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hosted by Chess Queen™ & 12th Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk
Friday, October 30, 2009
Prize Ceremony European Team Chess Championship
The smiling faces of our team, who won Gold at the European Team Chess Championship, in Novi Sad 2009. From left to right: Valentina Gunina (Board 4), Alexandra Kosteniuk (Board 1), Nadezhda Kosintseva (Board 3), Tatiana Kosintseva (Board 2), Yuri Dokhoian (coach), and Marina Romanko (Board 5).
Women's chess was celebrated these last 10 days. Thanks to all fans and friends who have cheered for us during the whole championship. We dedicate this victory to you all. You can see from our smiles that all our efforts were not in vain. It is a sweet victory, and one which benefits us all, and the game of chess in particular.
I will go back home in a few hours, and I am already preparing for you full video reports of most of my games. They were all of a very high level and contained many interesting moments, nice sacrifices, deep strategical moves, and of course some mistakes on both sides. I look forward to sharing some of those experiences with you.
After a short training stay at home, in less than 2 weeks I will fly to the Moscow World Blitz Championship, to which I have been invited and which will be the strongest blitz tournament I will ever have participated in, I'm looking forward to it!
Russian Women win Gold at European Team Championship
Dear Chess friends,
I am so pleased to let you know that just a few moments ago my team, the team of Russia, won what is probably one of the strongest and most important team competitions of the year, the European Team Championship.
It was a race until the last moment with Georgia. We had an individual point advantage before the last round, but it was critical we win our last match against Armenia. We managed to win, and so ended up the championship with 8 won matches out of 9 (see full rankings), that's 16 match points, and more individual match points than anybody (26 points, see individual results). Second came in Georgia, with 16 match points (that's 7 won matches and two drawn matches), but only 24 individual points.
I played all my games on Board 1, my team members are, in order of boards, Tatiana Kosintseva, Nadezhda Kosintseva, Marina Romanko and Valentina Gunina. I'd like to thank them all for supporting the team and helping us get gold.
The championship was extremely hard fought, and almost all my games have been interesting. I scored 6 out of 8, that's 4 wins (against Monica Calzetta Ruiz, Kateryna Lahno, Zeinab Mamedjarova, Jana Jackova) and 4 draws (against Nana Dzadnidze, Szidonia Vajda, Monica Socko, and Elina Danielian). I missed winning opportunities in a few games, and played out some nice combinations, so you can be sure I will soon publish some new videos both for my Chess Killer Tips podcast and for my YouTube channel "ChessQueen".
Here below you can see my game against Jana Jackova. I'm playing white, again in a Ruy Lopez, and playing against a Marshall attack (I like to play the Marshall myself, so this was tough playing against one of "my" openings). Well the game was decided not in the opening, but later in the middle game and in the end-game. That's why I advise my students not to spend too much time on the opening, but rather concentrate on middle games and endgames. The important thing about the opening is that you should enter the middle game in any "playable" kind of position, then try to show your mastery in the middle and end game.
Again, I'm playing white: Kosteniuk - Jackova
Here's another picture of the same team, but 2 days ago (the photos are from the organizer's site).
(from right: Kosteniuk, T. Kosintseva, N. Kosintseva, Romanko)
By popular demand I'm posting another Halloween pic. I repeat my offer from 2 days ago (see below) to give an autographed prize to anybody who sends me their best Halloween chess photo(s) - I will select up to 3 prizes from all entrants.
Tomorrow I will post a re-mastered series of my Halloween chess photos.
Today was the 7th round at the European Team Championship in Novi Sad. On the first table, my team Russia beat Azerbaijan 4-0, on the second, Georgia beat Israel 3-1, and on the third, Armenia beat Romania 3.5-0.5.
Preliminary rankings show Russia and Georgia leading with 12 team points, followed by Armenia and the Czech Republic, with 10.
There are still 2 rounds to be played, so anything can still happen. Tomorrow Russia plays the Czech Republic and Georgia plays Bulgaria.
I would like to wish you a nice Chess Halloween this October 31st.
If any of you will celebrate Halloween with chess in any way, and if you send me a photo of your celebration that day, which includes chess in any fashion, carved in a pumkin, or a frightening chess move, or in your chess costume, I will send an autographed prize to the best submission I get!
I would just like to show you the game I played today in the European Team Championship. I beat Ekateryna Lahno from the Ukraine in a Ruy Lopez Opening. I will comment this game fully after the tournament is over, as there are three very important rounds left.
I am playing white in this game, Kosteniuk - Lahno:
It's time for the October Puzzle Contest and 3 more interesting puzzles of the Alexandra Kosteniuk GRAND-PRIX CHESS PUZZLE CONTEST. As usual till the end of this month you can send me your solutions by email. On the 1st of November I will announce 3 winners who sent me the most complete and correct solutions.
I remind you that from August 2009 on, once a month here on www.chessblog.com I will give you 3 chess puzzles to solve, ranging in difficulty from easy to difficult. They will be challenging and interesting for everyone. I hope you will try to solve them on your own without help from the computer. At the end of each month I will announce 3 winners who will get 3 chess prizes (1 for each).
At the end of this year, on December 31, 2009 I will announce the Grand-Prize winner who will get the top chess prize. The Grand-Prize winner will be determined by the number of times participated, and of course the maximum number of correct answers.
The more you participate in my puzzle contests, the more chances you will have to win, and of course solving my puzzles will be useful to you and will help you improve at chess.
Please answer only by email and not putting the solution in the comments to this post, give a chance to everyone to enjoy solving the problem on their own. And in the email, please mention whole variations to the end, do not only give the first move, special credit will go for completeness of the solution. When several variations are present, write them all. And please write as the subject of the email October 2009 Puzzle Contest. Good luck!
I usually don't comment games while the tournament is still raging, but I received some requests (from Twitter and from Facebook) to show them the game of the first round of the European Team Championship in Novi Sad, which I played against Monica Calzetta Ruiz of Spain.
There are two ways to watch it.
1) Copy and Paste the pgn moves as below in my PGN PLAYER:
Tonight was the opening ceremony of the 17th European Team Chess Championships, which are taking place in Novi Sad, Serbia. The tournament will be very tough, as 14 teams are fighting for the gold, among which some very strong teams, such as Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, and Armenia.
Click on banner above to see all Results
You can see below that many very strong players are participating. I'm playing in the Russian team, which is composed of: