Accoona and women's chess

2/26/2005 – On Tuesday Accoona is staging a women's chess in NYC. In a new press release they give some background on women's chess, which has come a long way from the times when people thought the gentler sex may have trouble lifting the leaded, wooden chess pieces. No longer today...

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Accoona Women’s World Chess Championship

Chess Queens Face Off in the Big Apple

March 1, 2005, 5pm at The ABC Times Square Studios

Press Release

Accoona.com, the new SuperCool Artificial Intelligence Search Engine, announced today that it will present the Accoona World Women’s Chess Championship on March 1, 2005, 5pm, at The ABC Times Square Studios, in the heart of New York City. This world-class Chess event, sanctioned by the New York City Sports Commission, the US Chess Federation, and the Association of Chess Professionals, promises to be an exciting cultural exchange between China and America.

“On behalf of New York City I am proud to welcome the Accoona Women’s Chess Championship to New York City,” said New York City Sports Commissioner Ken Podziba. “Chess fans throughout China and worldwide will be watching closely as these champions square off in a battle of great minds,” continued Podziba.

Accoona enjoys a unique partnership in China with the China Daily Information Company, the largest and official English Language Web destination in China, from which Accoona has access to over 10 million unique visitors per day.

Women in Chess

When the first women entered an international chess tournament in London in 1897, commentators dismissed their chances on the grounds that “they would come under great strain lifting the leaded, wooden chess pieces." More than a century later, world-class chess is still largely dominated by men, but a few remarkable female players have made it to the highest echelons of the game.

On Tuesday, March 1, two of these rare women, Grandmaster Zhu Chen, 27, the ninth Women’s World Chess Champion from China, and International Master Irina Krush, 21, a rising American star, will play for the Accoona World Chess Championship in ABC’s Times Square Studios at 46th Street and Broadway.

The chess match will start at 5:00 pm, and Chen and Krush will go to battle in the windowed studio at street level in Times Square, making the event the most public championship in the history of the game. The women will play two games of rapid chess, with each dramatic encounter lasting at most one hour. If the match ends in a tie, the champions will play a ten-minute sudden-death game.


Irina Krush

Zhu Chen

Krush and Chen have an intense personal rivalry that dates back half a decade. At the 2000 Women’s World Championship in New Delhi, India, a knockout tournament among 64 first-rate players,16-year-old Krush turned back the heavily favored Chen in the first round, dashing her championship hopes for the year. In 2002 Chen finally got her revenge when she faced Krush in a four-game match between China and the United States and won three of them. If Krush wins the Accoona World Championship, she will even her lifetime score with Chen or pull ahead by one game.

Over the past two decades, chess has skyrocketed in popularity in China from a game played by a few thousand people to a game played by five million. Zhu Chen first gained international prominence in 1988, when she won the World Girls Under 12 Championship in Romania; it was the first time a Chinese player had won a world chess competition. In 2001, when Chen was 25, she became the ninth Women’s World Champion.

"I am a woman who plays a man's game," Chen said after clinching the title. "So I balance feminine emotions with masculine logic to become the strongest player possible."

Irina Krush was born in Odessa, Ukraine, on Christmas Eve 1983. She learned to play chess when she was five, in 1989, the year she emigrated with her parents to Brooklyn. She was a master when she was 12. In 1988, at 14, she became the youngest player ever to win the US Women’s Championship. In 2000 she continued to break records by becoming the first American woman to earn the title of international master. In October 2004 she played second board for the US Women’s Team that won a silver medal in the Chess Olympiad in Spain. In December 2004 she defeated French champion Almira Skripchenko in the first Accoona chess challenge.

Krush views chess as part sport, part art, part science. “Chess is a noble activity,” she says. “I believe I become a better person each time I play.”

Move-by-move commentary at the match will be provided by best-selling author and television personality Paul Hoffman, who has covered chess for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker, and ESPN. He is working on a book about his obsession with top-level chess. Joining him will be two-time Canadian Champion and International Master Pascal Charbonneau and two-time US Women’s Champion Jennifer Shahade, author of the forthcoming book, Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport.


Paul Hoffman with his wife and President Bill Clinton

About Accoona: www.accoona.com, is a Web Search Technology company dedicated to making it easier for people to find information on the Internet. The Accoona Artificial Intelligence Search Technology understands the meaning of words and allows users to “Supertarget” key words within a search query, thus providing more relevant results. The Accoona QuickProfile also grants users one-click access to pertinent business information which often can be difficult to locate, such as Business Contact Information, Telephone and Fax numbers, sales figures, and other useful business information.

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