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Friday, March 6, 2009


The FIDE Women's Grand-Prix tournament begins on Saturday in Istanbul. Here are the pairings for round one:

1GMCRAMLING Pia2548-GMKONERU Humpy262112
2WIMYILDIZ Betul Cemre2214-GMSTEFANOVA Antoaneta255711
3IMFIERRO Baquero Martha L.2403-WGMMAMEDJAROVA Zeinab236210
5GMZHAO Xue2508-WGMSHEN Yang24488
6GMSEBAG Marie2529-IMDANIELIAN Elina24967

According to my research using the database at, Cramling and Koneru have never played against each other in their competitive careers. Cramling usually plays the move 1.d4 as White, leading to a Queen's Gambit and Koneru will usually play a Nimzo-Indian Defense or a Queen's Indian defense. Yildiz and Stefanova have never played against each other in their chess careers. When Yildiz has white she plays the move 1.d4 and plays a Queen's Gambit opening, and when Stefanova plays against the Queen's Gambit she favors playing a Slav defense: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6. Fierro and Mamedjarova have never played each other before over- the- board. Fierro likes to play 1.e4 as her first move with white and when her opponent begins the game with 1.e4 Mamedjarova prefers to play classically with the response 1...e5. The next matchup involves Hou Yifan playing Maia Chiburdanidze. Yifan always begins a game with white by playing 1.e4, and when her opponent plays this move Chiburdanidze responds by playing either the Sicilian defense 1...c5, the Caro-Kann defense 1...c6, or the French Defense 1...e6. The next matchup in this tournament is between two chinese players, Zhao Xue and Shen Yang. When Zhao has white she likes to begin with 1.d4 2.c4 (The Queen's Gambit) and when facing 1.d4 Shen Yang plays the Slav defense 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6. The last matchup of the round is between Marie Sebag and Elina Danielian. Marie Sebag always opens a game with white using 1.e4. and when her opponent begins a game with 1.e4 Elina Danielian plays either 1...e6 (The French defense), 1...c6 (The Caro-Kann defense), or 1...d5 (The Center-Counter defense). Good luck to all the players!

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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.