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

 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dmitry Jakovenko is New European Chess Champion 2012

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Congratulations to Dmitry Jakovenko for winning the European Championship took place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, from March 19. According to a Fide chess news, the event is part of the World Chess Championship cycle as the top 23 players qualify for the World Cup.
 

After 11 rounds of play, the 3rd seed Dmitry Jakovenko from Russia emerged the new European Champion. Jakovenko defeated the earlier leader Laurent Fressinet from France and overtook the first position. As the other top games were drawn, Jakovenko remained alone with 8.5 points and tie-break was not to be counted.

Moreover, 13 players shared the second place with 8 points each: GM Fressinet Laurent FRA 2693, GM Malakhov Vladimir RUS 2705, GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 2689, GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2695, GM Matlakov Maxim RUS 2632, GM Bologan Viktor MDA 2687, GM Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP 2693, GM Kryvoruchko Yuriy UKR 2666, GM Azarov Sergei BLR 2667, GM Najer Evgeniy RUS 2640, GM Akopian Vladimir ARM 2684, GM Volokitin Andrei UKR 2695 and GM Smeets Jan NED 2610. They have all qualified for the World Cup 2013.

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Get Ready for the Zurich Chess Challenge Kramnik vs Aronian April 21-28

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

 

The Zurich Chess Club has announced a six-game chess match between Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) and Levon Aronian (Armenia) from 21 to 28 April 2012. The numbers 2 and 3 of the World ranking will meet in the time-honored Hotel Savoy Baur en Ville at Paradeplatz, the venue of many a famous chess event in the past. Kramnik and Aronian are the winners of the two most prestigious tournaments of the last months. 

While the 36-year-old Kramnik has gained a convincing victory at the London Chess Classic in December, the 29-year-old Aronian won the famous tournament in Wijk aan Zee with an outstanding score. Both players belong to the hottest candidates in the World championship qualifier later this year. The Zurich Chess Challenge will be the first encounter in the history of chess between two players with a rating above the magical 2800 limit and it is the first ever friendly match at the top level. It is sponsored by Oleg Skvortsov, IGC International Gemological Laboratories and Aspeco N.V., Antwerp.

The Zurich Chess Club is the oldest chess society in the world. In its long history it has staged numerous world class events, regularly attracting the elite of the day. In 2009, it celebrated its 200-year jubilee with a spectacular chess show involving all living world champions. It has not been idle since then as witnessed by the recent simultaneous displays by Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen. Check out more at www.sgzurich.ch.

The official event website is here.

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Samford Chess Fellowship goes to GMs Timur Gareev, Alejandro Ramirez

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

The latest chess news via the US Chess Federation is that the Frank P. Samford Jr. Chess Fellowship has been awarded to Grandmasters Timur Gareev of Brownsville, Texas, and Alejandro Ramirez of Garland, Texas, as its 2012 Fellows. 


IM John Donaldson writes, the Samford is the richest and most important chess fellowship in the United States. It identifies and assists the best young American chess masters by providing top-level coaching, strong competition and access to study materials. The Fellowship also supplies a monthly stipend for living expenses so that the winners may devote themselves to chess without having financial worries. The total value of the Fellowship has been increased several times over the years and is now $42,000 annually, which will be divided equally between the two winners. The prize is awarded for one year and can be renewed for a second year. The winners’ term begins July 1st, 2012.

All in all, it gives these brilliant young American Grandmasters the support and resources necessary to enhance their skills and reach their full potential.

Currently rated 2654 by FIDE, Timur Gareev was awarded the GM title at the age of 16. He won the championship of his native Uzbekistan in 2007 and last year took first place in both the Chicago Open and the 11th Metropolitan FIDE Invitational tournament in Los Angeles. Timur is currently a student at the University of Texas at Brownsville which he attends on a chess scholarship.

A native of Costa Rica, Alejandro Ramirez earned the title of Grandmaster at the age of 14, being the first (and still the only) player from Central America to ever hold that title. A graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas with a Master’s Degree in Arts & Technology / Design and Production of Videogames, Alejandro won the 2008 Morelia Open and finished at the top of the 2010 US Open.

The winners were chosen by the Samford Fellowship Committee, consisting of Frank P. Samford III (son of Samford Fellowship founder Frank P. Samford, Jr.), former U.S. Chess Champion Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier and International Master John Donaldson. The winner's potential was determined based on his chess talent, work ethic, dedication and accomplishments. The Fellowship is administered by the U.S. Chess Trust with particularly valuable services provided by Barbara DeMaro.

The Samford Chess Fellowship was created by the late Frank P. Samford, Jr. of Birmingham Alabama. Mr. Samford was a distinguished attorney and CEO of Liberty National Life Insurance Company (now Torchmark). He was active in civic, business, political, educational and cultural affairs. Mr. Samford was also an enthusiastic competitor in chess tournaments. After providing financial support for several chess projects he decided to do something significant for American chess. The result was the Samford Fellowship.

Since its inception the Fellowship has proven very successful. Many Samford Fellows have become strong Grandmasters, members of the United States Olympiad team and US Champions. America’s two top players, Gata Kamsky and Hikaru Nakamura, are not only rated in the top 15 in the world but are former Samford Fellows.

Generous contributions from the late Mrs. Virginia Samford and the Torchmark Corporation support the Fellowship. The Samford Fellowship is a fitting memorial to an extraordinary man. The dedication, creativity and achievement that marked Mr. Frank P. Samford, Jr.'s life are examples for all chessplayers to admire and emulate.

Previous Samford Winners:1987 Joel Benjamin
1988 Maxim Dlugy
1989 Patrick Wolff
1990 Alex Fishbein
1991 Ilya Gurevich
1992 Alex Sherzer
1993 Ben Finegold
1994 Gata Kamsky
1995 Josh Waitzkin
1996 Tal Shaked
1997 Boris Kreiman
1998 Dean Ippolito
1999 Greg Shahade
2000 Michael Mulyar
2001 Eugene Perelshteyn
2002 Varuzhan Akobian
2003 Dmitry Schneider
2004 Rusudan Goletiani
2005 Hikaru Nakamura
2006 David Pruess
2007 Josh Friedel
2008 Irina Krush
2008 Vinay Bhat
2009 Ray Robson
2010 Robert Hess

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Must Watch Chess Movie for the Weekend

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Randy enters an unexpected game of chess at the showgrounds with twists our reality cannot imagine. Folks, you just have to watch this chess movie. 


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European Team Chess Championship Begins

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,
 


The latest chess news via Chessdom is that the European senior team chess championship has commenced. The ECU and Slovenian Chess Federation are organising the 11th European Senior Team Chess Championship from March 26 to April 5, 2012, in Rogaska Slatina, Slovenia. Entitled to participate are men from the ECU Chess Federations who shall have reached the age of 60 and women who shall have reached the age of 50 years, by December 31st of the year in which the tournament will commence.

In round 3 the defending champion Russia 1 was held to a 2-2 tie by the compact Italian team. GM Evgeny Vasiukov scored against IM Stefano Tatai, but FM Carlo Micheli struck back in the game against GM Nikolai Pushkov.


Germany 1 defeated their compatriots from Hessen region by a narrow 2.5-1.5, thanks to GM Hans-Joachim Hecht.

Montenegro, lining the same team that won the bronze medal last year, signed a 3-1 victory against Russia 2. Switzerland won against Finland by 3-1, with Viktor Korchnoi defeating fellow Grandmaster Heikki Westerinen on the top board.

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Israel-India team chess match from April 2-4

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

According to an Indian chess news report, Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran will head the Indian team in a special match with Israel from April 2 to 4 in New Delhi. The match is being organised as a curtainraiser to the upcoming World Chess Championship to be held in May in Moscow. Besides Sasikiran, GM and current National Champion Abhijeet Gupta, Grandmaster B Adhiban and Grandmaster G N Gopal complete the Indian line up. 

The Israeli team includes Grandmaster Illya Smirin, Grandmaster Tal Baron, Grandmaster Vitaly Golod and Gil Popliski. The match will be spread over three rounds and each player will play against all players of the other country at least once. There will be 12 games in all.

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He carved a chess set in jail!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Here is a nice story of resilience and determination with chess as a motif. Nearly starving and facing extreme brutality, Jack Jennings carved each chess piece with care as he suffered in a Japanese prisoner of war camp he devoted every free moment to making the kings and pawns.

It took his mind away from his life working on the notorious Burma-Thailand death railway as scores of his friends died from abuse, disease and malnutrition. He may have only seemed like a pawn himself as war raged around the globe – but Jack was determined never to give in. And his chess set still bears testament to one man’s will to live.


Now aged 93, Jack’s story has become familiar to millions because of a new advert for the National Lottery, showing how the Big Lottery Fund helped take him back to the Far East to visit the graves of his dead comrades. You can read the full story here.

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Your Brain is Wired Like a Chess Board, Says Study

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,
 
We loved hearing this according to a new research - Our brain is wired like a chess board. How cool.

An article by Ted Thornhill in the MailOnline states that researchers always thought our brain was like a mass of tangled wires. However, that's changed as researchers have found the brain fibres to connect at right angles and crossing each other in directions of up, down, right and left making the whole brain system resemble the pattern of a chess board!

Van Wedeen, of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), who led the study, said: ‘Far from being just a tangle of wires, the brain's connections turn out to be more like ribbon cables - folding 2D sheets of parallel neuronal fibers that cross paths at right angles, like the warp and weft of a fabric.

What’s more, this grid structure has now been revealed in amazing detail as part of a brain imaging study by a new state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. Read the full story here.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Exciting parallel chess activities at World Chess Championship Match in May

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


The latest chess news about the World Chess Championship is that another chess lover businessman Guennadi Timtchenko has offered further support to the event. According to a press release, Guennadi Timtchenko said he was impressed by the selected pioneering concept of holding the match in one of the World's most famous museums. In his view, the World Chess Championship would provide a good opportunity to promote Russian art, as well as to increase public interest in chess as one of the methods of mentoring the young generation.


“New Moscow”, Yuri Pimenov, 1937 © The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow 

The FIDE World Chess Championship match between World Champion Viswanathan Anand (India) and Challenger Boris Gelfand (Israel) will be held from the May 10-31 at the Engineering Building of the State Tretyakov Gallery. The match will be organised by FIDE (World Chess Federation) and the RCF (Russian Chess Federation). The initiator and sponsor of the match is the Russian businessman Andrey Filatov (co-owner of N-Trans Group). Businessman Guennadi Timtchenko, as well as Novatek and the Ladoga Charity Foundation will also sponsor the competition.


Several tournaments will be held during the match in Moscow, which will bring together chess veterans including renowned grandmasters, former World and European Champions. These tournaments will be supported by the Ladoga Foundation, which has made care program for the senior generation a strategic focus of its activities.

Young chess players from all over Russia will be able to attend the match in Moscow. The Russian Chess Federation, together with the State Tretyakov Gallery, is currently working on the program for their stay in the capital, which will include not only workshops and multi-board chess games with famous grandmasters, but also guided tours of the Tretyakov Gallery and lectures on the history of art.

Live online English-language video coverage of the match will be set up. Chess fans from all over the world will be able to watch match games online, commented by leading chess experts, while the studio will host well-known grandmasters, public figures, authors and musicians. During the webcast, viewers will also have the opportunity to learn about the history and exposition of the State Tretyakov Gallery. The webcasts will focus on the history of Russian art, viewpoints on the life and creative work of artists, whose paintings became the basis for the exposition of Russia's largest national museum.

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Kids' Chess Inspiration Helps him Look Beyond his Disability

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012



Hi everyone,


Normally, when you read chess news about someone obtaining a patent for a chess product, the general impression is that it's a commercial venture. However, chess is actually a great inspiration for all of us in life in so many ways.

Despite suffering from duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive degenerative disorder of muscle tissue which affects only males, Hridayeshwar Singh Bhati - a class-IV student of Delhi Public School - has made an innovative version of circular chess for two, three, four and six players. 


"We are now working on a chess board on which 60 players can play together. Commercialisation is not the motive...it is aimed at inspiring others that despite worst condition, one can give best results," says his father. 


You can read the full story here. But, don't forget to let chess inspire you to conquer your limitations in whatever you do, wherever you are! Tell us also, how chess inspires you?


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Pure Chess for PS3 and PS Vita in April

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


This one's for all those gamers out there there who cannot do without their playstation or their chess. Pure Chess was announced on the PlayStation Store last November. The fresh new trailer for the game looks really nice. Enjoy.





Don't forget to send us your chess videos as well.


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Alexander Shabalov Wins 13th Pittsburgh Chess Open 2012

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

The latest chess news (via www.chessdom.com) is that Grandmaster Alexander Shabalov has won the Pittsburgh Chess Open 2012. The 13th Annual Pittsburgh Open was held from March 23-25 at the Doubletree Hotel Pittsburgh Green Tree, 101 Radisson Drive, Pittsburgh. The event had 5 sections: Open, Under 2100, Under 1800, Under 1500, and Under 1200.
All sections were 5 round Swiss tournaments with 3-day and 2-day schedules to play in. Grandmasters Alexander Shabalov, Tamaz Gelashviliand Alex Ivanov finished at the top of the Open Section, all concluding the race with an undefeated 4/5. However, Shabalov took the title and some additional money by finishing with the best tie-breaks. The event had a $12,000 projected prize fund with $9,000 guaranteed.

Final Standings Open Section:
1-3.
GM Alexander Shabalov ($840.00), GM Tamaz Gelashvili ($756.00) and GM Alexander Ivanov ($756.00) – 4.0
4-7. FM Luuk Van Kooten ($56.00), FM Eric S Rosen ($56.00), WIM Iryna Zenyuk ($56.00) and Kevin Mo ($588.00, top U2300) – 3.5
8. Edward Song ($504.00, top U2200) – 3.0
9-13. Daniel E Malkiel, IM Maurico Arias Santana, Walker K Griggs, Edward T Dean and Joseph Mucerino Jr – 2.5 etc


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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday Chess Trivia Quiz - What's your score?

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


Here is a cool chess quiz to cheer you up. The weekend is just round the corner and you need not stress too much about work. Let chess make you happy. 

Question 1
Who is this chess player... and what is her claim to fame?



Read more »

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European Individual Chess R8: Akopian, Matlakov, and Malakhov in joint lead

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

The latest chess news from the European Individual Chess Championship (via www.chessdom.com) is that Round 7 leader Sergei Azarov lost his game to Vladimir Malakhov and now we have three players in joint lead. They are Grandmasters Malakhov Vladimir, Matlakov Maxim and Akopian Vladimir ARM with 6,5/8. Three more rounds are still to be played. The leaders are closely followed by a group of 17 players with 6,0/8, among them are GM Gawain Jones, GM Yuriy Kuzubov, GM Nikita Vitiugov, GM Etinne Bacrot, GM Laurent Fressinet, GM Ernesto Inarkiev, GM Mikhail Kobalia, GM Francisco Vallejo, GM Dmitry Andreikin, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, GM Baadur Jobava, GM Sergei Azarov, GM Anton Korobov, GM Andrei Volokitin, GM Igor Khankin, and GM Andrei Istratescu.

Within 1 point of the leaders are 31 players, among them the 2700 club members GM Caruana, GM Naiditsch, GM Jakovenko, GM Laznicka, FM Movsesian, etc.

European Individual Chess top standings after Round 8 

1 GM Malakhov Vladimir RUS 2705 6.5
2 GM Matlakov Maxim RUS 2632 6.5
3 GM Akopian Vladimir ARM 2684 6.5
4 GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 2635 6
5 GM Kuzubov Yuriy UKR 2615 6
6 GM Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2709 6
7 GM Bacrot Etienne FRA 2706 6
8 GM Fressinet Laurent FRA 2693 6
9 GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2695 6
10 GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 2689 6
11 GM Kobalia Mikhail RUS 2666 6
12 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2682 6
13 GM Jobava Baadur GEO 2706 6
14 GM Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP 2693 6
15 GM Azarov Sergei BLR 2667 6
16 GM Sokolov Ivan NED 2653 6
17 GM Korobov Anton UKR 2679 6
18 GM Volokitin Andrei UKR 2695 6
19 GM Khenkin Igor GER 2632 6
20 GM Istratescu Andrei FRA 2633 6

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Russian Chess Girls Wow Europe!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,


Do you know there's a magic that flows through Russia? A magic of beauty and brains! So, we enjoyed reading this nice article from RT.com.

Russia beauty claims European chess crown


Russian ladies are not only beautiful, but smart as well. Valentina Gunina has proved it by becoming the new European women’s individual chess champion. Her compatriot, Tayana Kosintseva, cruised to silver at the tournament held in the Turkish city of Gaziantep.


The title was decided in the final round, in which Gunina, who played white, defeated table-topper Anna Muzychuk of Slovenia. Kosintseva also took the upper hand in her match against Georgian chess master Nana Dzagnidze. As a result, Gunina, Kosintseva and Muzychuk all had 8.5 points after 11 meetings, but the Russian duo prevailed over their Slovenian rival due to additional indicators.


Another Russian, (Chess Queen and former Women's World Chess Champion) Aleksandra Kostenyuk, came among the top 14 players to qualify for the Chess World Championship. The Turkish triumph became the first big international achievement in the career of 23-year-old Valentina Gunina. There’s been another notable event in Gaziantep as the chess world received its youngest International Master.


Russia’s Aleksandra Goryachkina has become an IM at the age of just 13 years and five months. The native of Salekhard in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region is the student of the famous Polar Chess School. She’s a World and European champion among the girls her age.


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British Columbia's biggest chess tournament from april 6

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Here is some chess tournament news from British Columbia. Their biggest chess event - the Grand Pacific Open - is scheduled to take place from April 6-9 in Victoria, Canada. It would be the sixth edition of the chess tournament. The total prize for the year is $5000. The main event would run as a six-round FIDE and CFC rated Swiss. 
 
There are also a number of side events which are free if you play in the main event and include an active tournament, Midnight Blitz with $100 in prizes, and a Bughouse tournament to finish off the weekend. The tournament hall itself is the very nice ballroom at the 5 Star Grand Pacific Hotel. The hotel is located on the Inner Harbour in downtown Victoria, close to tourist destinations and across the street from the Seattle Clipper and Coho ferry connections.

Last year's winner WGM Nino Maisuradze will be back to defend the title. The BC Chess Challenge (Provincial Scholastic Championship) will take place on April 6 just prior to the GPO. The BC Chess Challenge is open to all BC students in grade K-12. The 1st place player in each grade will qualify for the Canadian Chess Challenge being held in Halifax in May 2012. Chess Challenge players should stay all weekend and play in the GPO as well.
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FIDE postpones London Candidates, announces new World Chess Championship Cycles

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


Here is the latest announcement about a new World Chess Championship cycle datelined Athens, Greece. FIDE and partner AGON had announced their calendar a fortnight back. They have now revised it on the basis of feedback from players and organisers.  The revised calendar now schedules the World Chess Candidates that were to take place in London this year to March 13 – March 31, 2013. The event would still take place in London. 


2012
Championship Match Moscow May 10 – May 30
Olympiad Istanbul August 27 – September 10
Grand Prix Chelyabinsk September 19 – October 3
Grand Prix Tashkent November 21 – December 4

2013
Candidates London March 13 – March 31
Grand Prix Lisbon April 10 – April 24
Grand Prix Madrid May 22 – June 4
Grand Prix Berlin July 3 – July 17
World Cup Tromsø August 10 – September 5
Grand Prix Paris September 18 – October 2
Championship Match TBD November 6 – November 26

2014
Candidates TBD March 12 – March 30
Grand Prix TBD May 14 – May 28
Grand Prix TBD July 2 – July 16
Olympiad Tromsø August 1 – August 14
Grand Prix TBD September 10 – September 24
Championship Match TBD November 5 – November 25

2015
Grand Prix TBD May 13 – May 27
Grand Prix TBD July 1 – July 15
World Cup TBD August or November
Grand Prix TBD September 9 – September 23

2016
Candidates TBD March 9 – March 28
Grand Prix TBD May 11 – May 25
Grand Prix TBD July 6 – July 20
Olympiad TBD August or September or November
Grand Prix TBD August or September or November
Championship Match TBD August or September or November

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Wednesday Chess Chat with Brooklyn Castle Director Katie Dellamaggiore



Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


Here's another nice feature on the chess movie Brooklyn Castle. So aptly does Stefany Tomas write in the Austin Chronicle that "A two-hour documentary about a chess team sounds like a one-way ticket to snoozeville, however, Brooklyn Castle is the exact opposite. Katie Dellamaggiore was definitely onto something when she decided to make a film about Brooklyn’s Intermediate School 318’s competitive chess team." You can read the full article at the link and watch these nice videos - trailer and nice interview with director of the chess movie Katie Dellamaggiore.





Brooklyn Castle Trailer from Rescued Media on Vimeo.


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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The 10 Huge Benefits of Playing Chess - Must Read

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


We would like to thank Chessblog friend Larry Dignan of Onlinecollegecourses.com for sending us this nice article. Feel happy that you belong to the beautiful chess planet as you read '10 Big Brain Benefits of Playing Chess'! So, don't ever give up chess and teach it to everyone you know.


'10 Big Brain Benefits of Playing Chess'! 

It can raise your IQ


Chess has always had an image problem, being seen as a game for brainiacs and people with already high IQs. So there has been a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation: do smart people gravitate towards chess, or does playing chess make them smart? At least one study has shown that moving those knights and rooks around can in fact raise a person's intelligence quotient. A study of 4,000 Venezuelan students produced significant rises in the IQ scores of both boys and girls after 4 months of chess instruction.


It helps prevent Alzheimer's


Because the brain works like a muscle, it needs exercise like any bicep or quad to be healthy and ward off injury. A recent study featured in The New England Journal of Medicine found that people over 75 who engage in brain-stretching activities like chess are less likely to develop dementia than their non-board-game-playing peers. Just like an un-exercised muscle loses strength, Dr. Robert Freidland, the study's author, found that unused brain tissue leads to a loss of brain power. So that's all the more reason to play chess before you turn 75.


It exercises both sides of the brain


In a German study, researchers showed chess experts and novices simple geometric shapes and chess positions and measured the subjects' reactions in identifying them. They expected to find the experts' left brains being much more active, but they did not expect the right hemisphere of the brain to do so as well. Their reaction times to the simple shapes were the same, but the experts were using both sides of their brains to more quickly respond to the chess position questions.


It increases your creativity


Since the right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for creativity, it should come as no surprise that activating the right side of your brain helps develop your creative side. Specifically, chess greatly increases originality. One four-year study had students from grades 7 to 9 play chess, use computers, or do other activities once a week for 32 weeks to see which activity fostered the most growth in creative thinking. The chess group scored higher in all measures of creativity, with originality being their biggest area of gain.


It improves your memory


Chess players know — as an anecdote — that playing chess improves your memory. Being a good player means remembering how your opponent has operated in the past and recalling moves that have helped you win before. But there's hard evidence also. In a two-year study in 1985, young students who were given regular opportunities to play chess improved their grades in all subjects, and their teachers noticed better memory and better organizational skills in the kids. A similar study of Pennsylvania sixth-graders found similar results. Students who had never before played chess improved their memories and verbal skills after playing.


It increases problem-solving skills


A chess match is like one big puzzle that needs solving, and solving on the fly, because your opponent is constantly changing the parameters. Nearly 450 fifth-grade students were split into three groups in a 1992 study in New Brunswick. Group A was the control group and went through the traditional math curriculum. Group B supplemented the math with chess instruction after first grade, and Group C began the chess in first grade. On a standardized test, Group C's grades went up to 81.2% from 62% and outpaced Group A by 21.46%.


It improves reading skills


In an oft-cited 1991 study, Dr. Stuart Margulies studied the reading performance of 53 elementary school students who participated in a chess program and evaluated them compared to non-chess-playing students in the district and around the country. He found definitive results that playing chess caused increased performance in reading. In a district where the average students tested below the national average, kids from the district who played the game tested above it.


It improves concentration


Chess masters might come off like scattered nutty professors, but the truth is their antics during games are usually the result of intense concentration that the game demands and improves in its players. Looking away or thinking about something else for even a moment can result in the loss of a match, as an opponent is not required to tell you how he moved if you didn't pay attention. Numerous studies of students in the U.S., Russia, China, and elsewhere have proven time and again that young people's ability to focus is sharpened with chess.


It grows dendrites


Dendrites are the tree-like branches that conduct signals from other neural cells into the neurons they are attached to. Think of them like antennas picking up signals from other brain cells. The more antennas you have and the bigger they are, the more signals you'll pick up. Learning a new skill like chess-playing causes dendrites to grow. But that growth doesn't stop once you've learned the game; interaction with people in challenging activities also fuels dendrite growth, and chess is a perfect example.


It teaches planning and foresight


Having teenagers play chess might just save their lives. It goes like this: one of the last parts of the brain to develop is the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for planning, judgment, and self-control. So adolescents are scientifically immature until this part develops. Strategy games like chess can promote prefrontal cortex development and help them make better decisions in all areas of life, perhaps keeping them from making a stupid, risky choice of the kind associated with being a teenager.


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal blog at
www.chessqueen.com

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European Senior Team Chess Begins in Slovenia

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

The 11th European Senior Team Chess Championship has begun in Rogaska Slatina, Slovenia. It will run till April 5, according to Fide

Each team consists of four players and one reserve player. Entitled to participate are men from the ECU Chess Federations who shall have reached the age of 60 and women who shall have reached the age of 50 years. 
 


The Championship will be played in 9 rounds following the Swiss System. Time control is 40 moves in 90 minutes and 30 minutes to the end of the game. The player will additionaly receive 30 seconds for each move. Any player who arrives at the chessboard more than 30 minutes after the scheduled start of the round will lose the game.

The ranking depends on the number of team points (win = 2 team points, draw = 1 team point, lose = 0 team points). If the number of team points are equal as well the points scored at the individual boards are added up. If further differentiation is needed the "Buchholz-Wertung" is decisive.

Tournament director is GM Adrian Mikhalchishin, chief arbiter is IA Nebojsa Baralic.

Teams:

1 RUSSIA 1 2427
2 GERMANY 1 2378
3 RUSSIA - SAINT PETERSBURG 2343
4 MONTENEGRO 2333
5 AUSTRIA 1 2322
6 SWITZERLAND 2312
7 DENMARK 1 2307
8 ITALIA 1 2298
9 GERMANY - HESSEN 2269
10 RUSSIA 2 2258
11 FINLAND 1 2232
12 SWEDEN 1 2230
13 SPAIN - CATALONIA 2221
14 AUSTRIA - WIEN 1 2211
15 SCOTLAND 1 2209
16 NORWAY 1 2192
17 ENGLAND 1 2192
18 AUSTRIA - NIEDEROSTERREICH 2176
19 AUSTRIA - STEIERMARK 1 2168
20 NETHERLANDS - DISCENDO DISCIMUS 2135
21 NETHERLANDS - VAS 2135
22 ENGLAND 2 2122
23 TURKEY 2101
24 GERMANY - SACHSEN - ANHALT 2101
25 AUSTRIA - WIEN 2 2100
26 SWEDEN 2 2097
27 GERMANY - CC OBERUSEL 2097
28 SLOVENIA - CELJE SENTJUR 2096
29 WALES 2087
30 NORWAY 2 2087
31 GERMANY - MATTADORE RHEINLAND 2083
32 DENMARK 2 2061
33 NORWAY 5 - BLINDER OLDTIMERS 2048
34 NETHERLANDS - ORANJE 2048
35 SWEDEN 3 2046
36 GERMANY - STIFTUNG BSW/DBAG 2027
37 GERMANY - FREIBAUER NIEDERSACHSEN 2020
38 ENGLAND 3 1994
39 SWEDEN 4 1993
40 FINLAND - TURKU 1987
41 NORWAY 3 1965
42 SCOTLAND 2 1902
43 BELGIUM 1874
44 NORWAY 4 1837
45 FINLAND - HELSINKI 1797
46 FINLAND 2 1779

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Wang Yue Top Seed in China National Chess Championship

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

China has one of the strongest national chess championships in the world. It is time for the 2012 edition this month. The 2012 China Chess Championships for men and women is being organised from March 27 to April 7 in the city of Xinghua. Both groups will be 12-players round robin tournaments. Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan will compete in the open section. You can find all the live coverage at Chessdom. You can read about the opening ceremony at the Fide website.
The open section top seed is Wang Yue (2702 elo) who won one national title, in 2005. The last year champion Ding Liren will defend the title, but the 2010 champion Wang Hao is not in the starting list. The average elo of the players is 2595.

Participants (Men):
GM Wang Yue CHN 2702
GM Bu Xiangzhi CHN 2668 (champion in 2004)
GM Ding Liren CHN 2660 (champion 2009, 2011)
GM Hou Yifan CHN 2639
GM Ni Hua CHN 2637 (champion 2006, 2007 and 2008)
GM Zhou Jianchao CHN 2625
GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2615
GM Zhao Jun CHN 2583
GM Li Shilong CHN 2549
GM Lu Shanglei CHN 2514
IM Wang Chen CHN 2490
IM Liu Qingnan CHN 2461

Round 1 pairings:
GM Li Shilong – GM Lu Shanglei
IM Wang Chen – GM Hou Yifan
GM Ding Liren – GM Wang Yue
IM Liu Qingnan – GM Ni Hua
GM Zhou Jianchao – GM Bu Xiangzhi
GM Zhao Jun – GM Yu Yangyi

The women’s championship has an average elo of 2324. WGM Zhang Xiaowen  is the defending champion, while the 2010 champion Ju Wenjun is the top seed.

Participants (Women):WGM Ju Wenjun CHN 2557
WGM Tan Zhongyi CHN 2438
WGM Huang Qian CHN 2399
IM Wang Yu A CHN 2372
Wang Jue CHN 2366
WGM Zhang Xiaowen CHN 2354
WGM Guo Qi CHN 2351
WGM Ding Yixin CHN 2350
WGM Gu Xiaobing CHN 2257
WIM Wang Xiaohui CHN 2209
Wang Doudou CHN 2186
Nie Xin CHN 2053

Round 1 pairings:
WGM Guo Qi – IM Wang Yu A
WGM Gu Xiaobing – Wang Doudou
Wang Jue – WGM Ju Wenjun
WIM Wang Xiaohui – WGM Ding Yixin
WGM Zhang Xiaowen – WGM Huang Qian
WGM Tan Zhongyi – Nie Xin

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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www.chessqueen.com

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Chess Trivia - Is She a Poker Player or Chess Player?


Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


Not a very difficult chess trivia this week. Guess who? Is she a poker player or a chess player?




From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Also see her personal blog at
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The Chess and Vivaldi dance show -


Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


Time for a creative and musical chess show. A nice chess and Vivaldi production by Botofogo - a dance ensemble from Hungary. 





From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Also see her personal blog at
www.chessqueen.com

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Bad Ragaz Oster Chess Open from April 5 in Switzerland

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Looking for a scenic and serene venue to play chess in? Check out the Bad Ragaz Oster-Open that is to be held from April 5-9 in the Great Hall in Mehrzweckgebäude, Bad Ragaz, Switzerland. The tournament will be played over 7 rounds of Swiss system. Top prizes are CHF 1'000 / 700 / 500 / 400 / 300 etc.
 

Last year 108 players competed. Tournament website. Bad Ragaz is a municipality in the Wahlkreis (constituency) of Sarganserland in the canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland. It is the home of a famous natural spring and is a popular spa and health resort destination. One of the largest spa hotels is the Grand Hotel Quellenhof.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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www.chessqueen.com

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European Chess Championship R6 - 10 in joint lead; 7 players forfeit 'cause of daylight time switch

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

The latest chess news from the European Chess Championship currently on in Plovdiv, Bulgaria is that 10 players are in joint lead! The leaders include GM Arkadij Naiditsch, GM Laurent Fressinet, GM Yuriy Kuzubov, GM Gawain Jones, GM Ernesto Inarkiev, GM Denis Khismatullin, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, GM Maxim Matlakov, GM Anton Korobov, and GM Sergei Azarov.



They are closely followed by 24 players with 4,5/6, among which are the rating favorite GM Fabiano Caruana, the German Champion GM Daniel Fridman, and the 2700 club members GM Bacrot, GM Movsesian, GM Jakovenko, GM Sutovsky, GM Malakhov, GM Riazantsev, GM Jobava, etc.

Live games with analysis / Pairings round 7 / Results round 6


You can access the official website here for more details.


Seven players did not show up for the round and lost their games by forfeit in the sixth round, despite the reminders  about changing the clocks to daylight saving time. Chief Arbiter of the championship Zdravko Nedev spread clear and visual aids about setting the clocks one hour ahead on Saturday night. In addition there was an announcement in the playing hall before the start of the fifth round on  Saturday. Yet, predictions that there might be absent minded players came true. Six young Georgians and a Greek lady did not show up for the round and automatically lost their game.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's

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Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship Official Website Goes Online

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,
 


The official website of the Anand Gelfand 2012 World Chess Championship match is now online at http://moscow2012.fide.com.

One month and 15 days to go for the championship! The site already contains lots of information about the rules of the championship, the schedule, players presentation, and more. You can replay the latest games by the World Chess Championship 2012 contenders here (a nice link via Chessdom).

You can also read what some of the leading grandmasters have to say about the world championship here.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Legendary chess champion Gary Kasparov in Clockwork Edition of Informant 113! Informa

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Yes, this chess news is true. It's going to be wonderful to have none other than legendary world chess champion Gary Kasparov writing an exclusive column on his 'choice of best game' beginning Clockwork Edition Informant 113.


The edition is going to featuring:
“Garry’s Choice” – exclusive column by Garry Kasparov! The 13th World champion dissects top games of modern chess/ in English, 6 pages
“Top Five” – exclusive annotations by five world’s top players, Morozevich, Tomashevsky, Vitiugov, Moiseenko and Inarkiev/ in English, 23 pages

“CI Labs 113” – 10 theoretical surveys with original analyses by grandmasters:


Ivan Cheparinov - Queen’s gambit D35
Ivan Ivanisevic - King’s Indian Defence E97
Alexander Delchev - English opening A20
Kidambi Sundararajan - Ruy Lopez C67, Berlin Defence
Viktor Erdos - Ruy Lopez C67, Rio de Janeiro variation
Misa Pap - French Defence C02
Stelios Halkias - English opening A30
Tornike Sanikidze - Queen’s gambit D35
Robert Markus - Volga-Benko gambit A57
Milos Perunovic - Sicilian Defence B42
in English, 47 pages

“Rising stars” column is presenting young Greek champion Antonis Pavlidis with two of his recent annotated games/ in English, 5 pages

Portrait of Alexander Morozevich – The best from his career so far/ in Informant non-language style, 31 pages

Games – traditional section/ in Informant non-language style, 171 pages

Usual Informant content: Contest for the best game and novelty, Combinations, Endings, Excellent moves, Problems by M.Velimirovic, Studies by Y.Afek, Tournaments

Read more here.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Special Discount Offers on Chess King in Europe, America and Asia!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,





If you've been keeping track here on Chess Blog, then you would already know that Chess King is the exciting new professional chess-learning programme that's wowing everyone!


You can now get Chess King in America through the US Chess Federation and Chess Cafe. You can get it in Europe through New in Chess, and in Asia (particularly India) through Black & White. You can also check it out at the official website of Chess King!


Starting today, you can jumpstart your chess career with Chess King powered by Houdini - the strongest chess engine in the world, or you can take your existing chess career to the next level!


Here is what Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk has to say about Chess King.





From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal blog at
www.chessqueen.com

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12th International Osterturnier chess in Hamburg from April 5

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,
 
Get set for some chess in Germany. The 12th International Osterturnier chess tournament will be played over 9 rounds of Swiss system from April 5-9 at the Parkhotel Norderstedt in Hamburg, Germany. The organisers have provided the prize fund of 15.000 EUR. Top prizes are 2500/ 1700/ 1300/ 1000/ 800/ 600/ 400/ 300 EUR etc. Currently 130 players are signed to compete, with the Tata Steel and Agzamov Memorial winner Maxim Turov as the top seed. Access the official website here.

Top rated players:
Turov Maxim GM 2645 RUS
Vorobiov Evgeny GM 2589 RUS
Sumets Andrey GM 2569 UKR
Epishin Vladimir GM 2561 RUS
Berczes David GM 2560 HUN
Teske Henrik GM 2550 GER
Tikkanen Hans Christian GM 2545 SWE
Gonda Laszlo GM 2536 HUN
Neiksans Arturs GM 2524 LAT
Luther Thomas GM 2524 GER
Huschenbeth Niclas GM 2518 GER
Mirumian Vigen GM 2513 CZE
Richter Michael IM 2484 GER
Kopylov Michael IM 2470 UKR
Smith Axel IM 2470 SWE

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Also see her personal blog at
www.chessqueen.com

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Must Watch Chess Video - Bobby Fischer and the Comeback

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


What is it about Bobby Fischer that one wants to soak up every word about him... no matter how many videos you have watched about the legendary world chess champion... no matter how many books you have already read about him...
So, this Sunday, sit back and watch another video about the one and only Robert James Fischer!







From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Cool Chess Bottle Stoppers!


Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


An old proverb - Chess is a sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe. But, we all love to celebrate a nice chess victory with some champagne. So, for your next cool win, do you have these chess bottle-stoppers?




From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal blog at
www.chessqueen.com

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

RIP GM Yuri Razuvaev - one of the finest chess teachers as ever was


It is with a sad heart that we report the death of one of the finest chess coaches there ever was - RIP GM Yuri Razuvaev. He was also Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk's dearest and beloved chess teacher. You can read the Fide obituary here and GM Kosteniuk's tribute to her dearest teacher at www.chessqueen.com.


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Asian Nations Chess Cup in China from May 27

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

The 2012 Asian Nations Chess Cup (Open and Women’s Chess Team Championship) is scheduled to take place from May 15-27 in Zao Zhuang, Shandong Province, China.


All FIDE Affiliated Chess Federations in Asia are eligible to participate. Each federation shall have the right to be represented by a men’s team of four players and one reserve and by a women’s team of four players and one reserve.

Submission of team lists – One month before the scheduled start of the Team Championships, i.e. 15th April 2012,, each participating federation shall send to the organizing federation the overall team lists of 5 men (4 players and 1 reserve) for the men’s competition and 5 women (4 players and 1 reserve) for the women’s competition.

Chinese Chess Association will be entitled to send a second men’s team and a second women’s team (“B” teams).

The championships shall be held on the Swiss System in nine rounds, on the model of the Olympiads, with one section for the men’’ teams and one section for the women’s teams, considered as separate competitions, or Round Robin with ten or fewer teams.

The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. The games will be played with DGT clocks.

Each team’s place in the order of classification will be decided by the number of match points it has scored. Winner will get 2 points, a draw will give each team 1 point, and a loss is scored as 0 points.

The title of “Asian (and Asian Women’s) Nations Cup Champion 2012″ is bestowed on the winning team. Each winning team will receive a trophy from the organizer in Zao Zhuang.

Each member of the winning team (players, reserves and captain) will receive a gold medal. The members of the second and third placed teams will each receive a silver and bronze medal, respectively.

Individual Chess Medals for Board Prizes Players assigned to the same board number in their respective team lists shall be in competition for individual board prizes namely: gold, silver and bronze medals. For the purposes of this award, the players’ performance rating shall be compared.

The winning teams will represent the continent of Asia in the 2013 World (Women’s) Team Championship.


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Andres Rodriguez wins Uruguay Chess Championship 2012

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,





Here is the latest chess news via Chessdom. The LXXXII edition of Campeonato Uruguayo de Ajedrez took place in Museo de Historia del Arte in Montevideo, Uruguay. The tournament organized by the national chess federation and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports was a qualifier for players for the national team of Uruguay, which will participate in the Chess Olympiad 2012 in Istanbul.


The many times Uruguay champion and winner of Monte Caseros GM Andres Rodriguez, won convincingly the event two points ahead of competition with 10.0/11. More information about the event in the Spanish version of Chessdom.


Standings 1 GM Rodriguez Vila Andres 2518 10
2 NM Sanguinetti Luis 2186 8
3 IM Roselli Mailhe Bernardo 2423 7
4 Ulaneo Nicolas 2146 6
5 FM Larrea Manuel 2306 5.5
6 NM Carvalho Guillermo 2237 5.5
7 NM Oddone Cristhian 2229 5.5
8 FM Izquierdo Daniel 2261 5
9 Coppola Claudio 2131 4.5
10 Michailov Matias 2134 4
11 FM Granara Barreto Sebastian 2156 3.5
12 WFM Colombo Camila 2102 1.5

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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