Saturday, August 29, 2009

Olga Rubtsova Memorial Tournament

I found this report about the Olga Rubtsova Memorial Tournament at GM/Current Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk's blog - thanks to a sort of backward link-through from Kosteniuk's website provided at It's fantastic news about some older generations of chess femmes coming together in Russia to compete against each other. These ladies are chessplaying legends to whom we do not give enough homage. Goddesschess has some bios of femmes who had a significant impact upon the world of chess - I see we must substantially update things from this 1999 edition! Good to see that the internet has finally caught up with our vision :) Thanks, GM Kosteniuk, for bringing this news to us. Here is the report - I was not able to provide a direct link-back to this post (it seemed to to be working when I put together this post), which is from Kosteniuk's blog on August 22, 2009: Today I was invited to the Moscow Central Chess Club on Gogol street to honor the veteran lady players participating in the Olga Rubtsova Memorial Tournament, taking place exactly 100 years after her birth. Olga Rubtsova was the fourth Women's World Chess Champion in history (1956-1958), see the Wikipedia article about her. All the participating ladies next to me in the photo below are true pioneers of Soviet and Russian chess, and it is with great emotion that I was among them. The veteran of the tournament was Kira Zvorykina (see her Wikipedia page), who will turn 90 years old next week, she was 5-time champion of the USSR, and was married to GM Alexei Suetin. It's very impressive to be playing a chess tournament at 90 years old... I hope I will be able to do that... The winner of the tournament was no one else than Elena Fatalibekova, who actually is the daughter of Olga Rubtsova and you can see me here giving her the first prize trophy. Every single woman in that group deserve most warm congratulations. They were simply amazing! The results table is below. Posted by Alexandra Kosteniuk 12th Women's World Chess Champion

Hungarian Women's Chess Championship

Report from 1-2. IM Gara Anita 2353 and WGM Gara Ticia 2354 - 7,0 3-4. Papp Petra 2159 and IM Medvegy Nora 2344 - 5,5 5-6. WGM Lakos Nikoletta 2310 and IM Vajda Szidonia 2375 - 5,0 7. WGM Rudolf Anna 2313 - 4,0(Photo: From 2008 Acropolis) 8. WFM Dudas Eszter 2141 - 3,0 9. WFM Toth Sarolta 2236 - 2,0 10. WIM Csatari Mariann 2117 - 1,0 News by Laszlo Rudolf (related to WGM Anna Rudolf a/k/a Little Red Rudolf? We're keeping an eye on the WGM's progress). Not yet decided - tiebreaks for sisters Anita and Ticia Gara, who finished with 7.0/9 each, as to which one wins the trophy (not sure if they share the title as co-winners).

4-3-2: The Number of the Goddess Revisited

We seem to have struck a nerve with our Las Vegas Showgirls article on 4-3-2 (the Number of the Goddess). I'm sure I've posted about that here earlier but I'll be damned if I can find the links now. Feel free to hunt around, darlings! I periodically receive emails about 4-3-2 and have published some of their contents here (maybe under numerology?) before. Here is the latest info I received - worthy of checking out further, although I think that Hoagland is mostly full of baloney: From: AnakinDV To: RHHannaHH Sent: 8/28/2009 7:03:06 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time Subj: Hoagland and M
this is what we do with 432
C.o.T.M. - Home 432 ^ 2 =186624 SOL Our Sun speed of light ***NESTOR***

I'm So Excited...

The second of my recent book orders from Alibris is here! I had received "The Tarim Mummies" by Mallory and Mair the day before Mr. Don arrived - looks absolutely fab and the illustrations and colored photographs are to die for. Can't wait to dig in. Today, while I was out huffing and puffing and sweating my butt off cutting the front lawn (even though it is only in the 50's right now, and overcast/cloudy and windy to boot, I still managed to sweat down my hair, my jeans and undies and most of my heavy-duty sweatshirt that did little to suck up my "dew." Geez!), the mail-lady appeared in her Magic Jeep and deposited my other book order - Ian Hodder's "The Leopard's Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Catalhoyuk". OHMYGODDESS! A wealth of reading material -- not that I need any more - my reading pile is already over a foot tall. It's not a pile anymore, it's a frigging tower. Sigh. I did a big no-no - I flipped through and looked at some of the pics in the book. Oy! Only makes me regret the time I'm spending here right now letting you know these ridiculous details in my life. Meanwhile, I don't know if I mentioned it before - I signed up for Facebook, ACH. Didn't want to - I've absolutely no interest in doing that kind of stuff, but the only way I could read all the stuff that Shira has posted about the Computer Labs 4 Kids Foundation at Facebook was to sign up (at least, that is what that sneaky site led me to believe). Anyway, I did sign up and I must have done it correctly because for the past week and more I've got these "friends" - who the hell are these people? - and emails about this and that - what is this crap? I've no idea how this works and can't find any instructions how to operate it. Amazingly, Mr. Don, who had signed up a few months ago for reasons totally unrelated to Goddesschess and the Goddesschess blog - somehow found me although I do not recall telling him that I'd signed up there too, but then I may have and just forgot, my memory isn't as good as it used to be. Anyway, Mr. Don posted something to me on a Wall? What the hell is that? I've got people lined up who evidently want to be "friends" with me, people I've never heard of and wouldn't know from Adam. How can these people want to be my friends when they don't even know who I am? I haven't posted (is that what it is called?) anything there about myself until earlier today (before grass cutting), when I received email notification that Mr. Don had posted to this "Wall." So I went to Facebook and clicked on some buttons and typed some stuff. Will it show up? Who knows. At any rate, I'm just a crotchedy femme of a certain age (don't ask) and I do not want to be friends with you, okay - so back off! Is there an instruction book for Facebook? Actually - I'd much rather dig into Hodder and Mallory/Mair - and I have Michelle's gift to read too - a biography of the Goddess Athena. But I have a ton of laundry and housework to do, and I have yet to unpack my bag from the Las Vegas trip - hope I haven't grown a mold monster or something equally gross in that bag in the meantime... Mr. Don took the top photo on my b-day, August 19th, early in the day before we both subsequently wilted in the record-breaking heat that Las Vegas experienced during our visit (figures the Goddess would give us something "special" for our visit). We were headed south toward our destination , the Luxor (didn't make it that day, ran out of time before we had to be back at the hotel for other plans), and this photo was taken on that fantastic covered walkway at the Venetian. I like this photo first of all for the overall design/effect and, secondly, because it makes me look tall and sort of slender :) Mr. Don is seen with the videocam thingy in hand; I'm leaning back against the faux-stone railing, legs crossed and utterly relaxed. Note to self - in future photos, ditch the messenger bag! The photo is a reflection of Mr. Don and I in a blanked-out window (space for lease, if you're interested). Mr. Don tried to capture the same effect that he did so well when Isis, Michelle, Mr. Don and I visited Millennium Park in Chicago during the 2007 Goddesschess Anniversary get-together, when he captured our images reflected in that great aluminum (?) amoeba sculpture. That is one of my favorite pics and a fond memory, despite the fact that it was 95 F with high humidity and I got sunburnt to hell and back and look like shit in most of the photographs taken that day.

Friday, August 28, 2009

CT Scan Reveals She Isn't the She They Thought!

From the Quad-City Times Overhauled mummy exhibit debuts today at Putnam Museum Kay Luna Posted: Saturday, August 22, 2009 2:00 am So, she isn't the woman everyone thought she was - and no one will ever know her true identity. Sound familiar? Well, it happens, even among ancient Egyptian mummies. New research being unveiled today at the Putnam Museum shows its iconic female mummy - known as Isis Neferit, a chantress in the Temple of Isis about 3,000 years ago - isn't Isis after all. The sarcophagus, or coffin, on display at the Davenport museum belongs to Isis. It has her name written all over it in hieroglyphics. But the mummified woman inside the coffin is now believed to have died more than 600 years after the coffin was created. And that woman didn't die when she was 20-25 years old like the old plaques in the Putnam's downstairs Egyptian gallery used to state. Instead, she was 40-45 years old - and slightly taller and heftier than museum staff always thought, Putnam curator Christina Kastell said Friday. How does she know? The new information - debuting today in the totally overhauled "Unearthing Ancient Egypt" gallery at the museum - was discovered after CT scans were done on the mummies two years ago at Genesis Medical Center in Davenport. Not only did the medical staff there help decipher the scans, but someone also posted a video of them on YouTube. An Egyptologist, Jonathan Elias of the Akhmim Mummy Studies Consortium in Pennsylvania, watched it online and contacted Kastell at the Putnam, asking for permission to do further research on the museum's two mummies. His study of the coffins and funeral masks was crucial as the museum updated historical information that now appears in the gallery, said Kim Findlay, the Putnam's president and CEO. Elias also believes the Putnam's male mummy comes from a different era than the coffin he was found in, Findlay added. In the early 1900s, mummies often became separated from their proper coffins as people trying to make a buck or two retrieved artifacts - dug up from ancient Egyptian burial plots - and sold them to tourists. The B.J. Palmer estate donated the Isis mummy and coffin to the museum in the 1960s, but the Palmers did not buy the mummy in Egypt, museum spokesperson Lori Arguello said. The male mummy and coffin were purchased by Charles A. Ficke in 1896 in Egypt. Ficke was a world traveler and a former Davenport mayor. After two years of research and several weeks of construction work, visitors will now enter a "tomb-like, immersive" exhibit to see the mummies and other artifacts, including some previously not displayed, found in the museum's huge storage area. An old bronze bust-statue of the female mummy has been replaced with a new bust created by Elias, based on the CT scans that show the woman's bone structure. "They have the same narrow face and pointed chin, but her face is a little fatter," Kastell said. "She wasn't as skinny as she appears now." Her nose and hairstyle are different, too, based on the Egyptologist's studies of people from Akhmim, where this mummy is believed to have been buried. The display blends the old with the new, featuring the mummies alongside touch-screen technology and a 24-hour Web cam. Findlay admitted that taking on a remodeling project of this size and cost - it represents more than $50,000 worth of work - is almost unheard of in an economy such as the present one, but "it unfolded through good fortune in partnerships." The bulk of the project was paid for through grants and in-kind contributions.

16,000 Year Old Goddess Figurine Discovered in Turkey

A very important find in Turkey Archaeologists Unearth 16,000-Year-Old Goddess Figurine in Turkey 20 August 2009 A 16,000-year-old clay figurine of a female was found by archaeologists during excavations in southern-eastern Turkey. The mother goddess sculpture was discovered in the Direklu Cave in the Kahramanmaraş Province, which archaeologists have been excavating since July 15, Gazi University Archaeology Department lecturer Cevdet Merih Erek told national media. The find suggests that women had a high social status in the region at the time the figurine was made, Erek explained. In addition, it challenged archaeologists’ previous knowledge by suggesting that the method of using fired clay to make figurines was much older than previously thought. Before this recent discovery, the oldest fired clay god or goddess figurines unearthed in Mesopotamia, Anatolia and other Near East regions were made in 5,000 BC. The information on the discovery appeared in Today's Zaman, August 17, 2009. I was not able to locate a photograph of the figurine - drat!

Mochica Culture Burial Discovered in Peru

26 August, 2009 [ 10:26 ] Peru: Ancient tomb discovered at Huaca Rajada Isabel Guerra Peruvian archaeologists discovered at Huaca Rajada site some remains that might belong to a Mochica nobleman or to a warrior, in the northern Peruvian department of Lambayeque. Walter Alva, the Lord of Sipan's discoverer, said that this could be the oldest ancestor of Sipan Dynasty discovered so far, thus it will be exhibited at site museum. "The remains will be kept at Huaca Rajada museum, since it was built for that purpose. The remaining finds will be progressively installed once restoration is completed. All this is important for understanding the history of this monument," he said. The Lord of Sipan was found here in 1987, and if the recent findings are proven to be part of a dinasty, then it would also confirm that Sipan was part of a series of sanctuaries built during the emergence of Mochica culture.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

An Insult to the Goddess!

Believe it or not - reported at the . The image is from a Las Vegas Showgirls' article at Goddesschess. It represents Queen Mahamaya dreaming about the White Elephant the night she conceived the human prince who became the Buddha. The significance of the imagery will beocme apparent as you read the article - President Medvedev is a Buddhist goddess His 'divinity' became apparent during a visit to a monastery in eastern Siberia By Emma Hartley Published: 11:46AM BST 27 Aug 2009 President Medvedev of Russia was hailed as a goddess during an official visit to a Buddhist monastery in eastern Siberia. During the first trip in 16 years to the remote Ivolginsky monastery in Buryatia by a head of state, he was shown a statue of the White Tara, a seven-eyed, female figure in the Buddhist pantheon, whose embodiment he is believed to be, it was reported. The spiritual leader of the monastery, Pandito Khambo Lama Damba Ayusheyev, said when asked about the president’s spiritual significance: “It’s very hard to understand this for non-Buddhists and even for some Buddhists too.” Speaking to the Interfax news agency, he added: “The leader of the country is a man who bears very serious responsibility for others. The Buddhists must support him, identifying him as a deity.” White Tara is the mother of all Buddhas and is thought to embody compassion, long life, healing and serenity. She is also known as “the wish-fulfilling wheel”. Russia’s Buddhists, of whom there are between 700,000 and a million constituting less than one per cent of the population, consider the country’s leaders to be an emanation of the female Buddha. This belief dates back to the 18th century, when the Empress Elizabeth officially recognised the religion. The monastery at Buryatia is 30 kilometres from the region’s capital, Ulan-Ude, and is the biggest Buddhist centre in Russia. In addition to being hailed as a goddess, President Medvedev promised financial support to the Buddhist community while he was there and announced that he will be introducing Buddhist chaplains to the Russian Federation’s army. Geoffrey Bamford of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies explained that understanding the president’s divine nature is problematic for non-Buddhists. “It’s a psychological thing that doesn’t quite have a parallel in our language. It’s philosophically based. Saying he is a goddess is a bad translation. [No it isn't - we at Goddesschess understand quite well the concept being conveyed. It's just a travesty that such a concept would be applied to such a person.] “For Buddhists he represents a bundle of qualities on the contemporary political scene. Identifying him as White Tara is a shorthand way of visualising that bundle of qualities in order to summon them up in oneself. “Medvedev’s thing is the rule of law – he’s a lawyer. [LOL! OHMYGODDESS, I can't believe Mr. Bamford actually SAID that!] He produced a remarkable state of the nation address in November last year in which he anatomised the difficulty of making a modern state out of Russia. [It's only been since the massacre of how many millions beginning in 1917 that the Bolsheviks and their successors have been TRYING to make Russia a modern state under their 'rule of law'? Was Mr. Bamford turning beet red and looking ready to explode as he said these things? Was steam coming out of his nose and his eyes popping out of his face???] It was basically about being a law-based society and this, I think, is the characteristic that the Buryats and the Kalmyks identify in him when contemplating the White Tara.” [Perhaps the modern-day Shamans of the Buryats and Kalmyks can put some spells on Medvedev and shape him up into something more along the lines of the White Tara...] Did he think that his godhead would have come as a surprise to President Medvedev? “No. He would have been briefed,” said Mr Bamford. The Russian embassy in London had no comment to make. We have a comment - chess, anyone?

Oldest-to-date Viking Burial Ship Discovered

Story from The Local, Sweden's News in English Swedish archaeologists uncover 7th century ship Published: 27 Aug 09 09:25 CETOnline: Peter Vinthagen Simpson Swedish archaeologists have announced the find of a 7th century burial ship, the oldest of its kind to be discovered in Scandinavia. The ship, thought to be from the Vendel era (550-793) of Swedish prehistory, was found in Sunnerby on the island of Kållandsö in Lake Vänern in central Sweden and, according to Lake Vänern Museum, is the only known ship burial to be uncovered in Sweden. Archaeologists from Lake Vänern Museum and Gothenburg University are busy excavating the find which includes equipment, gifts and animal sacrifices. "In Sunnerby, the number of boat rivets found so far indicate that there is a ship hidden in the Kungshögen mound, that is to say a vessel of more than 10 metres and possibly up to 20 metres in length," the museum writes in a statement. The ship is a burial vessel and the museum reports that only people in the highest echelons of society were afforded such a grand farewell. The museum compares the find to the important Sutton Hoo ship burial find in south east England, though archaeologists believe the Swedish find is unlikely to yield as many significant artifacts as the Suffolk ship. The ship would have been loaded with the deceased, animal sacrifices, equipment and gifts and the whole vessel set alight in a huge funeral pyre. Annelie Nitenberg and Anna Nyqvist Thorsson, archaeologists at Lake Vänern Museum, hope that the Kungshögen find will help to shed light on Vendel era cultural life by Sweden's largest lake. Previously, Vendel era society had been understood to be focused in Uppland and the Mälardalen regions of central Sweden rather than further south on the shores of Vänern, Europe's third largest lake with an area measuring 5,648 square kilometres. The excavation of the Kungshögen find will now continue until October. After a break for the winter the work will resume in 2010.

Baltic Queen International Tournament

Sorry for the late report! Here are the final standings. Chessbase has lots of photos of the chess femmes and a feature interview with GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant, the winner. Final standings 1. Arakhamia-Grant, Ketevan g SCO 2506 6.0/9 2562 2. Atalik, Ekaterina m TUR 2434 5½ 2525 3. Paehtz, Elisabeth m GER 2474 5 2484 4. Cramling, Pia g SWE 2525 5 2478 5. Cmilyte, Viktorija m LTU 2470 5 2484 6. Bodnaruk, Anastasia wg RUS 2388 4½ 2450 7. Zhukova, Natalia wg UKR 2465 4 2399 8. Demina, Julia wg RUS 2378 3½ 2371 9. Turova, Irina m RUS 2387 3½ 2370 10. Peng Zhaoqin g NED 2418 3 2322

Press Release: 2010 U.S. Chess Championship

I had seen this news reported elsewhere, here is a new press release from the St. Louis Business Journal: Thursday, August 27, 2009, 3:07pm CDT Chess Club to host 2010 championship St. Louis Business Journal The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis will host the 2010 U.S. Chess Championship. The event, to be held April 23 to May 6, will feature 24 of the best chess players in the country. The club also hosted the 2009 championship last May and will host the 2009 U.S. Women's Championship Oct. 3-13. "It was our privilege to host the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship and we're honored to be chosen again," said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The non-profit Chess Club was founded by retired investment company executive Rex Sinquefield and opened in July 2008. It has more than 500 members. My question: Is the 2010 U.S. Women's Chess Championship included in the sponsorship deal?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Broadcaster Wanda Ramey: Breaking Barriers

I saw this article in the print edition of The Wall Street Journal today - this is the online version of the story. Further information about Wanda Ramey is at the end of the article. While reading the article, I was once again reminded of how many women to whom I owe gratitude for being there before me, leading the way, being the early pioneers in careers and areas of endeavor that had been, before them, presumed to be exclusively "male terrain." REMEMBRANCES AUGUST 26, 2009 Wanda Ramey: 1924 - 2009 TV's 'Woman on the Beat' Broke Newsroom Barriers By STEPHEN MILLER (See Corrections & Amplifications below) She was an experienced broadcaster when she took a job as one of the nation's first female local news anchors in 1959, yet Wanda Ramey was billed as KPIX-TV in San Francisco's "Girl on the Beat." Ms. Ramey, who died Aug. 15 at the age of 85, had been on the air for more than a decade by the time "Noon News" had its debut. She specialized in reporting from the scene at a time when newscasts were conducted mostly from the studio. She rode along on a night police patrol in a high-crime zone, peered into the exotic haunts of a Beatnik from Greenwich Village, and reported on the construction of San Francisco's latest high-rise from inside the emerging building's skeleton. Within a year Ms. Ramey's hard-news leanings led to a different slogan: "The Woman on the Beat." "People sometimes mistook her soft manner and didn't notice that she had a steel back," says Belva Davis, a veteran Bay Area broadcaster who counts Ms. Ramey as a mentor. On "Noon News," she was paired with a male anchor, John Weston. "John led the newscasts with the biggest stories," Ms. Ramey told the San Francisco Chronicle in 1990. "In those days we didn't think of equality." Earlier in her career, she worked at several Bay Area radio and television stations. Her reporting then was aimed primarily at homemakers, with features like "The Woman Behind the Man," in which she interviewed the wives of famous men. Ms. Ramey was determined to be on the air from her student days at Indiana State Teacher's College, where she majored in radio while hosting a children's show called "Story Princess of the Music Box." She moved to Oakland, Calif., after graduating in 1945, and was hired as an interviewer at radio station KROW. There, Ms. Ramey was part of an illustrious broadcasting team that included Rod McKuen, Art Linkletter and Ralph Edwards, creator of "This Is Your Life." Also employed at the station was a writer named Phyllis Diller. The two young women shared an office and became friends. Ms. Diller says that when she started out as a stand-up comic, Ms. Ramey bought Ms. Diller a dress for her opening night at the Purple Onion, a local nightclub. "She went on her Sunday TV interview show and told viewers there was a new comic in town who would break all the records," Ms. Diller says. "She took a stack of records in her hand and broke them right there on the set." On New Year's Eve of 1960, Ms. Ramey filmed a report about inmates at California's San Quentin State Prison. The story kicked off a lengthy relationship with the prison community. Ms. Ramey helped to create SQTV, a close-circuit network that still exists at the prison. Ms. Ramey and her husband, Richard Queirolo, a part-time cameraman, helped train inmates in production skills. Eventually dubbed an "honorary inmate" by some of the prisoners, she once brought Ms. Diller with her to San Quentin to perform stand-up comedy. The inmates presented Ms. Diller with a giant wooden "key to the prison." Ms. Ramey was especially interested in helping the inmates make movies about their experiences while incarcerated, recalls Rick Cluchey, a former San Quentin inmate. His play "The Cage," a stark depiction of prison life, was filmed on cameras provided by Ms. Ramey and her husband and broadcast on public television shortly after Mr. Cluchey was released, in 1966. He subsequently toured the U.S. with a theatrical production of "The Cage" starring ex-convicts, and later became known for his productions of Samuel Beckett works. Says Mr. Cluchey, "I don't know if people understand how important it is for people of substance to come to the disenfranchised and broken down." Ms. Ramey left her anchor's post in 1967 to take a position with National Educational Television, the precursor to PBS. She worked in the 1970s as California correspondent for Voice of America. "[It] was an innovation to have a woman as a straight-out newscaster," Ms. Ramey recalled of her early years at KPIX, in an interview recorded at the University of San Francisco in 2000. It was natural for her to do hard news, she added, and not be "relegated to home hints and recipes." Email Corrections & Amplifications Wanda Ramey died at 85. In a previous version of this column, her age was given as 89. More information on Wanda Ramey: Pioneering Bay Area woman news anchor dies at 85 Broadcast Legends: Wanda Raymey, KPIX's Girl on the Beat

Biblical Archaeology's 12th Annual Fest!

Saw this press release today. I'm a big fan of Hershel Shanks and the Biblical Archaeological Society. He can be rather in your face but he's also put together a great magazine and has brought to the attention of folks like me - the general public - important issues and discoveries in archaeology. Love him or hate him, but he's not ignored! It's a wonderful thing that the Society is holding this Fest in New Orleans, which is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina.
Announcing the Biblical Archaeology Society's 12th annual Bible and Archaeology Fest
The Biblical Archaeology Society announces its 12th annual Bible and Archaeology Fest, to be held November 20–22, 2009, in New Orleans, Louisiana and addressing the topics of early Christianity, Gnostic scholarship, the Hebrew Bible and more. Bible Fest 2009 in New Orleans! FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRLog (Press Release) – Aug 25, 2009 – WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Announcing the 12th annual Bible and Archaeology Fest, to be held November 20–22, 2009, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Twenty leading scholars will convene from around the world to share their research with the public in a in a dynamic seminar series designed specifically for the interested lay person. Concurrent sessions over the three-day period will address the latest developments in the fields of early Christianity, Gnostic scholarship, the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient Israel and Biblical archaeology. For twelve years, the Biblical Archaeology Society is proud to be the only organization to bring current Biblical research to the general public straight from the scholars who are at the forefront of their fields. Session topics include such presentations as Should the Gospel of John be Used in Jesus Research? by the renowned speaker Dr. James Charlesworth of Princeton Theological Seminary, Jesus and the Exorcists: What We Learn From Archaeology presented by the ever-popular Dr. Craig Evans of Acadia Divinity College, and Whence Came the Israelites and Their Language? delivered by eminent scholar Professor Anson Rainey of Tel Aviv University. Some of the latest and most exciting discoveries in the field of Biblical archaeology will be presented by the excavation directions themselves, such as Dr. Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University in his presentation Khirbet Qeiyafa: A Fortified City in Judah from the Time of King David and Aren Maier of Bar-Ilan University in Fleshing out the Bible at Philistine Gath: The Interface of Bible and Archaeology. Professor April DeConick of Rice University will illuminate the world of the mysterious Gnostics with her startling and gripping lecture The Magical Judas: Iscariot’s Gospel and Gem, and Sandra Richter of Asbury Theological Seminary addresses a very modern problem as seen in the light of an ancient culture in her presentation The Israelites and the Environment: An Ancient Code Speaks to a Current Crisis. A plenary session will be held the first evening, and the final evening will feature a banquet and question-and-answer session with Hershel Shanks, founder of the Biblical Archaeology Society and editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, scholar Jane Cahill of the Tell el-Hammah Archaeological Project and Dr. James Charlesworth of Princeton Theological Seminary. Included in the program fee are all lectures, the plenary session, continental breakfasts, refreshment breaks, a final banquet and Continuing Education units. Full details of the conference, which is to be held at the Marriott New Orleans at the Convention Center, can be viewed at For more information, please contact Sarah Yeomans at, 1.800.221.4644, ext. 221, or Alicia Bregon at, 1.800.221.4644, ext. 208.
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The Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS) was founded in 1974 as a nonprofit, nondenominational, educational organization dedicated to the dissemination of information about archaeology in the Bible lands.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

23rd NA FIDE Invitational

While no chess femmes are playing in this Invitational, several young Americans are trying for GM and IM norms. There's some exciting stuff going on! IM Ray Robson (in 3rd place before R7) defeated IM Ben Finegold (in 2nd place before R7) to leapfrog into first place with 5.5/7. IM Mulyar (in 6th place with 4.0 before R7) defeated GM Amanov (in 4th place also with 4.0 before R7), to also have 5.0/7. After R6 leader GM Kacheishvili drew with IM Shankland. Kacheishvili and Finegold both now have 5.0/7 and Shankland has 4.5/7. Mitkov and Ippolito both won, putting them at 4.5/7. Izoria and Molner drew their game, to each move to 4.0/7. Still 2 more rounds to go - and, to quote the old cliche, anything can happen! I'm not familiar with norm requirements, so I'm not going to hazard a guess as to which players may still have chances to score GM or IM norms. Stay tuned!

Map Reveals Pre-Columbian History of Ancient Mexicans

From the Latin American Tribune Caracas, August 25, 2009 Ancient Map Offers Key to Mesoamerican History By Francisco MiravalDENVER – A map painted by Mexican Indians in the mid-16th century has become a key document for understanding the migration of Mesoamerican peoples from their land of origin in what is now the U.S. Southwest, according to a scholar at Harvard University Divinity School. “Five years of research and writing (2002-2007) by 15 scholars of Mesoamerican history show that this document, the Map of Cuauhtinchan 2, with more than 700 pictures in color, is something like a Mesoamerican Iliad and Odyssey,” Dr. David Carrasco told Efe in a telephone interview. “The map tells sacred stories and speaks of pilgrimages, wars, medicine, plants, marriages, rituals and heroes of the Cuauhtinchan community, which means Place of the Eagle’s Nest (in the present-day Mexican state of Puebla),” he said. The map, known as MC2, was painted on amate paper made from tree bark probably around 1540, just two decades after the Spanish conquest of Mexico.Through images and pictographs, the map recounts the ancestral history of the Mesoamerican people of Chicomoztoc, meaning Place of the Seven Caves, followed by their migration to the sacred city of Cholula and the foundation of Cuauhtinchan, probably in 1174. The document was apparently meant to resolve a dispute between the indigenous peoples and the conquistadors as to land ownership in Cuauhtinchan and surrounding areas, following the evangelizing process that began in 1527 and was intensified in 1530 with the building of the town’s first convent, which seems to have entailed the dismantling of the Indian temple. “The history begins in a sacred city under attack and continues with the people of Aztlan coming to the city’s rescue. In compensation they are granted divine authority to travel long distances until they find their own city in the land promised them. Their travels are guided by priests, warriors and divinities,” Carrasco said. That sacred city and the original land of Aztlan would have been in what is today the Southwestern United States. MC2 remained in Cuauhtinchan until 1933, the year it was sent to a regional museum and later came into the possession of an architect.In 2001, philanthropist Espinosa Yglesias acquired the map and shortly afterwards contacted Harvard’s Center of Latin American Studies to ask who could analyze the map. Harvard chose Carrasco. The result of five years of interdisciplinary studies was the publication of the 479-page book “Cave, City, and Eagle’s Nest: An Interpretive Journey Through the Map of Cuauhtinchan No. 2.” Rest of article.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rare Mughal Coin Discovered in Kashmir

(Unfortunately, no photographs of the coin were available and I couldn't find any during a quick search) Mughal Emperor's Kashmir coin discovered Irfan Naveed Srinagar: A British archaeologist has claimed to have discovered the zodiac ‘mohur’ (coin) of Mughal emperor Noor-ud Din Jahangir (1569-1627), which he is believed to have struck from Kashmir mint in the name of his queen Noor Jahan during his rule. The ‘mohur’ in pure gold bears on the obverse the zodiac sign of Cancer (the crab) � the 4th sign among twelve zodiac signs. The other side of the coin carries the name of the Queen Noor Jahan in Persian letters. The coin is dated to AH 1034 which stands the 20th year of Jahangir’s rule. The British archaeologist N G Rhods in an article published in the ‘Numismatic Chronicle’ has claimed to have discovered this single piece of such gold coin from the British coin collections. In his article, the expert writes zodiacal coins of Jahangir of the mints other than from Ahmedabad and Agra are of great rarity. Therefore, writes Rhods, “it gives me great pleasure to find here a gold ‘mohur’ with the sign of Cancer struck at the Kashmir mint, with the name of Queen Nurjahan.” This very same specimen was also illustrated earlier by J. Gibbs and passed from Gibbs to the da Cunnha coin collection, and was then sold to one, Hatfield. The illustration in Gibbs’ article is very poor; as he had attributed it to Ajmer, although it was correctly attributed to Kashmir by da Cunha. After its sale to Hatfield, the coin was not available to numismatists, and R B Whitehead was not able to find a photograph of it to illustrate his definitive article on zodiacal coins in 1931. S H Hodivala, who discusses this coin in his 1929 articles never saw a readable illustration of the coin, and was forced to rely on the correspondence between month and date, and the fact that Jahangir was in Kashmir at this time to support its attribution to Kashmir rather than Ajmer. Noor-ud-Din Jahangir has also issued other types of coins from Kashmir but this coin has been extremely rare. It is in place to mention that most of rare coins of Kashmir are found in the foreign coin collections of the world and not a single gold coin of Jahangir is presently found in Kashmir. ges]Posted on 24 Aug 2009 by Webmaster

Chess Femme News

Some chess femme news briefs from around the world: August 25, 2009 Press Trust of India: Second seed, world U-16 boys champion B Adhiban of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board won a battle of nerves to clinch his back-to-back National B Chess Championship title here today. Overnight leaders -- WGM Mary Ann Gomes of Bengal and Adhiban -- locking horns with each other, required to win the final round to emerge champion at the Town Hall and Adhiban did not falter when it mattered most.Adhiban clinched the title with 10.5 points when Mary Ann's French defence proved insufficient to hold him.Mary Ann (9.5) lost a pawn on the kingside on the 26th move and finally the game as Abhiban's pieces penetrated her weakened back rank. Gomes had to settle for 4th place. August 24, 2009 BY KEELY GRASSER Dora Liu, bouncing around happily in her flowered outfit and ribboned pigtails, doesn't seem like your typical chess player. But the active Markham 7-year-old will soon be representing Canada at a world youth chess championship in Turkey. It's astounding enough to see little Dora, who is going into Grade 3 at the Unionville Montessori School this fall, play advanced chess. It's even more surprising that she only took up the game this year. August 21, 2009 By Tarah Campi Dana Hannibal, who will be a freshman at Sprague High School this fall, competed July 26-31 at the Susan Polgar National Invitational chess tournament at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Her ninth-place finish is the highest finish by an Oregon girl in tournament history. Dana placed third in the puzzle-solving contest, 10th in speed (blitz) chess and 10th in team chess.

Southwest Chess Club Action!

Starting this Thursday, (and the next two Thursdays after that) the Southwest Chess Club presents for you the “Dog Days of Summer Dance (round-robin)” (see below for details). We plan to start promptly at 7:00 p.m.. Registration is 6:20-6:55 p.m. Since this is a quad (round-robin) it is important that players be present for all three rounds. Also, seeing as this is a quad, chess players will in all likelihood be playing others close to them in rating! Note that since this is a quad (round-robin), there are no byes available. The August Supplement will be used for ratings. If you plan to play but anticipate being a few minutes late the first evening, please e-mail myself ( or Tom ( ) so we can include you in the quads, or call me (414-744-4872 or 414-861-2745) prior to 5:30 p.m. on August 27, so I can include you in the quads. Hope to see everybody on Thursday. Please remember the SWCC is temporarily located at St. James Catholic Church. Dog Days of Summer Dance August 27, & September 3 & 10 3-Round “Round-Robin” (a “Quad”). Four chess players to a Quad. Game/90 minutes. USCF Rated. EF: $5. TD is Grochowski; ATD is Fogec SWCC Events Calendar.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

China's 'Founding Legend' May Not Be True

(Well, when it comes right down to it, how many 'founding legends' are actually true???) (Image: a Liubo diagram -- used for the ancient Chinese board game and also divination. Which came first - the game or the divination??? Physical evidence of divination in ancient China dates back to several thousand years ago, in the form of oracle bones, but who knows what sketches may have been made and erased in the dirt for thousands of years beforehand?) Article from USA (Science Fair) China's founding legend may not be true (I believe this was posted about August 21, 2009, but I could not find a date) China's founding dynasty may just be a myth, say archaeologists. In a news report in the current Science, writer Andrew Lawler surveys a decade's worth of discoveries suggesting ancient China sprang from distinct regions, rather than possessing a single national culture some 4,300 years ago. "How China became China is no mere academic topic; it goes to the very heart of how the world’s most populous and economically vibrant nation sees itself and its role in the world," Lawler writes. Since 2004, archeologists headed by Wang Wei of the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing have begun tying together a broader picture of China's origins. “Most of us accepted that the Yellow River was the origin of Chinese civilization. But as we’ve done more research, we have found other cultural areas," Wei tells Science. In particular, the Xia dynasty -- written about as the founder of the Chinese state by Confucius around 600 B.C. -- seems suspect. In 1959, Chinese archaeologist reported the discovery of the capital city of Xia, dating from 2100 B.C. to 1600 B.C., but modern excavations and more recent dating, "challenge its status," writes Lawler. "Although not even half-complete, the project to define the origins of Chinese civilization has already laid to rest the notion of an imperial China rising from the central plains of the Yellow River to bestow its gifts on backward hinterlands." By Dan Vergano Well, we shall see what develops. I do not think that "founding" myths should be discarded wholesale. I believe they often hold valuable kernels of truth that can be developed into new present knowledge. One thing we know - what we knew 100 years ago isn't necessarily true today, given scientific advances in dating techniques, for instance, and new paradigms in thinking that did not exist back then. The same holds true for 100 years from now...

Shira Chess Challenge: Final on Portugal!

Shira is back in the USA now and is already busy planning her next trips for the Foundation, Computer Labs for Kids. You can find a photo album of the Portugal kids at the Foundation's website (visit website, then click on "Photos" to be taken to the page with the albums). There are also photo albums from Shira's prior visits to orphanages in India and Israel. On August 9, 2009, Shira was interviewed on radio in Portugal by Sir Owen Gee on his show Solid Gold Sunday Show on KISS FM. Click here to hear the interview that went on the air!!!! You can read more about Kiss FM @ Kiss FM has about 500,000 listeners during the summer time in the Algarve (location of the orphanage Shira visited) I don't understand how all this You Tube video stuff works, but follow this link - I hope it takes you to lots of Shira's videos. By the way - I have challenged Shira to a second training game. I think we still have time to get one in prior to the beginning of our three-game match over Labor Day Weekend :) I'll let you know if she accepts!

Shira Chess Challenge: Update!

Shira and I finished our first training game. It was a slaughter (Shira slaughtered me): [Event "Challenge"] [Site ""] [Date "2009.08.02"] [EndDate "2009.08.21"] [Round "?"] [White "Shakerjan"] [Black "shira"] [WhiteRating "1109"] [BlackRating "1518"] [WhiteELO "1109"] [BlackELO "1518"] [Result "0-1"] [GameId "6569788"] 1. e4 d6 2. Ng1f3 Bc8g4 3. Bf1e2 Ng8f6 4. Nb1c3 c6 5. d4 e6 6. O-O Bf8e7 7. Be2d3 O-O 8. Qd1e2 d5 9. exd5 cxd5 10. Bc1f4 Nb8c6 11. a3 Nc6xd4 12. Qe2e3 Nd4xf3 13. gxf3 Bg4h5 14. Kg1g2 d4 15. Qe3d2 dxc3 16. bxc3 Qd8d5 17. Qd2e3 Be7c5 18. c4 Bc5xe3 19. cxd5 Be3xf4 20. d6 Bf4xd6 21. Bd3e2 Rf8c8 22. Rf1d1 Rc8d8 23. Rd1c1 Nf6d5 24. c4 Nd5f4 25. Kg2f1 Nf4xe2 26. Kf1xe2 Bd6f4 27. Rc1b1 Rd8d2 28. Ke2f1 Bh5xf3 29. Rb1e1 Rd2c2 0-1 I resigned rather than attempt to fight on, as checkmate was inevitable. I hope to be better prepared in our next game! I have been training hard - just not making any headway against people who are higher rated than I am. When I got back from Las Vegas I took a good hard look at my ongoing games with Frog Breath and PrincessChess and decided it wasn't worth the effort to try and continue to play. I was down too much material and hadn't a clue. Sure, I could have tried to eek out a few more moves, but to what purpose? I thank them for their games. I believe I have improved in my play from the lessons learned from those games -- In the meantime, Chessdaddy has dropped off radar. While Mr. Don was here for our Las Vegas Gambit we played four OTB games - two on the deck during a lovely afternoon, and two while traveling back and forth to Las Vegas on Midwest Airlines. Now those were games! As a match arranged by the Great Goddess, Mr. Don and I are truly evenly matched in all ways, including our relative chess skills. That led to hard fought drawn out games with hearts beating and adrenalin pumping. Amazingly, in 3 of our 4 games, Mr. Don managed to bungle away his Queen, much to my relief! I'm not laughing though, because I managed to bungle away some good positions and pieces too. Geez! Mr. Don conceded three reluctant - extremely reluctant - draws to me - after we'd battled each other to standstills and exhaustion in our three prior games. And then there was Game 4! Game 4 was fought on the jet ride from Las Vegas back to Milwaukee. We were both tired and worn out after three days of walking endless miles around Las Vegas. After boarding our flight we'd both tried to sleep/rest for the first hour and more. But when fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and coffee were offered by an engaging flight attendant, a now wide-awake Mr. Don challenged me to a game of chess and I said okay. Out came the little magnetized travel set I'd received as a bonus gift back in 1999 for becoming a member of the U.S. Chess Federation. That little travel set has seen some interesting games, let me tell you. Mr. Don came out swinging hard. He was going for a win, no question in my mind. He was frustrated over our three prior draws - he wanted to prove his masculine and/or chess superiority over my (according to his way of thinking) relative feminine weakness - he felt he should have won all three games. No slow development of pieces during this opening for him. He went right for my jugular vein in an attempt to win by overwhelming force. Ha! I do not like being forced. Mr. Don seems to have forgotten that little lesson (I have to remind him every now and then about how stubborn I can get when I feel pressured to do something I do not want to do...) It was perhaps move 8 and Mr. Don had wiped out every piece that I had developed into the center of the board, as I was attempting to be a good Chessdaddy student and develop my pieces into the center while protecting my King. And so, I returned the favor. Our queens were openly exposed. I was black, and up a pawn. Mr. Don seemed intent on forcing a queen swap. As he had his fingers on the tiny magnetized travel set chess piece, I looked into his eyes over my glasses, and said to him "Do you really want to do that?" I do not think he realized at that moment just what he was letting himself in for. He made the move anyway. It was like something out of a movie, LOL! Guess what, Mr. Don. SWAP! Queens were off the board. It took about 10 seconds for that fact to sink in. I believe at that point Mr. Don realized he had made a very bad mistake. Not only had he sacrificed his queen for nothing (only my queen, but I was still up a piece and had better development), he had really pissed me off. The game went on, the battle back and forth, back and forth. At a crucial moment I blundered away a Rook - oh goddess I can't believe how Stupid that move was, totally overlooked! But I was absolutely determined and battled my ass off. And then, later in the game, Mr. Don blundered away a Bishop by moving it to a square opposite from where he'd intended to move it - right into the arms of my remaining Rook which had been protecting a pawn about to promote. If he had played to the left instead of the right, he would have gobbled up the pawn, but I would have taken the Bishop. As he played it, I ate the Bishop and also promoted my pawn :) OH, SWEET MYSTERY OF LIFE AT LAST I FOUND YOU... You can imagine the look on his face when I once again looked into his eyes over the top of my glasses as I promoted my pawn and asked for my Queen back, please. Alas, Mr. Don and I do not write down our moves, as our games our purely for leisure purposes only (yeah, right). So I cannot give you the moves of this game for the ages :) It did, however, seem to attract a great deal of attention whilst we were playing away. Our seats were 22 A and B, the last seats at the end of the plane on the left side. The bathrooms are just behind. Across from us (going to Las Vegas and back), on the right side of the plane are three seats and on both trips those seats were occupied by parents with small human-like creatures that I believe are called children. Noisy, smelly creatures with soft-looking skin and bare feet, given to screaming outbursts and throwing food and other things about for no discernable reason. The little smelly, noisy creatures seem to be particularly fascinated by chess, and during Game 4, so were a myriad number of people who lingered over our seats watching the game between Mr. Don and I as they waited for the bathrooms to become available :) Thus goes my chess training...
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