Sunday, April 29, 2007

Typical Research Project Part 2 - Goddess Synchronicity

Ohmygoddess! I didn't think this would happen HERE - I mean, whoever is going to read this blog - but I guess I should know by now that one can always expect the unexpected when dealing with the Goddess of Chess. Synchronicity has been the sounding bell in my relationship with chess and my research since I and my chessly cohorts first embarked upon this path way back in December, 1998. Why should I be surprised when it shows up here? I shouldn't be - but I was! I must be getting old, sigh. After I wrote my prior post "Typical Research Project" this afternoon, I visited David Shenk's blog and wrote a post about a few examples of chessplayers that I thought fit the profile of his research. I'd been meaning to do that for some time but did not get around to it until earlier this afternoon. Mind, I've not yet finished David's book "A History of Chess" - I'm not quite to the half-way point. I then settled down to a couple of hours of reading on my deck, and then a 2 hour nap on my recliner. Ahhhh, I love my weekends! This evening, I visited Chessville and made a few posts there under my favorite topic, about women in chess/women and chess. Some people at Chessville evidently don't think much of me, comparing me to Sam Sloan (seriously!) But that's been done in private email - the people who (so I've been told) don't like me don't post such stuff at the Chessville forum, where folks could then debate the merits of whether I am, actually, a female Sam Sloan. Like the title of Jen Shahade's first book (that I didn't like at first because I thought it was denigrating to women, but after past and recent experiences, I have a better understanding about why Ms. Shahade titled her book that way), once a chess bitch, always a chess bitch. And proud of it. I just wish I could play chess as well as I think I can write... (Har!) Anyway, one of the posts awaiting me at Chessville was about the performance of the Kosintseva sisters in the recently concluded 2007 European Individual Chess Championships. I'd done a few posts there on the progress of that event, including the high drama of the sister versus sister game (it ended in a draw). Tatiana Kosintseva took first place with an impressive 10/11 score and had an even more impressive performance rating of 2774 - which puts her right up there with the elite chessplayers of the world. Her ELO is 2459 so her performance rating is STAGGERING. TN is 21 years old. Her older sister (by a year), Nadezhda Kosintseva, finished in 3rd place with 8/11; NK also had a fine performance rating of 2568, almost 100 points above her current ELO rating of 2475, but not staggering. GM Antoaneta Stefanova, no slouch when it comes to bringing the goods, finished in second place after a strong second-half performance, with 8/11 and a performance rating of 2572, also nearly 100 points above her current ELO of 2496. You can read more about all of this stuff here at my Chess Femme News report. All in all, it was a really impressive event. Lo and behold, while I was perusing through GM Susan Polgar's chess blog tonight, I discovered this article posted there, from that new chess guy over at the New York Times (McClain) - all about the Kosintseva sisters! Knock me over with a feather! The article also mentioned David Shenk's book "A History of Chess" - I haven't yet got to the part in his book where he talks about the Polgar sisters - and now I feel rather silly for having done that post at his blog - of course David Shenk would have known about the Polgars and their training, duh. What was I thinking??? I will keep following the Kosintseva sisters' chess careers with interest. Will they continue to improve and work their way up the ELO ladder? Or will they, like so many chess femmes before them and around them, seem to plateau and, eventually, drop out of the game altogether? It's a tough way of life, professional chess. There are so many other easier ways to make a living.

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