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August Winners

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Dutchman Ivan Sokolov won the 4th Staunton Memorial in England. He finished with an impressive 9/11 to finished a half-point ahead of Jan Timman and top seed Mickey Adams. Those three turned it into a top-heavy event. All finished undefeated and drew their games with each other. The next highest finisher was Werle with 7 points. A nice event, although having it conflict with the British championship was bizarre.

Fressinet and Tkachiev tied for first in the French championship with 7.5/11 so there will be a playoff. The final rounds were marred with a plague of very short draws, as was the tournament in general. Nine draws of 15 moves or fewer, four of them by Lautier.

A Russian B team beat a Chinese team 26.5-23.5 in a Scheveningen "China-Russia Chess Summit" held in Ergun, Mongolia. Jakovenko was the top point-getter in the event with 6.5/10. The first of these events was held in Shanghai in 2001. Russia won that one 21.5-14.5, but they also sent a stronger team in that one so it's hard to make comparisons.

The NH Tournament started its second half in Amsterdam. Beliavsky is keeping the veterans in it and he scored his third win to move to +2. The youngsters still lead by +2 because Wang Hao beat Nunn in a wild game.



Russia lost the match against China.

The combined match score was 51.5-48.5.

The "Chess Summit" entailed both men and women teams and in all fairness, one must report the combined score. In fact, the combined score is what they have gone by in previous years. Russia crushed China 41.5-30.5 in 2001 and China won 37.5-34.5 in 2004.


Yes, Russia lost.
Russian men team won with 26,5:23,5; womens team lost with 26,5:23,5; the overall result was Chinas victory with 51,5:48,5.


You meant the Russia women lost 28-22. (smile)

The Chinese women have young talent coming up and not only 12-year old Hou Yifan.

I don't understand...Surely, many people are interested in chess events restricted by race, gender, age, etc. and are free to report and discuss them. The top level event however, is always an open event, the one that all men and women, young and old, are eligible for. Surely, that's the one that counts.


I'm not sure what tournament you're referring to, but if you're referring to the China-Russia Chess Summit, it was not such an open event. It was a match in which men and women teams were competing for the Chinese and Russian federations, respectively. The winner of the match is determined by the cumulative score of both teams of the federation, not just the men's result. The impression given was that Russia won the match when in fact, they lost. It was merely an omission I wanted to point out. No problem.

About this man-woman thing...

I won't discuss here about the differences between men's and women's brains. A few years ago, when the best woman was rated around 2500, some, the chess world was almost certain that there was such a big difference (if not men's superiority) between men and women, that women needed a special category to compete together, so that some women could win something one day...

Then came Judit Polgar. When she reached 2735, playing more agressively (I point out her attacking style because most people would certainly link that to aggressiveness, or to testosterone) than most male GMs, she just proved that men and women have equal capabilities.

Therefore, I don't see the point in female competitions. Would I be a woman, I would refuse to play in female competitions : that would be admitting that men are born superior. Female prizes in tournaments, as category prizes, are totally ridiculous. There must be one winner, and only one : the guy - or girl - who shows the best chess.

Woman category, woman matches, woman championships, woman prizes are an insult to women's intelligence.

I was aware of the women's match when I wrote the item. It was an intentional omission. I don't care for women-only events and generally don't cover them. We've gone into this many times here so I won't belabor the point. The Russian team won the part of the event I care about and that's the score I gave. Saying China won would entail explaining that they won the women's event, etc.

I'm sure M Langer meant "open" in that it is open to both genders. That is, the strongest chessplayers, period.


I think that your proposition is ridiculous. You position you self above both the Russian and Chinese federations. This has been their agreement and tradition to define the event as a combined event. How can you shamelessly state that you only care the men's event and use the men's results to claim that the Russian won the event? You apparently lack the basic fairness of a journalist. In a related note, I find two things common in your other reporting and postings nauseating: (1) as a class player, you often pretentious to be a master in commending chess games; (2) as a friend of Kasparov, you often swindle his name like a baseball bat. Shame on you! Can you be a little bit fair to your readers, chess fans, Karpov and other chess masters?

I thank you for this chess blog.


I don't have a proposition. I have a blog. I cover what I want with no pretense of "objectivity" (which is always defined as whatever other people want). A Russian team did beat a Chinese team. And a Chinese women's team beat a Russian women's team. I don't care about the latter and didn't feel it worth mentioning here. If I had found an official website I'd have linked to it.

I have no idea what a "class player" is meant to mean, but if you are intent on joining the ranks of the trolls who think the USCF is the only rating on earth, feel free. But chess is also played in other countries. They also have rating systems. Don't blather on about "fairness" if you want to use the USCF rating I had in high school after a dozen club games before leaving the country in 1991. My 2310 Argentine rating is a matter of record. But I won't have every thread here trolled about it. I've spent years working with masters and IMs and GMs and wouldn't be capable of that work - or hired to do it in the first place - if my knowledge was represented by my old USCF rating. Trolls like you whine about such things but never seem to post any actual complaints or corrections to my analysis. (In which there are doubtless errors.) Funny, that.

My English isn't good enough to understand your last sentences about Kasparov and baseball and Karpov. Perhaps if I were friends with Karpov and played baseball I would write about those things to your satisfaction.

Mig: am i right if I understand that you aren't intressted in the woman-part of the Chinese-Russia match because you don't like gender segregated chess events?

But the men part of the event was ONLY FOR MEN, womens was not allowed.
By logical, you shall not follow that event?

Thanks for the blog/Mragel

Why was it only for men? If there were women strong enough to play on either team she could have played, although there is no way to know that for sure. Perhaps the team captains would have preferred to have her dominate the women's event, the way the Hungarians wanted Judit to stay in the women's Olympiad despite being the strongest Hungarian player (she eventually refused).

That's why "men's team" and "men's event" are obsolete, or should be. I'm in favor of making those terms obsolete, as well as women's titles and events. Not overnight, necessarily, but I would like to see a move from them to better ways to promote women in chess without keeping them weak.

I follow what interests me, usually this means strong chess events. But there is no formula or divine principle. I'm sure I'll mention some other women's event in the future for some reason. But in general they are relatively weak events and encourage a system I think is harmful.



I don't want to make too much of this, but this is the the first time I've seen you do this. This was a China-Russia summit. Reporting an event as if only the men's result represented the entire event surprised me because I knew that you knew the combined result. However, an unsuspecting chess fan would not know and could be mislead. Nevertheless, you do have journalistic discretion and that is your right on this blog.


An entire thesis or even a book can be written on the subject how feminists promote mediocrity within their ranks. However, I am curious to know how and why you ended up in Argentina. Che, porque hiciste eso, pibe? Fuiste por una chica? Las tardecitas de Buenos Aires tienen ese -- que se yo, viste....


I agree with Mig's position that the women's event is a sideshow, BUT women deserve their own titles and competitions because of 1) their lower mean IQ, 2) their tighter IQ distribution. For instance, it is worth recognizing the fastest female runner or power-lifter, even though none would never medal at a men's event.

If women were demonstrably less capable of proficiency in chess, it would be a reason to cover their events, not to ignore them. But, unlike power lifting and tennis, there is no known limitation to their performance relative to that of men in chess. Nor is there is a correlation between chess and IQ, which is a red herring of leviathan proportions when it comes to gender.

I probably should have mentioned it just out of the sake of completism, Daaim. I wasn't trying to create a false impression of the event, just report that the Russian (men) had beaten the Chinese (men) in a strong team event. Most of the time I probably would have mentioned there was also a women's event. But I don't like being bullied into saying the Chinese won the event. Obviously they can define the event however they like and according to their event description China was the winner. But I was interested in who won the serious chess event, not the affirmative action under-2500 women's event. And I specified the 26.5-23.5 score. Going into a long explanation of that didn't seem worthwhile either. Oh well.

I've ignored plenty of women's events in the past...

Talking about "August Winners", Dato Arthur Tan 3rd Malaysian Open was held on 21-27 August 2006. The top 10 finishers are:

1. GM Dao Thien Hai
2. IM Oliver Dimakiling
3. GM Ziaur Rahman
4. IM Darwin Laylo
5. IM Wynn Zaw Htun
6. GM Nguyen Anh Dung
7. GM Nguyen Ngoc Trong Son
8. GM Mark Paragua
9. IM Ashot Nadanian
10. GM Susanto Megaranto

Full details: http://www.malaysiaopen.net . Last year, it was undisputedly won by Wang Hao. :)

I know of no study correlating chess rating with IQ, but it's reasonable to suspect a (possibly very strong) relationship. Chess is an imperfect test of several dimensions of information processing efficiency, which is what IQ tests purportedly measure.

So, perhaps some enterprising academic out there will give IQ tests at the next World Open, correlate with USCF rating, and publish the findings.


You miss the point, in a China-Russia match the women's games are PART of the main event. It's not a side event in that it is called China vs. Russia (women) and China vs. Russia (men). It is not like the Chess Olympiad where scores are counted separately with two sets of medals.


None of the discussion about women's chess being legitimate has anything to do with omitting half of the facts from a news story. In journalism, reporters are sometimes faced with covering events they neither like nor care much about. They still have to get the "scoop" and accuracy is still the objective.

In this case, Mig's rationale for not including half of the story was that he does not give credence to women's chess. He does cover women's chess here and of course, the China-Russia summit was a combined team event. Would coverage be any different if the matches were in the format of the US-China summits (mixed)? Perhaps, but let's give China credit... they won according to the match rules.

BTW, I noticed a trend amongst bloggers here when China took the Olympiad silver... many wanted to hypothetically change the rules and say medals should be determined by match points (which would favor Russia). People even whined when China led by three points at the World Team (before collapsing against Russia last year). There is still an inherent pro-Russian bias in the chess world and media, but it is a new day. I believe China and India represent the future of chess.

"China and India represent the future of chess" : About India, well ... why? About China, yes. Communism and totalitarian systems have always used sports as a way to show a good face, which is there to hide their crimes. That's why there's such a chess culture in Russia today, and that's also why today there are so few emerging chess talents in Russia : no more communism, no more chess talents produced.

Chess was a marvelous tool in USSR : first point, in such a cold country, in winter the only things you can do are ... 1) f*** 2) drink vodka and 3) play chess. Second idea, for the USSR leaders, it was simply marvelous to distract bright spirits from thinking about how terrible and unhuman the political system was.

So yes, China will produce huge champions in the future. And in other sports as well. Even in basket ball, one day they will slaughter the US team, even if to achieve this goal they will have to modify genetically their gifted children to go from their regular 1.60 meters to 2.30 ...


Is Argentinian ratings comparable to US ratings in the same way the currencies are ;-)

I don't see an anti-Chinese bias. If any team had medalled while losing three matches it would have led to such talk. Beating weak teams and losing to strong ones is unimpressive at most. Many have been complaining about that for years. In fact, the 2008 Olympiad changed the rules in favor of match points before the 2006 Olympiad took place. I'm in favor of keeping game points, perhaps a mixed scoring system that incorporates both.

The organizers of the Russia-China match could have included separate junior teams down to six years old and used those in the combined score. (They have had junior teams in past summits.) I wouldn't be interested in those, either. I reported the result of the chess event that was relevant to me. The one with the 2600 GMs. It's nothing to do with pro-Russian bias. It's a pro-chess bias. Or anti-women's-chess bias if you insist. From that perspective, my skewed one, calling China the winner is misleading. At the very least, as I explained above, it requires explanation.

Well, the whole time I lived there (93-99), the Argentine peso was pegged 1-to-1 to the dollar! Argentine ratings (SNG) use Elo and are similar to FIDE ratings. Argentine FIDE ratings were a little inflated compared to European ones. As is probably true in the USA as well, there aren't many FIDE-rated events. Around a third of the top few hundred Argentine players don't even have FIDE ratings.

The point is that China insists on there being both men's and women's matches with a combined score to count because it knows that this arrangement will ensure that China is likely to win. Mig is right not to go along with the Chinese and to give the result that matters - the men's event. Women-only chess events are an anachronism with no possible justification.

I completely agree that women's events are a complete waste of space and money. I don't understand why FIDE insists on keeping the women's World Championship, for example. Gender-based competitions and title requirements set bounds to young players' developement by giving them the false impression that obtaining the WIM title is a significant achievement. In my opinion women's titles and tournaments should be abandoned altogether so that female players are forced to compete with men. If little girls get used to playing against little boys, the future of women in chess will be safe. As it is now, female players compete only against each other from an early age, which is why even extremely talented players may never come close to fulfilling their potential; they simply lack motivation and possibilities.

I think that Susan Polgar and Alexandra Kostenyuk don't do much good to chess by emphasising on sexuality and gender-restricted competitions. Their promotion activities imply that the only way to be a successful female chessplayer is to ignore the other half of the world (or to make the other half of the world think of you as some kind of a circus atraction, i.e. a chess-playing doll, in Kostenyuk's case).

This is Mig's personal blog; he's free to omit information that doesn't interest him, and I can't say I disagree with him in this case.

I know asking about the chess would interrupt such an interesting discussion but... any games? list of teams? website?


No official wesite, unfortunately, but russian chesspro.ru website has the results, games and reports with comments from GM Shipov (http://www.chesspro.ru/events2/rc06.shtml) Though, it seems they received the games and photos directly from the Russian team :)

Russian team:
Dreev, Malakhov, Zvjagintsev, Yakovenko, Naer;
Kovalevksaia, Matveeva, both Kosintsevas and Tairova.
Bu, Zhang Zhong, Wang, Zhang Pengxiang, Ni;
Zhao Xue, Shen Yang, Hou Yifan, Wang Yu, Huang Qian.


If the main rebuttal is that Mig can cover whatever he wants because this is his blog, then we cannot have a productive debate. Go to TWIC for a brief report and the games.


Your rationale is very faulty. How can you say the matches were set up in this fashion because China would win? Russia could have sent whomever they wanted. Both federations agreed to the terms. "Mig is right not to go along with the Chinese" ... what are you talking about?


Again... it was not a women's event anymore than it was a men's event... it is a summit between two federations. This is simple. The fact that Mig only cares about one half of the event explains his rationale and it is pointless to argue about his bias. However, a journalist's bias should not preclude factual reporting.

If a managing editor sent you all the way to Mongolia to cover the China-Russia summit and you come back with only the men's story... you will get FIRED!

Mig has developed a personal blog that readers rely on for chess news and information. If your argument is that this is Mig's personal blog and he can put whatever he wants on it, then I will not go into that argument.


Mig would promote the guy and give him a bonus for doing that. ):


What about staging a match with Chimi to settle your chess strength and woman-chess auguments? Her USCF ~2200 shouldn't standup to your Arg 2300. ):


On these pages Mig is a blogger and not a journalist. If he chose to ignore the women's section on a site where I expected journalistic standards (e.g. Chessbase), I would agree with you, but here I do not.

It comes down to what we expect from each chess site. Mig's banner headline at the top of the Daily Dirt is "Insider news and views from chess writer Mig Greengard" and I feel he has delivered on what he advertised.

If you want a quick and comprehensive results and games site with less opinion, you are right to go to TWIC which is unparalleled.

I read Mig's column for a bit of humour, a bit of gossip and because he is controversial and likely to get on people's goats (mine included). If blandly restating press releases was what he did, this reader wouldn't go near his site.

FWIW I agree this time women only events have as much merit as Aries only ones.


There are a lot of 'only Aries' types of chess tournaments around.

The Staunton is intended for Dutch and English players, the French Championship for French only, the NH arbitrarily chooses to discriminate on the basis of age. Not the best Russian team is beaten by not the best Chinese team (where there is a fixed requirement for gender division within the teams).

All these events have some interest and generate enjoyment and benefit, we hope, for players, fans and even arbiters and sponsors.

To single out gender-segregation as being uniquely wrong seems spiteful.

In this case I agree with Daaim, Mig's report on the Russia-China event was factually wrong, and just because it is his blog is very weak justification.

We know this blog is not as serious as some other, but I was accustomed to believing that at least Mig believed what he wrote, and presented himself as a quality chess journalist (which can go fine with levity).

A lot of hoopla over nothing. Chess Ninja isn't the place for chess news anyway -- ChessBase/TWIC are. Chess Ninja is clearly a big.

And I recall reading a GM (IM?) who said that Mig was at least FM strength, after having analyzed with him.

Err... clearly a blog.

Just adding my small voice in agreement with Mig. It is really time for women to start playing with the men if they want to get anywhere (cf. Judit). I find the idea of some kind of "Special Olympics" (not the most felicitous comparison, but I am sure you know what I mean) rather demeaning, and would hope that most women agree.


There are a number of reasons why a woman might prefer a woman's tournament. I'll bet women players change their clothes and shower more often, smell better, are more considerate, and throw fewer tantrums.

A woman who wants to get somewhere in chess will prefer a men's tournament. A woman who generally prefers a pleasant playing experience might choose a woman's tournament.

If womens' tournaments promote chess participation and enjoyment, why bash them?

gg : "the french championship is intended for French only" ... well Tkachiev and Skripchenko both are NOT french citizens, and are NOT aryan. By the way, if you look at our french soccer team, you won't see a lot of aryan people, and the french championship is a tournament with an open section giving two spots next year for the close tournaments to the winners of the open section, so that everybody who has a licence in France and wants to play in it can play. There isn't any kind of segregationnist rule.

Greg Koster, "women players change their clothes and smell better" ... what do you mean? Than you?

The only reason for a woman to favor women's tournaments is money, because in a female tournament she'll make cash out of her pityfull 2200 rating, when in a real tournament she'd just have her a** kicked, like any patzer playing against GMs and IMs.

Why would any women tournament promote chess participation? If today's women tournament are the reason why so few women play chess, I would say that they probably don't promote chess amongst women in the best way.


Blogs ARE places for chess news and provide a different interactive platform that websites cannot match. There are also many chess sources besides ChessBase and TWIC. TWIC is primarily a scoreboard and ChessBase covers selected items of chess interest.

There are many of chess sites each having a different niche and many adding decent content. Blogs serve the purpose of adding to this content and we come to rely on them. To say this is merely a blog and has less important than chess websites is to downplay its importance as a source of not only factual, up-to-date news, but with feedback.

I'm not sure why people are still posting about the credence of women's events. That topic has been discussed in detail on other threads in the Daily Dirt.

Oh... my last comment was for Macuga, not Rouslan. Sorry.

I checked something.

Doing a quick search on the Daily Dirt, there are tons of stories on women's chess... gender-specific tournaments, stories and commentary about its merits and demerits. The sudden omission in the China-Russia story remains puzzling, but life goes on.


Al raised the issue of Aries-only tournaments. Aries is a Zodiacal sign, like Libra or Taurus, a sort of parody on making a meaninglessly separate tournament.

Aries is not a race or ethnicity, maybe you are confusing it with Aryan, that's the only way I can understand your post.

The French Championship is for French people, as defined by various criteria, which may be citizenship or residence. FIDE affiliation to FRA is not necessary. This is similar in most other countries. The recent British championship had a USA federation member playing and likely US citizen, James Sherwin (72 year old IM with quite a few game son record against Fischer). I guess he may be British by birth, allowing him to take part.

gg point well made about the large amount of Aries only events- we should maybe refer to Libra-only to avoid future confusion :-)

However, A National Federation will have a constitution requiring it to run a series of championships for its members. I think they are exempt from such criticism.

However, you have a point wrt the Staunton (is this a case of we've used our budget on a few big names and will get whoever we can to make up the numbers). NH was an attractive idea and the ideas mentioned on another thread for choosing players future definitely have merit.

I just think it's sad that people who run women only events think they are promoting women's chess. e.g. Last year's Gibraltar event probably allowed Stevanova, Cramling etc to get bigger scalps and enabled them to learn more about chess than any women-only event. Also in the recent women's events it was interesting to see the likes of Cramling and Zhu Chen at or near the top of the tables, when they have been playing mainly in male only events. Koneru Humpy also played in the Women's Olympiad because she just failed to get into the Indian Open team. They are people trying to be the best chessplayer they can, not cruising along in Women only events.

I'll post this question.

If all the female GMs played in closed tournament, would it be any less significant than an all-male GM closed tournament? Let's say both groups have the same average ELO.

I would bet that such a female GM tournament would be stronger than many "male" tournaments we follow on TWIC, but would get little attention.

What I don't like in this debate is the notion that women cannot make a significant contribution to the chess debate. Certainly they may not be the strongest GMs, but the chess world seems to pay more attention to male players weaker than the females with the GM title.

There are so many stories missed in chess because we are fixated on the endless battles between the same top 20 players. We miss rising players from non-western nations; we miss beautifully-played games from little-known players; we miss stories from obscure countries; we miss out on exciting chess played between women competitors. All because of a limited focus.

I laughed when people were saying Judit Polgar (2700+) didn't belong in the San Luis WCC. Here is a woman who has made a career out of eating GMs for lunch and all of a sudden, she doesn't belong in the elite. Even when women play with men it is viewed as a sideshow.

>>"If all the female GMs played in closed tournament, would it be any less significant than an all-male GM closed tournament? Let's say both groups have the same average ELO.

I would bet that such a female GM tournament would be stronger than many "male" tournaments we follow on TWIC, but would get little attention."

The North Urals Cup brings in (or at least seems to bring in) a good deal of attention, less than a super tournament to be sure, but it was near of the top of the TWIC page while it was running and didn't get an unusually low amount of attention for a category XI (I think it was) tourney. My impression is that it wasn't a sideshow at all, but maybe that's my perception of things (and that particular tourney). I'm not sure if you're saying that women-only tournaments would get little attention if all female chess players played in them, or what.

I definately do agree Judit had a place in the WCC (she was in the top eight at the time, after all, and effectively the top six with Kasparov's and Kramnik's withdrawls) and that chess coverage is very narrow. While my opinion of Chessbase has gone up and down over the last few months, I'd say that it probably paints a broader picture than most chess news sites. I don't know whether it's because its policy is to have a broad horizon of coverage, or because the CB staff has more time to cover chess.

I bet Mig would beat me in a match pretty easily. Chess analysts seem to get a lot stronger, even without playing in many tournaments.


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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 25, 2006 6:22 PM.

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