Saturday, November 19, 2011

Evidence of Ancient Trade - or Ancient Inheritance?

From  Also sent to me separately by Isis.  A mystery: how did this old piece of Asian-cast bronze get to Cape Espenberg, Alaska and end up in the ruins of a 1,000 year old Inupiat house?  According to a comment made at the end of the article that was posted at Past Horizons by a Steve Mitchell one day ago:

Given it's size and together with the additional straight piece, it is almost certainly the end of a horse bit (snaffle bit). These were ubiquitous across the whole Steppe region during the Bronze Age. A similar object is illustrated in 'Ancient Bronzes of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes from the Arthur M Sackler Collection' by Emma C Bunker, Fig.A23,p 37 (1997).

If the Asian peoples who first migrated to the Americas thousands of years ago ever had horses initially, I haven't heard of any evidence to point to their survival after the trek to the New World -- at least, not in the Arctic regions!  Horses as we think of them didn't arrive until the Spaniards came and carried their horses with them on their ships - a feat in and of itself considering the mode of travel and the conditions at the time! 

Was this an ancient family-held object -- a remnant of life from the distant past, from a time when the ancestors of one particularInupiat family roamed the Eurasian steppes on horses?  Was the object a found object and kept because of its uniqueness?  It seems metal, as such, wasn't known to the Inupiat until much later, when they came into contact with Europeans.  Was it something that was traded?  But if so, what other evidence exists that these Cape Espenberg Inupiat people were engaged in trade with the Old World? 

I seems doubtful to me that we'll ever be able to solve the mystery of this object - it's just one more fascinating tale among a myriad of fascinating tales that make our past so intriguingly attractive to me!
Ancient bronze artefact from East Asia unearthed in Alaska
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 

A team of researchers led by the University of Colorado Boulder has discovered the first prehistoric bronze artefact made from a cast ever found in Alaska, a small, buckle-like object found in an ancient Eskimo dwelling and which likely originated in East Asia.

The above object is the first prehistoric bronze artefact made from a cast ever found in Alaska and appears to have originated in East Asia. Image: Jeremy Foin, University of California, Davis
The artefact consists of two parts — a rectangular bar, connected to an apparently broken circular ring, said CU-Boulder Research Associate John Hoffecker, who is leading the excavation project. The object, about 2 inches by 1 inch and less than 1 inch thick, was found in August by a team excavating a roughly 1,000-year-old house that had been dug into the side of a beach ridge by early Inupiat Eskimos at Cape Espenberg on the Seward Peninsula, which lies within the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.

Both sections of the artefact are bevelled on one side and concave on the other side, indicating it was manufactured in a mould, said Hoffecker, a fellow at CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. A small piece of leather found wrapped around the rectangular bar by the research team yielded a radiocarbon date of roughly A.D. 600, which does not necessarily indicate the age of the object, he said.

I was totally astonished,” said Hoffecker. “The object appears to be older than the house we were excavating by at least a few hundred years.”

Hoffecker and his CU-Boulder colleague Owen Mason said the bronze object resembles a belt buckle and may have been used as part of a harness or horse ornament prior to its arrival in Alaska. While they speculated the Inupiat Eskimos could have used the artefact as a clasp for human clothing or perhaps as part of a shaman’s regalia, its function on both continents still remains a puzzle, they said.

Since bronze metallurgy from Alaska is unknown, the artefact likely was produced in East Asia and reflects long-distance trade from production centres in either Korea, China, Manchuria or southern Siberia, according to Mason. It conceivably could have been traded from the steppe region of southern Siberia, said Hoffecker, where people began casting bronze several thousand years ago.

Alternatively, some of the earliest Inupiat Eskimos in northwest Alaska — the direct ancestors of modern Eskimos thought to have migrated into Alaska from adjacent Siberia some 1,500 years ago — might have brought the object with them from the other side of the Bering Strait. “It was possibly valuable enough so that people hung onto it for generations, passing it down through families,” said Mason, an INSTAAR affiliate and co-investigator on the Cape Espenberg excavations.

The Seward Peninsula is a prominent, arrowhead-shaped land mass that abuts the Bering Strait separating Alaska from Siberia. The peninsula was part of the Bering Land Bridge linking Asia and North America during the last ice age when sea level had dropped dramatically, and may have been used by early peoples as a corridor to migrate from Asia into the New World some 14,000 years ago.

The artefact was discovered in August by University of California, Davis, doctoral student Jeremy Foin under 3 feet of sediment near an entryway to a house at Cape Espenberg. Other project members included Chris Darwent of UC Davis, Claire Alix of the University of Paris, Nancy Bigelow of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Max Friesen of the University of Toronto and Gina Hernandez of the National Park Service.
The shape of the object immediately caught my eye,” said Foin, who spotted the soil-covered artefact in an archaeological sifting screen. “After I saw that it clearly had been cast in a mould, my first thought was disbelief, quickly followed by the realisation that I had found something of potentially great significance.”

The CU-led excavations are part of a National Science Foundation-funded project designed to study human response to climate change at Cape Espenberg from A.D. 800 to A.D. 1400, a critical period of cultural change in the western Arctic, said Mason. Of particular interest are temperature and environmental changes that may be related to Earth’s Medieval Warm Period that lasted from about A.D. 950 to 1250.

That particular time period is thought by some to be an analogue of what is happening to our environment now as Earth’s temperatures are rising,” said Mason. “One of our goals is to find out how these people adapted to a changing climate through their subsistence activities.”

The Cape Espenberg beach ridges, wave-swept deposits made of sand and sediment running parallel to the shoreline that were deposited over centuries, often are capped by blowing sand to form high dunes. The Cape Espenberg dwellings were dug into the dunes and shored up with driftwood and occasional whale bones.

The team is examining the timing and formation of the beach ridges as well as the contents of peat and pond sediment cores to help them reconstruct the sea-level history and the changing environment faced by Cape Espenberg’s settlers. Information on past climates also is contained in driftwood tree rings, and the team is working with INSTAAR affiliate Scott Elias, a University of London professor and expert on beetle fossils, who is helping the team reconstruct past temperatures at Cape Espenberg.

While the hunting of bowhead whales was a way of life for Inupiat Eskimos at Barrow and Point Hope in northwestern Alaska 1,000 years ago, it is still not clear if the Cape Espenberg people were whaling, said Mason. While whale baleen — a strong, flexible material found in the mouths of whales that acts as a food filter — and a variety of whale bones have been found during excavations there, the sea offshore is extremely shallow and some distance from modern whale migration routes. However, there is evidence of fishing and seal and caribou hunting by the group, he said.

The Inupiat Eskimos are believed to have occupied Cape Espenberg from about A.D. 1000 until the mid-1800s, said Hoffecker. They are part of the indigenous Eskimo culture that lives in Earth’s circumpolar regions like Alaska, Siberia and Canada.

The Cape Espenberg site has yielded a treasure trove of several thousand artefacts, including sealing harpoons, fishing spears and lures, a copper needle, slate knives, antler arrow points, a shovel made from a walrus scapula, a beaver incisor pendant, ceramics, and even toy bows and toy harpoons. The bronze artefact unearthed in August is currently under study by prehistoric metallurgical expert and Purdue University Assistant Professor H. Kory Cooper.

Source: Press release issued by University of Colorado Boulder

If They Live On In Us, How Can They Be Called "Extinct?"

The bottom line is that if we could breed together and produce viable offspring who could also reproduce, we were all humans despite the labels that modern science obstinantly continues to put on us; a vestige of clinging to the 19th century concept of "evolution," perhaps.  I suppose there are still scientists who are actively looking for the "missing link."  Good luck with finding something that never existed!

Vol. 4 September 2011 - Print the September 2011 Issue

Neanderthals Vanished Because of Their Own Success, Suggests Study
November 17, 2011

Researchers used archaeology and complex computer modeling to develop new insights into the extinction of Neanderthals and the behavior of other human hunter-gatherers during the last Ice Age.

Using data obtained from the archaeological record, a team of researchers at Arizona State University and the University of Colorado, Denver, conducted experiments using complex computer modeling to analyze evidence of how human hunter-gatherers responded culturally and biologically to the dramatic changes that took place during the last Ice Age. The results showed, among other things, that the Neanderthals, thought by many scientists to have become extinct at least in part because of their inadaptability and inability to compete with the expanding presence of modern humans, may have actually been victims of their own success.

The researchers used the archeological record to track human behavioral changes in Late Pleistocene (126,000 - 10,000 B.P.) Western Eurasia over a period of 100,000 years and across the equivalent of 1,500 generations of human hunter-gatherers. They applied computer modeling to determine the evolutionary consequences of cultural and biological changes, which included how changes in the movements of modern humans and Neanderthals caused them to interact and interbreed with each other. The results showed that human mobility during the environmental changes associated with the Ice Age increased over time, likely in response to those environmental changes. The modeling suggested that the last Ice Age caused the ancestors of modern humans -- and Neanderthals -- to widen their ranges across Western Eurasia in search of new resources as the climate shifted.

According to study co-author Julien Riel-Salvatore of the University of Colorado, Denver, this provided new evidence that Neanderthals were more adaptable and resourceful than previously thought. Moreover, the study results suggested that the Neanderthals were gradually absorbed within the expanding modern human populations until they eventually disappeared as a distinctly separate human population and phenotype. [Are we really sure that they were ever a 'distinctly separate human population and phenotype?'  It seems that this assumption is based on our current knowledge of DNA analysis, which right now is primitive. Indeed, we're learning more nearly every day, it seems, about how alike so-called Neanderthal and so-called modern humans were - along with a third group of co-existing humans in the Far East - (China or Korea?)  Let's see what develops over the next 100 years in terms of both technology and our ability to use it to intepret existing and future evidence.]

Says Riel-Salvatore, "It's been long believed that Neanderthals were outcompeted by fitter modern humans and they could not adapt. We are changing the main narrative. Neanderthals were just as adaptable and in many ways, simply victims of their own success. Neanderthals had proven that they could roll with the punches and when they met the more numerous modern humans, they adapted again. But modern humans probably saw the Neanderthals as possible mates. As a result, over time, the Neanderthals died out as a physically recognizable population."

Michael Barton, study co-author and expert on archaeological applications to computer modeling at Arizona State University, agrees. "We tested the modeling results against the empirical archaeological record and found that there is evidence that Neanderthals, and moderns, did adapt their behaviors in the way in which we modeled," said Barton. "Moreover, the modeling predicts the kind of low-level genetic admixture of Neanderthal genes that are being found in the newest genetic studies just now being published.

Continued Barton, "In other words, successful behavioral adaptations to severe environmental conditions made Neanderthals, and other non-moderns about whom we know little, vulnerable to biological extinction, but at the same time, ensured they made a genetic contribution to modern populations."

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship and a Fulbright Graduate Student Fellowship. The paper is published in the December issue of Human Ecology as Modeling Human Ecodynamics and Biocultural Interactions in the Late Pleistocene of Western Eurasia, available online on November 17, 2011. It is co-authored by Michael Barton, Arizona State University; Julien Riel-Salvatore, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado Denver; John Martin Anderies, associate professor of computational social science at ASU in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change and the School of Sustainability; and Gabriel Popescu, anthropology doctoral student at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University.

Minoan Hieroglyphic Script Found in Western Crete

I had to do some reading on the topic as I wasn't sure if Minoan hieroglyphic script was the same as Linear A (undeciphered).  According to Wikipedia:

The earliest writing found on Crete is Cretan hieroglyphic system. It is not known whether this language is Minoan, and scholars often debate its origin. These hieroglyphs are often associated with the Egyptians but also appear related to several other writings from the Mesopotamian region.[37] The hieroglyphs came into use from MMI and were in parallel use with the emerging Linear A from the 18th century BC (MM II) and disappeared during the 17th century BCE (MM III).

Given the relative few numbers of samples of the script and that no parallel translations have been found (such as, for instance, the Rosetta Stone, which enabled Egyptian hieroglyphics to be deciphered), it seems doubtful that either Minoan hieroglyphic script or Linear A will ever be deciphered.

Story from
Earliest Sample of Minoan Hieroglyphics Found in Western Crete
No photo credit given in the news article.

The sealstone, which is carved on all four surfaces with characters of the Minoan Hieroglyphic script, constitutes the sole evidence to date for the presence of this earliest Minoan style of writing in Western Crete.

The excavation, which began in 2004, is conducted by the Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities under the supervision of the archaeologist Helena Papadopoulou in collaboration with Prof. Iris Tzachili from the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Crete.
A preliminary study of the artefacts recovered thus far - including some 800 clay votive statuettes and a significant number of ceramic vessels - indicates that the peak sanctuary was in use throughout the First Palace period (1900-1700 BC) and continued until at least the beginning of the New Palace phase, after which time it was relocated to a lower part of the plateau.

The Vrysinas sanctuary is believed to have been the most sacred peak in Western Crete. The site’s undeniable ritual context puts it on a par with other important Minoan peak sanctuaries like those at Iouktas, Petsofas and Traostalos Kofinas in central and eastern Crete.

Qurta, Egypt Rock Carvings Expand Our Knowledge of Ancient Man

From the Vancouver Sun
Long-forgotten Canadian find shakes up understanding of ancient humans
By Randy Boswell, Postmedia News
November 18, 2011

A Canadian archeologist is being credited — nearly 50 years after the fact — with discovering a prehistoric petroglyph site in southern Egypt that is now being described as a "Lascaux-on-the-Nile" because of its similarity in age and style to France's world-famous, cave-wall gallery of Stone Age cattle, deer and horses.

The inscribed Egyptian images of extinct wild oxen, hippopotami, fish, gazelle and other animals — now firmly dated to a time in the late Pleistocene era at least 15,000 years ago — are being hailed as the oldest rock art in North Africa and as a pivotal discovery in the evolution of artistic behaviour by ancient humans.

Prehistoric petroglyph site in southern Egypt discovered by Canadian archeologist Philip Smith in a 1962-63 expedition.
Photograph by: Handout, Yale University
It has taken nearly a half-century for experts to obtain a reliable age for the animal figures, which number close to 200 and are found etched into a sandstone cliff high above the banks of the Nile River at Qurta, about 600 kilometres southeast of Cairo.

That's where the young Canadian scientist Philip Smith — a University of Toronto archeologist from Fortune, N.L. — was working in 1962 and 1963 as part of a federally sponsored series of "rescue" digs aimed at preserving traces of ancient Egyptian settlements before their potential destruction from the building of the Aswan Dam.

Smith, who went on to a distinguished 40-year career at the University of Montreal, was probing an archeological site from thousands of years before the Egyptian pyramids were built when he "accidentally" discovered the carvings at Qurta.

Now 84 and long retired from archeological field work, Smith told Postmedia News on Thursday that he remembers scrambling up the cliffs to take a photograph of a dig site on the plain below when he suddenly spied scores of animals carved into the rocks.

"They were everywhere on the rock," Smith said. "But we weren't able to date it directly. At that time there was no way of dating art on the cliffs themselves."

He recalls, though, that he "speculated that it was certainly pre-pharaohnic — before the pharaohs — and probably pre-neolithic, before the introduction of agriculture. But, of course, I wasn't able to go much further back than that."

A lengthy article about the work of the Canadian Prehistoric Expedition in Egypt appeared in a 1965 issue of the Canadian Geographical Journal, forerunner of today's Canadian Geographic. Descriptions and pictures of the prehistoric rock art at Qurta were published at the time, but Smith was never able to pin down a solid date for when the carvings were made — and conventional wisdom about the evolution of art in the ancient world held that paleolithic Europe was almost certainly the seedbed of advanced human creativity.

Years passed. Then decades. No further study of the Qurta animal engravings was carried out, and even knowledge of their whereabouts was lost to a younger generation of scientists.

Then, about five years ago, Belgian archeologists working on paleolithic sites in Egypt found evidence of prehistoric rock art at a different site and began a broader study that turned up the Canadian research at Qurta from the early 1960s.

That led to the latest research on the Qurta carvings, to be published in the December edition of the journal Antiquity by a team of scientists from Belgium and the U.S.

They used a process called "optically stimulated luminescence" to test the wind-blown sediments accumulated on the etchings to determine the last time the most deeply buried grains of sand were exposed to sunlight.

Their study pegs the creation of the artwork at between 15,000 and 19,000 years ago. That places the Egyptian carvings in roughly the same timeframe as the famous cave paintings of animals at Lascaux and other Ice Age sites in Europe.

"The paleolithic rock art at Qurta reveals that the well-known cave art of the late Pleistocene in Europe was not an isolated phenomenon," study co-author John Coleman Darnell, a Yale University professor of Egyptology, states in a summary of the study. "Qurta puts North Africa firmly in the world of the earliest surviving artistic tradition, and shows that tradition to have been geographically more widespread than heretofore imagined."

The paper to be published in Antiquity suggests the fresh understanding of the Egyptian artwork first identified by Smith could force a major rethinking of the origins of art and the connections between Stone Age people in Europe and North Africa.

"Whereas it would be premature to speculate on any implications of this in terms of long-distance influence and intercultural contacts," the authors conclude, "it is clear that the Pleistocene age of the Qurta petroglyphs — as demonstrated by the present study — along with their degree of sophistication, similar to that of European Ice Age art, introduce a new set of challenges to archeological thought."

Smith, whose other work at ancient aboriginal digs in the U.S. and at paleolithic sites in Spain and France continues to generate interest among today's archeologists, said he's equally pleased his Egyptian find is still yielding new insights today.

"It is," he said, "very gratifying."

(c) Postmedia New

Gold and Gems Found at Mes Aynak Excavation, Afghanistan

Great, just great.  Exact location of the dig was given in the news article.  You can expect hordes of illegal diggers to descend upon the location and start digging willy-nilly amidst priceless archaeological relics.  Damn!  As if that isn't bad enough, the Chinese have a concession from the Afghanistani government to mine the location for copper, and they're just waiting to get in there and start blowing things to smithereens.  The Chinese don't even care for their own culture, let alone any other country's culture.  Goodbye to undiscovered finds forever and ever.

Story at the
Afghanistan’s ancient jewels finally see the light of day           
By Jerome Starkey in Mes Aynak
Published on Saturday 19 November 2011 05:56

THE gold still glistened after a more than 1,000 years underground; the gemstones glinted at their first touch of sunlight, undimmed by a millennium in the dirt.

“It’s a necklace,” said a Polish archaeologist breathless with excitement. “They’ve found a gold necklace!”

As the fine grey sand of Afghanistan’s sun-bleached mountains was gently sieved away, there was treasure in the pan: tiny golden orbs adorned with even smaller gold beads, tulip-shaped pendants no bigger than a fingernail, red gemstones and swirling gold bowls, like acorn lids.

Next to them were two spoons and a brooch made of copper, green from corrosion, and two copper hairpins embellished with gold.

Excavations at Mes Aynak have already unearthed three Buddhist monasteries and an ancient copper mine replete with statues, coins, reliefs and murals – which is more than enough to secure its place as one of the most significant archaeological digs in a generation.

Yet last week’s discovery was the first time since archaeologists started work in 2009 that anyone has found jewellery in the mountains, 35km south of Kabul, and with at least three more monasteries still to be explored, Afghan officials hope the discoveries will elevate Mes Aynak into the archaeological pantheon, alongside Tillya Tepe, home of the Bactrian hoard.

The archaeological remains in Logar province date from the 1st to the 7th centuries; first settled by the Khushan dynasty and eventually abandoned by the Hephtalites, with the advent of Islam to Afghanistan.

“The gold, the wall paintings, the statues all suggest that the inhabitants of the site were quite wealthy,” said Hans Curvers, leading archeologist on site. “Not a surprise when you live in the place were the Khushan empire mines, its main financial resources.”

But the treasure is both a blessing and a burden for the Afghan government, which is desperate to start exploiting its minerals as a source of income.

The archaeological sites sit directly on top of a world class copper deposit which a Chinese state mining company paid $3 billion (£1.9bn) to acquire, in 2008. It was Afghanistan’s largest foreign investment, and allegedly came with a $30m bribe to the then minister of mines.

The Afghan government hopes to earn up to $350m a year in royalties – equivalent to 20 per cent of Kabul’s tax revenue – once the mine is operational, but recently agreed a 12-month delay, to give the archaeologists more time.

“The artefacts are right on top of the copper,” said Nasir Ahmad Durrani, deputy minister of mines. “Unless we remove them we can’t get to the mine.”

The government has also spent $6.5m clearing Soviet-era landmines from the site. “The landmines and artefacts amounted to a force majeure,” Mr Durrani added. “The original timelines didn’t take into account the realities on the ground … but we believe that by 2014 we will be able to start commercial production.”

Western officials are less sure. The Chinese have improved the road to the mine and built a camp to house their workers but they are yet to start work on the railway or the power station, stipulated in their contract, which they will need to purify the copper and then export it.

Mes Ayak, one of the monasteries being excavated. Look to the right in the distance and you can see the blue
rectangles that constitute the Chinese encampment for it occupational force.
“They are playing the long game,” said a senior European official. “They have got their resource and they know that price of copper is not going down.”

Omar Sultan, the deputy minister of culture, said he was confident the archaeologists would excavate the areas in immediate danger before the Chinese “start blowing it up”.  “We are not going to let anybody destroy our culture and I haven’t seen any intention to go and do that from the Chinese or anybody else,” he said.

He hopes to relocate the monasteries, block by block, in a purpose-built museum nearby. “This was a crossroads of civilisations,” he said. “We have a cultural heritage that doesn’t just belong to Afghanistan. It belongs to all of humanity.” [Yeah, right.  I'd like to smoke some of what he's smoking, because you know for a fact that not a single stone of any of these monasteries will ever be moved to a "museum" site unless the United Nations or UNESCO steps in.  The Afghanis will claim they don't have the money or the manpower to undertake such a project -- the $3 billion the Chinese paid (cheap bastards!) is long gone into private bank accounts in Switzerland, the Bahamas and Bahrain).  Bye bye priceless ancient cultural relics.]

Friday, November 18, 2011

2011 Women's World Chess Championship Match In the News

From First Post:
Humpy loses to Yifan in World Chess Championships
Nov 18, 2011

Tirana (Albania): Grandmaster Koneru Humpy misplayed a fine position and went down to defending champion Yifan Hou of China in the third game of the Women’s World Championship here.
Looking good after the first two of the 10-game match, Humpy went for an erroneous plan and Yifan cashed in to go one up. The scoreline now reads 2-1 in the favour of the Chinese 17-year old.
With seven games still to come, Humpy will now be under pressure especially as her loss came with white pieces. The Indian will have to device [sic] new ways to tackle Yifan as the wild complications did not work in the third game.

The Queen pawn opening by Humpy did not see another Catalan and Yifan went for a complicated variation right from the beginning. Typical of the system, Yifan had weaknesses on the king side and her king itself looked a bit vulnerable as the game progressed.

In the middle game, Humpy went for a pawn sacrifice on the queen side to pursue her attack on the other flank but Yifan, who calculates deep, had judged well that the attack was only optical.  By the 25th move, it was clear that white should have looked towards equalise but a mistake there turned the tide decisively in the favour of the Chinese.

Humpy recovered the lost pawn at a huge concession of giving black a central passed pawn and it was all over in quick time thereafter. Yifan won in 37 moves.

“I took my time to think about taking the pawn on ‘a2′. My king could get in trouble, but I decided to go for this principal continuation,” said Yifan.

“I had a good position, but I was not making good moves,” Humpy said on her play in the middle game.

The fourth game of the euro 2,00,000 Championship will be played before the second rest day. Humpy will now have to play two black games in a row.

From The Hindu:
Humpy on backfoot in fourth game
NEW DELHI,November 19, 2011

Challenger K. Humpy was battling an inferior endgame against champion Hou Yifan after 41 moves of the fourth game in the women's World chess championship match at Tirana, Albania, on Friday. Playing white, Yifan emerged slightly better from the opening lines of Ruy Lopez. Once the queens were off the board, Humpy had better defensive options after choosing not to castle. In this positional warfare, Yifan exploited the weakness of Humpy's queenside pawns. Her rooks and the lone knight enjoyed more space-advantage and Humpy had to find the right continuation to keep safe.

Unlike the third game which Humpy lost after poorly managing her time, she had more time on her clock on this day. Yifan did manage to create a passed pawn on the queenside, but Humpy's rook and knight minimised Yifan's advantage by winning a kingside pawn.

Beautiful Women Have an Advantage in Chess...Really?

Really?  How old were the dudes that were playing chess with the attractive women?

Why Beautiful Women Have An Advantage In Chess
Business Insider
Gus Lubin
November 18, 2011

The St. Louis Fed recently posted a huge archive of economic papers. One of the papers that caught our eye was "Beauty Queens and Battling Knights: Risk Taking and Attractiveness in Chess."

It turns out men take risks to impress pretty women even in something as cerebral as chess. And when they take risks, they are more likely to lose. Specifically men are more likely to use risky openings, which have a higher probability of a win or lose versus a draw.

Women seem not to be affected when they play an attractive woman (and the study did not test for attractive men).

The following chart shows the results when men and women played against an attractive woman with an equal chess rating. Men were significantly more likely to lose within 40 moves; after reaching the midgame their odds improved. Women showed a wide range of results without any significant conclusions.

Two graphs were included in this article - try figuring out what they are demonstrating, as at least in this short article, no explanation was given.

You can find a PDF of the original paper:

Beauty Queens and Battling Knights:
Risk Taking and Attractiveness in Chess

Anna Dreber
Institute for Financial Research (SIFR)

Christer Gerdes
SOFI, Stockholm University
and IZA

Patrik Gränsmark
SOFI, Stockholm University

Discussion Paper No. 5314
November 2010

The IZA (Germany) is the Institute for the Study of Labor.

I don't have time to read it now.  Perhaps it may answer questions such as (1) how old were the chess dudes whose games were studied? Sixteen year olds may react a lot differently to a pair of 36D's displayed across a chessboard than a 34 year old (or at least, one certainly hopes so).  (2) Were the people who "measured" the attractiveness of the female chessplayers (ranking them in order of attractiveness) the same people against whom they subsequently played chess games?  (3) Were the male players ranked for attractiveness?

Of course, the larger question looms: how does one control for "attractiveness?"  I know there have been studies done about what constitutes an "attractive" face (in both males and females) based on facial measurements, such as the distance between the eyes, the size of lips, the size of eyes, the height of cheekbones, the degree of angles in chin and draw, and things like that.  But, really, it's a damn big world out there, and we are not all attracted to the same "looks" in a male or female.

For instance, I like a man who wears glasses; I'm pretty sure it's because initially I equate glasses with intelligence (the impression doesn't always last long); hardly anyone wears glasses anymore, though, since contact lenses are the norm and Lasix surgery is readily available. I like men with dark hair, but fair skin.  I like medium size men, not taller than 5' 10" and medium or a slighter build.  I don't like feeling overshadowed by a large man.  No muscled football players for moi!  I'm not necessarily a fan of blue eyes; must have good teeth and if he has dimples, I'm done for.

Plunk me down across a chesstable from - oh I don't know, who do women find attractive these days - George Clooney maybe?  Meh. 

I have a more intriguing question to consider:  Male chessplayer make up about 92-93% of all chessplayers in the world.  Lots of room there for attractive males (of all types) to spring forth and blossom.  Female chessplayers make up the rest of the players.  So how on earth was an adequate sample of equally matched (according to ELO) male and female chessplayers compiled, and did they represent a full spread of "attractiveness" -- however that was quantified, so that the experiment was a fair one?  Off the top of my head, I'm thinking that there are are heck of a lot more attractive females playing chess than attractive males playing chess, when it comes right down to it.

2011 Women's World Chess Championship Match

Hola darlings!  TGIF.

Today was Game 4.  Hou Yifan had the white pieces but was held comfortably by Koneru Humpy with black, and the game was an agreed draw on move at move 58:

[Event "Women's WCC 2011"]
[Site "Tirana"]
[Date "2011.11.18"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Hou, Yifan"]
[Black "Koneru, Humpy"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 Be7 11. Bc2 d4 12. Nb3 d3 13. Nxc5 dxc2 14. Qxd8+ Rxd8 15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. Be3 Rd5 17. c4 bxc4 18. Rac1 Nb4 19. a3 Nd3 20. Rxc2 Kd7 21. Bd4 Rb8 22. Bc3 c5 23. Nd2 Nxe5 24. f4 Ng4 25. Nxc4 Bf6 26. Re1 Bd4+ 27. Bxd4 Rxd4 28. h3 Nf6 29. Ne5+ Kd6 30. Nf7+ Kd7 31. Ne5+ Kd6 32. Nf7+ Kd7 33. Rxc5 Rxb2 34. Ne5+ Ke8 35. Nf3 Re4 36. Rxe4 Nxe4 37. Re5 Nc3 38. Rxe6+ Kf8 39. Rxa6 Ne2+ 40. Kh2 Nxf4 41. Kg3 Nxg2 42. Re6 h6 43. Ne5 Ra2 44. a4 g5 45. Rxh6 Ne1 46. Rf6+ Kg7 47. Rg6+ Kh7 48. Rxg5 Rxa4 49. h4 Ra3+ 50. Kg4 Ng2 51. h5 Ne3+ 52. Kf4 Nd5+ 53. Kf5 Ra5 54. Rg1 Ra2 55. Ng4 Ra5 56. Ke4 Nc3+ 57. Kd3 Nd5 58. Ke4 1/2-1/2

After today's draw, the score stands Hou Yifan 2.5/Koneru Humpy 1.5.

Tomorrow is a rest day for the ladies, and play resumes on Sunday - Game 5, after which will mark the second half of the Match.  Wow!  Both players appear to be very well prepared.  I don't think it's out of line to expect to see some sharp play in Game 5...

Hou Yifan (left) and Koneru Humpy (right).  Today both
ladies were casually dressed but very trendy. 
I am very curious about what the rest of the Match will bring.

Coverage at The Week in Chess
Play through the game at Susan Polgar's chess blog. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

An Isle of Lewis Chess Queen

One of the Lewis chess queens:

One of the Lewis chess queens, from the MET exhibit:
The Game of Kings:  Medieval Ivory Chessmen from the Isle of Lewis   
November 15, 2011–April 22, 2012
Unlike the author of the previous newspaper article from The New York Times, I don't think she's saying "Doh!"  I think she's saying "Oy Vey!" 

Or maybe she just has a toothache.  Her jaw does look rather swollen.  And what is the object held in the left hand?  Could it be a Viking drinking horn?  Filled with mead or something stronger?  Some narcotic-laced concoction designed to knock out the pain in her throbbing jaw?  Or is that a walrus tusk, this incredible chess piece creator's way of making a pun about its origins? 

What if this isn't a Queen at all, but a young king?  The description of this piece reads:

Left: Chess Piece in the Form of a Queen, ca. 1150–1200. Scandinavian, probably Norway, found on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, 1831. Walrus ivory; H. 3 3/4 in. (9.6 cm). The British Museum, London (1831,1101.84)

But, could that be a short beard instead of a swollen jawline?  There appear to be verticle demarcations on this figure's chin that are typically used to denote a beard.  This figure does not appear particularly feminine to me.  And that horn - in ancient societies a horn was a sign of power, a sign of authority. Did Viking queens carry such symbols?  How does the crown of this figure match up to the crowns on any other queen pieces?  And what does it look like in comparison to the crowns worn by the four identified kings? 

Was an assumption made that this piece had to be a queen because, unlike the other four kings that the exhibit article says have been identified, it was not holding a sword across his lap:  Each of the pieces is a delightful sculpture in miniature, with a specific, individualized character. The kings all sit with their swords on their laps, but some have long hair and beards, and others are clean shaven.

Or was it identified as a queen because it appears to be wearing a cloth head covering (some kind of veil) underneath the crown?  A bearded queen?  Hmmm....we've seen that before, in ancient Egypt, for one (Hatsepshut). 

Here is a photograph I found of a queen and king from an article at The Guardian, from October 1, 2009:

Photograph: Murdo MacLeod
This queen has right hand on cheek, left hand clasping her right elbow.  Hmmm, she also looks like a bearded lady to me.  Another bearded queen?  Is it possible it was an artistic convention of the time for the Norwegian artisans to portray their queens with a sort of "mini-beard" to denote a form of authority - less than the king's, but still there?  Just asking, for I've no idea.  Again, this Queen does not strike me as a particularly feminine figure.

When comparing the first and second "queens", I see at least two similarities: the right hand on cheek pose looks identical, and there are what appear to be bracelets, or some kind of intricate cloth gathers, on the right wrist of both queen figures.  I can't tell from the second photograph if the queen is wearing a veil underneath her crown, or if that is her hair flowing down her back.  I do find it interesting that the queen and king paired in the second photograph appear to be of equal height - as are their thrones. 

Compare to this photograph from Wikipedia which depicts two kings and two queens, where it appears that the kings are not only more substantially carved (wider figures on both), but also taller in comparison to the respective queens.

Photograph by Andrew Dunn (c) 2004:  Two kings and two queens from the Uig, or Lewis chessmen at the British Museum
 Is this queen figure on the left the same one as the first queen image I posted in this article?  The folds of the gowns in front appear identical and, more importantly, both queens are holding what appears to be a drinking horn (or possibly a walrus tusk) in their left hands. 

 Is there a fourth queen?  I'm not clear on that.  I keep looking, but not tonight - it's bed time!

The Game of Kings: Medieval Whimsy

An "art review" (yep, in the Arts section, not Sports, har!) article from The New York Times:

Art Review
Medieval Foes With Whimsy
Published: November 17, 2011   

Photographs are by Karsten Moran for The New York Times

Two similar, but differently styled, Lewis kings.

A Lewis "berserker" (warder) or Rook.
In a booklet from the British Museum about the collection, James Robinson, the museum’s curator of medieval collections, asks, “Were the chessmen, in fact, meant to be comic?” Mr. Robinson points out some funny things about them. One of the warders, who wears a conical helmet and long robe and holds a sword and a shield, seems to glance nervously to his left, as if he’d heard a suspicious sound while standing guard at night. Some warders have their teeth overlapping the tops of their shields, a curious biting gesture thought to identify them as “berserkers”: Nordic warriors who went into battle in frenzied states that might have been induced by alcohol or Amanita muscaria, hallucinogenic mushrooms.

The kings, sitting on ornate thrones with swords across their laps, seem lost in thought, their shoulders weighed down by their preoccupations. The queens, also enthroned, have their hands clapped to their cheeks as if in dismay and thinking, “D’oh!” But Mr. Robinson observes about the pieces in general, “Identifying the exact nature of their attraction for people of the time is a challenge,” and so the humor question remains unanswered.

What is known about the chessmen is that they were found by a farmer on the Isle of Lewis, the largest island of the Outer Hebrides, in 1831. How they got there is a mystery. Some think they arrived from Iceland, but conventional wisdom has it that they somehow came off a merchant ship traveling a regular trade route between Norway and Ireland and that they were produced in Trondheim, a Norwegian town, between 1150 and 1200.

The hoard included 78 chessmen from at least four different, incomplete sets; some pieces resembling checkers; and a belt buckle carved from ivory. The British Museum quickly acquired most of them, and in 1888 the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, secured 11 that had remained in private hands.

Humorously intended or not, each piece is a wonderful, diminutive sculpture, ranging from 1 5/8 inches to just over 4 inches tall. Unlike Renaissance chess sets that abounded in feats of technique, the Lewis Chessmen have a folk art quality. Something archaic about them makes them seem strange and otherworldly. Though not realistic in the modern sense of the word, they appear magically animated, as if the right spell would awaken them from their dormant state.

Certainly they were a good choice for a scene in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in which Harry and Ron Weasley play Wizard’s Chess using reproductions of the Lewis Chessmen. In the movie white pieces oppose red ones, which is how the figures were originally divided. But the red stains have worn away, and now they are all the color of ivory.

Close looking shows many details rendered with a tender touch. The faces are generically stylized, but each is different enough that some scholars have speculated that they might portray real people. Beards on the male combatants come in a variety of shapes and sizes; some of the kings are clean-shaven. Robes fall in buttery folds, with occasional passages of slight rumpling. Throne backs are carved into intertwining vines, mythic beasts and architectural elements. Each bishop wears an individualized miter. The knights ride pony-size steeds resembling carousel horses.

It is frustrating that plexiglass containers prevent you from picking them up for intimate examination. You would like to heft them, feel the smooth, warm bone and zoom in to see patterns on fabric and other details realized with eye-straining delicacy.

Mr. Robinson notes that some stragglers might yet turn up and make four complete sets. You might want to keep an eye out for a knight, 4 warders and 45 pawns. Meanwhile, a word to “The Simpsons” producers: How about an episode starring Bart as Harry in “Harry Potter and the Lewis Chessmen”?

2011 Women's World Chess Championship Match

Hola!  Game 3 was today and as Eugene Wee promptly advised me, GM Hou Yifan, who had the black pieces today, defeated GM Koneru Humpy, who had a slightly better position out of the opening behind the white pieces.  The game was not a long, drawn out battle.

Perhaps it just wasn't Humpy's day today, or maybe she had something uncorked on her that she wasn't prepared for, or maybe she tried something and it didn't work and her plan went down in flames.  Don't know.  The match is 10 games, so I'm not going to downplay a loss with white, but it does happen and fine players overcome such things during the course of a match.  So, I'll see what happens tomorrow.  I can't speak as to how other chessplayers react, but when I have the black pieces I tend to play better, and if I have black and I'm feeling outgunned and outnumbered, I fight back as ferociously as I know how. 

The start of Round 3.  Humpy in a stunning outfit and Yifan
in her comfort faux-fur hoody.  At least, I hope it's faux-fur!
Humpy Koneru. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich with kind permission of FIDE
(from The Week in Chess coverage)

Coverage at Susan Polgar's Chess Blog:
November 17, 2011:  Game 3: Hou Yifan Takes the Lead
November 16, 2011:  Costly Time Pressure  (ahhhh, time pressure - I've never had a problem with that, for the simple reason that I usually don't get that far into games before going down in flames)

I would like to see some analysis as the games progress by GM Susan Polgar, who has been there, done that, with her own Women's World Champion title.

Official website coverage.  I don't know how the streaming live coverage is working since I've been ver busy at the office and haven't had a chance to try it.  But the official website by the organizers of the match is clean, crisp and clear.  I like it.

The Week in Chess:
November 17, 2011:  Hou Yifan Takes Women's World Championship Lead With Win in Game 3
Nice photos and game analysis, play-through game with board. 

Koneru, Humpy - Hou Yifan
WCh w Tirana ALB (3), 2011.11.17
1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 c5 8.e3 c4 9.Be2 g5 10.Bg3 Ne4 11.Rc1 Qa5 12.Ne5 Bxc3+ 13.bxc3 Nc6 14.O-O O-O 15.Bf3 Nxg3 16.fxg3 Nxe5 17.dxe5 Be6 18.Bh5 Qxa2 19.Rf6 Qb2 20.Rxh6 Bf5 21.Rf6 Be4 22.Bf3 Bd3 23.Qe1 Rae8 24.Bxd5 Rxe5 25.e4 Kg7 26.Rf2 Qb6 27.Qd2 Rd8 28.Qb2 f5 29.Qxb6 axb6 30.Bxb7 fxe4 31.Rb2 Re7 32.Bc6 Rd6 33.Ba4 e3 34.Re1 e2 35.Bc2 Rf7 36.Bxd3 cxd3 37.Rd2 Rdf6 0-1

Chessdom is offering live coverage of the games.

Chessvibes is also featuring up to the minute coverage. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

2011 Women's World Chess Championship Match

Hola!  Today was a "day off" for reigning champion GM Hou Yifan of China and challenger GM Koneru Humpy of India in their World Championship Match.  So - I have a chance to look at Game 2 that took place yesterday.

Today, evidently, the ladies were taken on an escorted tour to some mountains or other, when I'm sure they'd much rather be resting in their hotel suites and going over strategies with their coaches!  What were those organizers thinking?  Obviously only about photo opportunities, and not about the actual needs of the players themselves.  Doh!

Game two, with Humpy behind the black pieces, ended in a draw.  Again, I see this as an auspicious sign for Humpy. 

Now that I've got my first official chess "lesson" under my belt, I paid more attention than usual to the moves of this game. Those things that my coach showed me during Lesson 1 - many of them showed up in this game, including several moves that "broke the rules" too.  Well, that's how I play.  I break rules left and right, but it's always been by the seat of my pants and on instinct, not because I actually knew what I was doing.  Very very interesting, this glimmering of light on the distant horizon.  Oh Caissa, I've got soooo much to learn...

Before Monday night "controlling the center" was a concept that I knew about, but didn't really understand, viscerally.  Not sure I do - yet - but I'm fast developing a new appreciation for this "simple" concept...

Developing the knights and the bishops, castling, getting the rooks centered, the queen in a ready position and the king protected - also concepts I knew before, and sometimes even tried to deploy in my chess games.  Now, new found appreciation for what those concepts could actually mean.  Whether I can execute or not - I've got some homework to do...

Back to Game 2 of the WWCCMatch -- I won't say that I was astounded to see certain moves unfold, but I certainly do see the sense and sensibility behind at least a few of them now, where I did not, before.  Oh, I felt some of those moves, some times, that they were brilliant or the best thing or the only (sudden death speeding toward you at 100 MPH) move you could make to try and hang on, but didn't really know why I thought they were so good before.  Oh, listen to me rambling on, like I'm suddenly an expert after one official chess lesson.  LOL!  Like I said, I'm at the merest glimmering of sunrise on the horizon.

Humpy, I love how you play chess!

Again, this match is being followed closely at several major chess websites/blogs around the internet.  I just happened to visit The Week in Chess first tonight for its coverage of Game 2.

GM Koneru Humpy, behind the black pieces in Game 2.
Serene, contemplative, and determined. Nice outfit, too.
Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich and Anna Burtasova with
kind permission of FIDE.   |

Now I know this has absolutely nothing to do with chess, darlings, but I'm really liking Humpy's tunic-top outfit, and I'm really not liking the slacks (trousers) that Hou Yifan wore, although her top (blouse or shirt), was really cute.  I like lumberjack checks and I liked the black/white theme of both of the ladies' outfits, but the checked slacks Hou Yifan wore are awful.  They do not match the top at all.  Colors are off, pattern scale is off.  Hou Yifan, what were you thinking?

Round 2, Hou Yifan with white pieces and awful outfit, Koneru Humpy with
black pieces and really cute outfit.
Hou Yifan against Humpy Koneru. Photo © Anastasiya Karlovich and Anna Burtasova
with kind permission of FIDE.

Okay, now I know this is going to sound really really silly, but I think the blue chair looks much  more comfortable than the red chair, even though I prefer the red chair's color.  I like the color red over blue (does that say something about me, psychologically?)  - although I have to admit I'm partial to cobalt blue, especially cobalt blue glass with sunlight shining through it.

Oh yes -- the game.  Sorry!  Here it is in standard PGN:

WCh w Tirana ALB (2) 15th Nov 2011
Hou Yifan
Koneru, Humpy
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2 Qe8 9. O-O-O Qa4 10. Kb1 Nc6 11. h4 Be6 12. b3 Qa5 13. Nd4 Nxd4 14. cxd4 Qxd2 15. Rxd2 d5 16. h5 h6 17. Bd3 a5 18. a4 Bb4 19. Rdd1 Bc3 20. Rh4 c6 21. Bc1 Bd7 22. Bb2 Bb4 23. Ka2 Rfe8 24. Rhh1 b5 25. c3 Bf8 26. axb5 cxb5 27. Rde1 Bd6 28. Ba3 Rxe1 29. Rxe1 b4 30. Bb2 a4 31. bxa4 Bxa4 32. Kb1 bxc3 33. Bxc3 Rb8+ 34. Ka2 Ra8 35. Kb2 Kf8 36. Ra1 Rb8+ 37. Kc1 Bf4+ 38. Bd2 Rc8+ 39. Kb2 Rb8+ 40. Kc1 Rc8+ 41. Kb2 Rb8+ 42. Kc1 Rc8+ 1/2-1/2

At the bottom of TWIC's Round 2 coverage, is a board and the Round 2 game that you can play through, move by move, by clicking on any move -- it will instantly bring up the positions of the pieces on the board at that move no matter what move you click on.  A nice tool for those of us who don't know diddly squat about how to play the game...

2011 Max Euwe Tournament

There's a report with some photographs and games at The Week in Chess.  The ladies are kicking some chess butt :)

WGM Jennifer Shahade giving a lesson/simul to children
at the 2011 Max Euwe Tournament.
16 November 2011:  14:00-16:00 – simultaneous display by Jennifer Shahade Jennifer Shahade will play against all junior chess players (from 8 years and above) that want to play in this exciting chess simul. Jennifer Shahade is an American chess player, artist and writer of a book on chess for girls: Play like a Girl. She learned to play from her father when she was 6 years old and now she is a professonal chess player with the nick name Super Jen. She is a women’s grandmaster and was ladies champion of the USA twice. Jennifer will also give a demonstration of hulahoop chess and you can try it out yourself too. On her website you can find a fun video clip!


Group 1

4GM Peng, Zhaoqin2379x1 ½½2.0
2GM Olafsson, Fridrik2428 0x½0.5
3GM Van Der Sterren, Paul2514 ½ ½x01.0
4GM Cramling, Pia2495½1x1.5

Details group 1

Group 2

1GM Socko, Monika2479x 11½2.5
2GM Conquest, Stuart C2521 0x½0.5
3GM Arakhamia-Grant, Ketevan24430x 00.0
4GM Van Kampen, Robin2558½½ 1x2.0

Details group 2

View the pairings

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mark Chesnutt: It Sure is Monday!

I couldn't make that name up!  Yep, that's the correct spelling:  C-H-E-S-N-U-T-T.  Go figure - oh, my aching head...

2011 Max Euwe Tournament

It's the women v. the chess dudes!  I have so enjoyed these matches over the years.

GM Keti Arakahamia (SCO)
GM Pia Cramling (SWE) - She, Susan Polgar and Judit Polgar all earned their GM titles within months of each other
GM Zhaoqin Peng (NED)
GM Monica Socko (POL)

Men (generally older players who established their street cred years ago):
GM Friðrik Ólafsson (Iceland - forgetting the abbr. at the moment)
GM Paul van der Sterren (NED)
GM Stuart Conquest (ENG)
GM Robin van Kampen (born 1994 - a teenager!) (NED)

Note:  Ratings for the individual players weren't given, only their dates of birth!  But make no mistake, the chess is very serious.  Looking forward to seeing some male chess butt kicked.  Yeah!

PACKERS LEADING VIKINGS BY 3000 POINTS.  ONLY KIDDING.  PACKERS LEAD BY FOUR TOUCHDOWNS.  That makes my poor aching head feel so much better - that, and several glasses of wine :)

21st World Senior Chess Championship - Women

"Seniors" are playing chess, as are the "youth" - continents apart, at the same time two young women are battling for the title of Women's World Chess Champion.

Official site - it's not a dedicated website so you'll have to hunt and peck for news of the Seniors Championships, and eventually it will just disappear altogether.  The games begin tomorrow.  Here is the line-up for the ladies.  Ladies have to be age 50 or above to play in this event:

Starting rank list

1GMGaprindashvili NonaGEO2360W
2WGMFatalibekova ElenaRUS2285W
3WGMKozlovskaya ValentinaRUS2281W
4WIMStrutinskaya Galina NRUS2277W
5WGMSaunina LudmilaRUS2274W
6WIMFomina TatyanaEST2215W
7Zaitseva TamaraRUS2183W
8WGMKhmiadashvili TamarGEO2166W
9WIMMiednikova SwietlanaRUS2165W
10WIMThipsay Bagyashree SatheIND2152W
11WIMBilunova Rimma IRUS2151W
12WIMTitorenko Natalia IRUS2143W
13WIMSorokina TamaraRUS2131W
14WFMBogumil TatianaRUS2115W
15WFMMelashvili NinoGEO2106W
16WIMMira HeleneAUT2098W
17Chernova NataljaRUS2095W
18WFMLopatin OlgaGER2091W
19WFMKuznetsova LubaRUS2087W
20WFMDotan ValeriaISR2083W
21WFMKomysheva MargaritaRUS2081W
22WFMKhropova LarisaRUS2069W
23WFMBattsengel ShirchinMGL2068W
24WFMKierzek MiraMKD2023W
25Abdikasova PanuKAZ1978W
26Kabanova IrinaRUS1959W
27WFMShushpanova NinaRUS1946W
28Blagonadezhnaya IdeyaRUS1898W
29Lein MarinaRUS1890W
30Chireykina NataliaRUS1853W
31Kapelkina GalinaRUS1841W
32Khalturina TatianaRUS1840W
33Hoose HanneloreGER1764W
34Rakipov NatasaCRO1763W
35Shmyreva TatianaRUS1755W
36Jayashree P SankpalIND1710W
37Abramyan AnatolyaRUS0
38Berezovskaya VeraRUS0
39Milashevskaya ValentinaRUS0
40Richardson CharlotteUSA0
41Savostina LarisaRUS0
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...