Friday, March 6, 2015

Goddesschess News: GChess Sponsorships; Final Results:Tata Steel (Wijk aan Zee), Tradewise Gibraltar

Hola darlings!  I have news to catch-up for you, mea culpa.  

Goddesschess is once again sponsoring prizes for female chessplayers in the upcoming 2015 Grand Pacific Open.  This year's event (the 9th), will be held April 3 - 6, 2015 at the gorgeous Grand Pacific Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia.  It has been a multi-year pleasure working with the organizers of this fine event.  I think next year we'll increase the prizes in the hope of attracting more female players.

Goddesschess is also providing sponsorship for the 2015 Montreal Open Chess Championnat that is once again being shepherded by Bernard Ouimet and the Ahuntsic Chess Club. This was one of Mr. Don's favorite events and he loved attending the tournament to take photos and videos and interview players.  This year's event will take place September 11 - 13, 2015 in Montreal, Quebec at college Jean-de-Bre'beuf, an absolutely beautiful playing venue where the event has been hosted many times before.  My Goddesschess goal this year was to provide sponsorship to the top female players in Canada to come out and play at the Championnat in addition to providing prizes to the top-finishing female players, and invitations were sent out by the organizers.  I am happy to report that WIM Natalia Khoudgarian  (2294 CFC) accepted the invitation. The remaining invitees were not available due to prior commitments (college classes, other tournaments, personal matters).  The website has to be updated with respect to the Goddesschess prize structure, which shows the prizes we sponsored for the 2014 Championnat, that should be taken care of soon.  

On to a couple of big money Marquee international events:

2015 Tata Steel a/k/a Wijk aan Zee (I shall always think of it that way) is completed and I'm like two months late with the news - duh!  Well, I've been busy doing nothing since my retirement at the end of January, darlings :)

Okay, so in the Big Event (the Masters), GM Hou Yifan (CHN 2673), the lone female representative, acquitted herself well enough, although she did not achieve 50% -- achieving a total score of 5.0 in 13 games -- 8 of which were draws!  Holy Hathor!  Eight (8) draws.  GM Wesley So (2762), who has temporarily switched his allegience to the USA while playing on Susan Polgar's chess team at Webster College in St. Louis, Missouri (big bucks for chess in St. Louis thanks to the Sinquefields), had an excellent tournament.  Here is the final table from the ever-excellent The Week in Chess coverage:

77th Tata Steel GpA Wijk aan Zee (NED), 9-25 i 2015cat. XX (2746)
1.Carlsen, MagnusgNOR2862*½½½½½11011½1192877
2.Vachier-Lagrave, MaximegFRA2757½*1½101½½½11½½2854
3.Giri, AnishgNED2784½0*11½½½½½½1112852
4.So, WesleygUSA2762½½0*½1½½½1½1112854
5.Ding, LirengCHN2732½00½*½011111112856
6.Ivanchuk, VassilygUKR2715½1½0½*½½½½½½112805
7.Caruana, FabianogITA282000½½1½*½0½½11172769
8.Radjabov, TeimourgAZE27340½½½0½½*1½½1½062717
9.Wojtaszek, RadoslawgPOL27441½½½0½10*½½0½02688
10.Aronian, LevongARM27970½½00½½½½*½½½12684
11.Hou, YifangCHN267300½½0½½½½½*½0152664
12.Saric, IvangCRO2666½0000½001½½*½12641
13.Van Wely, LoekgNED26670½00000½½½1½*½42610
14.Jobava, BaadurgGEO27270½0000011000½*32536
In the Challengers' Event, two American players each performed well -- GM Sam Shankland (USA 2652) finished in 3rd place overall with a great score of 9.0/13 - no losses! - and nudged his ELO up a bit.  Shankland also had eight (8!) draws; the rest of his games were wins. GM Samuel Sevian (USA 2511) finished in 6th place overall with a score of 7.5/13 with a very nice performance rating 111 points above his current rating that is sure to bump up his ELO.  Two chess femmes participated in the Challengers:  GM Valentina Gunina (RUS 2538) finished in 9th place overall with 5.0/13 and her PR was below her ELO.  WIM Anne Haast (NED 2352) finished in 12th place overall with 4.0/13 and her PF was above her ELO.  Here's the final table from the Challengers:

77th Tata Steel GpB Wijk aan Zee (NED), 10-25 i 2015cat. XIII (2561)
1.Wei, YigCHN2675*½½½½1111111½110.52803
2.Navara, DavidgCZE2729½*½11½½½½1111110.02759
3.Shankland, Samuel LgUSA2652½½*1½½½1½111½½9.02695
4.Van Kampen, RobingNED2615½00*011½11½1118.52667
5.Salem, A.R. SalehgUAE2603½0½1*½½0011½117.52615
6.Sevian, SamuelgUSA25110½½0½*1½1011½17.52622
7.Potkin, VladimirgRUS26080½½0½0*½1½11½17.02586
8.L'Ami, ErwingNED26130½0½1½½*01½½1½6.52557
9.Gunina, ValentinagRUS25380½½01001*½00½15.02476
10.Michiels, BartgBEL2563000001½0½*011½4.52451
11.Klein, DavidgNED2517000½000½11*½½½4.52454
12.Haast, AnnewmNED23520000½00½10½*½14.02436
13.Dale, ArimAUS2291½0½00½½0½0½½*03.52407
14.Timman, Jan HgNED259300½0000½0½½01*3.02348

I totally missed the 2015 Tradewise Gibraltar International Chess Festival.  Gibraltar has made a favorable reputation for attracting top female players with excellent conditions and prizes, and this year was no exception.  This tournament has also consistently attracted some of the best chess talent, bar none, from around the world, and the chess femmes go head to head with them -- there is no separate "women only" chess ghetto!  

GM Hou Yifan (see above, she also played at Wijk aan Zee), whom I'm pleased as punch to see has developed a grown-up sense of style (well, the teenage years are tough on us all, aren't they...) had a great event.  Here's the final standings from The Week in Chess -- there were 257 players and these days I don't have the patience to be scrolling through the list of names trying to pick out all of the chess femmes, you'll have to be happy with the top 50 players as highlighted at The Week in Chess and I've highlighted the chess femmes in red and my American players (all dudes) in blue.  Special kudos to India's Padmini Rout -- she started out ranked 101st and finished 28th overall - HOLY HATHOR!

Gibraltar Masters 2015 Caleta ENG Tue 27th Jan 2015 - Thu 5th Feb 2015
Leading Final Round 10 Standings:
12Nakamura HikaruUSA27768.52919
215Howell David W LENG26708.02818
313Hou YifanCHN26737.52772
44Vitiugov NikitaRUS27357.52770
51Topalov VeselinBUL28007.52767
665Wagner DennisGER25017.52759
712Wei YiCHN26757.52754
821Adhiban B.IND26307.52750
97Harikrishna P.IND27237.52748
1022Bachmann AxelPAR26297.52722
119Matlakov MaximRUS26957.52667
123Svidler PeterRUS27397.02719
136Yu YangyiCHN27247.02707
145Jakovenko DmitryRUS27337.02700
1526Naroditsky DanielUSA26227.02698
168Rapport RichardHUN27167.02677
1736Nabaty TamirISR25797.02615
1819Sutovsky EmilISR26377.02605
1941Bok BenjaminNED25727.02582
2043Sengupta DeepIND25697.02574
2139Sandipan ChandaIND25747.02526
2211Rodshtein MaximISR26806.52642
2351Lalith Babu M.R.IND25376.52637
2428Lenderman AleksandrUSA26146.52626
2545Oparin GrigoriyRUS25516.52621
47Ju WenjunCHN25476.52621
2710Cheparinov IvanBUL26816.52619
28101Padmini RoutIND23886.52608
2923Salgado Lopez IvanESP26286.52607
3092Nakar EylonISR24196.52604
3199Kuipers StefanNED23906.52599
3248Muzychuk AnnaUKR25446.52595
3327Anton Guijarro DavidESP26176.52580
3429Bologan ViktorMDA26086.52576
3535Mareco SandroARG25836.52574
3618Edouard RomainFRA26386.52570
3730Salem A.R. SalehUAE26036.52565
3817Iturrizaga Bonelli EduardoVEN26496.52557
3962Stefanova AntoanetaBUL25156.52556
4016Motylev AlexanderRUS26656.52544
4155Popilski GilISR25226.52543
4237Felgaer RubenARG25756.52539
4363Donchenko AlexanderGER25116.52534
4454Xu JunCHN25236.52531
4520Bartel MateuszPOL26316.52524
4653Rasmussen Allan StigDEN25266.52519
121Salomon JohanNOR23196.52519
4838Hansen EricCAN25746.52497
4949Troff Kayden WUSA25416.52448
5095Santiago Yago De MouraBRA24066.52416
257 players

The Battle of the Sexes was one of the "relaxing, fun" events scheduled this year. Ha!  I do have to say that the ladies are drop-dead gorgeous. The men - meh :
 The female participants in the Battle of the Sexes (above) did not, alas, prevail against the chess dudes; final score was 2.5 dudes (a scruffy-looking lot - please dudes, learn how to shave and dress properly, heh) and 0.5 beautiful femmes.  The ladies win on style points and overall presentation, alone, geez!

There is tons of press coverage at the official 2015 Tradewise Gibraltar website; online press coverage this year was anchored by IM Tania Sachdev of India (she's the beautiful lady on the far right in the photo, above), and certainly not beautiful Chess Festival Director Stuart Conquest.  Please check it out.  

MORE CHESS NEWS TOMORROW, PINKY FINGER SWEAR.  Right now, in Milwaukee, it's 5:03 p.m. and time for a glass of wine.

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