Saturday, August 4, 2012

2012 Goddesschess Canadian Women's Chess Championship

Hola, darlings!

First round action has come and gone!  You can find the latest news on the Women's Championship at dedicated pages -- see the links on the top of the left hand margin that will take you to round by round reports!  Coverage includes results, standings, games in PGN, photos and video.

Here are the standings for the Canadian zonal after R1:

Classement après la ronde 1

CHABOT RolandCAN2231QC1.0
QIN Zi Yi (joey)CAN2198ON1.0
MASSE HuguesCAN2232QC0.5
SONG MichaelCAN2154ON0.5
UPPER JohnCAN2036QC0.5
21FMWANG RichardCAN2338AB0.0
BOLDUC SteveCAN2229QC0.0
CARRIER ClaudeCAN2154QC0.0
CMGUSEV NikitaCAN2117ON0.0
BER YvesCAN2114QC0.0
CHIKU-RATTE Olivier KentaCAN2107QC0.0
DERRAUGH GeordieCAN2097ON0.0
PREOTU RazvanCAN2080ON0.0
ITKIN DavidCAN2058ON0.0
ZHU Hong RuiCAN2029QC0.0
LUO Zhao YangCAN1991QC0.0
CARDIN GuillaumeCAN1790QC0.0

WIM Yuanling Yuan Retiring from Chess in the Library

Yuan will be starting college in the fall - at Yale University.  No, she's not an over-achiever, is she. 

Yuan writes that it wasn't due to press of the demands on her time that led her to hand over the reins of the program she founded in 2009 in Toronto, Chess in the Library.  Whatever the case, she leaves a healthy thriving organization that will now be run by an Executive Board and a Junior Executive Board.  You can read more of what will probably be her final post at Yuan's Chess in the Library blog

Of course, this does not mean The End is Nigh for Chess in the Library!  Far from it!  Chessplayer Tina Fang is taking over the blogging reins at Chess in the Library's blog as the new Outreach Coordinator.

Good luck to Yuan, and to Tina and all of the volunteers who make up this great program!

2012 Russian Women's Chess Championship

Cross table after R2 (from The Week in Chess):

62nd ch-RUS w 2012 Moscow (RUS), 3-13 viii 2012cat. VIII (2445)
1.Gunina, ValentinamRUS2507*..½...1..2631
2.Girya, OlgawgRUS2433.*.....½1.2659
3.Kosintseva, TatianagRUS2530..*..?...11
4.Charochkina, DariawgRUS2353½..*.....?½2507
5.Galliamova, AlisamRUS2465....*.?.½.½2408
6.Pogonina, NatalijawgRUS2448..?..*½...½2367
7.Ubiennykh, EkaterinawmRUS2367....?½*...½2448
8.Kosintseva, NadezhdagRUS25240½.....*..½2277
9.Kovanova, BairawgRUS2408.0..½...*.½2256
10.Ovod, EvgenijamRUS2419..0?.....*0

More on Discovery of King Den's Funerary Boat

From al-Ahram:
2 - 8 August 2012
Issue No. 1109

Sails set for eternity

The oldest funerary boat ever found was discovered early this week at the Abu Rawash archaeological site, Nevine El-Aref reports

Situated eight kilometres northwest of the Giza plateau, Abu Rawash contains vestiges of archaeological remains that date back to various historical periods ranging from the prehistoric to the Coptic eras.

Abu Rawash displays exclusive funerary structures relating not only to the different ancient Egyptian periods but also their places of worship until quite late in time.

There at the prehistoric necropolis dating from the archaic period and located at the northern area of Mastaba number six (a flat-roofed burial structure), Egyptologists from the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo (IFAO) have uncovered 11 wooden panels of a funerary boat used by ancient Egyptians to transport the soul of their departed king to the afterlife right through eternity. It is the earliest such boat ever found.

"The boat is in a very well-preserved condition and is almost intact, thanks to the preservation power of the dry desert environment," Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim said. He added that each panel was six metres tall and 1.50 metres in width.

Ibrahim continued that early studies of the panels revealed that the boat belonged to King Den of the First Dynasty, who was not buried in Abu Rawash but whose tomb was found at the royal necropolis of the Early Dynastic kings in the Upper Egyptian town of Abydos.

Because of his young age, King Den shared the throne with his mother, Meritneith. It was said that Den was the best archaeologically attested ruler of his period. He brought prosperity to the land, and many innovations were attributed to his reign. He was the first to use granite in construction and decoration, and the floor to his tomb is made of red and black granite.

During his reign Den established many of the patterns of court ritual and royalty used by his successor kings.

The newly-discovered panels of the boat have been transported to the planned National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC) for restoration and reconstruction in the museum's laboratories. Once the museum is opened next year, the funerary boat will be exhibited in the Nile Hall.

King Den's boat is far from the first funerary boat to be discovered. In 1954 historian and archaeologist Kamal El-Malakh discovered the two solar boats of the Fourth-Dynasty king Khufu intact inside two pits beside the pyramid. One of these boats was restored and reconstructed by the renowned restorer Ahmed Youssef and was put on display in a special exhibition hall near the Great Pyramid, while the second one remained in the pit until 1992 when a Japanese archaeological team carried out research on the boat inside the pit. In 2011, the Japanese-Egyptian mission began the first stage of a three-phase project to lift the cedar panels, reconstruct the boat and place it on display at the side of its twin in the planned Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking Giza plateau, which is planned to be open in 2015.

The Abu Rawash site was described in the early 19th century by European travellers including Howard Vyse and John Shae Perring. Four decades after Karl Lepsius published the results of his research on the pyramid complex of King Djedefre, son of the Great Pyramid builder King Khufu, in 1842, Flinders Petrie -- renowned as the father of Egyptology -- conducted a survey on the funerary complex between 1880 and 1882.

In 1901 and 1902, the IFAO was the first mission to begin in-depth archaeological excavations at the eastern fa³ýade of the pyramid at Abu Rawash. The dig was led by the IFAO Director Emile Chassinat, who discovered several archaeological complexes including the remains of a funerary settlement, an empty boat pit and numerous statuary fragments that bore the name of King Djedefre, which allowed for the identification of the tomb owner. Under the direction of Pierre Lacau, the IFAO continued the excavation work and found new structures to the east of the pyramid of Djedefre.

However, an earlier presence was indicated at Abu Rawash as was evidenced by objects bearing the names of the First-Dynasty kings Aha and Den that were found near the pyramid.

Copyright Al-Ahram Weekly.

2012 FIDE World Junior Championship (Girls)

Rank after Round 3

IMBodnaruk AnastasiaRUS24143.04536
WGMZiaziulkina NastassiaBLR23423.04534
WIMBulmaga IrinaROU23803.04455
WGMGuo QiCHN23583.04352
WGMKashlinskaya AlinaRUS23912.54499
WGMVojinovic JovanaMNE23372.54492
WFMKulon KlaudiaPOL22592.54474
Ivekovic AnaCRO19592.54454
WIMArabidze MeriGEO23792.54418
WGMGoryachkina AleksandraRUS23612.54253
Wang JueCHN23552.04533
Manelidou MariaGRE20562.04529
WGMCori T DeysiPER24132.04513
WIMVarga KlaraHUN21812.04495
Batkovskyte DominykaLTU20962.04485
WIMSchut LisaNED23052.04482
WCMCemhan KardelenTUR19382.04444
WIMSihite Chelsie MonicaINA21622.04434
WIMKulkarni BhaktiIND21592.04414
WCMOrozco Lina YomayraCOL21502.04408
Unapkoshvili NaniGEO20112.04367
WFMMedina Warda AuliaINA22182.04325
WFMDe Seroux CamilleSUI21012.04287
WGMMona KhaledEGY21212.04207
WFMIvana Maria FurtadoIND21022.04133
Klek Hanna-MarieGER22482.04107
WFMPetrova IrinaUKR21732.04038
Iordanidou ZoiGRE21662.04016
Galunova TsvetaBUL20911.54607
Nevioselaya MariaBLR20571.54527
WFMLiao SimoneUSA19331.54383
Ibrahimova SabinaAZE20911.54360
WIMRodriguez Rueda Paula AndreaCOL21961.54319
WIMSemenova ElenaRUS21341.54291
Messam-Sparks LateefahENG19471.54272
Owens Megan RWLS18161.54196
Imeeva AisaRUS20951.54075
WIMPavlidou EkateriniGRE22371.54074
WIMAbdumalik ZhansayaKAZ21931.54069
Edes ZsofiaSVK20811.04572
Sargsyan ShushannaARM20471.04572
WFMKolaric SpelaSLO20711.04552
Serefidou DespinaGRE18651.04504
Lefevre MargauxFRA20431.04504
WFMFrey AlisaGER20351.04496
WFMOsmak IulijaUKR21711.04469
WCMNarva TriinEST20281.04455
Chiarion ElisaITA19781.04430
Nonkovic BogdanaSRB19501.04411
Lolici Iselin-AmandaROU19671.04391
WIMPon NkrithikaIND21191.04366
Koutsogiannopoulou TheodoraGRE18971.04230
Psofimi MiliaGRE14371.04197
Dominguez GisellaARG18311.04154
Tuzi BrunaALB15461.04107
WIMAbdulla KhayalaAZE22171.04006
Anusca Madalina-MariaROU20790.54327
Kalaydina Regina VeronickaCAN19280.54253
Vatkali DimitraGRE19360.54252
Medeiros Thauane FerreiraBRA18550.54191
York-Andersen AnnaENG18280.54130
Kurbonboyeva Sarvinoz21430.00.0
Bucar NatasaSLO20220.00.0
Terzidaki AlexandraGRE19580.00.0
Sena Moura DanielleBRA18760.00.0
Forsa EliseNOR18360.00.0

Friday, August 3, 2012

2012 FIDE World Junior Championship (Girls)

It didn't take long for the standings to shake out!  Here are the top female players after R2:

Rank after Round 2
Rk. NameFEDRtgPts. TB1
Ivekovic AnaCRO19592.02237
IMBodnaruk AnastasiaRUS24142.02181
WGMCori T DeysiPER24132.02171
WGMKashlinskaya AlinaRUS23912.02162
WIMArabidze MeriGEO23792.02159
WIMBulmaga IrinaROU23802.02150
WGMGuo QiCHN23582.02134
WGMZiaziulkina NastassiaBLR23422.02121
Wang JueCHN23552.02119
WIMSchut LisaNED23052.02102
WGMVojinovic JovanaMNE23372.02101
WFMKulon KlaudiaPOL22592.02095
WFMMedina Warda AuliaINA22182.01967
Batkovskyte DominykaLTU20961.52248
WCMCemhan KardelenTUR19381.52196
Klek Hanna-MarieGER22481.52096
WGMGoryachkina AleksandraRUS23611.52057
Iordanidou ZoiGRE21661.52057
WIMRodriguez Rueda Paula AndreaCOL21961.51958

The lone female representative for the USA:

WFMLiao SimoneUSA19331.02217

Early days yet, and anything can (and sometimes does) happen.  Stay tuned!  There's a lot of chess yet to play.  I expect the Chinese players to score higher than their artifically depressed ELOs; I expect Cori Deysi, who is the real thing, to do well, but probably not win it.  I'm rooting for her, though.

2012 Russian Women's Chess Championship

I'll cut right to the chase.  Here are Women's standings after R1 and Results Table, courtesy of The Week in Chess (providing extensive coverage of Men's, er, Open, Championship, too):

62nd ch-RUS w 2012 Moscow (RUS), 3-13 viii 2012cat. VIII (2445)
1.Kosintseva, TatianagRUS2530*........11
2.Gunina, ValentinamRUS2507.*.....½..½2353
3.Kosintseva, NadezhdagRUS2524..*..½....½2433
4.Galliamova, AlisamRUS2465...*..½...½2408
5.Pogonina, NatalijawgRUS2448....*...½.½2367
6.Girya, OlgawgRUS2433..½..*....½2524
7.Kovanova, BairawgRUS2408...½..*...½2465
8.Charochkina, DariawgRUS2353.½.....*..½2507
9.Ubiennykh, EkaterinawmRUS2367....½...*.½2448
10.Ovod, EvgenijamRUS24190........*0
Round 1 (August 3, 2012)
Galliamova, Alisa - Kovanova, Baira½-½ 47A36English Botvinnik
Pogonina, Natalija - Ubiennykh, Ekaterina½-½ 44B12Caro Kann Advanced
Girya, Olga - Kosintseva, Nadezhda½-½ 64E46Nimzo Indian Rubinstein
Charochkina, Daria - Gunina, Valentina½-½ 11D17Slav Defence
Ovod, Evgenija - Kosintseva, Tatiana0-1 31E25Nimzo Indian Saemisch

Where is GM Alexandra Kosteniuk?  Obviously I'm missing something here --

Significant British Columbia Finds for Sechelt Nation

Who will win this battle?

From Coast
SIB will fight to protect 4,000-year-old burial site
Ancient discovery

The Sechelt Nation will fight to save an ancient chieftain burial site found at the mouth of Salmon Inlet, described as one of the most important archeological discoveries in the province.

“We’ve proven without a shadow of a doubt this site is one of the most important in British Columbia — one of the most important for showing the development of chiefly status, and it’s right here,” Dr. Terence Clark of the Canadian Museum of Civilization said during Archeology Day at the Sechelt Indian Band (SIB) hall July 29.
He said archeologists have worked in the area every summer for the past three years through a partnership with the Sechelt Indian Band (SIB), the museum and the University of Toronto. Each year new burials and artifacts are found that point to the significance of the site.
Archeologists first discovered remains at the 4,000-year-old burial site in 2010, noting that the number of hand-crafted stone beads buried with the ancient man signalled his importance.
“With this individual, he was buried with about 350,000 stone beads, which is more than any other burial we’ve ever found from Alaska to California for any time period, so whoever this person was, this ancient Shishalh chief, he was very, very important in the greater scheme of the entire northwest coast,” Clark said, noting the beads likely adorned a chiefly robe that didn’t stand the test of time.
The following year archeologists found a young woman, estimated to be in her 20s, buried at the site with projectile points broken and arranged around her feet
“We’re not exactly sure what that means just yet,” Clark said, adding the woman also had thousands of beads with her and she wore jewelry, signifying her status and wealth.
Two more burials were unearthed this summer, one showing a man and woman arranged one behind the other, knees bent, found with a number of beads, and one that featured a large pit, no remains and thousands of beads.
Gary Coupland, professor at the University of Toronto, and co-director of the archeology project along with Clark, said the lack of remains doesn’t mean someone wasn’t buried there.
He said bones could deteriorate and turn to dust if they are not properly kept, which happens naturally when shells are mixed in with the soil.
“In this pit there were no shells,” Coupland said, noting many of the sites they have uncovered have fortunately been preserved that way.
The burial site also featured a flat centre rock covered with ash and a canoe-shaped rock standing on its side pointing toward the pit devoid of remains.
“It may have been pointing the way to a place where an elder was buried,” Coupland said.
Some SIB students have been helping with the dig this year. When they found the rock they quickly named it “pride rock” and carefully moved it to the side.
Their enthusiasm and involvement in the project has been important to SIB Chief Garry Feschuk.
“I really appreciate our guests here passing on this work to them, getting their interest in what they’re doing because some of them have said now they want to go into the field of archeology,” Feschuk said. “To me it’s really important that our youth help document our history, knowing where we came from and being able to help us document that for future generations.”
He wants future generations to be able to visit the historic site as well, and said that although a map reserve has been placed on the area by the province, the SIB wants ownership of the land. According to the province, a map reserve saves an area from development for 10 years.
“We know this is a burial ground now and council’s going to meet with our elders and determine what the next steps are,” Feschuk said. “I think our next step is to have this area returned to us. It’s so important. To me that map reserve just puts a Band-Aid on the situation.
“I don’t understand why the government doesn’t see it that way. We had a response from the Minister last week and giving us an impression that you’re protecting our rights and our title doesn’t work for us. That letter just gave us an impression that they want to work with us.”
Sharon Pocock, communications officer for the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, said that while reconciliation agreement negotiations have concluded, the province “continues to engage with Sechelt on a wide range of other operational matters, including additional protection for the Salmon Inlet archeological site.”
That discussion doesn’t appear to be enough for the SIB.
“Our ultimate goal is to have this land protected and returned to the Band,” Feschuk said. “I’m going to quote the premier now because I find it ironic how the premier is front and centre in the newspaper right now quoting on the pipeline that’s going to be going through B.C. and that B.C. should have the final say. Well, what’s different here? Sechelt should have the final say on what’s happening on this land right now.”

History of Chocolate Gets More Complicated

It still boggles my mind that chocolate was a late introduction into the Old World from the New World after the Spanish Invasion and that it became such a fantastical wonderful TREAT for the entire world within a relatively short period of time after getting into the hands of the Italians and the French!  Oh my! 

Chocolate's finer qualities were not overlooked by New World afficionados, either, despite the absence of sugar to sweeten it.  Aztec women used natural sweet starches in corn to do so, instead, and whipped their chocolate concoctions into a froth with wrist power!  Now, new evidence as emerged for a different use of chocolate - as a sauce or condiment. 

Article at The Washington Post

Experts: 2,500-year-old chocolate may have been used by Mayas as condiment, not just beverage

By Associated Press, Published: August 2

XICO CITY — Archaeologists say they have found traces of 2,500-year-old chocolate on a plate in the Yucatan peninsula, the first time they have found ancient chocolate residue on a plate rather than a cup, suggesting it may have been used as a condiment or sauce with solid food.

Experts have long thought cacao beans and pods were mainly used in pre-Hispanic cultures as a beverage, made either by crushing the beans and mixing them with liquids or fermenting the pulp that surrounds the beans in the pod. Such a drink was believed to have been reserved for the elite.

But the discovery announced this week by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History expands the envelope of how chocolate may have been used in ancient Mexico.

It would also suggest that there may be ancient roots for traditional dishes eaten in today’s Mexico, such as mole, the chocolate-based sauce often served with meats.

“This is the first time it has been found on a plate used for serving food,” archaeologist Tomas Gallareta said. “It is unlikely that it was ground there (on the plate), because for that they probably used metates (grinding stones).”

The traces of chemical substances considered “markers” for chocolate were found on fragments of plates uncovered at the Paso del Macho archaeological site in Yucatan in 2001.

The fragments were later subjected to tests with the help of experts at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, as part of a joint project. The tests revealed a “ratio of theobromine and caffeine compounds that provide a strong indicator of cacao usage,” according to a statement by the university.

“These are certainly interesting results,” John S. Henderson, a Cornell University professor of Anthropology and one of the foremost experts on ancient chocolate, said in an email Thursday.

Henderson, who was not involved in the Paso del Macho project, wrote that “the presence of cacao residues on plates is even more interesting ... the important thing is that it was on flat serving vessels and so presented or served in some other way than as a beverage.”

“I think their inference that cacao was being used in a sauce is likely correct, though I can imagine other possibilities,” he added, citing possibilities like “addition to a beverage (cacao-based or other) as a condiment or garnish.”

The plate fragments date to about 500 B.C., and are not the oldest chocolate traces found in Mexico. Beverage vessels found in excavations of Gulf coast sites of the Olmec culture, to the west of the Yucatan, and other sites in Chiapas, to the south, have yielded traces around 1,000 years older.

But it does extend the roots of Mexican cuisine, and the importance of chocolate, further back into the past.

“This indicates that the pre-Hispanic Maya may have eaten foods with cacao sauce, similar to mole,” the anthropology institute said in a statement.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Solid Gold Gabrielle Douglas - An Olympic Queen

I am just struck with awe every time I see this photograph:

Gregory Bull - U.S. gymnast Gabrielle Douglas performs on the balance beam during the artistic gymnastics women's individual all-around competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in London.
(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Look how HIGH she is above the beam in that splits leap!  I think she jumped higher than she is tall (4' 11")!

A wonderful, inspiring and inspired performance by Douglas Thursday scored her a well-deserved al1-around gold.  She is the epitomy of the American girl next store, too -- cute, contagious smile, bubbly personality, and Sweet 16.  Well done, Gabrielle Douglas!  She will be a wonderful representative of the USA.  I enjoyed every single moment watching her performances on television this week.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

2012 FIDE World Junior Championships (Girls)

Chessdom has a report on R1 action and photos.

Almost all their main competitors for the title, namely the players over 2300 ELO, won their games. WGM Alina Kashlinskaya (2391), WIM Irina Bulmaga (2380), WIM Meri Arabidze (2379), WGM Guo Qi (2358), Wang Jue (2355), WGM Nastassia Ziaziulkina (2342), WGM Jovana Vojinovic (2337), and WIM Lisa Schut (2305) walk away with a full point after day 1.

The girls section certainly contained more surprises than the open/boys one. The youngest player to have completed all WGM norms in the world at the moment Zhansaya Abdumalik (2193) and the previous youngest WGM in the world Alexandra Goryachkina (2361) had a rough start. Abdumalik lost her game versus the untitled Serbian player Bogdana Nonkovic (1950), while Goryachkina drew with Maria Nevioselaya (2057). The U20 girls Panamerican champion WIM Paula Andrea Rodriguez Rueda (2196) was also stunned by the local Alexandra Terzidaki (1958).

Full standings after R1 (Girls).

Top standings:

IMBodnaruk AnastasiaRUS24141.00.0
WGMCori T DeysiPER24131.00.0
WGMKashlinskaya AlinaRUS23911.00.0
WIMBulmaga IrinaROU23801.00.0
WIMArabidze MeriGEO23791.00.0
WGMGuo QiCHN23581.00.0
Wang JueCHN23551.00.0
WGMZiaziulkina NastassiaBLR23421.00.0
WGMVojinovic JovanaMNE23371.00.0
WIMSchut LisaNED23051.00.0
WFMKulon KlaudiaPOL22591.00.0
Klek Hanna-MarieGER22481.00.0
WIMPavlidou EkateriniGRE22371.00.0
WFMMedina Warda AuliaINA22181.00.0

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2012 FIDE World Junior Chess Championships

TWIC said that Chessdom's website providing coverage of the 2012 FIDE World Juniors is a model of clarity.  That is high praise, indeed!

Check it out for yourself. 

Here is the list of female U-20 participants.  The USA contingent is - minimal:

15IMHolt Conrad2034387USA2498Open
56WFMLiao Simone2035782USA1933Girls

Canada has a much more respectable presence:

25IMHansen Eric2606771CAN2472Open
60FMKleinman Michael2609479CAN2330Open
65FMThavandiran Shiyam2605058CAN2301Open
77FMHambleton Aman2606577CAN2244Open
122Wu Kevin2609720CAN1905Open
57Kalaydina Regina Veronicka2600129CAN1928Girls

China is sending a typically extremely strong contingent of players:

1GMDing Liren8603677CHN2695Open
2GMYu Yangyi8603820CHN2629Open
33IMGao Rui8602387CHN2442Open
41FMWei Yi8603405CHN2418Open
7WGMGuo Qi8604002CHN2358Girls
8Wang Jue8604070CHN2355Girls

Russia sent a large contingent:

5GMShimanov Aleksandr4198603RUS2596Open
18IMOparin Grigoriy24125890RUS2488Open
28IMAntipov Mikhail Al4107012RUS2462Open
73Minko Vladimir24146706RUS2257Open
1IMBodnaruk Anastasia4181751RUS2414Girls
3WGMKashlinskaya Alina4198026RUS2391Girls
6WGMGoryachkina Aleksandra4147103RUS2361Girls
27WIMSemenova Elena24125148RUS2134Girls
33Imeeva Aisa24116157RUS2095Girls
So, let's see what develops. Play starts August 2, 2012 at 17:00.
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