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Monday, September 21, 2009

October Greece FIDE 80th Congress


Hello all!

The FIDE 80th Annual Congress will be held in the period from October 11th to 18th in Kallithea, Halkidiki, Greece. I am a member of the FIDE Presidential Board and so I have been invited to participate.

During this Congress many important meetings will take place. The chairmen and the members of each commission will meet and discuss the ways to work and to cooperate in the future (to see the schedule of these meetings click on the image below).

One of these commission is the Commission for Women's Chess (WOM). As I am the co-chairman of this commission I'd like to make sure that we discuss and go over the main issues in women's chess in order to make it more popular and better for women's chess players. For that I will need help from all of you. If you have any questions, ideas, projects on women's chess and you want these ideas to be discussed in the following Congress please let me know either my writing an email, or leaving a comment in this post, you can also leave me a message in Facebook or Twitter.

I believe that if we work together, we can do a lot of good things for chess in general and for women's chess in particular.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion

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  • At September 21, 2009 at 1:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Dear Alexandra,

    Please help convince organizers to put higherer prizes for the first women in open tournaments. Oftens the first women prize in strong open tournaments is not even enough to pay for my train ride to the tournament, thats ridiculously.

  • At September 21, 2009 at 1:18 PM , Anonymous Gunnar said...

    Maybe chess should be shown more in Tv when they are playing. For younger girls to see that this is not just only men sport. We need more women in chess and beautiful as you :)

  • At September 21, 2009 at 1:20 PM , Anonymous Serdar said...

    hi alexandra! that remind me sth in my our leagues and team matches it is a must to have woman and under 18 woman players in a team, so that our future mothers will know chess and also will their children..thats how we do in turkey..

  • At September 21, 2009 at 2:14 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

    I would love to see some on TV but you would have to have an expert commentator so that people who do not fully understand moves being made could follow the game better. I also think that chess clubs instead of online chess would help getter more people involved.

  • At September 21, 2009 at 2:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    To Sam: you're right, to be understood chess games should be commented by masters in a way amateurs can understand. Something like Alexandra does on her YouTube channel.

  • At September 21, 2009 at 4:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Chess is perceived in the USA among people to be an incredibly "unsexy" sport. To play chess, therefore, is to risk not just your popularity among peers but also your romantic future. It is tacitly understood that, to play chess as a teenager, you take the risk of becoming a genetic dead-end. You have already done more to reverse this terrible misconception than any player in history, Alexandra. Many chess players I know secretly cherish a sexy photo or two of you, especially from the Florida beach series. We all adore and follow the goddess of chess, Caissa, and you embody her in a most exquisite way. If some of your best shots, and sexy shots of a few other chess beauties (female and male), were easily available as posters for college dorm rooms, it would represent a large step toward reversing the stigma chess holds in the United States.

    The movie "Hately High," where the cool kids play chess and all the geeks play basketball, is a silly but cute example of what needs to happen in the real world. Your willingness to accept and enjoy your own great physical beauty, and to share it with others in a way that promotes the greatest game by thrilling the senses... that is exactly what chess has needed. Thank you!

    From a devoted fan who teaches college-level psychology to high-school students.

  • At September 21, 2009 at 5:10 PM , Anonymous Sampaio said...

    Oi Alexandra.
    Sou seu fã há muito!
    acho que é inconcebível a premiação oferecida para as mulheres nos torneios de xadrez por tão pequena que é. os homens querem ter presença de mulheres nos torneios abertos para sentir a beleza e o carisma das mulheres à sua volta,mas de fato fazem pouco para tal merecimento.
    Acho que os organizadores deveriam valorizar forte abraço!

  • At September 21, 2009 at 5:35 PM , Anonymous Clay said...

    More women's events, No more women's titles.

  • At September 22, 2009 at 10:23 AM , Anonymous Sandor said...

    "I agree with Clay before ... we need to emphasize that chess practice is independent of gender and show that women can be succesful in it by giving more opportunities to them in chess events. However, I think the main problem lies in the fact that that prevents women to consider chess excellence as an indicator of sucess in life and even less as a professional career. In that area, well rounded and multi-talented women can make a difference as role models for girls."

  • At September 22, 2009 at 3:20 PM , Blogger Jan said...

    In countries where the culture encourages equality between females and males, we can encourage more girls and women to play chess by offering separate prizes for the females who play in mixed events.

    While I enjoy reading about and looking at the games in female-only chess events because they are gender-neutral, women playing against other women is a velvet trap ratings wise. The way to advance one's ELO is to play against and eventually prevail against higher-rated players. When the best players in the world are ranked 2760 and above (all men), one must bite the bullet and mix it up with the guys. The best female player in the world today has dropped below 2700; and the top range of other female players is below 2600:

    1 Polgar, Judit g HUN 2687 0 1976
    2 Koneru, Humpy g IND 2595 25 1987
    3 Hou, Yifan g CHN 2585 9 1994
    4 Zhao, Xue g CHN 2542 8 1985
    5 Kosintseva, Tatiana m RUS 2536 11 1986

    Rating alone may not be a true representation of one's relative playing strength, but it is what is looked at by everyone as a measure of success. Until women are encouraged through prizes and other incentives to play A LOT OF chess against males, as a whole females will not escape the ELO ghetto that they stay in by playing against each other and, I think, as a consequence, may continue to subconsciously consider themselves as second-class players.

    I'm working with others to encourage more girls and women to participate in small to medium sized local and regional tournaments. We do this by offering prizes for the female players. We have had success. This has encouraged us to put more money into local events.

    Start local and go global. Players like GM Kosteniuk, GM Susan Polgar, IM Jennifer Shahade, and many others are working tirelessly to promote the game of chess for females. We need all of these efforts, and more! And we need support. Stop schmoozing about it and start doing something about it! Get out and volunteer to teach chess to little ones. Start a program at a local library. Put your money where your mouth is - contribute to local programs that promote chess literacy. Contribute to organizations such as 9Queens and the Susan Polgar Foundation that support female chess initiatives. Got $100? Fund some prizes for chess femmes at a local chess tournament, and then work to publicize that event as much as possible. That's what we do - and let me tell you - it works!

    THOSE THINGS are just a few of what you can do to make a difference. Chessplayers are really cool people. Put your coolness to good use: do a little mentoring; publicize promotional efforts and chess femme results on blogs and websites; engage in outreach. It's as easy as starting a conversation with the person sitting next to you on the bus or standing in line at Starbucks :) People aren’t put off by chess – they are intrigued by it, and sometimes slightly frightened because they think you have to be a ‘genius’ to learn to play. You can show them otherwise.

    Enthusiasm is contagious. GM Kosteniuk has given everyone at the Hales Corners Chess Challenge X (Milwaukee, Wisconsin October 17, 2009) a big boost by providing, without charge, books, CDs and DVDs to hand out to chess femmes who participate in the tournament! GM Susan Polgar is donating her time without charge to determine the winner of the 2009 Goddesschess Fighting Chess Award in the 2009 U.S. Women's Chess Championship.

    You don't get if you don't ask! So get out there and start doing, and ask – you’ll be amazed at what can happen.

    Jan Newton

  • At September 22, 2009 at 11:27 PM , Anonymous Graham Mitchell said...

    I dont even like the term Womens Chess, by doing so we create the
    segregation. Chess is in my opinion the most neutral and humbling art
    form known to the human race. The realm of 64 as i like to call it
    equals everyone as soon as you sit at the board, you may be a 5 year old
    boy, a 85 year old man or a 30 year old woman, handicapped, disabled it
    doesnt matter, anyone can win, you wont win because you are male, you
    wont win because you are female, you win because you were th ebest
    player at the board during that game.
    I nuderstand the need to promote as it is the way things are, but it it
    frustrating that even in this beautful complexity we call Chess we have
    gender issues, so many sports and other fields have and do deal with
    this everyday it is sad that the game i love so much is also hindered by
    this. Chess is life, it is geometric poetry, romantic mathematical
    music and a beautiful humbling complexity, we in life are male and
    female, white and black, without one we dont have the other, lets join
    in unison to create equality in life and on the board, everyone equal
    and everyone and emperor.

    Chess is after all just like a woman, a woman is not loved because she
    is beautiful, she is beautiful because she is loved, that is how i see
    chess, my board and pieces are always seen in my eye as feminine.

    Long live Womens chess and the Champions such as yourself whom promote
    it, lets remove the gender and just play ! ;-)

  • At September 25, 2009 at 8:44 PM , Anonymous Chanukya said...

    I suggest for improving women's chess in the world is by trying to attract more women than men chess players in rating forming some local club for women players and also by educating the parents to allow more women's to participate in rating tournaments....I feel so the day when there are more women chess players are participating in rating tournaments than men...It will definitely have good impact of women's chess domination in chess world.

  • At September 29, 2009 at 11:07 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

    Guess I'm a late post on this topic. I actually took a poll of my friends and determined that only two of them (out of thirty-six women ages 19-84) do play chess. Many have told me that some one in their life a long time ago said that "girls can't play". Just like baseball or architecture, our contribution was not valued in a profession/activity that was considered as belonging to men. The wonderful (AND VERY IMPORTANT) thing for women of all ages now is that they have role models like you who do play, and play very well.

    On a personal note, my baby sister taught me to play when she was ten and I was twelve. I have good memories of us playing, and of learning something new from her. I also am teaching my six-year-old niece to play, as well as my friend's little girl. I hope they will learn to play well but also have fun memories of us playing when they get older.

    Lastly, it is never too late to learn. My mother just turned 68 this summer and twisted her knee. I told her it would be a great opportunity for her to take time out and learn chess! She is very competitive and will be beating me soon, I am sure.


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