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


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Braving the Arctic Chess Challenge

Hi everyone!

It is not very often that a woman wins a tournament which has an average rating of 2590 of its top-10 participants. But GM Monica Socko did it by winning the Arctic Challenge in 2009 in the city of Tromsø. On her way to winning the tournament she had also beaten her husband - the top seed - GM Bartosz Socko!

I wish Monica good luck as the defending champion this year at the Arctic Challenge which will be held in August.

This year the field will be even much stronger. Many people from around the world like to go to the Arctic Challenge also to enjoy the opportunity for several other sports activities like hiking, fishing, swimming etc.

Another interesting thing about this year's Arctic Challenge is going to be the record number of couples who will take part. These include:

- GM Bartosz Socko and GM Monika Socko from Poland
- GM Yuri Drozdovskij and WGM Natalia Zdebskaja from Ukraine
- GM Zoltán Gyimesi and IM Nóra Medvegy from Hungary
- GM Mateusz Bartel and WGM Marta Przezdziecka from Poland
- GM Vadim Malakhatko Vadim and WGM Anna Zozulia from Belarus
- GM Loek van Wely The Netherlands and WIM Lorena Zepeda El Salvador
- IM Gediminas Sarakauskas and WIM Zivile Sarakauskiene from Lithuania

You can read in detail about the tournament and registration

Meanwhile, here is an endgame position from GM Monica Socko's game against GM Emanuel Berg at the Arctic Chess Challenge, 2009.

This was the position after 62...Re4xh4, Monica is playing Black. Tablebases say it is mate in 35 moves. Monica Socko had to accept a draw after pressing on for 72 moves!

More information about last year's event can be found on

Posted by Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Champion

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