CHESS NEWS BLOG: chessblog.com

USA's Top Daily Chess News Blog, Informative, Fun, and Positive

hosted by Chess Queen™ & 12th Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk

 

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kosteniuk Designs and Models for Zimaletto


Joint Press Release from Zimaletto and Alexandra Kosteniuk

The Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk will present the collection Sport Chic of the modern fashion brand Zimaletto.

Chess player, Grandmaster, current Women's World Chess champion and young mother, the beautiful and charming Alexandra Kosteniuk will take an active role in the design of the new 2009/10 Zimaletto Sport chic collection. From now on, Alexandra will not only be the world's chess ambassador, but she will also model for the new Zimaletto collection.

The Zimaletto Sport chic collection will include comfortable and practical outfits made of velours, knitware and cotton, with black & white chess motives.

"It's not a woman for clothing, but clothing for a woman" - that's the main motto of this collection. Sport suits made made with expensive materials and high heels, so much loved by Alexandra, are the latest word of fashion!

Traveling around the world, giving countless simultaneous chess exhibitions, lectures and interviews, Alexandra never stops showing that chess is cool. In fancy outfits from the Russian fashion brand Zimaletto Alexandra feels herself a true Chess Queen.

Alexandra Kosteniuk says about Zimaletto: "Each day for every woman the day starts with the question, what shall I wear today, so that I look unique. What will help me to be beautiful, to stand out, and to feel confident in myself; to love and to believe in a better world? I was very happy to discover for myself the Zimaletto collection. For me fashion is not what is dictated by expensive couturiers, but rather what allows me to feel 100% myself. As in a chess game, when I am able to find a strong and beautiful move, it's the same when I enter a store by Zimaletto, I understand that I am on the right track. The collections Zimaletto include many original and bright outfits, that stress one's beauty and which attract attention. I am very happy of my collaboration agreement with Zimaletto, which show that beauty and intelligence go well together!".

Alexandra at a meeting with Deputies of the Russian State Duma, in collections by Zimaletto.


You can read the Russian Press Release on the Zimaletto web site.

Chesspics presents more photos of Alexandra Kosteniuk in Zimaletto outfits.




Labels: , ,

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Women's Chess Kaleidoscope


Hello everybody!

The second session of my Chess is Cool camp for kids at the Miami Chess Hall of Fame and Museum will begin tomorrow and I'm preparing for it right now.

A few women's tournaments have been played this week. The zonal 3.4 in Uzbekistan was won by Nafisa Muminova, you see her below (the photo was taken in Nalchik's world championship last fall).


Nafisa qualified for the Women's World Chess Championship that is scheduled for 2010 in Turkey.

The
Oceanic Zonal Women's Tournament was won by Arianne Caioli.


who also qualified for the Women's World Chess Championship in 2010.

Clichy Echecs 92 won the
Women's French Team Championship, the games can be found here.

Posted by: Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion
www.chessblog.com

Labels:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chess is Cool in Chess Camp


Hello all!
The first session of my first annual chess camp is coming to its end. I run this camp myself and teaching kids is a new experience for me, which keeps me very busy. This camp is very exciting, the kids not only have fun but also study many new things about chess.
During this camp we went over many useful and important questions for improving our chess. One position that I like the most during our lessons is the following:

In this position White played 1. Rxf6, you need to give the evaluation of this move.
On July 11 I will run my first Alexandra Kosteniuk's USA Chess Cup for kids. There will be lots of prizes and chess fun.
By the way, we put the photos of my trip to Panama to www.chesspics.com You can have a look at the photos and vote for your favorite ones!

Posted by:
Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion
www.chessblog.com

Labels:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hot simul in Panama



It was very hot this afternoon while I was giving a simul to 20 players in Panama, organized by the local company Promociones Caissa. I came absolutely unprepared and already during the simul I had to put on my sun-glasses,


then I put on 60 SPF block-screen,

then I had to find a hat.
But after that everything went on very well. I finished the simul with the perfect score +20=0-0!


I had many interesting games, including the following positions, which you can have a look at.


White plays and wins


White plays and wins

As always in simuls I was playing White in both games. Try to find the best continuation for White.

Just after the simul another very important event took place. The Panamanian Chess Federation signed a special contract for supporting chess in the school curriculum and I was witness of this historical moment. I hope that chess will get its deserved place in the system of the Panamanian education and many children will get a chance to find out how wonderful the game of chess is.

Posted by Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion

Labels:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hello from Panama and Women's Chess Kaleidoscope


Hi everybody!

I'm in Panama right now, having a very good time and promoting chess. Today I had the honor to meet the Mayor of Panama who handed me a diploma of distinguished visitor of Panama City. After that I gave a press-conference about my trip to Panama and why did I decide to visit this country. In the afternoon I gave a one hour lecture in the University of Panama about how chess helps in life and business. There were over 300 hundred people who attended this lecture and everything went very well.

Tomorrow at 9 AM I will give a simul to 20 players. We will have more nice photos soon.



Meanwhile many interesting women's chess tournaments are going on or just finished.

The Maia Chiburdanidze Cup

(International Open Women's Chess Tournament) took place in Tbilisi, Georgia on June 4-12, 2009. It was a very strong tournament with 57 women's players participating it it.

Final Standings:

1-2. Khotenashvili (GEO, 2364) and Javakhishvili (GEO, 2463) (on photo on the right)– 7 out of 9.
3-5. Muzychuk (SLO, 2533), Purtseladze (GEO, 2327) and Melia (GEO, 2440) – 6½.
6-9. Dzagnidze (GEO, 2541), Galojan (ARM, 2323), Khukhashvili (GEO, 2424) and Khurtsidze (GEO, 2424) - 6 etc.

Marisa Zuriel (photo on the right) won the 2.5 zonal tournament that was held in Asunció (Paraguay) from June 10 till June 18, 2009. She finished first with 8.5 points out of 10, ahead of Carolina Lujan and Maria Plazaola who had 7 points.

The zonal tournament 2.4 that was held in Brasil from June 8 till June 18, 2009 was won by Juliana Terao.

The zonal tournament 3.4 is going on right now in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It will finish on June 26, 2009.

The winners of the zonal tournaments qualify for the Women's World Chess Championship 2010.

The international chess festival "Ruy Lopez" just ended today in Zafra (Spain) and was won by Ivan Cheparinov from Bulgaria who finished with 5 points out of 7. Pia Cramling was 6th with 3 points out of 7. Humpy Koneru shared the last place with 2.5 points.

Posted by Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion
www.chessblog.com

Labels: ,

Rudenko Chess Brilliance

Today I will show you a game between the second women's world chess champion Lyudmila Rudenko and Rowena Bruce played in 1946 in the radio match between the USSR and England.

After a quiet Caro-Kann, Black played inaccurately and after move 12 the game reached the following position:

It's White to move.

Lyudmila Vladimirovna Rudenko continued by playing 13. Bxh6! after 13. ... gxh6 14. Qxh6 Nf8 the game reached another interesting position:

It's clear that White's attack is very strong but what should they do to continue this attack?

One of the most important principles when attacking is to try to use all the force that we have, all chess pieces have to take part in this attack. So by playing
15. Re3! Rudenko brought one more piece into play.
After 15. ... Ne7 16. Rg3+ Nfg6 another very important position arose:


What should White do next? It seems that 17. Bxg6 might very strong, but after 17. ... Nxg6 18. Rxg6 fxg6 19. Qg6+ Kf8 20. Qh6+ Kf7 21. Qh7+ the only thing that White can get is the perpetual because she sacrificied to much material and only her queen is at work right now. So intead of this forced variation White chose another calm move -
17. h4! with the threat of playing h5! and Black's position is hopeless. On the 28th move Rudenko checkmated her opponent.
Here is the whole game in pgn format:


[Event "ENG-URS radio"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Rudenko Lyudmila"]
[Black "Bruce Rowena M"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B13"]
[EventDate "1946"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 6. h3 e6 7. Nf3 Bd6 8. O-O
h6 9. Re1 O-O 10. Ne5 Bxe5 11. dxe5 Nd7 12. Qh5 Re8 13. Bxh6 gxh6 14. Qxh6 Nf8
15. Re3 Ne7 16. Rg3+ Nfg6 17. h4 Nf5 18. Bxf5 exf5 19. h5 Qh4 20. Nd2 Re6 21.
Nf3 Qe7 22. hxg6 Rxg6 23. Rxg6+ fxg6 24. Qxg6+ Kf8 25. Ng5 Qd7 26. Nh7+ Ke7 27.
Qf6+ Ke8 28. Qf8# 1-0

The chessboard is © www.pgnplayer.com where you can copy and paste any pgn moves and see the game on the board automatically.

Posted by Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion
www.chessblog.com



Labels:

World Chess Cup 2009


The World Chess Cup 2009 will take place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia from 20th November to 15th December. The regulations of this event can be found here.

There are two women who qualified for this strong event so far - me (by winning the women's world chess championship in 2008) and Hou Yifan by showing a very nice perfomance in the Open Asian Championship.

In total there will be 128 players which include: the World Champion, four semi-finalists from the World Cup 2007, the Women's World Champion, the World Junior U-20 Champions 2007 & 2008, twenty rated players, ninety players from the Continental Championships, six FIDE President nominees, four organiser nominees.

Some zonals and continental tournaments are under way right now or will be played during this year.



For the moment we have the following qualifiers:

a) From World Championship Match 2008:
1. Viswanathan Anand (IND - World Champion)

b) From World Cup 2007:
2. Gata Kamsky (USA)
3. Alexey Shirov (ESP)
4. Magnus Carlsen (NOR)
5. Sergey Karjakin (UKR)

c) Women's World Champion 2008:

6. Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS)

d) Junior World Champions 2007 & 2008:

7. Ahmed Adly (EGY)
8. A. Gupta (IND)

d) From FIDE Rating List, 20 players, average 7/2008 & 1/2009:

09. Veselin Topalov (BUL) 2786,50
10. Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) 2780,00
11. Alexander Morozevich (RUS) 2779,50
12. Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) 2773,50
13. Teimur Radjabov (AZE) 2752,50
14. Peter Leko (HUN) 2746,00
15. Levon Aronian (ARM) 2743,50
16. Sergei Movsesian (SVK) 2737,00
17. Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS) 2734,50
18. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE) 2733,00
19. Peter Svidler (RUS) 2730,50
20. Alexander Grischuk (RUS) 2730,50
21. Boris Gelfand (ISR) 2726,50
22. M.ichael Adams (ENG) 2723,50
23. Ruslam Ponomariov (UKR) 2722,00
24. Wang Yue (CHN) 2721,50
25. Vugar Gashimov (AZE) 2720,00
26. Evgeny Alekseev (RUS) 2713,00
27. Lenier Dominguez Perez (CUB) 2712,50
28. Ni Hua (CHN) 2707,00

e) 90 players from the Continental and Zonal Championships 2008 & 2009.

So far we know the names from:

The Asia Continental Championship:

29. Surya Shekhar Ganguly (IND) 2625
30. Zhou Weiqi (CHN) 2563
31. Yu Yangyi (CHN) 2433
32. Yu Shaoteng (CHN) 2504
33. Le Quang Liem (VIE) 2591
34. Antonio Rogelio Jr (PHI) 2518
35. Hou Yifan (CHN) 2590
36. Zhou Jianchao (CHN) 2635
37. Chanda Sandipan (IND) 2558
38. Krishnan Sasikiran (IND) 2682

From Zonal 2.4

39. Alexandr Fier (BRA) 2595
40. Rafael Leitao (BRA) 2590

US Chess Championship

41. Hikaru Nakamura (USA)
42. Robert Hess (USA)
43. Alexander Onischuk (USA)
44. Varuzhan Akobian (USA)
45. Yury Shulman (USA)

Winner of the Pan American Chess Championship 2008

46. Jaan Ehlvest

Zonal 3.5

47. Zhou Jianchao
48. Wang Hao

European Individual Chess Championship 2008
:

49. Tiviakov Sergei (NED) 2634
50. Movsesian Sergei (SVK) 2695
51. Volkov Sergey (RUS) 2633
52. Tregubov Pavel (RUS) 2629
53. L'Ami Erwin (NED) 2600
54. Vachier-Lagrave Maxime (FRA) 2632
55. Grachev Boris (RUS) 2610
56. Baklan Vladimir (UKR) 2647
57. Kryvoruchko Yuriy (UKR) 2612
58. Nyback Tomi (FIN) 2587
59. Sutovsky Emil (ISR) 2630
60. Laznicka Viktor (CZE) 2578
61. Pavasovic Dusko (SLO) 2595
62. Efimenko Zahar (UKR) 2660
63. Papaioannou Ioannis (GRE) 2566
64. Khalifman Alexander (RUS) 2628
65. Najer Evgeniy (RUS) 2627
66. Fressinet Laurent (FRA) 2656
67. Smirin Ilia (ISR) 2630
68. Bologan Viktor (MDA) 2665
69. Gustafsson Jan (GER) 2603
70. Sargissian Gabriel (ARM) 2643
71. Andreikin Dmitry (RUS) 2580

European Individual Chess Championship 2009 :

72. Ivan Sokolov (NED) 2657
73. Ernesto Inarkiev (RUS) 2656
74. Arkadij Naiditsch (GER) 2693
75. Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS) 2664
76. David Navara (CZE) 2638
77. Vladimir Malakhov (RUS) 2692
78. Boris Grachev (RUS) 2655
79. Baadur Jobava (GEO) 2669
80. Mikhail Kobalia (RUS) 2634
81. Gadir Guseinov (AZE) 2661
82. Tomi Nyback (FIN) 2644
83. Georg Meier (GER) 2608
84. Friso Nijboer (NED) 2559
85. Sergey Fedorchuk (UKR) 2633
86. Artyom Timofeev (RUS) 2671
87. Sanan Sjugirov (RUS) 2562
88. Mateusz Bartel (POL) 2594
89. Rauf Mamedov (AZE) 2638
90. Konstantin Sakaev (RUS)
91. Nikita Vitiugov (RUS)
92. Tigran L Petrosian (ARM)
93. Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (ROU)
94. Constantin Lupulescu (ROU)
95. Alexander Motylev (RUS)

As you will notice there are some players who qualified for the World Cup more than once, these extra qualifiyng spots will go to the reserve players.

I will update the list as soon as we know all the names of the participants.

Posted by: Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion
www.chessblog.com

Labels:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Chess and Women

Today while surfing the net I came upon a very interesting article by Edward Winter about chess and women. This article consists of various quotes of different books and magazines about women and chess. Here is, for example, how a famous chess player Savielly Tartakower in 1921 explained why, in his opinion, women played worse than men: "The only reason why women have not yet achieved virtuosity in the field of chess is probably that chess is not a proper art but also depicts a battle with the aspiration of victory; attainment of victory always calls for a certain ruthlessness, which is precisely a feature far too little present in the fair sex.".

The full article can be read here.

Posted by Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion

Labels:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

STAR INTERVIEW: Natalia Zhukova


I'm glad to introduce to you another woman chess star - Natalia Zhukova.

Natalia has been the leader of Ukraine's Women Chess Team for many years, thank to her wonderful perfomance on the first board at the Turin Chess Olympiad, Ukraine got its Gold Chess Olympiad Medal in 2006.

I remember the first time I met Natalia over the board, it was in 1998, I was only 14 years old and even though Natalia was only 5 years older than me, I was so impressed by Natalia's self-confidence and power that even though I tried to resist I lost that game. We met with Natalia several times over the board after that and every time we created very exciting and spectacular games. It's a double pleasure for me to speak about Natalia today because our daugthers were born just a few months apart. Natalia's daughter - Maria (or Masha for short) was born in February 2007, while my daugther was born in April 2007, so now apart from being chess competitors we both are mothers and enjoy this very much.

What is your place and date of birth?

I was born in Dresden, Germany, on May 5, 1979.

How did you start playing chess?

When I was 7 years old my dad went with me to a chess club, he thought that at this age a child should be occupied by something and chess was a good hobby to try.

What are your main achievements in chess?

I became the European champion among girls under 14 and under 16, then vice-champion of the world among girls under 16. I won the European championship among women in 2000. I was the runner-up of the World Cup in Shenyang in 2000. I twice won the European Club Cup,
I was an Olympiad champion playing for the National team of Ukraine in Turin in 2006. With my team I took silver in the 2008 Olympiad in Dresden. I also won various prestigious women's tournaments.

What has been your peak rating?

2490 on January 1st, 2009.

Do you consider yourself a professional chess player?

I wish I could call myself a professional chess player, but I'm afraid after the birth of my daugther (she's a little over 2 years old) I don't spend enough time studying chess.



With daugther Masha, Odessa, May 2009

How often do you study chess? How many hours a day?

Normally I study chess when I play tournaments and prepare for the games. At home, I don't have a regular schedule because I have to devote a lot of time to my daughter.


Do you have a chess trainer or you study chess by yourself?

I don't have a trainer but I have my beloved husband who will never refuse to give me a "professional recommendation".


Natalia, her husband Alexander Grischuk and their daugther Masha

You have a 2-year old daughter Masha, will you teach her to play chess?

My husband and I don't want to tell Masha to play chess professionally, although she already knows the names of the chess pieces. We prefer other kind of sports such as, for example, tennis.

What is your favorite chess book?

"My system" by Aaron Nimtzovich.

Whom do you consider the best chess player in history?

I think it's Garry Kasparov.

What is the best game you have ever played?

I'm not sure about "the best game" but I really like my game against V. Arbakov that I played in 1994. I was only 15 years old and despite this young age I created a very high quality game.

What do you like doing besides playing chess?

The last two years I've been very happy to be a mother. Before the birth of my daugther I really liked travelling. In the winter I liked to go mountain skiing, in the summer I liked swimming in the sea.

Do you believe in the future of women’s chess?

If I didn't believe in it I would stop playing.

What is the best chess country in the world?

I'm not sure exactly, but it's a country where the goverment supports chess and our game is popular among people. A few years ago I would have said without any doubt that it is Yugoslavia (even the biggest playing halls weren't able to accomodate all the chess fans). Even now, as far as I know, Serbia one of the few countries in the world where chess is supported on the same level with the olympic sports and for their past achievements GM's get very decent grants.

What is the best organized women’s tournament you took part in?

The tournaments of Krasnoturinsk (the North Ural Cup tournaments) had very nice organization, unfortunately the prize fund was not as good as the organization.

What is your dream in chess?

I would like to see chess as popular as let's say tennis.

What is your favorite chess piece?

The Queen. My daugther cannot yet say this word perfectly so she call this piece - "mama" (mommy) and the king is "papa" (daddy) for her :-))

What is your favorite place in the world?

The city by the Black sea where I live - Odessa.

What is your favorite kind of food?

Any fish except red ones.


What do you think we should do in order to make women’s chess more attractive to the media?

We have to have a professional marketing and PR, without it all our suggestions would be meaningless.

Your husband – Alexander Grischuk, is one of the strongest chess players in the world. What is the main difference that you see between top women studying and playing chess and top men chess players?

They work deeper and more regulary on chess and often they exchange different information and ideas between each other, even when they don't work together. While female chess players would never say a thing nor help in any way another woman. Also women , contrary to men, for some reason don't analyze games together, despite the fact that it's very useful.

You’ve been representing quite successfully the national team of Ukraine. You are also married to a Russian, have you ever thought about changing federation and playing for Russia? Do you think changes of federations should be allowed by FIDE or the rules should be stricter?

I did not change federation when I was young and talented and, believe me, I've had many tempting offers, so my marriage now is not a reason to change federations for me. Of course we have very poor financial support in Ukraine: the national championships have been organized very poorly; the federation didn't pay us for the silver medals in Dresden. But is that a reason to betray your own country?:-) I think, that FIDE should have stricter rules for changing federations. For example in soccer one club pays a big transfer fee to another club if a player decides to change clubs. The same thing here, if one federation put all its efforts, its soul and money in raising a strong player, it's not correct if after all these efforts another federation gets this player for free. I think it's not fair.


Posted by Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion
www.chessblog.com

Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kosteniuk Summer Plans 2009

Dear Chess Friends!

I would like to let you know about my plans for this summer. Right now I'm in Paris and I just finished my new autobiographical book which should come out in Russian in September, in English by the end of the year.

In a few days I'll pass by Switzerland and on June 16 I will fly to Miami. On June 18 I'm going to Panama to participate in the inauguration of the new Cinta Costera. I will give an open air simul (on June 20), showing that chess is a healthy activity, suitable for the whole family. I will also visit the "Universidad de las Americas" on June 19 and will give a talk on how chess helps in life, and in business. I haven't been to Panama and am really looking forward to this interesting experience. I can promise you many photos from this event.

I'm coming back from Panama to Miami on June 21 and already on June 22 the first session of
my first annual chess summer camp starts, which will take place at the historic Chess Hall of Fame and Chess Museum in Miami, Florida.

Kids from 5 to 18 are invited to take part in it. There will be 4 weekly camps (June 22-26, June 29-July 3, July 6-10, and July 13-17). I will run this camp myself and kids will not only get to know many useful chess things and improve in chess, but at the same time will have fun. On July 10-12 there will also be a tournament - The Alexandra Kosteniuk USA Chess Cup (for girls and boys U-8, U-11, U-14, U-18).

After the camp I'll be doing a lot of interesting things for chess fans such as writing books, recording my
free audio podcast "Chess is Cool" as well as the free video podcasts "Chess Killer Tips" and will prepare for the 110th US open which will take place in Indianapolis, Indiana from August 1 till August 9. It will be my first serious competition in the USA 2009.

At the end of August I might play in the famous annual Moscow Blitz Championship.


I took part in it in 2005 and in 2006. On the photo above you can see me playing Morozevich, you can watch the whole photo album of the event of the year 2005
here.

In the year 2006 I played a few very interesting games which was recorded by my husband. One game was against GM Alexander Riazantsev. With a really speedy ending.





The other one was against GM Arthur Gabrielian.



I must say that I love blitz and I believe that the future of chess lies in tournaments with shorter time controls.

So this summer promise to be interesting, I will keep you posted about my activities as well as news on women's chess around the world.

Posted by Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion
www.chessblog.com

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chess Couples


In the chess world people play chess, meet each other and, of course, some of them fall in love and get married. It will be wonderful to have an organizer who would be interested to hold an annual tournaments between chess families.

Here are the top 10 chess couples base on the FIDE rating on April 1, 2009.

Husband Elo Wife Elo Average
Grischuk A. 2748 Zhukova 2461 2604.5
Fressinet 2664 Skripchenko 2449 2556.5
Fridman D. 2646 Zatonskih 2461 2553.5
Socko B 2637 Socko M 2456 2546.5
Al-Modhiak 2585 Zhu Chen 2491 2538
Peng Xiaomin 2588 Qin Kanying 2466 2527
Atalik Suat 2607 Atalik E. 2434 2520.5
Zhang Zhong 2613 Li Ruofan 2423 2518
Fontaine 2546 Lahno 2478 2512
Bellon 2439 Cramling 2528 2483.5

Labels:

Women Chess Kaleidoscope

Here are a few women's chess tournaments that are taking place right now or just have finished.

Shen Yang (on the photo) with 9 points out of 11 became the
women's champion of China. Second was Zhao Xue with 8.5 points. Third place took Tan Zhonqyi. Hou Yifan that was playing in the men's championship took 3.5 points out of 11 and shared 11-12 place.

The higher league of the
Women's Russian Championship just ended and the top 5 finalists quliafied for the Russian Superfinal that is planned for December 2009. First place with 7.5 out of 9 went to Elena Tairova. I'm very happy for Elena, who recovered from a serious illness and came back even stronger than before. Elena Zaiats got second place with 7 out of 9. Valentina Gunina, Tatiana Stepovaia and Maria Manakova shared 3rd to 5th places with 6 out of 9.

The
Women's Chess Championship of Uzbekistan came to its end. Nafisova Mumina took first place with 10,5 out of 11.
From June 4th till June 12, 2009 in Tbilisi in the Nona Gaprindashvili Chess Palace (Georgia) an
International Open Women Chess Tournament dedicated to the name of the legendary Georgian chess-player, quintuple world champion, nine-fold Olympic champion and four times Chess Oscar holder, Maya Chiburdanidze takes place. After 3 rounds Mariya Muzychuk and Bela Khotenashvili are in the lead with 3 out of 3. 57 women chess players are taking part in this competition.

Posted by Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion
www.chessblog.com

Labels: , , ,

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pogonina just married!


Natalia Pogonina wrote to me to announce she got married on June 5, 2009 with Petr Zhdanov. I congratulate both of them and wish them everlasting love and happiness!

They created a beautiful photo album and invite you to visit it at this address.

Labels:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

STAR Interview: Antoaneta Stefanova


With a great pleasure I'm introducing another woman chess star - Antoaneta Stefanova. Winning the Women's World Chess Championship in Elista, Russia in 2004, Antoaneta became the 10th women's world chess champion. She's been one of the leaders of the women's chess for many years and she's also been very succesful in men's tournament, beating many strong GM's.

What is your place and date of birth?

Sofia, Bulgaria, 19.04.1979

How did you start playing chess?

When I was 5 years old my father Andon Stefanova showed me and my sister Ani how to play. We loved it instantly.

What are your main achievements in chess?

I was several times World and European champion in diferent age groups as a child, European Women Champion 2002, Women World Champion 2004-2006, Winner in the first World Mind Sports Games-Rapid 2008. I have also won many tournaments for both Men and Women.

What is your peak rating?


2560

Do you consider yourself a professional chess player?

Yes, although I am also finishing my Master degree in Finance this year.

How often do you study chess? How many hours a day?

I play many tournaments, so I take some days off between them. But when preparing for important event, I work up to 8 hours per day.

Do you have a chess trainer or you study chess by yourself?

My trainer from 5 to 16 years old was my father. We were mainly working with books and computer programs when they appeared. Later on I have worked occasionally with several Grandmaster - I would like to mention GM Vladimir Georgiev - who has helped me a lot during the World Championship 2004, GM Kiril Georgiev - one of the strongest ever Bulgarian chess players, and GM Atanas Kolev who has also been the coach of the Bulgarian Women National team as well. I do not have a permanent trainer though,it costs a lot,and without the help of the federation or a personal sponsor it is imposible.

What do you study most: openings, middle game or endgames?

I try to study all stages of the game.

Do you prefer to play chess with men or with women?

Both

Why do you think men are stronger than women in chess?

It is very complex - historicly women have not been encouraged to play chess from early age. We see now more female players getting stronger, but still there is very litle attention paid by federations, sponsors or organisers. There are also objective reasons - I believe in order to perform well in long term a chess player needs to be in a very good physical shape and in that of course men have advantage.That is why I think is correct to have separate WomenChampionships.

When did you feel happiest about being a chess player? Why?

I feel happy every time I play a good game.

If you had not become a chess player what career would you have chosen?

Artist

How many brothers and sisters are there in your family?

I have one elder sister.

You became chess history's 10th women's world chess champion, how did you feel at the moment you won that title?

To be honest in the first moments I was too tired to understand what it means.Only later,when I returned home in Bulgaria and saw haw happy and proud are my family,friends and complete strangers,it hit me-I was the first ever Bulgarian Chess World Champion.

Did you life change significantly after your world title?

It did in several ways. It meant more invitations to strong tournaments, but also lots of responsabilities representing my country and Women Chess around the world.

What's your home?

I have a nice appartment near the biggest park in downtown - Sofia.

What is your favorite chess book?

I like all of Dvoretsky and Nunn's books.

What is your favorite non-chess book?

It is dificult to name one. I love reading and read absolutely everything. Right now I am reading Giacomo Casanova-Histoare de ma vie, and Michael Newton - Life between lives.
Whom do you consider the best chess player in history?

Kasparov and Fischer

What is the best game you have ever played?

I enjoy most of the games I win, but I am also aware of the many mistakes in them. If I have to name one perhaps it should be the game I won against GM M.Gurevich at Gibtelecom Masters 2008 in Gibraltar.

What do you like doing besides playing chess?

Reading, dancing and drawing pictures. My father is an artist, so probably I got my love for art from him.

Do you believe in the future of women’s chess?

If FIDE, the players and organisers start working together to make more interesting events - then yes.

What is the best chess country in the world?

Probably Russia and Spain, but if it is about organising team events then it should be Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria.

What is the best organized women’s tournament you took part in?

Krasnoturinsk (Russia), but the best mixed tournament for Women players is without a doubt Gibraltar

What is your dream in chess?

To see the day when Women Chess will be as popular as Men's.

What is your favorite chess piece?

All of them

What is your favorite place in the world?

Any place with warm climate and palm trees:)

What is your favorite kind of food?

sea food and any fruit
What are your future plans for this year?

Several Open Tournaments, a strong Mixed Round Robin in Antwerpen in September, European Club Cup and European Team championship.

What is the main difference between women’s chess nowadays and women’s chess when you were just starting playing chess?

I believe Women Chess has developed very much in the last 20 years-we see now many more strong players. Also the whole system of Women events is developing. It was good to witness the begining of the European Individual Women Championship, the knockout World Championship, Fide Women Gran Prix and more. Of course, I hope we'll see many more to come - for example regular World and European Rapid and Blitz championship as well as tournaments for all level Women Chess players around the world.

Lately we are seeing many things happening in chess in Bulgaria, is chess very popular in your country? Do you have special support from the government for playing chess? Do people recognize your in the streets?

In Bulgaria Chess was always well respected,and almost everyone knows at least the basic rules of the game. Unfortunately in the last years there are many economical problems in the country and many traditional events has been canceled. Also the budget of the federation is very small,with a litle help from the goverment. It is dificult to attract sponsors in this moment, but the fact that World top level events like Mtel Masters are organised every year gives me hope that it will be better with time. Otherwise the top players are quite well known for the public, so, yes people recognise me in the streets.

What do you think we should do in order to make women’s chess more attractive to the media?

If we want chess to be televised then probably we should have more top level Rapid and Blitz events. I also like the idea of the "Glass Cube'" which was used in Bilbao and Mtel Masters-playng in open air gives a better way to the audience and media to follow the tournaments.In general I believe in every country and every event the organisers should try to work better with the media. The chess players should also follow some dress code regulations and be more media friendly.

Posted by Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion
www.chessblog.com

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Puerto Rico Women's Chess Championship



Mr. George Perez-Borrero, the treasurer of the Puerto Rico Chess Federation, let me know today that the Open Woman Classificatory of Puerto Rico finished and the following roster will be playing in the Final Championship:

Seated:
Segarra Choe, Tammy (1825) “2008 Champion”

Classified:
Pacheco, Hilzandryly (1938)
Alvarez Orta, Jo Ann WFM (1891)
Sanchez Rodriguez, Wilmairi (1769)
Vazquez Maccarini, Danitza
Comas Colón, Rinelly

The Puerto Rico Women's Championship will be held at la Casa del Ajedrez the 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26 y 27 of July 2009 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

La Casa del Ajedrez is an institution of 9.753 square feet is the only installation dedicated exclusively to the chess in Puerto Rico and is one of the biggest installation for such purposes in the world. La Casa del Ajedrez opened its doors in October of 2006 under the direction of the IA Rafael Ortiz Bonilla, who administers these facilities by means of the Foundation that takes its name and which organizes diverse activities towards the aim to promote the education and practice of the sport.

Two of the Four Playing Halls of La Casa del Ajedrez:



For more details on the event please to communicate with:

Mr. Vance Berrios Rodríguez [vanceberrios@msn.com][vanceberrios@gmail.com]
Administrador
Federación de Ajedrez de de Puerto Rico
Apartado 9023182
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00902-3182
Tel/Fax (787) 982-3214

Posted by Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion

Labels:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Women Chess Kaleidoscope

Various women's chess tournaments are taking place right now, or have just finished.

The
Women's Ukranian Championship just finished. Tatjana Vasilevich and Doluhanova Evgenia shared first place, but Evgenia was better on tie-breaks.

The higher league of the
Women's Russian Championship started today June 1 in Voronezh. Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (FIDE Elo rating 2450) is the elo-favorite of the tournament. Many young talented russian girls are playing as well. This tournament is the qualification for the Russian Women's Superfinal which is scheduled for December 2009. 5 top players at the end of the tournament will qualify for the Superfinal.

The
Russian Championship among boys and girls under 8 just finished. It's amazing that today we have championships under 8! And probably many future GM's played in this event. Alexandra Obolentseva, a 7-year old girl became the Russian Champion among girls U-8. Last year Alexandra Obolentseva took part in my annual tournament "Alexandra Kosteniuk's Cup" that took place on November 29 and 30 in the Central Chess Club in Moscow and I even have a photo of her playing in my cup. I hope Alexandra will continue playing chess and working hard, I wish her all the best!

The final of the
TOP 16 French teams took place in the Pyramides near Paris on May 31. Many strong female players took part in this event such as Almira Skripchenko, Inna Gaponenko, Sophie Milliet. The team of Evry (with Peter Svidler, Hikaru Nakamura, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Sophie Milliet and other strong players playing for this team) took first place.

Posted by Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion

Labels: , , , , ,