Saturday, June 1, 2013

2013 Chicago Open

Hola darlings!

I do not ordinarily follow events in which male players are the primary focus, but since so many of my favorite player male players participated in this event, I'm reporting on the male players' top results:

Chicago Open
May 23-27, 2013

The 22nd Annual Chicago Open was held May 23-27, 2013, at the Westin Chicago North Shore Hotel, 601 North Milwaukee Ave, Wheeling, Illinois.

GMs Ray Robson, Josh Friedel and Nikola Mitkov all finished tied at the top of the Open Section with 7/9. Robson and Friedel took a quick draw in the final round to ensure they finished at the top while Mitkov beat overnight leader Alex Lenderman, who also lost in round 8 to Friedel, to join them. Each player collected $5833.34 for their efforts while Robson took home an additional $200 bonus for having the best tie-break score of the three. (Below official cross-table of the "Top Ten":)

Chicago Open 2013 Standings – Open Section

Final Standings

# Name Rtng St Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Rd 8 Rd 9 Tot
1 GM Ray Robson 2620 MO D43 W79 W47 D13 W20 W7 D6 W4 D2 7.0
2 GM Joshua E Friedel 2485 WI W44 D65 W43 D7 W24 D13 W8 W6 D1 7.0
3 GM Nikola Mitkov 2484 MKD W57 W54 H— H— D61 W11 D13 W21 W6 7.0
4 IM Edward Porper 2423 CAN W42 W75 D8 D18 W27 D61 W14 L1 W13 6.5
5 GM Alexander Shabalov 2544 PA D79 D41 W31 L24 W72 D15 W29 W16 W17 6.5
6 GM Aleksandr Lenderman 2585 NY W51 W40 W28 D61 W14 W8 D1 L2 L3 6.0
7 GM Varuzhan Akobian 2616 KS W29 W53 D10 D2 W16 L1 W25 D12 D11 6.0
8 GM Victor Mikhalevski 2551 ISR W48 W26 D4 W25 W9 L6 L2 W33 D10 6.0
9 GM Fidel Corrales 2604 CUB W31 W78 D25 W17 L8 D10 D16 W19 D12 6.0
10 GM Alex Yermolinsky 2497 SD W55 W60 D7 L14 W47 D9 W37 D13 D8 6.0
11 GM Mikheil Kekelidze 2509 GEO D30 W63 D15 D78 W53 L3 W41 W26 D7 6.0
12 GM Alexander Fishbein 2506 NJ L54 W57 D41 W55 D15 W60 W34 D7 D9 6.0

Yes, there were chess femmes who also played OTB in the Open.  I've tried to pick them out - no guarantees I've got them all or have not inadvertently included a male player because I do NOT check each and every player's name with whom I am not familiar, so sorry.  None of the ladies finished in the money (Open):

17 IM Irina Krush 2470 NY D45 W73 W65 L9 L37 W51 W15 W39 L5 5.5
51 WGM Anna Sharevich 2265 BLR L6 W85 D22 D67 D36 L17 W68 H— H— 4.5
58 WFM Sarah Chiang 2098 TX L15 L49 W52 L30 L56 W90 L67 W83 W74 4.0
91 WIM Viktorija Ni 2262 IL L21 D71 D89 L57 L85 L59 U— U— U— 1.0

Standings shown in tie-break order. Tie-breaks: 1. Modified median.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ladies Chess Vienna 2013

As reported at The Week in Chess:

  • Chess Ladies Vienna
  • Sat 18th May 2013 - Sun 26th May 2013
  • Vienna, AUT
  • 10 Players, 9 Rounds, SRR
  • Time Control: 90m:30m+30spm(1)
  • Chess Ladies Vienna Vienna AUT Sat 18th May 2013 - Sun 26th May 2013. Category: None. Ave: (2250)
    1Moser, EvaIMAUT2453#1=11=111182578
    2Haast, AnneWIMNED22600#110==11162374
    3Savina, AnastasiaIMRUS2363=0#==1=11162362
    4Kostiuk, TatianaWGMUKR232100=#=1111=5.52322
    5Newrkla, KatharinaWFMAUT213301==#=0==14.52263
    6Kopinits, Anna-ChristinaWIMAUT2254==00=#01=142207
    7Umudova, NargizWIMAZE22330==011#00=3.52172
    8Exler, VeronikaWFMAUT20950000=01#113.52187
    9Schnegg, Anna-LenaWCAUT21150000==10#132140
    10Boric, ElenaWIMBIH2273000=00=00#11896

    2013 Women's Asian Continental Chess Championship

    As reported at The Week in Chess:

  • Asian Continental w
  • Sat 18th May 2013 - Sun 26th May 2013
  • Manila, PHI
  • 40 Players, 9 Rounds, Swiss
  • Asian Continental w Manila PHI Sat 18th May 2013 - Sun 26th May 2013
    Leading Final Round 9 Standings:
    1HUANG QianCHN24697.00.052330
    2TAN ZhongyiCHN24837.00.052304
    3GOMES Mary AnnIND23876.50.042346
    4WANG JueCHN24016.00.052305
    5ZHAI MoCHN22596.00.052275
    6MUNGUNTUUL BatkhuyagMGL24426.00.042353
    7GUO QiCHN24396.00.042350
    8FRAYNA Janelle MaePHI20505.50.052231
    9MUMINOVA NafisaUZB23075.50.042311
    10KULKARNI Bhakti PradipIND22445.50.042164
    11SAN DIEGO Marie AntoinettePHI19475.00.042252
    12SIHITE Chelsie MonicaINA22905.00.042204
    13SOUMYA SwaminathanIND23005.00.042179
    14PHAM Le Thao NguyenVIE23995.00.032346
    15NI ShiqunCHN22135.00.032301
    16WANG DoudouCHN21625.00.032231
    17MEDINA Warda AuliaINA23204.50.042081
    18PERENA CatherinePHI21704.50.032191
    19NADIA Anggraeni MINA18544.50.032176
    20LEI TingjieCHN22324.50.032160
    21NGUYEN Thi Mai HungVIE22844.50.032122
    22NAKHBAYEVA GuliskhanKAZ23794.50.022187
    23NGUYEN Thi Thanh AnVIE22504.50.022142
    24LE Thanh TuVIE23414.50.022123
    25KARENZA DitaINA18214.00.032204
    26FRONDA Jan JodilynPHI20284.00.032195
    27JELSEN YemiINA19974.00.032127
    28DOCENA JedaraPHI20194.00.032074
    29HOANG Thi Bao TramVIE23104.00.022095
    30DEWI Aa CitraINA21554.00.022089
    31BERNALES Christy LamielPHI20163.50.032243
    32HOANG Thi Nhu YVIE22223.50.022243
    33XU HuahuaCHN21353.50.022214
    34ANU BayarMGL20033.50.022166
    35QIU MengjieCHN21223.00.022110
    36LKHAMSUREN UuganbayarMGL21373.00.022060
    37GALAS BernadettePHI20453.00.021993
    38ROMERO Gladys Hazelle M.PHI19272.50.512092
    39MENDOZA Shania MaePHI18472.50.512039
    40SULTANA Sharmin ShirinBAN20051.00.001993
    40 players

    2013 Russian Women's Rapid Chess Championship

    As reported at The Week in Chess:

  • ch-RUS Rapid Women
  • Tue 21st May 2013 - Wed 22nd May 2013
  • St Petersburg, RUS
  • 31 Players, 9 Rounds, Swiss
  • Time Control: 15m+10spm
    ch-RUS Rapid Women St Petersburg RUS Tue 21st May 2013 - Wed 22nd May 2013
    Leading Final Round 9 Standings:
    1Gunina ValentinaGMRUS25317.547.536.56
    2Pustovoitova DariaFMRUS23987.049.035.56
    3Bodnaruk AnastasiaIMRUS24436.047.532.55
    4Sudakova IrinaWGMRUS22646.044.529.05
    5Girya OlgaWGMRUS23655.549.533.04
    6Ubiennykh EkaterinaWIMRUS23255.549.532.05
    7Charochkina DariaWGMRUS23845.545.530.05
    8Pogonina NatalijaWGMRUS24205.545.028.55
    9Ovod EvgenijaIMRUS23235.541.526.04
    10Kashlinskaya AlinaWGMRUS23835.046.029.04
    11Kovanova BairaWGMRUS23865.043.025.05
    12Ivakhinova InnaWGMRUS23015.040.020.04
    13Gvanceladze AnnaWFMRUS21815.038.523.05
    14Romanko MarinaIMRUS23894.541.524.04
    15Iljushina OlgaWGMRUS22784.539.520.04
    16Shaydullina SandugachWGMRUS21974.536.518.54
    17Monina PolinaRUS19674.045.022.03
    18Cheremnova TamaraWFMRUS22644.041.019.02
    19Chernyak ViktoriaRUS20164.040.522.53
    20Ustich EkaterinaRUS18964.040.021.04
    21Sukhareva EvgeniyaRUS21924.038.519.53
    22Rjanova ValeryWFMRUS22033.534.016.52
    23Balaian AlinaWIMRUS22263.533.015.53
    24Ivina ValeriaRUS19563.529.514.53
    25Shakhmurzova FatimaRUS19703.034.517.03
    26Korchagina ViktoriaWFMRUS21053.033.514.03
    27Nikitina Zoya NRUS18071.031.02.00
    28Nasybullina AlfiaRUS20931.029.04.01
    28 players

    2013 Czech Women's Chess Championship

    As reported at The Week in Chess:

  • ch-CZE w 2013
  • Tue 21st May 2013 - Wed 29th May 2013
  • Svetla nad Sazavou, CZE
  • 8 Players, 7 Rounds.
  • SRR
  • Time Control: 90m:30m+30spm(1)
  • ch-CZE w 2013 Svetla nad Sazavou CZE Tue 21st May 2013 - Wed 29th May 2013. Category: None. Ave: (2093)
    1Mareckova, MartinaWFMCZE2095#=1==13.52286
    2Kubikova, HanaWFMCZE2142=#1===32189
    3Olsarova, KarolinaWIMCZE22600#11==32164
    4Pychova, NelaCZE1884=0#1==2.52077
    5Folkova, MartinaCZE2203=00#112.52053
    6Orsagova, SilvieWIMCZE2182==0=#=21957
    7Suchomelova, SimonaCZE1762==0=#=22078
    8Sochorova, PetraWIMCZE22190==0=#1.51943

    First Evidence of Shamanism in Panama

    From Archaeology Magazine, World Roundup, May/June 2013 Magazine.  (Goddesschess' Random Round-up was a popular feature put together 2, 3 and sometimes even 4 times a month by Don McLean, may he rest in peace, that he worked on tirelessly from April, 2007 until May/June, 2012.  Don passed away unexpectedly on October 12, 2012. He was particularly interested in shamanism throughout the world, seeing a common link among all cultures that exhibited shamanistic practices.)

    PANAMA: A rock collection represents the earliest known evidence for shamanistic practices in lower Central America. Between 4,000 and 4,800 years old, the group of 12 small pieces of crystal and other stones were found in the back of a rock shelter. Several show abrasions and other signs of use, and all were found in a tight pile, indicating they may once have been in a bag or basket. The belief system behind the cache is not known, but nearby modern indigenous groups also use unusual stones in rituals. —Samir S. Patel

    I think this may be a brief report on this story that was reported in January, 2013 at The Huffington Post/Science (yes, The Huffington Post.  They post some amazing articles):

    Shaman Stones Found In Panama Include Magnetic Rocks, Crystals


    Uruk Exhibition at the Pergamon Museum

    URUK - 5000 Years of the Megacity

    Exhibition 25th April - 8th September 2013 Pergamonmuseum, Berlin

    Exhibition 20th October 2013–21st April 2014, Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim

    Bird goddess icons?  Game pieces - pawns?  Both?  Source.  This is Goddesschess think :)  Hey - why not?  LOOK at them!

    In Winter 1912/13 large scale archaeological excavations started in Uruk-Warka (Iraq). Initiated by the German Oriental Society and continued between 1928 and 1939 by the German Research Foundation, the official research permit was transferred by the Iraqi State oard of Antiquities to the German Archaeological Institute in 1954. Ever since Uruk has been the most important archaeological project of the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute in Iraq.

    The exhibition „URUK – 5000 years of the Megacity“ presents, for the first time, the results of these excavations to a greater public. Especially for this event a close cooperation was established between the Vorderasiatisches Museum – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Museum of the Ancient Near East), the Curt-Engelhorn-Foundation for the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim, the German Oriental Society, Berlin, and the German Archaeological Institute. The exhibition will be on show between 25th April and 8th September 2013 at the Vorderasiatisches Museum (Pergamon-Museum) in Berlin and between 20th October 2013 and 21st April 2014 at the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen in Mannheim. On 25th and 26th April 2013 the latest scientific results on Uruk will be discussed in an international colloquium, organized by the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute in cooperation with the German Oriental Society, generously funded by the German Research Foundation.

    In the city of Uruk an impressive number of important innovations developed, which still impact our life today. At the end of the 4th millennium BC, the first large urban centre was established along with complex structures for social life and administration. Food supply for a large population and that of everyday equipment, next to water management, distribution of imported goods and knowledge were among the most important functions of the city. The first cuneiform script was invented here, and the Gilgamesh Epic, the oldest epic in the world, shrouded in myth this king of Uruk. Especially in the 4th millennium BC Uruk played an important political role and was cross-linked all over the Ancient Near East. During the following more than 3 000 years the city served as important scientific and religious centre.

    „We are delighted to present, for the first time, many 3D-models of the impressive and monumental mud brick architecture of early Uruk – badly preserved when discovered in the excavation. These models were generated by the German Archaeological Institute on the basis of the latest scientific results including high resolution satellite imagery“ says Margarete van Ess, scientific director of the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute. „The young company, implemented our ideas technically and graphically and substantially contributed to their visualization.“

    More information about the Uruk project is available here.
    More information about the exhibition is available here.

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Marriage Seems to Be in Trouble in the United Arab Emirates

    Not just an issue in the United States, where 50% of marriages end in divorce year in, and year out, for too many years now.  Even when I first started working in the legal field, as a secretary, way back in 1970, the divorce rate had reached 30%.  It's only grown worse since then.

    Sacred vows have become a joke.  When did it become commonplace to just turn our backs on vows because it gets "too hard" or "too boring?"

    This really is a world-wide issue now, and it has dire consequences for our collective future, because regardless of how much we like to pretend otherwise, it is still best to raise our children in a stable two-person marriage; and children who are born into "serial monogamy" are affected by our collective actions.

    From The National Online

    Marriage is an unplanned commitment in the UAE

    | May 23, 2013
    This week, The National reported that in 2006 and 2007, 80% of newlyweds had filed for divorce before completing their first anniversary. This is the most shocking news I have read since joining the newspaper. Many of us have become afraid of the prospects of marriage when hearing about all these divorce stories.In the modern world, when a man asks for a woman’s hand in marriage it is like applying for a job. Previously, families would thoroughly vet the suitor, from his mannerism, religiosity, background, history and relationship with his parents in the same manner as checking references listed on a CV. Unfortunately, old is not gold for the majority. Today, it seems priority is given to certain items on the CV and the rest is simply overlooked.

    When people apply for a new job, many of them rarely think about their position and what they wish to achieve in two to five years. Without a roadmap they get bored of their new job after few months and decide to quit. Sadly, the same scenario is befalling most young Emirati couples. Too often, the couple fantasise about their honeymoon, being with their Mr. or Mrs Right for eternity, and they forget to plan ahead. Marriage is not a two- to three-year bond, it is a long lasting relationship which many of us fail to grasp.

    There is a misconception that love can conquer all obstacles. This notion works perfectly in a Hollywood or Bollywood love story that lasts a couple of hours and ends in a beautiful union – but it does not apply to real life.

    Nor does reaching certain age mean a person is ready to get married.

    As a Muslim nation, we are commanded by the Prophet to look for two traits in a spouse: religiosity and mannerism because both go hand-in-hand. Other factors, such as a man’s education and profession, are secondary.

    When receiving a proposal, families should not be hasty in their response. Nor should they push their children to marry someone, because eventually it will be the couple’s future children who will bear the consequences, not them.

    If we take the time to properly investigate the possible life partners for our children, it could go a long way in cutting down the divorce rate.

    Twenty Han Dynasty Tombs Discovered Near Three Gorges Dam

    Sounds like a fantastic discovery, but there is no timeline given in the article -- this could have been found years ago and just now released to the public: 

    From the Latin American Herald Tribune
    The date is today, but I think this was probably reported over the weekend.

    20 Han Dynasty Tombs Found Near Three Gorges Dam

    BEIJING – Twenty tombs from the Han dynasty (206 B.C-220 A.D.) have been discovered close to Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric power station, in the southwest Chinese municipality of Chongqing, the official news agency Xinhua said Saturday.

    According to the Chongqing Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, archaeologists came upon the burial sites in Ma’anshan on the banks of the Yangtze River in the Fengdu region.

    Discovered inside the tombs were 430 objects, from ceramics to works in iron and bronze.

    The discovery will provide Chinese archaeologists with important data about the funerary customs, economic conditions and social structure at the time of the Han dynasty, the source said.

    Okay, so what does this mean for "Out of Africa?"

    I read about this before now.  How fascinating!  Finding hand tools dated, using the most advanced techniques, to 1.5 million years ago in Tamil Nadu.  Who do they think made those tools, and where did they come from?  Africa across the ocean?  From the north?  Were they made by another ancient "species" of human (like Neanderthal and Denosovian) that "evolved" independently?

    From The Hindu Online
    May 27, 2013

    A discovery that changed the antiquity of humankind who lived in Indian subcontinent

    Geologist Robert Bruce Foote, who found a Palaeolithic tool near Chennai on May 30, 1863, classified, catalogued and described his discoveries systematically

    One hundred and fifty years ago, on May 30, 1863, young geologist Robert Bruce Foote bent down and picked up a stone tool on the Parade Ground at Pallavaram cantonment, near Chennai. It turned out to be an epochal discovery.
    It was a hand-axe made of a hard rock called quartzite. Prehistoric man had crafted it to dig out tubers and roots from the soil, butcher animals he had hunted and take out the meat, and so on. As Foote, then a 29-year old assistant geologist in the Geological Survey of India (GSI), cradled the hand-axe and looked at it transfixed, he recognised it to be a Palaeolithic tool. (Palaeo means old, lith means stone. Prehistory is that part of history before written records began).
    At one stroke, his discovery changed the antiquity of humankind who lived in the Indian subcontinent. It put India on the world map of prehistory. Recent research has established that such tools used by Palaeolithic population in India could be dated to 1.5 million years before the present.
    Four months after this discovery, on September 28, 1863, Foote and his best friend and colleague in the GSI, William King, made another seminal discovery. They found numerous stone tools, including hand-axes, cleavers and flake tools, at Attirampakkam, near the Kortallayar river, in Tiruvallur district, 60 km from Chennai. Prehistoric man had used them to hunt animals gathering around waterholes and exploit plant and aquatic resources. Foote found some more stone tools later at Pallavaram and was convinced that a Palaeolithic population had lived in India.
    Two types of dating done in France at the request of Shanti Pappu and Kumar Akhilesh, specialists in Tamil Nadu’s prehistory, have established that the stone tools found at Attirampakkam could be dated to 1.5 million years. The methods used were paleomagnetic and cosmogenic nuclide burial dating. Dr. Pappu and Dr. Akilesh did this dating as part of their project to study the rich prehistoric archaeology of northern Tamil Nadu, which entailed excavations at Attirampakkam to unravel the prehistoric man’s activities at the site, its environmental context and the age of the stone tools found there.
    Foote was a man of multiple interests. He was a geologist, archaeologist, palaeontologist, ethnographer, museologist (one who studies the organisation, management, and function of a museum) and landscape painter. He wisely invested in shares. He was a perfectionist, too.
    As Dr. Pappu says in her researched article, ‘Prehistoric Antiquities and Personal Lives: The Untold Story of Robert Bruce Foote,’ published in Man and Environment (Vol.XXXIII, No.1, 2008), “His name is stamped across the pages of India’s geological and archaeological history, and carries as much weight today as it did a century ago… His prolific publications, comprising reports, memoirs, short notes and catalogues of antiquities, his lectures and dialogues with interested individuals, geologists and other scholars, place him amongst the foremost intellectuals of the 19 century… Through the years, literature written by and on Foote helps us gain insights into his personality — as a scientist and scholar, and as a man standing in front of India’s past with a sense of wonder and reverence.”
    Foote not only discovered stone tools but also classified, catalogued and described them systematically. He tried to understand the technology that went into their making. He studied whether the tool was made of quartzite, agate, chalcedony or chert (a form of microcrystallite quartz), whether it belonged to Palaeolithic, Neolithic or Iron Age, the stratigraphy (a branch of geology that studies rock layers and layering) and the sedimentary context in which he found it and the geography of the location of the find, said Dr. Pappu.
    In sum, he painted a holistic picture of every discovery he made. “He gave the exact locations of the sites where he found the tools and precise directions on how to reach the site. This when there was no Global Positioning System,” said Dr. Akilesh.
    For instance, this is how Foote describes his first stone-axe discovery: “The first implement discovered was found by me on the 30 May last year [1863] among the debris thrown out of a small gravel pit a few hundred yards north of the Cantonment at Palaveram (10 miles S.W. of Madras) and about the same distance west from the high road.”
    Dr. Akilesh said Foote’s knowledge of the geology of the Indian landscape was amazing. He spoke about the vegetation, animals and fossils found at sites, and made ethnographic observations about them. Foote was the first to discover tiny tools called microliths in the red “teri” sand dunes of Tirunelveli district. He surveyed the famous Billa Surgam caves in Andhra Pradesh and studied the ash-mounds of Karnataka and proved that they were made of burnt cow-dung, Dr. Pappu said.
    The Government Museum, Egmore, Chennai, has an eclectic collection of the stone tools Foote found at Pallavaram, Attirampakkam and in the Salem, Baroda and Hyderabad regions. According to R. Kannan, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Culture and Religious Endowments Department, the Government of Madras acquired the collection for the Museum for Rs.40,000 in 1904. The Museum has published Foote’s catalogues of his collection of Indian prehistoric and protohistoric antiquities.
    Foote was born in England in 1834 and died in December 1912 in Kolkata. He lies buried in the graveyard of the Holy Trinity Church at Yercaud.
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