17 September 2011

Chess960 Kings and Queens

When I mentioned in my previous post, Rare Bird Tracking: Summer 2011, that St.Louis would be hosting a chess960 event, I was hardly expecting the extravaganza we got this week. The official web site, Kings vs. Queens Tournament, hosted on the main site of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, told us,
This will be a Scheveningen-paired tournament, in which each of the five team members will play each of the opposing team members twice: once in a Fischer Random (Chess 960) game with a time control of G/25 + 10-second increment and once in a rapid game with a time control of G/25 with a 5-second increment.


GM Yasser Seirawan and WGM Jennifer Shahade will provide live commentary of the event, which will be open to the public.
The team of 'Queens' included GMs Kateryna Lahno and Alexandra Kosteniuk, both of whom competed in the last Chess960 Women's Rapid World Championship at Mainz 2008, won by Kosteniuk (see Women, Chess960, and Video), while the 'Kings' featured GM Hikaru Nakamura, who won the unrestricted World Championship title at Mainz in 2009 (see CCM9: Nakamura, Grischuk, and Rybka).

The Seirawan / Shahade live commentary is preserved in video clips on the official site (all clips are around 90 minutes long) and is worth a look, especially for the Nakamura interviews after his first four rounds. The complete set of Aviv Friedman's reports on all five rounds is available on TWIC at Kings vs. Queens Tournament 2011. The Queens were trounced in both the chess960 and the rapid events, making me wonder if it was such a good idea to bill the event as a 'Battle of the Sexes'. Both Nakamura and teammate Ben Finegold, also a GM, scored 5-0 in chess960.

The starting positions for the five chess960 rounds were:-

  • R1: SP874 QRKRBBNN
  • R2: SP713 RKQBBNNR
  • R3: SP108 QBNRNKBR
  • R4: SP763 RKNNBRQB
  • R5: SP326 NRBQKBRN

The five games in each round used the same position. There are lots of interesting games to choose from and I'll present a position or two in subsequent posts.

1 comment:

HarryO said...

Thoughts on the KvQ competition thanks for the post Mark: