Tuesday, September 17, 2013

2013 FIDE Women's World Chess Championship Match

Hola darlings!

While I've been sparring at chess.com with my chess buddies since spring in an attempt to improve my game (wonder of wonders, after months of losses, in these three current games it appears I have actually improved) to get ready in case I am in good enough health to play four grueling games in one day at the Hales Corners Chess Challenge XVIII on October 12, 2013 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, action started September 11th in the match between GM Anna Ushenina, current women's champion, and GM Hou Yifan, a former women's champion.

September 10 - 28, 2013 in Taizhou, China

Round 5: The look says it all...  Yivan v. Ushenina

Coverage that I trust at The Week in ChessThere is an official website, in English.  As for the chess femmes, here is what's happening through Round 5:

WCh Women Taizhou
Ushenina, Anna - Hou, Yifan 0-1 41 E32 Nimzo Indian 4.Qc2
Hou, Yifan - Ushenina, Anna ½-½ 33 B33 Sicilian Sveshnikov
Ushenina, Anna - Hou, Yifan 0-1 24 E32 Nimzo Indian 4.Qc2
Hou, Yifan - Ushenina, Anna ½-½ 31 B90 Sicilian Najdorf Variation
Hou, Yifan - Ushenina, Anna ½-½ 61 B90 Sicilian Najdorf Variation

WCh Women Taizhou (CHN), 11 ix 2013
Hou, Yifan g CHN 2609 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ . . . . . 2649
Ushenina, Anna g UKR 2500 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ . . . . . 2460

Game 6th is on September 18th, and then a rest day on September 19th.

The following information is from the official Regulations for the event from the FIDE website:

13. Prize Fund
The prize fund of the match, provided by the organizer, should be a minimum of 200,000 (two
hundred thousand) euros, net of any applicable local taxes. The prize fund will be divided 60% for the winner and 40% to the loser if the FWWCM ends within the 10 regular games. In case the winner is decided by tie-break games, the winner shall receive 55% and the loser 45%.

The organizer shall pay to FIDE an amount of 20% over and above the total prize fund, net of any
applicable local taxes.

If the match is played in the country of one of the players, then the opponent shall receive 5%
from the Prize Fund. The balance of the Prize Fund shall then be shared in accordance to Article 13.1

Before the start of the FWWCM, the players shall each receive 50,000 (fifty thousand) euros in
accordance to the terms of the contract to be signed with FIDE. This amount shall be deducted from the Prize Fund. The balance of their share of the Prize Fund shall be remitted to the players within ten days after the completion of the FWWCM. [I guess the players finally got sick and tired of being stiffed by FIDE for the balance of their prize money, and now are demanding at least some portion of it up front]. 

14. Other expenses
The organizer shall pay to FIDE an additional 5% over and above the prize fund, net of any local
taxes, to receive the commercial rights (does not include live broadcast of the event or the games).

The organizer shall pay to FIDE an additional 15,000 (fifteen thousand) euros over and above the
prize fund, net of any applicable taxes, for the budget of the FIDE Commission for World
Championships and Olympiads. This budget includes all expenses of FIDE concerning inspections,
meetings with the Organizer, stipend of FIDE Supervisor (where appointed), other meetings of the
WCOC, etc.

If required by FIDE, the organizer will provide an electronic device to block all mobile signals
around the playing area of the FWWCM. The total cost should be included in the budget of the
organizer and will not exceed the amount of 8,000 (eight thousand) euros.

If the FWWCM is played in the country of one of the players, the organizer shall provide an
amount of 3,000 euros to the opponent as compensation for transportation and hospitality for inspection visits.

The stipends to be paid to the FIDE Principals of the FWWCM are (in euros):

Chairman of Appeals Committee: 7,500
Two members of Appeals Committee: 9,000 (4,500 euros each)
Chief Arbiter: 6,000
Deputy Arbiter: 4,000
Press Officer: 4,000
FIDE Medical Commission: 2,000

Now I ask you, what could the Chairman of Appeals Committee possibly do to warrant a payment of Euros 7,500?  And the Appeals Committee, Euros 4,500 each?  FIDE collects Euros 65,000 net of taxes from the organizer, in addition to the prize money put up by the organizer.  The organizer might also be required to pay up to Euros 8,000 to block electronic signals into the playing venue. It's the arbiters who actually do all the work. 

An additional Euros 32,500 is paid to FIDE cronies under paragraph 14.5.  Geez, I took the wrong major in college. Should have gone into extortion.  All joking aside, this is horrible for chess because the money SHOULD be flowing to the players, NOT to chess politicians and cronies of FIDE muckety-mucks.

How likely is it that Ushenina can overcome her two point deficit, with five games left to play?  Unles something really interesting happens, I'll report back at the end of the match.

Islamists Burn Mummies and Worse

This is so sad.  It is horrible to see that a cultural heritage as old as Egypt's is being destroyed by barbarians, and that a once great people have descended to this state of barbarianism.

From The International Business News
Egyptian Mummies Set on Fire in Morsi Ousting Riot               
September 15, 2013 2:00 PM GMT
Fiona Keating

Ancient Egyptian mummies were torched, antiquities destroyed and a 3,500 year-old limestone statue stolen in five-day rampage.

More than 1,000 objects were looted and destroyed from the Malawi Antiquities Museum, 200 miles south of Cairo.

The museum was a testament to the Amarna Period, named after its location in southern Egypt that was once the royal residence of Nefertiti.

"It was pure mayhem; the result of pure thuggery," said Monica Hanna, a leading Egyptian archaeologist, who witnessed the destruction.
Hanna was in the museum with Safaa Saleh, a local journalist. "They went around smashing objects," she said. "It was really mad."

The teenagers in the building told her they were destroying relics and vandalising the museum in revenge for the interim government's clampdown on the Muslim brotherhood.  "The burning of the mummies was a political act - to get back at the state," she told the Sunday Times.

"Sadly people in Egypt regard antiquities as the property of the state, rather than their own heritage."
The break-in during a demonstration on 14 August, is thought to be the work of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, angry at the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi, a brotherhood leader.

The walls of the museum were covered with pro-Morsi slogans. "Yes to Islam, yes to the Muslim Brotherhood," read one slogan.

Armed gangs descended on the museum and set fire to parts of the building. Items too heavy to plunder were torched.  One of the museum's greatest treasures, a 3,500 year-old stature of the daughter of Pharaoh Akhenaten, who ruled during the 18th dynasty was stolen.

Unique and irreplaceable jewellery, papyri, pottery, gold Greco-Roman coins, along with sculptures dedicated to the god Thoth, ironically the arbitrator of disputes, were also taken.

Warned in advance of possible looting, employees closed the museum and barricaded themselves inside with a dozen policemen, but they failed to stop the damage.  Magdy Tahami, assistant director of the museum told Middle East Online that the scene was like a "battlefield," with automatic fire echoing from all sides so that "we did not know where they were coming from or who was firing".
A ticket collector was shot dead as he tried to gain access to the building and museum staff were forced to retreat from the building by the mob.

UNESCO said the attack had caused "irreversible damage to the history and identity of the Egyptian people"

After several hours, nearly all of the 1,089 museum pieces had been stolen or destroyed, says Tahami.  Over 500 items have been returned to the museum after the police offered an amnesty to the looters.  As the items are registered and therefore identifiable, many of the thieves have struggled to sell them on to dealers.
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