Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2008-2009 SACA All-Star Awards

This weekend at the Tucson Scholastics (RQ2), SACA announced this year's recipients of the scholastic All-Star Awards. The awards are in recognition to the players who not only perform well at tournaments, but also those that compete at the highest levels against the toughest competition. Congratulations to the 2008-2009 All-Stars!
1. Ethan Li (Lineweaver)
2. Sreekar Bommireddy (Lineweaver)
3. Benjamin Hall (St. Joseph)
4. Zak Cancio (Khalsa Montessori)
5. Shaun Brennan (Harelson)
6. Daniel Shevelev (Manzanita)
7. Leamon Crooms (Castlehill CDS)

1. Thomas Mathine (Greenfields CDS)
2. Derek Chen (Harelson)
3. Rohan Mittal (Harelson)
4. Sumhith Aradhyula (Canyon View)
5. Grayson Barnes (Greenfields CDS)
6. Dylan South (Corbett)
7. Xiexin Wang (Lineweaver)

Junior High:
1. Justin Arnold (Orange Grove)
2. Kinsleigh Wong (Esperero)
3. Bowen Wang (BASIS)
4. Kohta Isoe (Doolen)
5. Steven Pennock (Orange Grove)
6. Yurika Isoe (Doolen)
7. Jimmy Zipperian (St. Gregory)

Honorable Mention: Josh Pennock (Orange Grove)
Complete rules and previous years' recipients are available on the SACA website.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tucson Scholastics (RQ2) wrap-up

The Tucson Scholastics (RQ2) was this weekend at Harelson Elementary. Over 200 players participated in the final scholastic tournament of the SACA season.

Final standings are available for all seasons. The tournament has been rated, and players can see their new (unofficial) ratings.
K-1 Qualifier and K-1 Team
K-3 Qualifier and K-3 Team
K-6 Qualifier and K-6 Team
K-9 Qualifier and K-9 Team
K-6 Championship
K-12 Championship
It has been a great season, and we look forward to seeing everyone at the State Scholastic Championship. Thank you to all the players, parents, coaches, and tournament directors that made the season a great one.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tucson Scholastics (RQ2) this weekend - UPDATED

Don't miss out on the last scholastic tournament of the season!

This Saturday at Harelson Elementary is the Tucson Scholastic (RQ2) tournament. This will be the final scholastic tournament in Tucson for the season. This is also the last chance in Southern Arizona to qualify for the State Scholastic Championship being held in Gilbert, AZ on April 25-26.

All-star awards will be presented prior to Round 4.

Registration for RQ2 is available online at the SACA Website. If you have any questions, contact Enrique.

UPDATE: (Final pre-reg list is up!!!)
Here are the pre-registration lists for RQ2 sorted by player's name and by team name. Please check to see if your registration was received and if all information is correct. If there are any problems, please contact Enrique.

State Champion of Champions tournament this weekend

Levon Altounian will represent Arizona this week on ICC for the State Champion of Champions tournament. Current state champions from around the country are separated into 4 "zones" (Ed: Don't ask me how South Carolina is in the same "zone" as Arizona.) with the winners of each zone facing off next weekend. Up for grabs is the final spot in the 2009 US Championship.
State champions from Alaska through California to Hawaii and from Maine through to New York and Florida will come together as one over the internet on Saturday, March 28th at chessclub.com for this unique online tournament, with the four qualifying conference winners going forward to the knockout finals on the weekend of April 4th-5th.

Apart from the attraction of one of the final spots up for grabs at what promises to be a memorable U.S. Chess Championship with a prize fund exceeding $130,000, the winner will also receive the title of State Champion of Champions, a round trip ticket to St. Louis and a glass trophy designed by The Stained Glass Store of Des Moines, Idaho.
You can watch the games online at the ICC.

Official website.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Aronian wins 2009 Amber tournament

GM Levon Aronian defended his title by winning the 2009 Amber Blindfold and Rapid tournament in Nice, France. Aronian finished with a combined score of 14 points to finish a half-point ahead of Anand and Kramnik.
The 18th Amber Blindfold and Rapid tournament, organized by the Association Max Euwe in Monaco, is taking place from March 14 (first round) to March 26 (last round) at the Palais de la Mediterranée, splendidly located on the famous Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The total prize fund is € 216,000. The rate of play is 25 minutes per game per player. With every move made in the blindfold games 20 seconds is added to the clock, with every move made in the rapid games 10 seconds is added. Every day four sessions are played: two blindfold and two rapid games. The first session starts at 14.30h. The fourth session finishes around 20.00h. (Note: the final round on March 26 starts at 12.30h. March 18 and 23 are rest days).
A complete wrap-up is available on ChessBase.com.

All rapid and blindfold games are available on ChessGames.com.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

9 Queens announces upcoming chess academy dates

Jean Hoffman has announced dates for 9 Queens free Chess Academy. The Chess Academy is a free chess workshop for women and girls. All ages and abilities are welcome.

Sunday April 19
Sunday May 10
Sunday June 14
Time: 2-4 pm
Location: Bookmans on Speedway (6230 E Speedway on
corner of Wilmot)

9 Queens is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women and at-risk youths through chess. For more information, contact Jean.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2009 US Championship contenders announced

USCF announced today 23 of the 24 players that will be participating in this year's US Championship. The US Championship will be held May 7-17, hosted by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The winner will receive $35,000 of the overall prize fund of $130,000.

The 24 players will include:
  • the top 12 American players by rating, using the April rating supplement;
Varuzhan Akobian, Julio Becerra, Joel Benjamin, Larry Christiansen, Jaan Ehlvest, Boris Gulko, Ildar Ibragimov, Gregory Kaidanov, Gata Kamsky, Melikset Khachiyan, Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Onischuk

  • the top two female players by rating, using the April rating supplement;
Irina Krush, Anna Zatonskih
  • the 2008 U.S. Junior Closed Champion;
Tyler Hughes
  • the 2008 U.S. Open Champion;
Enrico Sevillano
  • the 2009 U.S. State Champion of Champions;
  • the 2008 defending U.S. Chess Champion;
Yury Shulman
  • a total of six wild card spots.
Michael Brooks, Josh Friedel, Robert Hess, Charles Lawton, Ray Robson, Alexander Shabalov
The final spot will go to the winner of the Champion of Champions tournament, which pits all the state champions against each other on the Internet Chess Club.
State champions from Alaska through California to Hawaii and from Maine through to New York and Florida will come together as one over the internet on Saturday, March 28th at chessclub.com for this unique online tournament, with the four qualifying conference winners going forward to the knockout finals on the weekend of April 4th-5th.
IM Levon Altounian, who won the Tucson Open, will represent Arizona in this tournament.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Blitzing March (G/5) at Eastside Chess Club

The Eastside Chess Club is hosting a Blitz tournament this Wednesday.

Description: 5 round double Swiss tournament in one section. Non-rated. Open to all. USCF membership not required. USCF regular ratings will be used for pairing purposes.

Schedule: Registration 6:15–7:00 PM on 3/25. First round begins at 7:15 PM. Other rounds as available. Time control G/5 minutes. Clock move. No delay. No byes.

Entry Fees: $5. JCC requires per night payment of $2 adults, $1 under 18 from non-JCC members. Free entry to players rated 2200 & above, along with the JCC fee waived.
A flier is available on the SACA website. For more information, contact John Wright.

The Eastside Chess Club meets Wednesday nights from 6:00pm to 10:00pm at the Tucson Jewish Community Center (JCC) located on River Rd. and Dodge Blvd.

West is Best in Amateur Team Playoffs

Over the Valentine's Day weekend four (East, North, South, and West) national team tournaments were held. The top teams from each of the tournaments faced-off this weekend in a single elimination tournament played over the Internet. The team from the West "ACA Beasts" was led by 17-year-old NM John Daniel Bryant, talented young experts 14-year-old Michael Yee, 15-year-old Vincent Huang and Santy Wong.

The 2009 U.S. Amateur Team Playoffs held March 21 on World Chess Live were filled with excitement, drama and even a dose of madness that the month of March usually reserves for college basketball.

In the end, after a day of thrilling chess that included sudden death tiebreaker matches to decide the semi-final and championship rounds, the West team, "ACA Beasts!" came away with this year's U.S. Amateur Team National Championship by defeating the South team "My Girl Is Pissed!"!

Read the complete story at USCF.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Alien vs. Predator

When you've directed as many tournaments as I have, you learn to spot a "trouble" match-up early on.

I don't care that the board is set up wrong, I'm not going over there!!!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Regional Championships

This passed weekend at Sierra Middle School was the Regional Championships (RQ1) chess tournament. Over 220 players participated in the 5-round event in 4 sections based on grade (K-1, K-3, K-6 and K-9). This was also the first opportunity in Southern Arizona for players to try to qualify for the State Scholastic Championship which will be held April 25-26 in Gilbert, AZ.

Region Champions:
K-1 Individual:
1st Place - Kennan Gaibel (Harelson Elementary) 5-0
2nd Place - Davis Mullins (Hermosa Montessori) 4.5-.5
3rd Place - Kyle Plumb (Neely Elementary) 4-1

K-1 Teams:
1st Place - Hermosa Montessori 15 pts
2nd Place - Castlehill Country Day School 12.5 pts.
3rd Place - St. Cyril's 12 pts.

K-3 Individual:
1st Place - Sreekar Bommireddy (Lineweaver Elementary) 5-0
2nd Place - Daniel de la Fuente (Castlehill Country Day School) 4.5-.5
3rd Place - Jacob Vanderleeuw (St. Cyril's) 4-1

K-3 Teams:
1st Place - St. Cyril's 13.5 pts.
2nd Place - Lineweaver Elementary 12 pts.
3rd Place - St. Joseph's 11 pts.

K-5 Individual:
1st Place - Ethan Li (Lineweaver Elementary) 5-0
2nd Place - Rohan Mittal (Harelson Elementary) 4.5-.5
3rd Place - Bohan Li (Lineweaver Elementary) 4-1

K-5 Teams:
1st Place - BASIS 15 pts.
2nd Place - Lineweaver Elementary 14.5 pts.
3rd Place - Khlasa Montessori 13.5 pts.

K-9 Individual:
1st Place - Kinsleigh Wong (Esperero Middle School) 5-0
2nd Place - Peter Angeli (Orange Grove Middle School) 4.5-.5
3rd Place - Yurila Isoe (Doolen Middle School) 4-1

K-9 Teams:
1st Place - Orange Grove Middle School 15.5 pts.
2nd Place - Doolen Middle School 13 pts.
3rd Place - BASIS 11 pts.

A complete list of standings for all sections is available on the SACA website. The next chance to qualify for the State Scholastic Championship is the Tucson Scholastics (RQ2) on March 28. Register now!

GM Prasad and GM Panchanathan take on The Dragon

Continuing with their weekly review of openings on Chess.com, GM Prasad and GM Panchanathan are reviewing the Sicilian Dragon variation this week with Karjakin - Radjabov (2008).

Being one of the riskiest of choices, the Dragon has never enjoyed a consistent popularity among the top grand masters. It was used only occasionaly as a surpise weapon at the top level. One of our all time chess greats, Garry Kasparov surprised our current world champion Viswanathan Anand in their PCA world championship match in 1995 by employing this opening with very good results. The Dragon, which has been dormant for a while now, has started resurfacing at the top level thanks to our young grand masters Magnus Carlsen and Teimour Rajdabov.

Previously they have looked at the Sicilian Najdorf and the Ruy Lopez. And don't forget, if you enjoy Chess.com and decide to join, don't forget to tell them that EJ sent you. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chess as art

Take a look at this YouTube clip! Someone created a stop motion animation of a very exciting game of chess. I hope you enjoy!

Trivia Bonus: Any movie buffs out there that recognize the game?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

10-year old wins Utah State Chess Championship

Media outlets from around the country are abuzz with news about Kayden Troff, just 10 years old, winning the Utah Game/60 Championship.

A 10-year-old West Jordan boy has won the 2009 Utah Game/60 Chess Championship — and he could be ranked first in the nation in his age group.

Kayden Troff won $120 in prize money Saturday and has been invited to attend U.S. Chess School this summer.

10-Year-Old Boy Wins Utah Chess Tournament [www.fox13now.com]
10-year-old West Jordan boy wins Utah chess tournament, has a bright future [Seattle Times]
10-year-old wins Utah State Chess Championship [www.ksl.com]

Monday, March 16, 2009

Complete Schedule for SuperNationals IV is posted

USCF has posted the complete schedule of events for SuperNationals IV. Check it out to see when your favorite GM is doing a simul or there's a lecture you wish to attend.

SuperNationals is April 3-5 in Nashville, TN. Players can still register for the event. Hotel space is running out fast! (Note: There are parents here in Southern Arizona, that have extra room reservations available if anyone is interested. Contact Enrique.)

13-year old wins Western Chess Congress

Michael Aigner writes about Daniel Naroditsky's impressive result in Concord. The Western Chess Congress was a 5 round "adult" tournament with a total prize fund of over $10,000.

However, one junior stood taller than all of the rest. Always short for his age, former World U12 champion FM Daniel Naroditsky, now 13 years old, has grown in more ways than one over the past year. In Concord, he proved that he was the man to beat, transforming from a shy player with a mid-2300 rating into a confident champion with the composure of a veteran professional.

IM Mark Ginsburg also attended the event and finisted tied for 2nd place. David Adelberg, rated 2122, turned in an impressive performance rating of 2438!

Read the complete article on the USCF website.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Ruy Lopez by GM Prasad and GM Panchanathan

GM Prasad and GM Panchanathan have written an article on Chess.com that gives a basic overview of one of the most popular openings of all time. They analyze the game Karpov-Unzicker (1974) to illustrate the common strategy of the Ruy Lopez.

Here it is, the Ruy Lopez opening for white. Other than white's direct threat of capturing the Knight on c6 and taking the e5 pawn, white in the long term decides to keep his bishop on the queen side. Notice that keeping the bishop on the queenside does not mean that it has nothing to do with the king side. White's light squared bishop is used along the a2-g8 diagonal as well as the b1-h7 diagonal defending against black's future f5 ideas.

One of the basic traits of this opening is the possibility to play on both sides of the board, particularly when the center gets closed.

This is the second article in their weekly series. They have also done a similar article for the Sicilian Najdorf.

Chess.com is a website that offers live as well as online (similar to correspondence chess) chess games. Additionally, they also offer news and other articles regarding chess from all over the world. Membership is free and there is a premium membership option (for a fee). Be sure to tell them that EJ sent you.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

2009 U.S. Women's Chess Championship

USCF has announced details on this year's US Women's Chess Championship. The tournament will be a held Oct. 2 - 12 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis in St. Louis, Missouri.

The U.S. Women's Chess Championship dates back to 1937. The tournament is a 9-round event using the Round Robin pairing system, in which every player plays every other player and the highest score wins. Time controls will be the classical 40 moves in two hours, with the remaining moves in one hour. There will also be a 5-second increment per move.

Invitations will be sent to the top nine U.S. women players by ranking based on the August 2009 United States Chess Federation rating list. An invitation will also be sent to the defending champion, Olympic gold medalist Anna Zatonskih. The championship will have a purse of $64,000, with $15,000 awarded to the winner, the highest first prize in its history. In case of even scores, prize funds will be evenly divided between winners.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis also is the site of the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship, which will take place from May 7 through 17. The details of that tournament, including a $64,000 Fischer Memorial Prize, were announced earlier this year.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Regional Championship tournament is this weekend

Just a reminder that the Regional Championship (RQ 1) is this weekend at Sierra Middle School. The tournament is 5 rounds and is SACA rated. There are 4 sections: K-1, K-3, K-6, and K-9. The first round is at 9:00am and the tournament should be over by 5:30pm.

Coaches need to register your teams by Thursday evening (or Friday is your team meets on Friday). Teams and players without a coach need to register by Thursday as well. Required information is player's name, school, grade and section; along with any .5 point bye requests.

The State Scholastic Championship is April 25-26 in Gilbert, AZ. In order to play at State, players must qualify at a Regional Qualifer. This tournament is the first Regional Qualifier in Southern Arizona this year. The next (last) one will be March 28 at Harelson Elementary.

If you have any questions, please contact Enrique.

Foothills Open Spring wrap-up

The Foothills Open Spring tournament was held last Saturday at Manzanita Elementary. Robby Adamson reports that 50 players participated in the 4-round event. Players were separated into 5 sections (Championship, Reserve, Booster, K-6 and K-3).

Top Prizes:
1 Reed, Michael S (4 pts.)
2 Li, Ethan (2.5 pts.)
3 Wong, Kinsleigh (2.5 pts.)
4 Arnold, Justin Way (2 pts.)
5 De Sa, Jacquelyn M (2 pts.)

1 Mittal, Rohan (3.5 pts.)
2 Quesada, Richard F (2 pts.)
3 Aradhyula, Sumhith (1.5 pts.)
4 Shevelev, Daniel (1 pt.)

1 El-Kareh, Ardith (3.5 pts.)
2 Groh, Jacob (3 pts.)
3 Mulholland, Casper (2 pts.)
4 Castro, Francisco (2 pts.)
5 Fox, Hugh S (2 pts.)

1 Bommireddy, Sreekar (3 pts.)
2 Calendine, Logan (3 pts.)
3 Cancio, Aiya (3 pts.)
4 Wood-Pavicich, Ben (3 pts.)
5 Cancio, Zak (2.5 pts.)

1 Carlisle, Denham (4 pts.)
2 Azersky, Sadie (3 pts.)
3 Segal, Jeremy (3 pts.)
4 Patil, Ruturaj (3 pts.)
5 Merson, Samuel (2.5 pts.)

The next Foothills Open will be April 11 at Manzanita Elementary. Money from the Foothills Open goes to support the Catalina Foothills High School chess team. Information and an entry form is available at the Foothills Chess website.

GM Kiril Georgiev breaks Guinness Simul Record - Update

After a month of training – mainly walking and saunas – Kiril Georgiev was ready to take the challenge and play a simultaneous exhibition against 360 opponents. For every move the Bulgarian GM had to walk half a kilometer, and after six hours of play had made only eight moves. After 14 hours it was over, he had scored 88% with 284 wins, 70 draws and 6 losses. The record was broken!

Report by GM Dejan Bojkov from ChessBase.com

UPDATE: Chessdom.com interviews GM Kiril Georgiev about his record-setting feat.

Chess, granddaughter inspire comic strip character

An interesting article about the creator of the comic that appears in Chess Life for Kids.
Chess anyone? Which room would you like to play in? Rosalyn B. Katz's Rockaway condo has multiple chess sets in just about every room. Some are miniature, some micro-miniature, but many, too numerous to count, are set up for play.

Katz's love of chess and the birth of her first grandchild, Zaria Katz, were the impetus for the creation of the comic strip character "Zaria."

"Zaria is an 8-year-old chess player who is in love with the game and in love with life," Katz said. "Her overly enthusiastic way of engaging life gets her into difficulties, but she always lands on her feet."

While Katz writes the strip, Doina Paraschiv, an illustrator with 20 years' experience, draws the cartoons that bring "Zaria" to life. Paraschiv is also a chess player.

The strip was picked up by Chess Life magazine, a publication of the United States Chess Federation, with a circulation of 285,000. "Zaria" has been appearing every other month since July 2003.

The rest of the article is available at the Daily Record.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Simuls at SuperNationals IV

Online registration for the GM Simuls at SuperNationals IV is now available online.

The schedule of simuls is as follows:

Thursday 6:30PM - GM Alexander Stripunsky, GM Alexander Shabalov, GM Maurice Ashley

Friday 9:00AM - US Champion IM Anna Zatonskih, Women's World Champion GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, GM Alexander Shabalov

Friday 8:00PM - GM Yuri Shulman

Saturday 4:00PM - US Champion IM Anna Zatonskih, GM Yuri Shulman

Sunday 3:30PM - Women's World Champion GM Alexandra Kosteniuk

The cost for each simul is $29.

The Best come out to participate in the Amber tournament

18th Amber Blindfold and Rapid tournament
March 14-26, 2009 Nice, France

The 18th Amber Blindfold and Rapid tournament, organized by the Association Max Euwe in Monaco, takes place from March 14 (first round) to March 26 (last round) at the Palais de la Mediterranée, splendidly located on the famous Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The total prize-fund is € 216,000 ($273,700).

This year’s field is stronger than ever with all the world’s best players taking part.

The twelve participants are (in alphabetical order): World Champion Viswanathan Anand (India), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Vasily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Gata Kamsky (United States), Sergey Karjakin (Ukraine), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Peter Leko (Hungary), Alexander Morozevich (Russia), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan), Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) and Wang Yue (China).

Every day four sessions will be played, two blindfold sessions and two rapid sessions. The first session starts at 2:30 pm. The fourth session finishes around 8:00 pm. (Note: the final round on March 26 starts at 12:30 pm. March 18 and 23 are rest days.)

Official tournament website

Anand/Topalov match postponed until 2010

A FIDE Presidential Board meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, had decided to postpone the World Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov until latest April 20th, 2010, and opened the bidding process. Originally the match was scheduled for September this year. [ChessBase]

The PB approved the new structure for FIDE Commissions and Committees the details of which will be announced on the FIDE website. The PB agreed on a commission to be set up to consider the zonal structure of FIDE. The PB approved changes in the Laws of Chess including that the default time would be zero unless otherwise specified in the regulations of the tournament. The PB finalized Title and Rating regulations and dealt with other matters left from the Dresden meetings. It agreed to postpone the World Championship Match between World Champion GM Anand and Challenger GM Topalov until the latest April 20th, 2010 and asked for bids for the match. The PB corrected the mistake done by the organizer of the World Senior Championship and announced GM Kaufmann and GM Suba as co-winners. The PB decided upon a commemoration schedule of the former world champions starting with W. Steinitz in 2009. [FIDE]

GM Anand is the current World Champion. He won the title in 2007 in Mexico City by placing first in an 8-player, double round-robin tournament. He defended his title against GM Kramnik in 2008 (Bonn, Germany) winning the 12-game match with a score of 6.5 in 11 games.

GM Topalov won the challengers match against GM Kamsky last month in Bulgaria with a score of 4.5 in 7 games. GM Topalov is currently the #1 rated player in the world.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Khalsa "Double-Fives" tournament wrap-up

Josh Leonard reports that the Khalsa "Double-Fives" (Bughouse) tournament was a success. Fourteen teams participated in the event last Friday evening at Khalsa Montessori School.

Final Standings:
1. Noam/Ricky: 7 pts.

2. Daniel/Zak: 6 pts. (21 TB = TieBreaker points)
3. Aiya/Stephanie: 6 pts. (19 TB)

4. Hayden/Anderson: 5 pts. (18 TB)
5. Cepheus/Carlos: 5 pts.(16 TB)
6. Pablo/Matthew: 5 points (15 TB)

7. Joshua/Patrick K.: 4 pts. (20 TB)
8. Liam/Patrick F.: 4 pts. (14 TB)
9. Weston/Eli: 4 pts. (11 TB)

10. Lukas/Conrad: 3 pts

11. Spike/Santino: 2 pts.(16 TB)
12. Marirosa/Chloe: 2 pts. (14 TB)
13. Bernardo/Joseph: 2 pts. (10 TB)

14. Keenan/Preston: 0 pts.

Double-fives (more commonly called bughouse) is a popular chess variant played on two chessboards by four players in teams of two. Normal chess rules apply, except that captured pieces on one board are passed on to the players of the other board, who then have the option of putting these pieces on their board.

Khalsa plans on hosting another tournament in either April or May, so keep an eye out!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Touch move!

He's really not that good, I won 5 out of 7 games against him.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

First Women Chess Grand Prix begins this weekend

Chessbase.com and Chessdom.com report on the first Womens Chess Grand Prix tournament that starts this weekend in Turkey.
The Turkish Chess Federation in collaboration with FIDE and Global Chess is organising the first event for the new Women Grand Prix series 2009/2010. The tournament will be held in Istanbul, Turkey beginning on the 6th of March 2009. It will also be the second in a series organised by the Turkish Chess Federation commemorating the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

The FIDE Women Grand Prix is a new series of elite tournaments which will be organised by FIDE and Global Chess. There will be 6 legs over two years in various countries around the world with three tournaments every year. The next tournament is planned in Nanjing, China at the end of September.

The winner of each tournament will win 6,500 euros ($8,151) out of a prize fund of 40,000 euros ($50,199) and the overall winner of the series will win a further 15,000 euros ($15,825) at the end of the series.

This will be one of the strongest women tournaments of all times and it is important to point out that there are three ex-world Champions taking part as well as the highest ranked women players in the world.
The final participant list is:
GM Humpy Koneru 2621
GM Yifan Hou 2571
GM Antoaneta Stefanova 2557
GM Pia Cramling 2548
GM Marie Sebag 2529
GM Maia Chiburdanidze 2516
GM Zhao Xue 2508
IM Elina Danielian 2496
WGM Shen Yang 2448
IM Martha Fierro 2403
WGM Zeinab Mamedjarova 2362
WIM Betül Cemre Yıldız 2214

IM Martha Fierro was a last minute replacement for GM Zhu Chen. The tournament average rating is 2481.3 and will include the #2-#5 rated females (Judit Polgar is #1) in the world. Round 1 is Saturday, March 7 at 6:00 am (Tucson time).

Official Tournament Website

ESCC Championship wrap-up

The East Side Chess Club has completed its annual club championship tournament. FIDE Master Ken Larsen takes top honors with a score of 4.5 - .5. Steven Pennock, also went undefeated (2 draws), to take clear 2nd Place.

1st Place - Kenneth Larsen - $100
2nd Place - Steven Pennock - $60
Best Class B - Fred Duren - $40
Best Class C/below - Carlos Boteo - $40
Best K-8 - Justin Arnold
Best K-6 - Derek Chen
Best K-3 - Ethan Li

John Wright and Satheesh Aradhyula organized and ran the event. 18 players participated in the 5-week tournament, playing 1 round each week. The next event will be a Blitz tournament on March 25.

The Eastside Chess Club meets Wednesday nights from 6:00pm to 10:00pm at the Tucson Jewish Community Center (JCC) located on River Rd. and Dodge Blvd. For more information, please contact John Wright.

First payment deadline for SuperNationals is TODAY!

After today, the Entry Fee for SuperNationalsIV will rise from $40 to $60. Be sure to register soon!

SuperNationals are just a few weeks away! The excitement is building as the list of special guest continues to grow. Former World Champion Garry Kasparov is appearing. The current Women’s World Champion, the current US Men’s and Women’s champions, and four other GM’s are all offering simuls at the event. And that’s not counting the other titled players and coaches you will see in team rooms and roaming the halls. You may never have this kind of opportunity to meet this many top names in the chess world!

USCF is also looking for volunteers (score keepers and runners) to help with the event. If you have free time and are interested in helping, please contact Tom Nelson (USCF Volunteer Coordinator). USCF will compensate you with food vouchers and, depending on how much you work, provide you 1/2 a hotel room. Contact Tom for more details.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bobby Fischer movie in the works

U.S. producer-director Damian Chapa is set to begin shooting his new Bobby Fischer bio-picture next month, Amadeus Pictures announced.

"Bobby Fischer Live," a movie featuring Chapa as the U.S. chess champion, is to be filmed in Los Angeles, New York, Russia and Iceland.

"Bobby Fischer is considered to be the greatest chess player of all time," the production company said in a news release Thursday.

The company said Fischer's victory over Soviet champion Boris Spassky in 1972 "was historical in bringing relations between the (United States) and (the Soviet Union) to a more calm and cordial state, as well as elevating chess to a much more mainstream and 'cooler' status."

Fischer won a rematch with Spassky in 1992, in a match played in what was then Yugoslavia, which was under a strict U.N. sanction. After the match, Fischer never returned to the United States.

Source: United Press International

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Robby Adamson on the cover Chess Life

The March issue of Chess Life has a cover story on local master, Robby Adamson.

Paul Gold, a master in his own right, has written a piece that covers the coach, the players, and a brief history of Southern Arizona chess that has help make Catalina Foothills HS one of the dominate chess programs in the country that is a perennial national title contender and winner, year after year.
The year was 1978, my last of high school, thank God. I attended chess club back then to play blitz. One night I battled this little kid, an eight-year old boy wonder—bright-eyed, hair combed back, fidgeting all over the place; boy, was he obnoxious! After every move he hit my clock harder and harder, while I pleaded with him to go easy on the timepiece. Finally the plastic clock face fell off and the thing was broken, and that was my first contact with Robby Adamson. It was the end of my clock but the beginning of a long and wonderful relationship.
The March issue of Chess Life will be arriving in the mail this week (if it isn't in your mailbox already). Those of you that can't wait can read the article online at the USCF website. USCF members are also able to download the PDF version of Chess Life.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Scholastic League Championship wrap-up

The team-vs.-team season for the 2008-09 SACA Scholastic League has come to an end. The annual League Championship was held at Lineweaver Elementary on Saturday, February 21. Unlike the previous League Match #4, the League Championship is formatted differently.
  • Instead of 3 rounds, the tournament is 4 rounds
  • Each school may only bring 1 team (their "best") per division - Junior High, Elementary, Primary
  • All teams compete in 1 section per division for the title of League Champion
Over 125 players from 23 different schools in the region participated in the event. Trophies were handed out to top schools in each division, with individual players also earning trophies and medallions for their efforts.

2008-09 League Champions:
Primary: 1st Place - St. Joseph's, 2nd Place - Castlehill CDS
Elementary: 1st Place - Lineweaver, 2nd Place - Greenfields CDS
Junior High: 1st Place - BASIS, 2nd Place - Doolen

A complete list of trophy winners (school and individuals) is available at the SACA website.

Next on the schedule is the Regional Championship (RQ1) on Saturday, March 14 at Sierra MS. See you all there!