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Friday, May 23, 2008

Zatonskih and Shulman win the US Chess Championship

WGM/IM Anna Zatonskih, and GM Yuri Shulman won the titles in this year's United States Chess Championship. Zatonskih had to enter a playoff with WGM/IM Irina Krush, before the crown was decided. Armageddon playoff game (they'd already drawn a rapid playoff 2-2).

1.Anna and Irina first played 2 -15 minute (+3 second increment) games. Each player one of these games, Anna won the first game in 33 moves playing white, Irina won the second game in 34 moves playing white. Since they were still tied,they had to continue their playoff, this time using blitz chess (where each player had 5 minutes and was given 3 seconds for each move she made). In the first blitz game, Irina won, after Anna blundered. This result meant that Irina only had to draw the second game to be US Woman's Chess Champion. However, instead of drawing, she lost the second blitz game to Anna, which meant that once again the two Chess divas were tied.This required that the Tournament Director use a special type of chess to decide the winner. Known as Armageddon, the player of the white pieces gets 6 minutes to win the game, the player of the black pieces gets a whole minute less on her clock (5 minutes) to complete all of her moves in the game. However, if the player of the black pieces can draw the game, this is viewed as being the same as winning the game, ie the player of the white pieces can win in the following ways:

(a)win by checkmating her opponent (b)win if her opponent resigns the game or (c)wins the game if her opponent runs out of time. The player of the black pieces can win in these ways: (a)win by checkmating her opponent (b)win if her opponent resigns the game (c)wins the game if her opponent runs out of time, and (d)wins the game if she can draw the game with the black pieces. This idea is due to the fact that White has been viewed as having an advantage in a game of chess, because White gets to move first in a game of chess. So, Anna won the 2008 US Women's Chess Championship, because she was able to win, what amounts to the decisive and last game of the championship. One player had to win using this format, which did not make it necessary for both players to continue playing 30 minute or blitz games all night long (until one player had a agreed upon advantage in the number of games she won). I hope this explanation is clear enough for you Janet and for all the other readers of this message. Those who want to play through the games which Anna and Irina played, you can do so by going to,

GM Shulman won the Men's US Chess Championship by scoring 7 points in the competition (half a point ahead of GM Alexander Onischuk, and a point ahead of GM Sergey Kudrin.) Shulman only had to draw his last game against Josh Friedel to win the Men's crown.

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Chess needs more women and girl participants and administrators!

Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.