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Urals Gone Wild

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Following the North Urals Cup this week? Didn't think so. With powerful events going on in Biel, Dortmund, and Taiyuan right now, a remarkable event in Russia probably escaped your notice. It is also a supertournament, but of the women-only variety. The ten players include many of the top women in the world who aren't from China or named Polgar. Recently crowned FIDE women's world champion Antoaneta Stefanova is the top seed.

I've always said that elite "women's chess" is more exciting and instructive for amateurs and club players than most games between the top 10. Not because they are women, but because they are lower-rated and make more mistakes. Mistakes lead to tactics and decisive games, which are what most fans find exciting. You can't tell the difference between the games of 2500-rated women and 2500-rated men, which is why I like to put "women's chess" in quotes. However, there ARE women's titles, which are archaic, patronizing, unnecessary, and should be eliminated. The North Urals Cup website annoyingly lists Stefanova and Chiburdanidze as WGMs, when they also hold the true Grandmaster title.

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Actually, WM titles are useful - a friend of mine got a free account on ICC for being a WIM even though she never made it to male FM!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 24, 2004 9:19 PM.

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