Friday, June 8, 2012

Barden's Report on 2012 Women's World Rapid Chess Championship

A report on the recently-concluded Women's World Rapid Chess Championship

Series: Leonard Barden on Chess

Women's chess enjoying a surge in popularity, particularly in Georgia

Times are good for the world's best women chessplayers, who are mainly based in Russia, eastern Europe, China and India. Tournament prizes are rising, and more events are being launched. The all-time No1, Judit Polgar, and the 18-year-old world champion, Hou Yifan, are eagerly sought after by organisers and have thousands of fans. The 2010-11 women's Grand Prix ran much more smoothly than its male counterpart, in which some planned tournament venues did not take part.

Last week's World Rapid (one-hour games) and Blitz (10-minute games) championships in Batumi, Georgia, had a huge $100,000 prize fund. All the players stayed at the five-star Sheraton and the field, though lacking Polgar and Hou, attracted the cream of the female elite, a dozen of whom have ratings above the 2500 male grandmaster level.

That Georgia should host the eight-day event was no accident. The country's long tradition dates back centuries to when a chess set was part of a Georgian bride's dowry, and reached its zenith in 1962-1991 when, for three decades, only Georgian women held the world crown. Since then China and Russia have become the top nations, but Georgia remains in the top three.

The UK representative in Batumi, Keti Arakhamia-Grant, learnt her chess in Georgia, married a Scot, has won the Scottish title and has finished second in the British championship, both against men. She played to her rating in both the rapid and blitz but finished in midfield in both.

Antoaneta Stefanova won the World Rapid by half a point. The Bulgarian had luck when, in lost positions for her, two of her main rivals allowed mates in one and two, but she is a strong GM and a shrewd speed player, as below where her 11 Qg4!? (11 Qf3) offers the d4 pawn for attack. Black would be safe by 14...Nf6 but her 14...f5? created a weakness which White pounced on by 18 Bxe6+! and 20 Rd7! winning.

A Stefanova v N Khurtsidze
1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 e3 c5 4 Bd3 b6 5 0-0 Bb7 6 c4 Be7 7 Nc3 cxd4 8 exd4 d5 9 cxd5 Nxd5 10 Ne5 0-0 11 Qg4!? Nf6 12 Qh4 Ne4 13 Qh3 Qxd4 14 Bf4 f5? 15 Bc4 Rf6 16 Rad1 Qc5 17 Nxe4 Bxe4 18 Bxe6+! Rxe6 19 Qb3 Qc8 20 Rd7! Nxd7 21 Qxe6+ Kh8 22 Nf7+ Kg8 23 Nd6+ 1-0
3257 1...Qc1+ 2 Kh2 Qc7+ 3 Kh1 Bc6 traps White's queen.

Mammoth Discovery in Iowa May Provide Future Answers

From PhysOrg

Scientists excited about US mammoth discovery

June 6, 2012
(AP) — An unusual discovery of mammoth bones on a rural Oskaloosa farm has experts studying prehistoric life excited about scientific discoveries that may lie with the massive beast.

The find is rare because it appears to include much of the animal's skeleton undisturbed. That allows scientists to gather pollen and other plant evidence at the dig site that could reveal details about Iowa's environment more than 12,000 years ago.

Scientists from the University of Iowa plan to scan the area with ground penetrating radar on Friday to see if they can determine how much of the mammoth remains underground. Excavation will continue throughout the summer.

Bones were first found two years ago by the landowner. He wants his name and location of the farm to remain confidential to protect the site.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mob Attacks Female Protesters in Egypt

Oh, the irony, the irony.
From Yahoo News

Mob attacks women at Egypt anti-sex assault rally

CAIRO (AP) — A mob of hundreds of men assaulted women holding a march demanding an end to sexual harassment Friday, with the attackers overwhelming the male guardians and groping and molesting several of the female marchers in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

From the ferocity of the assault, some of the victims said it appeared to have been an organized attempt to drive women out of demonstrations and trample on the pro-democracy protest movement.

The attack follows smaller scale assaults on women this week in Tahrir, the epicenter of the uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak to step down last year. Thousands have been gathering in the square this week in protests over a variety of issues — mainly over worries that presidential elections this month will secure the continued rule by elements of Mubarak's regime backed by the ruling military.

Earlier in the week, an Associated Press reporter witnessed around 200 men assault a woman who eventually fainted before men trying to help could reach her.

Friday's march was called to demand an end to sexual assaults. Around 50 women participated, surrounded by a larger group of male supporters who joined to hands to form a protective ring around them. The protesters carried posters saying, "The people want to cut the hand of the sexual harasser," and chanted, "The Egyptian girl says it loudly, harassment is barbaric."

After the marchers entered a crowded corner of the square, a group of men waded into the women, heckling them and groping them. The male supporters tried to fend them off, and it turned into a melee involving a mob of hundreds.

The marchers tried to flee while the attackers chased them and male supporters tried to protect them. But the attackers persisted, cornering several women against a metal sidewalk railing, including an Associated Press reporter, shoving their hands down their clothes and trying to grab their bags. The male supporters fought back, swinging belts and fists and throwing water.

Eventually, the women were able to reach refuge in a nearby building with the mob still outside until they finally got out to safety.

"After what I saw and heard today. I am furious at so many things. Why beat a girl and strip her off? Why?" wrote Sally Zohney, one of the organizers of the event on Twitter.

The persistence of the attack raised the belief of many that it was intentional, though who orchestrated it was unclear.

Mariam Abdel-Shahid, a 25 year-old cinema student who took part in the march, said "sexual harassment will only take us backward."

"This is pressure on the woman to return home," she said.

Ahmed Mansour, a 22 year-old male medical student who took part in the march, said there are "people here trying to abuse the large number of women protesters who feel safe and secure. Some people think it is targeted to make women hate coming here."

"I am here to take a position and to object to this obscene act in society," he said.

Assaults on women Tahrir have been a demoralizing turn for Egypt's protest movement.

During the 18-day uprising against Mubarak last year, women say they briefly experienced a "new Egypt," with none of the harassment that is common in Cairo's streets taking place in Tahrir. Women participated in the anti-Mubarak uprising as leading activists, protesters, medics and even fighters to ward off attacks by security agents or affiliated thugs. They have continued the role during the frequent protests over the past 15 months against the military, which took power after Mubarak's fall on Feb. 11, 2011.

But women have also been targeted, both by mobs and by military and security forces in crackdowns, a practice commonly used by Mubarak security against protesters. Lara Logan, a U.S. correspondent for CBS television, was sexually assaulted by a frenzied mob in Tahrir on the day Mubarak stepped down, when hundreds of thousands of Egyptians came to the square to celebrate.

In a defining image of the post-Mubarak state violence against women, troops dispersing a December protest in Tahrir were captured on video stripping a woman's top off down to her blue bra and stomping with their boots on her chest, as other troops pulled her by the arms across the ground.

That incident prompted an unprecedented march by some 10,000 women through central Cairo in December demanding Egypt's ruling military step down in a show of outrage

In contrast, the small size of Friday's march could reflect the vulnerability and insecurity many feel in the square, which was packed with thousands of mostly young men by nightfall Friday. Twenty rights groups signed on to support the stand and hundreds more vowed to take part, according to the Facebook page where organizers publicized the event, but only around 50 women participated.

Sexual harassment of women, including against those who wear the Islamic headscarf or even cover their face, is common in the streets of Cairo. A 2008 report by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights says two-thirds of women in Egypt experienced sexual harassment on a daily basis. A string of mass assaults on women in 2006 during the Muslim feast following the holy month of Ramadan prompted police to increase the number of patrols to combat it but legislation providing punishment was never passed.

After Friday's attack, many were already calling for another, much larger stand in the square against such assaults.

Another participant in Friday's march, Ahmed Hawary, said a close female friend of his was attacked by a mob of men in Tahrir Square in January. She was rushed off in an ambulance, which was the only way to get her out, he said. After suffering from a nervous breakdown, she left Cairo altogether to work elsewhere in Egypt.

"Women activists are at the core of the revolution," Hawary said. "They are the courage of this movement. If you break them, you break the spirit of the revolution."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Statue of Buddha Found in Afghanistan

From Live Science

Ancient Statue Reveals Prince Who Would Become Buddha

Date: 06 June 2012 Time: 07:03 PM ET

In the ruins of a Buddhist monastery in Afghanistan, archaeologists have uncovered a stone statue that seems to depict the prince Siddhartha before he founded Buddhism.

CREDIT: Jaroslav Poncar

The stone statue, or stele, was discovered at the Mes Aynak site in a ruined monastery in 2010, but it wasn't until now that it was analyzed and described. Gérard Fussman, a professor at the Collège de France in Paris, details his study in "The Early Iconography of Avalokitesvara" (Collège de France, 2012).

Standing 11 inches (28 centimeters) high and carved from schist — a stone not found in the area — the stele depicts a prince alongside a monk. Based on a bronze coin found nearby, Fussman estimates the statue dates back at least 1,600 years. Siddhartha lived 25 centuries ago.

The prince is shown sitting on a round wicker stool, his eyes looking down and with his right foot against his left knee. He is "clad in a dhoti (a garment), with a turban, wearing necklaces, earrings and bracelets, sitting under a pipal tree foliage. On the back of the turban, two large rubans [are] flowing from the head to the shoulders," writes Fussman in his new book. "The turban is decorated by a rich front-ornament, without any human figure in it." [Photos of the statue and ancient Buddhist monastery]

The monk stands at the prince's right side, his right forearm shown upright. In his right hand the monk holds a lotus flower or palm (now broken), and in his left is a round object of some kind.

Based on the iconography of the stele, particularly the pipal leaves, Fussman believes the prince is Gautama Siddhartha Sakyamuni, who is said to have achieved enlightenment, become a Buddha — someone of divine wisdom and virtue — and founded the religion of Buddhism. This stele shows him at an early moment in his life, when he has yet to start his fateful journey of enlightenment.
Siddhartha's story

According to the story, Siddhartha's father wanted him to follow a worldly path and tried to keep his son cloistered in a palace.

"Lotus pools were made for me at my father's house solely for my use; in one, blue lotuses flowered, in another white, and in another red," says Siddharthain ancient writings attributed to him. "A white sunshade was held over me day and night so that I would not be troubled by cold or heat, dust or grit or dew." (This translation is from Rupert Gethin's "The Foundations of Buddhism," Oxford University Press, 1998.)

The prince's life would change when he ventured outside the palace and saw the real world. "As soon as he left the palace he became pessimistic," Fussman told LiveScience, "because by meeting these people, he knew that everybody is to work, everybody may become ill, everybody is to die."
He grew disenchanted with palace life and left, becoming a poor ascetic.

Tibetan clues

Fussman said that this stele supports the idea that there was a monastic cult, in antiquity, dedicated to Siddhartha's pre-enlightenment life. This idea was first proposed in a 2005 article inthe journalEast and West by UCLA professor Gregory Schopen. Schopen found evidence for the cult when studying the Tibetan version of the monastic code, Mulasarvastivada vinaya.

It's a "cult focused on his image that involved taking it in procession through the region and into town," Schopen wrote. "A cult tied to a cycle of festivals celebrating four moments, not in the biography of the Buddha but in the pre-enlightenment period of the life of Siddhartha."

One section of the code authorizes carrying the image of Siddhartha (referred to as a Bodhisattva) on a wagon.

Whether or not the newly discovered stele went on a wagon ride, Fussman said the depiction of Gautama Siddhartha Sakyamuni before he became a Buddha provides further evidence of the existence of this cult. "Here also you have an instance of it," he said in the interview, "the Buddha before he became a Buddha."

Excavations continue at the Mes Aynak site as scientists explore the complex in an effort to save the artifacts before the area is disturbed by copper mining.

Another Dog Saves Another Baby

I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the story.  I saw it earlier today reported at Yahoo news but tonight I wasn't able to find it there.  I did find a shortened version of the story elsewhere, so here is the shortened version.  I add from the story I remember reading this morning:  The farmer was worried about his dog when he didn't come home at the regular time.  He got together a search party and they searched for the dog for hours and finally found it underneath a bridge - and as you'll see in the story, snuggling up to a newborn male infant wrapped in blankets!  That the farmer was worried about his dog signals to me either that the dog was a very valuable member of the farmer's "family" (in terms of being a good herder, for instance), and/or the dog was well loved. [Added at 9:25 p.m.:  I found the Yahoo linked story here]. 

From Life With Dogs: June 6, 2012

A loyal canine has earned hero status after he was found cradling an abandoned baby that he had spent the night protecting. According to authorities, a two week old child was discovered under a bridge in Winkongo, near Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional Capital of Ghana, after being forsaken by its mother.

Left alone in a hostile environment, the baby did not have to fend for itself – it was saved by a local farm dog.

Officials say the two were found together many hours after the dog went missing. A search party spent the night combing area fields and forests in pursuit of the wandering canine, but it was not until morning that they made a stunning discovery when they found him under the bridge, near the farm, with a human baby nuzzled against him.

The remarkable tale was reported by Madam Rosemary Azure, Talensi-Nabdam District Director of Health, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency.

According to Madam Azure, the chief of police said the vulnerable youngster had been abandoned by its mother for reasons unknown before being saved by the dog. His umbilical cord was still uncut and had been infected, but the young child was otherwise unscathed after spending the night with the protective canine.

A local health directorate has taken custody of the child until a new home can be found for him.

This is not the first dog to save a human infant.  There are other stories in the not too distant past about a similar thing happening.  I found these reports, for instance, in a search at BBC News:

Page last updated at 06:36 GMT, Saturday, 23 August 2008 07:36 UK
By Daniel Schweimler
BBC News, Buenos Aires                   

An eight-year-old dog has touched the hearts of Argentines by saving the life of an abandoned baby, placing him safely alongside her own new puppies.
The country's media are calling him "the miracle baby".

Last Updated: Thursday, 12 May, 2005, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Kenya's 'Angel mother' arrested

The alleged mother of the Kenyan baby reportedly saved by a dog from a forest has been arrested, police say.

The woman was arrested in an upmarket estate near where the two-week-old girl, nicknamed Angel, was found. ...

Angel was found among a litter of puppies and her case has touched the hearts of many Kenyans, with offers of help - and adoption - pouring in.


...  The dog has been named "Mkombozi", a Kiswahili word for saviour, after locals reported seeing the dog walking out of a forest, carrying the baby in a bag. ...

"Ring of Babies" Buried in Peruvian Tomb

From The National Geographic
A totally misleading headline: 

Pictures: Huge Peru Tomb Found—80 Bodies, Ring of Babies

Bundled Bodies

Photograph courtesy Université libre de Bruxelles

The adult dead in the newfound tomb were found in the fetal position, which may have represented "some kind of rebirth" to the Ychsma, excavation leader Eeckhout said.

About half the bodies in the tomb belonged to babies—signaling either ritual sacrifice or that they'd "died from natural causes and then were deposited in some place until the moment of the foundation of that tomb," Eeckhout said.

Physical evidence of sacrifice, he added, may be hard to spot on the tiny corpses, particularly in cases of suffocation. Signs of sacrifice have been found in the past on very well preserved Pachacamac infant remains, he added. "But in this case it is absolutely not sure."

There's no doubt, though, that animals were sacrificed, Eeckhout said. Guinea pigs appear to have been the favored offerings, but dogs and parts of llamas or alpacas have also been recovered from the tomb.

So, even though they ABSOLUTELY are not sure, the caption to the photo still reads "Mummy bundles, child sacrifices found on pyramid."  Nice disclaimer, dudes.

Article about the ongoing excavations at Pachacamac. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mega Droughts in Sierra Nevada Confirmed

The last mega-drought to hit the area was devasting to Native Americans living there.  What would another mega-drought do the current much larger populations living in the region today?  And how would we respond?

Sierra Nevada 200-Year Megadroughts Confirmed
ScienceDaily (June 1, 2012) — The erratic year-to-year swings in precipitation totals in the Reno-Tahoe area conjures up the word "drought" every couple of years, and this year is no exception. The Nevada State Climate Office at the University of Nevada, Reno, in conjunction with the Nevada Drought Response Committee, just announced a Stage 1 drought (moderate) for six counties and a Stage 2 drought (severe) for 11 counties.

Reno, Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada are no strangers to drought, the most famous being the Medieval megadrought lasting from 800 to 1250 A.D. when annual precipitation was less than 60 percent of normal. The Reno-Tahoe region is now about 65 percent of annual normal precipitation for the year, which doesn't seem like much, but imagine if this were the "norm" each and every year for the next 200 years.

Research by scientists at the University of Nevada, Reno and their partners at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego indicates that there are other instances of such long-lasting, severe droughts in the western United States throughout history. Their recent paper, a culmination of a comprehensive high-tech assessment of Fallen Leaf Lake -- a small moraine-bound lake at the south end of the Lake Tahoe Basin -- reports that stands of pre-Medieval trees in the lake suggest the region experienced severe drought at least every 650 to 1,150 years during the mid- and late-Holocene period.

"Using an arsenal of cutting edge sonar tools, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and a manned submersible, we've obtained potentially the most accurate record thus far on the instances of 200-year-long droughts in the Sierra," Graham Kent, director of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory said. "The record from Fallen Leaf Lake confirms what was expected and is likely the most accurate record, in terms of precipitation, than obtained previously from a variety of methods throughout the Sierra."

Kent is part of the University of Nevada, Reno and Scripps research team that traced the megadroughts and dry spells of the region using tree-ring analysis, shoreline records and sediment deposition in Fallen Leaf Lake. Using side-scan and multibeam sonar technology developed to map underwater earthquake fault lines such as the West Tahoe fault beneath Fallen Leaf Lake, the team also imaged standing trees up to 130 feet beneath the lake surface as well as submerged ancient shoreline structure and development. The trees matured while the lake level was 130 to 200 feet below its modern elevation and were not deposited by a landslide as was suspected.

The team, led by John Kleppe, University of Nevada, Reno engineering professor emeritus, published a paper on this research and is presenting its findings in seminars and workshops.

"The lake is like a 'canary in a coal mine' for the Sierra, telling the story of precipitation very clearly," Kent said. "Fallen Leaf Lake elevations change rapidly due to its unique ratio between catchment basin and lake surface of about 8 to 1. With analysis of the standing trees submerged in the lake, sediment cores and our sonar scanning of ancient shorelines, we can more accurately and easily trace the precipitation history of the region."

Water balance calculations and analysis of tree-ring samples undertaken by Kleppe, Kent and Scripps scientists Danny Brothers and Neal Driscoll, along with Professor Franco Biondi of the University's College of Science, suggest annual precipitation was less than 60 percent of normal from the late 10th century to the early 13th century. Their research was documented in a scientific paper, Duration and severity of Medieval drought in the Lake Tahoe Basin, published in the Quaternary Science Reviews in November 2011.

Tree-ring records and submerged paleoshoreline geomorphology suggest a Medieval low-lake level of Fallen Leaf Lake lasted more than 220 years. More than 80 trees were found lying on the lake floor at various elevations above the paleoshoreline.

"Although the ancient cycle of megadroughts seems to occur every 650 to 1150 years and the last one was 750 years ago, it is uncertain when the next megadrought will occur. With climate change upon us, it will be interesting to see how carbon dioxide loading in the atmosphere will affect this cycle," Kent said.

Professor Paula Noble, in the University's College of Science's Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering, is expanding this research to include the fine-scale study of climate change through out the Holocene (about 12,000 years) using recently collected 40-foot-long sediment cores in Fallen Leaf Lake.

2012 Women's World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships

Held in Batumi, Georgia, May 31 - June 5, 2012.  Official website

Time Controls:
Rapid: 25 min + 10 seconds
Blitz: 4 min + 2 seconds

GM Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria (1st in Rapid; 5th in Blitz) and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia (2nd in Rapid; 4th in Blitz) had excellent events.  Kudos also to GM Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine (4th in Rapid; 8th in Blitz) , GM Anna Muzychuk of Slovenia (5th in Rapid; 3rd in Blitz), and GM Nana Dzagnidze of Georgia (7th in Rapid; 6th in Blitz.) 

GM Maia Chiburdanidze (left) of Georgia, long-time Women's
World Chess Champion, fininshed in 9th place in the Blitz; and GM Pia Cramling
of Sweden, the second woman in the world to earn a GM title the traditional way,
(through norms and rating), finished 8th in the Rapid.  Well done, ladies!
More photos below.
Final standings, Women's World Rapid:
Rk. NameFEDRtgPts. TB1 TB2 TB3
GMStefanova AntoanetaBUL25188.561.574.52700
GMKosteniuk AlexandraRUS24578.061.574.52672
GMKoneru HumpyIND25898.060.574.52630
GMLahno KaterynaUKR25468.057.570.52639
GMMuzychuk AnnaSLO25987.559.570.52554
GMHarika DronavalliIND25087.553.064.02563
GMDzagnidze NanaGEO25477.053.065.52562
GMCramling PiaSWE24786.557.568.02545
GMZhao XueCHN25496.556.069.52535
WGMGuo QiCHN23606.556.069.02562
IMPaehtz ElisabethGER24916.554.564.52491
WGMTan ZhongyiCHN24306.554.065.52528
IMJavakhishvili LelaGEO24496.552.063.52514
GMZhukova NataliaUKR24426.552.063.02527
GMZhu ChenQAT24916.552.063.02485
GMKosintseva TatianaRUS25326.548.057.02424
WGMHuang QianCHN24176.062.575.52542
IMKhurtsidze NinoGEO24566.058.571.52530
Wang JueCHN23646.055.567.02540
IMGunina ValentinaRUS25306.054.567.52481
IMMkrtchian LilitARM24496.051.063.02460
IMUshenina AnnaUKR24545.552.063.52445
GMArakhamia-Grant KetevanSCO24265.551.063.02459
WGMBatsiashvili NinoGEO24365.550.062.52442
IMMelia SalomeGEO24105.546.058.02443
WGMPogonina NatalijaRUS24475.546.055.02370
GMDanielian ElinaARM24845.545.055.02370
IMKhukhashvili SopikoGEO24145.543.052.52390
IMGvetadze SofioGEO23385.053.066.52426
IMMuzychuk MariyaUKR24565.051.061.02407
GMChiburdanidze MaiaGEO25005.049.560.52386
WGMCori T DeysiPER23865.047.558.02365
WGMDing YixinCHN23535.045.055.02381
IMPurtseladze MakaGEO23485.044.054.02380
IMKrush IrinaUSA24575.043.051.02340
IMLomineishvili MaiaGEO23665.041.551.02362
IMKovalevskaya EkaterinaRUS24174.548.560.02396
GMSocko MonikaPOL24844.548.058.52347
WGMMammadova GulnarAZE23454.547.559.02381
IMMatnadze AnaESP24464.544.053.02304
WIMMikadze MirandaGEO23234.541.549.02315
WIMArabidze MeriGEO23514.541.050.02330
WGMCharkhalashvili IngaGEO23344.541.049.52323
WIMJanjghava NatiaGEO23064.042.051.52261
IMKlinova MashaISR23183.546.054.52246
IMKhotenashvili BelaGEO25003.544.553.02258
IMGurieli NinoGEO23293.540.549.02218
WIMUmudova NargizAZE22313.039.548.02188
WIMBezgodova SvetlanaRUS21202.544.554.02192
GMGaprindashvili NonaGEO23562.039.048.02105
Tie Break1: Buchholz Tie-Breaks (variabel with parameter)
Tie Break2: Buchholz Tie-Breaks (variabel with parameter)

Final Standings, Women's World Blitz:
Rk. NameFEDRtgPts. TB1 TB2 TB3
IMGunina ValentinaRUS253013.0116.0133.02804
GMZhukova NataliaUKR244210.5113.0129.52629
GMMuzychuk AnnaSLO259810.5110.5129.52612
GMKosteniuk AlexandraRUS245710.0113.0131.52583
GMStefanova AntoanetaBUL25189.5114.5134.52559
GMDzagnidze NanaGEO25479.5112.5132.02543
WGMDing YixinCHN23539.593.0105.02544
GMLahno KaterynaUKR25469.0109.5128.52530
GMChiburdanidze MaiaGEO25009.0108.0127.02512
WGMTan ZhongyiCHN24309.0102.5119.02541
IMLomineishvili MaiaGEO23669.0100.0116.02541
IMMelia SalomeGEO24109.0100.0115.52544
IMUshenina AnnaUKR24549.099.5116.02525
WGMBatsiashvili NinoGEO24368.5112.0130.52530
IMMatnadze AnaESP24468.5101.5118.02507
IMKhotenashvili BelaGEO25008.595.0111.52455
IMMuzychuk MariyaUKR24568.0117.0133.52471
WGMCori T DeysiPER23868.0112.5131.52507
GMZhao XueCHN25498.0109.0125.52431
GMKoneru HumpyIND25898.098.0112.52407
WIMMammadova GulnarAZE23458.097.5111.02472
WGMPogonina NatalijaRUS24478.092.0105.02449
WIMArabidze MeriGEO23518.079.590.52417
WGMHuang QianCHN24177.5106.5122.52471
IMPaehtz ElisabethGER24917.599.5113.52422
GMCramling PiaSWE24787.592.5107.02387
IMKrush IrinaUSA24577.589.0101.52374
WGMGuo QiCHN23607.586.5101.02413
GMArakhamia-Grant KetevanSCO24267.0101.0114.02410
IMKhurtsidze NinoGEO24567.097.5112.52387
IMPurtseladze MakaGEO23487.096.0109.02408
GMHarika DronavalliIND25087.095.5108.02383
IMGvetadze SofioGEO23387.093.0106.02427
IMMkrtchian LilitARM24497.091.0104.02387
WIMMikadze MirandaGEO23237.085.598.02384
GMKosintseva TatianaRUS25326.5107.0124.52372
Wang JueCHN23646.5106.0122.02408
IMKhukhashvili SopikoGEO24146.590.5107.02380
GMSocko MonikaPOL24846.099.0114.52328
GMDanielian ElinaARM24846.096.5111.02334
IMKovalevskaya EkaterinaRUS24176.095.0108.02374
WGMCharkhalashvili IngaGEO23346.085.599.52334
GMZhu ChenQAT24916.084.098.02315
IMJavakhishvili LelaGEO24496.083.097.02325
WIMJanjghava NatiaGEO23065.580.594.02278
IMKlinova MashaISR23185.080.592.02255
WIMUmudova NargizAZE22314.078.089.52185
IMGurieli NinoGEO23293.582.096.02149
WIMBezgodova SvetlanaRUS21203.582.095.02183
GMGaprindashvili NonaGEO23563.581.093.52153

Tie Break1: Buchholz Tie-Breaks (variabel with parameter)
Tie Break2: Buchholz Tie-Breaks (variabel with parameter)

100.000 (one hundred thousand) USD is distributed as follows:

Rapid (59000 USD):
1st place 12000 USD
2nd place 9000 USD
3rd place 7000 USD
4th place 6000 USD
5th place 5000 USD
6th place 4000 USD
7th – 8th place 3000 USD each
9th – 10th place 2000 USD each
11th – 12th place 1500 USD each
13th – 15th place 1000 USD each

Blitz (41000 USD):
1st place 10000 USD 
2nd place 7000 USD
3rd place 5000 USD
4th place 4000 USD
5th place 3000 USD
6th place 2000 USD
7th – 10th place 1500 USD each
11th – 13th place 1000 USD each
14th – 15th place 500 USD each

GM Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria, winner of 2012 Women's Rapid Chess Championship
IM Valentina Gunina of Russia, winner of 2012 Women's Blitz Chess Championship

U.S. Women's chess champion, IM Irina Krush.  She
finished out of the money in a tough competition.

The Secret of the White Shaman

Decoding the Ancient Secrets of White Shaman
Rock paintings near the Rio Grande contain hidden 
messages about a mysterious 4,000-year-old religion. Now one archaeologist has learned to read them. (Article preview; full text for subscribers only.)
by Will Hunt
From the May 2012 issue; published online for subscribers only on May 31, 2012 (I'm not a subscriber so I could only see part of the article)

The figures at the White Shaman rock shelter seem to depict a journey through the spirit world.
SHUMLA School INC 2012
This is obviously a very large, extensive formation with massive rock paintings.  Wow!
Do you see the White Shaman?  I think he's the figure  to the right of center that looks sort of like a dagger with
a white outside and a black inside, and two horns on either side of his "head", topped by a flat
black cap or hat.  I am remember seeing similarly "horned" shaman figures before.

Carolyn Boyd guides her pickup down a cliffside trail overlooking Dead Mans Pass, a limestone canyon cut deep into the backcountry of southwest Texas. A ring of black vultures circles overhead. Boyd slows the truck and scans the canyon for what has drawn their interest. On top of a boulder, splayed out like a ritual sacrifice, is a half-eaten goat carcass. “Mountain lion,” she says.

The region known as the Lower Pecos is an arid 21,000-square-mile expanse of southwest Texas and northern Mexico surrounding the confluence of the Pecos River and the Rio Grande. The land is barbed with cacti, teeming with rattlesnakes, and riven with impassable canyons. But more than 4,000 years ago, these barrens were home to a flourishing culture of hunter-gatherers, creators of some of the world’s most complex and beautiful prehistoric rock art. The literal meaning of those paintings had been dismissed as an unsolvable mystery—until recently.

Boyd parks at the bottom of the canyon. In her early fifties, with high cheekbones and dark hair pulled back under a hat, she is both elegant and hardy, like a pioneer woman from a classic Western. She sets a brisk pace up the side of the canyon. Her destination is Delicado Shelter, one of some 300 shallow caves in the region known for paintings of human figures, deer, canines, felines, birds, rabbits, snakes, and other desert animals. Boyd, an archaeologist and director of SHUMLA (Studying Human Use of Materials, Land, and Art), an education and research center in Comstock, Texas, will spend the afternoon scouring the shelter for insight into the ancient residents and their spiritual world.

Through decades of dogged work, Boyd has also developed a system to understand this enigmatic art. Working like a detective, she discovered a symbolic code that reveals narratives in the paintings, which she believes can be read, almost like an ancient language. Just as finding the Rosetta stone in Egypt enabled linguists to decipher ancient hieroglyphs, these paintings help unlock the secrets of a majestic religious system that blanketed Mesoamerica nearly four millennia before the arrival of Columbus. Boyd has discovered that myths and rituals similar to those written in the rocks have survived in the Huichol, a modern tribe now living in the mountains of western Mexico, and in other cultures throughout Mexico and the American Southwest...
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