as it continues its unlawful invasion, occupation and attacks on Ukraine or any other nation state. ...

From The Telegraph (India) online:  

Checkmate: Russia's War on Ukraine Fractures Tight-Knit World of Chess

March 18, 2022
Excerpts:

In an open letter, 28 grandmasters from Ukraine have demanded Russia's complete exclusion from international competitions and the resignation of FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, who is from Russia. ...

"We are for peace. Stop the war!" read a written appeal to President Vladimir Putin signed by 34 Russian grandmasters – including world championship runner-up Ian Nepomniachtchi.

FIDE chief [Arkady] Dvorkovich is under pressure because he has had close ties with the Kremlin in the past. The 49-year old was part of Russia's political elite until 2018. The economist, who is considered liberal, was Russia's chief negotiator at G-8 meetings and deputy prime minister for six years. ...

From Yahoo News online:
Reuters

Top Ex-Kremlin Official Quits Post After Condemning Ukraine War 

[he did not quit as FIDE President]
March 18, 2022
Excerpts:

...Arkady Dvorkovich, deputy prime minister from 2012 to 2018, became one of Russia's most senior establishment figures to question the war when he told U.S. media this week that his thoughts were with Ukrainian civilians.

His comments prompted a senior ruling party lawmaker to demand that he be fired and to accuse him of being part of a "fifth column" undermining Russia.

The 49-year old had been chairman since 20187 of the Skolkovo Foundation, an innovation and technology hub on the outskirts of Moscow that brands itself as a kind of Russian Silicon Valley.

On Friday, the Skolkovo Foundation said in a statement that Dvorkovich had decided to step down.  He could not be reached immediately for comment.  He remains president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE).

Igor Shuvalov, chairman of the foundation's board of directors, said Dvorkovich had resigned, saying that he could no longer combine his duties at Skolkovo with his responsibilities at FIDE under the current circumstances. ...

From The New York Times (online):

Chess Distances Itself From Russia

By Michael Levenson
March 3, 2022 (updated March 4, 2022)
Excerpts: 

... Over the last several days, the International Chess Federation, the game's global governing body, has criticized the war, cut ties with Belarusian and Russian sanctioned or state-controlled companies, and canceled events in Russia and Belarus, including the 44th Chess Olympiad, which was scheduled to begin in Moscow in July.

The federation, known as FIDE, also forbade Russian and Belarusian players from flying their countries' flags at events and referred two Russian grandmasters who have supported the war, Sergey Karjakin and Sergei Shipov, to an internal disciplinary commission that could disqualify them from tournaments. ...

Please note:  

On February 26, 2022 US Chess has established a GoFundMe campaign to assist suffering Ukrainian chess players.  The Kasparov Chess Foundation has seeded the campaign with a generous $10,000 commitment.  

Goddesschess is a small operation and can't afford to donate $10,000, but we did donate $100 to help support Ukrainian chessplayers.  May the Chess Goddess bless them and keep them all safe, and end this horrific war.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

News Shorts: A Chess Upset and a Sad Love Story

 Hola darlings!

Just a brief visit, I've yet to finish reading all the news but there isn't much "good" in most of it.

First, it appears that Magnus Carlsen is not a Borg machine-man after all, he actually lost a chess game, to a 16 year old Indian kid, no less.  GASP!  I couldn't help but laugh at the headline of this article, from The New York Times morning online edition today:

16-Year-Old Chess Prodigy Defeats World Champion Magnus Carlsen

While it did not affect the reigning champion's title, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa of India defeated Carlsen in the middle of the night during a rapid online tournament, stunning the chess world.

The second article, also from today's morning online edition of The New York Times, is a love story that, unfortunately, had a sad ending.  Two people, long together, in their 80s, separated when she was put into a nursing home and COVID-19 restrictions in Australia prevented him from visiting her daily.  They tried to escape, and tragedy ensued:


Terry Gibbs was apprehended after abducting his longtime partner from her nursing home and setting out on a 3,000-mile journey.

Monday, February 21, 2022

News Shorts - The World is Insane, Period

 Hola!  It's 2022 and we're almost 3 months into it, Holy Hathor, where does the time go?  

We're expecting freezing rain and sleet in southeast Wisconsin later today, and lots of snow, up to a foot or more, in the counties further north.  Not looking forward to three or four days of iced-over sidewalks, so I dashed out early this morning and picked up essentials for survival:  a loaf of 12-grain bread, a cannister of Pringles (not low sodium), a 16 ounce jar of unsalted shelled peanuts, whole milk (no wimpy 1% milk for this woman), dark chocolate candies, and 3 liters of wine.  

First up, this touching obituary that brought tears to my eyes thinking about my own long-departed and much missed four legged friends, about a much-loved doggy from The New York Times:

Finnegan, Dog Known for His Exemplary Nose, Dies at 14
By Dr. Alexandra Horowitz
February 21, 2022

************

And then there this is this story, also from The New York Times, about a romance scam aimed at stealing money from lonely people.  It infuriates me first of all to read stories like this, because I can't imagine HOW somebody could possibly get suckered into giving somebody money that they've never met and don't even know if they're actually a real person!  Heeelllloooooooo - WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?  And it makes me sad that there are so many lonely people in the world, people so desperate to make a connection with somebody that they can so easily be entrapped in this kind of scam.  Read:

Crypto Scammers’ New Target: Dating Apps
By Kevin Roose
February 21, 2022

************

Violence against women and children has been committed since the dawn of time.  How pathetically sad that males have to attack those who are least able to defend themselves - and for what?  Violence against women and children in the United States has always been a problem - one so seemingly endemic that it is rarely even covered in news stories these days, despite an average of three women (and sometimes their children) killed in "domestic violence" situations every day in the U.S.  This article attracted quite a bit of attention because it came out of Austria - a country most folks associate only with Julie Andrews singing about the hills being alive, the Von Trapp family and "The Sound of Music."  

Austria Raises Alarm About 'Dramatic' Femicide Plague 
From AFP
January 18, 2022

************

For the grand finale today, there's this from The Daily Beast (one of my favorite online news vendors, they rarely fail to report on something absolutely outrageous).  It made me give thanks for the fact that we actually have PROCESSED and SAFE TO USE Milorganite, created from a process developed by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District, oh yeah.  

Desperate Kim Jong Un Pleads with Citizens to Make More Poop
By Donald Kirk
January 12, 2022

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas 2021!

 Hola darlings, and a Merry Happy Christmas and holiday season to you all!  Here's the final version of this year's Christmas tree:


Comet Leonard will be seen from Earth (without telescope) for the last time tonight.  No, it's not the magical "star" that led the Three "Kings" (Magi [magicians and astrologers/astronomers] from the "East", probably somewhere in Mesopotamia) to the home of Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus some time after he was born.  According to the article, Comet Leonard has been seen from Earth only during a brief window (closing tonight) and is headed toward the Sun, to circle around it (?) and then be "slungshot" out of our solar system forever (how do they know this?), that is, if it doesn't fall apart/disintegrate into rock and ice first.   I say - NEVER say never, LOL!

If you want to say a fond farewell to Comet Leonard, check it out if your skies are clear (may need binoculars, so I probably won't be able to see it), about an hour after sundown above the southwestern horizon.  You can use the planet Venus hanging in that area of the sky as a "guide" to try and spot Comet Leonard.

Now, I'm going to go open my Christmas presents (they weren't put under the tree until yesterday when I unpacked the boxes I received from my siblings - I scored a real haul this season!)  I'm going to eat a hearty dinner of my Easy Beef Burgundy and mashed potatoes and glue myself to the Packers game!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

St. Louis Chess Club Special Gift to You All!

 Hola, darlings!  Sorry I haven't been here for awhile (again).  This is one of the busiest times of the year for me and yes, still fussing and mussing with trying to get the (new) Christmas tree absolutely and gorgeously perfect this year.  Haven't gotten there yet, but gave up and said to heck with it, it is what it is.  But it's like settling for being a 435 player rather than a 2982 player.  Sigh.

A brief entry only, since I'm dealing with endless computer issues on a 2 year old computer that has been majorly messed up by downloads of Windows 11 stuff, and learning how to use this new-fangled baby from Best Buy (delivered in person to my home last Saturday as an "emergency", har!) that has a "safe" version of  Windows 11 already installed - never mind, not going there!  Here's a cool gift for everybody, just follow the link to the St. Louis Chess Club website:

Happy Holidays from the Saint Louis Chess Campus!


As 2021 comes to a close, the Saint Louis Chess Club and World Chess Hall of Fame would like to offer free downloadable versions of “Learn to Read and Write Chess" to all of our subscribers to celebrate the holiday season.

Developed by Saint Louis Chess Club co-founder, Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield, it’s purpose is to teach chess literacy to beginners and non-tournament chess players. The booklet uses reading, talking, writing, and moving pieces to support all types of learners. It also includes a paper chess set. 

Besides the English version it has been translated into seven other languages; Dutch version by WFM Yvette Nagel Seirawan, Romanian version by GM Ioan Christian Chirila, Indonesian version by WGM Irene Kharisma Sukandar and Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield, French version by WGM/IM Almira Skripchenko, Spanish version by GM Alejandro Ramirez, German version by GM Daniel Hausrath and Filipino version by Eliseo Tumbaga.

All eight versions of "Learn to Read and Write Chess" are now available for FREE on the Saint Louis Chess Club’s website here.

Yours in Chess,

The Saint Louis Chess Campus and Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield

Saint Louis Chess Club | Building Champions

4657 Maryland Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63108 | (314) 361-CHESS (2437)

Goddesschess is still here, and we'll be sponsoring prizes for female chessplayers in the 2022 Grand Pacific Open scheduled to be held in Victoria, British Columbia (Canada) - assuming it takes place.  We had arranged for prize money some months back - before the Omicron variant took over the world during the last week or so.  Sigh.  Fingers crossed, the event will go on as planned.  But who knows?  Only the Chess Goddess, and she's somewhat mercurial.  

Merry Christmas, Happy Winter Solstice to us Goddess worshippers, Happy Holidays to ALL, with love and a song in my heart for all of you, woo woo!


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