Friday, March 20, 2009

2009 Isbank Ataturk Women Masters Tournament

Some after-tournament info. Well, I guess I shouldn't be calling this the Ataturk Women Masters anymore, it's now the FIDE Women's Grand Prix, woo woo. Search for this tournament five years from now - will the FIDE Women's Grand Prix still be around (cough cough)... For convention's sake, I will go back in my prior posts and put in an "also known as." If I remember to do that tomorrow, I'm too tired to do it tonight. LOL! The official website features a short interview with the winner, Koneru Humpy. She was a bit disappointed with her play, evidently, and I commend her for being honest about it. Yes, Hou Yifan is a hot player and is expected to be the next big thing - a sort of Magnus Carlsen except in a female shell - but she still is not as seasoned as Koneru and she has not played in nearly as many open and invitational events as Koneru against much stronger male opponents. To be blunt about it, you don't move up in the ELO ranks playing 2450 rated females, no matter how great their chess is and until more women break that 2600 barrier, female chessplayers will continue to be ignored by 95% of the population that pays attention to chess. It seems that Hou has some difficulty quickly rebounding from losses (or draws in games she feels she should have won); that may be a function of her age as much as lack of seasoning. I don't know if it's the Chinese government or her parents, or both, but methinks it's time to loosen the reins a little Oh well, just my thoughts on the matter. Wonderful news is that veteran player IM Elina Danielian has scored her second GM norm by her second-place finish in this event! HOORAY for ElIna, I'm pleased as punch for her. The official website also reports that Danielian will gain some 23 ratings points as a result of her performance in the Ataturk and go over 2500 (again). Check out the performance ratings of the chess femmes: No. Name FED IRtg Rp 1 GM CRAMLING, Pia SWE 2548 2475 2 WIM YILDIZ, Betul Cemre TUR 2214 2243 3 IM FIERRO Baquero, Martha L. ECU 2403 2488 4 GM HOU, Yifan CHN 2571 2648 5 GM ZHAO, Xue CHN 2508 2612 6 GM SEBAG, Marie FRA 2529 2513 7 IM DANIELIAN, Elina ARM 2496 2655 8 WGM SHEN, Yang CHN 2448 2273 9 GM CHIBURDANIDZE, Maia GEO 2516 2442 10 WGM MAMEDJAROVA, Zeinab AZE 2362 2281 11 GM STEFANOVA, Antoaneta BUL 2557 2438 12 GM KONERU, Humpy IND 2621 2679 Again, great photos at of the top three ladies: Humpy, Elina and Yifan. This was a fab event and I'm already looking forward to next year's Ataturk.

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