Saturday, October 5, 2013

Hales Corners Chess Challenge XVIII

Hola darlings!

Don't delay, please register to play today!  Please come out -- especially chess femmes -- and support this great local event in southeastern Wisconsin sponsored by the Southwest Chess Club.  Can we break a chess femme participating players record this year - please please please!

Veterans of the Hales Corners Chess Challenges know that each event is worth 10 USCF Grand Prix and (I believe) 10 USCF Junior Grand Prix points!  I copied the info below directly from an email the other day from my adopted chess club, Southwest Chess Club:

The event will be held at the Holiday Inn Express Airport Hotel (near Milwaukee airport: 1400 W. Zellman Court-Milwaukee-414-563-4000). Note - this is a new location-- just across the street from our last two events, HCC XVII and MSC-II! Mention Southwest Chess Club for $89 room rate. We hope you will attend this major regional event, which is a part of the USCF Grand Prix (with 10 Grand Prix points) and also a JGP (Junior Grand Prix) Event. You can print the attached flyer, or use the text-formatted version at the bottom of this email, or print the online version .

Watch for pre-registration news on our blog, and also round-by-round pairings and news while the tournament is in progress.

Some event highlights:
Several regional Masters and Experts are expected to participate. So far, FM Alex Betaneli and NMs Bill Williams and Ben Smail have registered! (Currently, we have 25 pre-registered players, but expect 70-80 total).

Goddesschess Prizes for Females in Addition to Above Prizes, Open: $40 per win/$20 per draw; Reserve: $20 per win/$10 per draw. Highest-scoring female in each section wins free entry into Hales Corners Challenge XIX, April 12, 2014.

Goddesschess is also offering a Best Game prize ($50!), open to any player in either section.

Life Master Sheldon Gelbart will be on hand throughout the tournament analyzing games for tournament participants.

Hales Corners Challenge XVIII

Sponsored by The Southwest Chess Club
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Two Sections – Open & Reserve (Under 1600)

FORMAT: Four Round Swiss System - Four Games in One Day

USCF Rated

TIME CONTROL: Game in 60 Minutes; 6 second delay
ENTRY FEE: $40 – Open; $30 – Reserve

(both sections $5 more after October 10, 2013)
Comp Entry Fee for USCF 2200+: Entry fee subtracted from any prizes won

SITE REGISTRATION: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
ROUNDS: 10 am -- 1 pm -- 3:30 pm -- 6 pm

Pairings by WinTD---No Computer Entries---No Smoking
1st— $325 1st —$100
2nd— $175 2nd —$75
A— $100 D —$50
B & Below —$75 E & Below —$40
Goddesschess Prizes for Females in Addition to Above Prizes
Open: $40 per win/$20 per draw; Reserve: $20 per win/$10 per draw

Tournament Director: Tom Fogec
Assistant Tournament Directors: Robin Grochowski & Allen Becker
SITE: Holiday Inn Express Airport Hotel—, 1400 W. Zellman Ct., Milwaukee, WI 414-563-4000.

(mention Southwest Chess Club for $89 room rate)

ENTRIES TO: Allen Becker--2130 N. 85th Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53226

QUESTIONS TO: Tom Fogec--414-405-4207 (cell)

USCF I.D. Required -- Bring your own clocks – Sets and Boards Provided
Half point bye available in Round 1, 2 or 3 if requested prior to round 1; not available in Round 4.

Checks payable to Southwest Chess Club

(Please indicate section desired) __Open Section __Reserve Section
Name: __________________________________________________
USCF ID#: ________________ Rating: _________ Expire Date: ___________
Address: ______________________________________
City: _____________________ State: _______ Zip: _________
Phone: __________________ e-mail Address: _______________________
I love how Allen Becker put the Goddesschess part in pretty pink :)  LOL!  And, to spread a little love around, I've put up $50 for a best game prize for which players of both genders can submit their games.
Just in case the links above don't work, here's the registration form that you can print off.  You can also register on site on the day of Challenge XVIII between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. 

Goddesschess has provided special prizes to the Hales Corners Chess Challenges since Challenge XVIII.  My my, how time flies!  I personally have played in a few and while absolutely daunting and exhausting, darlings, whew! -- these events were so much fun for me, too.  And I've met so many wonderful people along the way. 

You can check out the latest news on Challenge XVIII at the Southwest Chess Club's blog

2013 FIDE Women's Grand Prix: Tashkent

GM Koneru Humpy (IND 2607) took clear first place with 8.0/11 -- and I'm very happy for her (I've been following her career since 2001, seems forever!)  Her compatriot, GM Harika Dronavalli (IND 2475) finished in 4th place with 7.5/11.  IM Bela Khotenashvili continues to impress, and I've been a fan of GM Kateryna Lahno (now they're spelling it Lagno) for a long time.  Here are the final standings:

FIDE WGP Tashkent Tashkent UZB (UZB), 18-30 ix 2013cat. X (2479)
1.Koneru, HumpygIND2607*0½½111½1½1182641
2.Khotenashvili, BelamGEO25141*½01001½11172577
3.Lagno, KaterynagUKR2532½½*½0½1½11½172575
4.Harika, DronavalligIND2475½1½*0½011½1½2543
5.Zhao, XuegCHN25790011*011011½2534
6.Ju, WenjunwgCHN253501½½1*½½½10½62509
7.Kosteniuk, AlexandragRUS249501010½*0½½112477
8.Girya, OlgawgRUS2439½0½00½1*½½112482
9.Danielian, ElinagARM24700½001½½½*½½152443
10.Stefanova, AntoanetagBUL2496½00½00½½½*112411
11.Muminova, NafisawgUZB229300½00100½0*132320
12.Nakhbayeva, GuliskhanwgKAZ2307000½½½00000*2185

I got the information, above, from The Week in Chess. For round by round action, results, interviews, and lots of photographs, please visit the official website.

The 12th women's world chess champion, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, finished at 50%. Here she is looking splendiferous at the closing ceremonies:


GM Kosteniuk is now playing in the 63rd Russian Women's Championship in Nizhny Novgorod (Russia) (October 5 - 14, 2013), with little time to travel from place to place and rest up in between events.

I really like the photo below -- two players, including the winner GM Koneru Humpy, showed up in jeans -- she looks good in jeans.  The chess femmes, as always, range from very attractive to stunningly beautiful.  Check out GM Kateryna Lahno's red heels!  GM Antoaneta Stefanova showed a lot of leg in a dress vaguely resembling a Greek toga.  (Stefanova is scheduled to play in the 3rd Indonesia Open Chess Championship October 9 - 18, 2013 in Jakarta). I was most impressed, though, by GM Elina Danielian in her perfectly fitted and styled "little black dress."  She is looking trimmer and toned and fabulous.

So, what's next on the Women's Grand Prix agenda?

2013 play is finished.  There are three scheduled events in 2014, and in Grand Prix tournaments 3 and 4, GM Koneru Humpy and GM Hou Yifan will once again compete against each other.  Check out the events table below:

Women's Grand Prix Series 2013-2014
Monday, 01 July 2013

Each invitee selects 4 events, and her best three scores are totaled to determine the final rankings for the cycle.  The next event is Khanty Masiysk (I never spell it correctly, I think of it as Kamsky Mansky). 

Old Genetic Link Between Mesopotamia and India

Visit for the much more technical (made my eyes cross) original research articlemtDNA from the Early Bronze Age to the Roman Period Suggests a Genetic Link between the Indian Subcontinent and Mesopotamian Cradle of Civilization

From Past Horizons

Genetic link shown between Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamia

Volcano Responsible for "Little Ice Age" May Have Been Identified

This is fascinating!

From Science Now
1 October 2013 4:45 pm
About 750 years ago, a powerful volcano erupted somewhere on Earth, kicking off a centuries-long cold snap known as the Little Ice Age. Identifying the volcano responsible has been tricky. Now, using geochemical, stratigraphic, and even historical data, a team of scientists has fingered a likely culprit: Indonesia’s Samalas volcano, part of the Rinjani Volcanic Complex on Lombok Island.

The Little Ice Age has been abundantly depicted in contemporary accounts of advancing mountain glaciers that destroyed villages and paintings of ice-skating on frozen Dutch canals or on London’s River Thames, but the date of its actual onset was uncertain. Chilling of the Northern Hemisphere was pronounced: cold summers, incessant rains, floods, and resulting poor harvests, according to medieval records.

That a powerful volcano erupted somewhere in the world, sometime in the Middle Ages, is written in polar ice cores in the form of layers of sulfate deposits and tiny shards of volcanic glass. These cores suggest that the amount of sulfur the mystery volcano sent into the stratosphere put it firmly among the ranks of the strongest climate-perturbing eruptions of the current geological epoch, the Holocene, a period that stretches from 10,000 years ago to the present. A haze of stratospheric sulfur cools climate by reflecting solar energy back into space.

In 2012, a team of scientists led by geochemist Gifford Miller of the University of Colorado, Boulder, strengthened the link between the mystery eruption and the onset of the Little Ice Age by using radiocarbon dating of dead plant material from beneath the ice caps on Baffin Island and Iceland, as well as ice and sediment core data, to determine that the cold summers and ice growth began abruptly between 1275 and 1300 C.E. (and became intensified between 1430 and 1455 C.E.). Such a sudden onset, they noted in Geophysical Research Letters in 2012, pointed to a huge volcanic eruption injecting sulfur into the stratosphere and starting the cooling. Subsequent, unusually large and frequent eruptions of other volcanoes, as well as sea-ice/ocean feedbacks persisting long after the aerosols have been removed from the atmosphere, may have prolonged the cooling through the 1700s. [I wonder how many people died from famine and/or malnutrition either directly or indirectly, e.g., a person weakened by chronic hunger might have a compromised immune system compared to someone well fed.] 

Volcanologist Franck Lavigne of the Universit√© Paris in and colleagues now think they’ve identified the volcano in question: Indonesia’s Samalas. One line of evidence, they note this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is historical records. According to Babad Lombok, records of the island written on palm leaves in Old Javanese, Samalas erupted catastrophically before the end of the 13th century, devastating surrounding villages—including Lombok’s capital at the time, Pamatan—with ash and fast-moving sweeps of hot rock and gas called pyroclastic flows.
The researchers then began to reconstruct the formation of the large, 800-meter-deep caldera that now sits atop the volcano. They examined 130 outcrops on the flanks of the volcano, exposing sequences of pumice—ash hardened into rock—and other pyroclastic material. The volume of ash deposited, and the estimated height of the eruption plume (43 kilometers above sea level) put the eruption’s magnitude at a minimum of 7 on the volcanic explosivity index (which has a scale of 1 to 8)—making it one of the largest known in the Holocene. The eruption, the authors note, was on the scale of the Tambora eruption of 1815, and more powerful than Krakatoa in 1883.

The team also performed radiocarbon analyses on carbonized tree trunks and branches buried within the pyroclastic deposits to confirm the date of the eruption; it could not, they concluded, have happened before 1257 C.E., and certainly happened in the 13th century.

It’s not a total surprise that an Indonesian volcano might be the source of the eruption, Miller says. “An equatorial eruption is more consistent with the apparent climate impacts.” And, he adds, with sulfate appearing in both polar ice caps—Arctic and Antarctic—there is “a strong consensus” that this also supports an equatorial source.

Another possible candidate—both in terms of timing and geographical location—is Ecuador’s Quilotoa, estimated to have last erupted between 1147 and 1320 C.E. But when Lavigne’s team examined shards of volcanic glass from this volcano, they found that they didn’t match the chemical composition of the glass found in polar ice cores, whereas the Samalas glass is a much closer match. That, they suggest, further strengthens the case that Samalas was responsible for the medieval “year without summer” in 1258 C.E.

Friday, October 4, 2013

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