On April 2, 2013, the first female advanced chess match in chess history took place in Kyiv. FIDE Women’s World Chess Champion Anna Ushenina and the initiator of the All-Ukrainian Charity Foundation Olena Boytsun played a computer assisted game with the time control of 30 minutes + 5 seconds for each move.
Kyiv’s Radisson Blu Hotel hosted the nation’s first officially sanctioned advanced, or computer-assisted, chess match on April 2 between reigning women’s chess champion Anna Ushenina and women’s international master Olena Boytsun.
The match ended in a draw after Boytsun, playing white, held the initiative for most of the game that put Ushenina uncomfortably on the defensive in a sharp position that originated in the Slavic Defense. Both players “teamed up” with computer chess programs to play a high-quality game, virtually blunder-free. No player could look at their opponent’s computers, however. The idea is to use a chess program to help evaluate candidate moves during the course of the game, but the human player ultimately decides which move to make and is always in control.
“Advanced chess is the synthesis of creative chess play and latest computer technology,” said Kirsan Ilyumzhinov via video link, president of FIDE, the world’s chess governing body. Advanced chess was first introduced after then world chess champion Garry Kasparov lost a chess match in 1997 to IMB’s Deep Blue computer program. In 1998, he played the world’s first advanced chess match against Bulgarian grandmaster Veselin Topalov in Spain. Both used the ChessBase information search program combined with the Fritz-5 chess program, that ended in a 3-3 draw.
Rated 2477, Ushenina became Ukraine’s first women’s chess champion after winning the title in December 2012 in Russia. She overcame Bulgarian Antoaneta Stefanova in a tie-breaker. She also was an integral part of Ukraine’s gold medal-winning national chess team, which took top honors in March at the World Women’s Chess Olympiad held in Kazakhstan. Boytsun is rated 2264, and is a recognized economist and founder of the Chess for Children charity in Dnipropetrovsk.
Source: Kyiv Post
At the drawing ceremony, conducted by the International Arbiter Oleg Tovchyga, Olena Boytsun got to play white. The game lasted 38 moves and ended in a draw in the position with a little advantage for White, according to the estimation of Houdini chess engines.
World Women champion Anna Ushenina said that it was an interested experience for her to participate in an advanced chess match: “I was very glad to receive the invitation from Olena Boytsun and the Chess for Children Foundation to take part in such an extraordinary event. The first female advanced chess match in Ukraine will be a powerful incentive to the popularization of chess in the country and worldwide. We have discussed with Olena the idea of such a match for a long time, and now I am happy that Ukraine finally has such a good initiative like the Chess for Children, and all our dreams can come true.”
The match was played under the aegis of FIDE, whose President Kirsan Iljumzhinov greeted the participants live from London via Skype. In his opening speech Iljumzhinov underlined great contribution of Ukrainian chess players to the development of chess worldwide.
The participant and organizer of the match Olena Boytsun stated: “I am very glad that our event went on the highest level and attracted attention of honourable guests, experts, journalists, young chess players. We chose rapid time control, and at some point during the game I made the decision not to use risky alternatives and to end the match in a draw. I believe that a draw with the world chess champion is a good result.”
[Event "Kyiv Advanced Chess"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.04.02"] [Round "?"] [White "Ushenina, Anna"] [Black "Boytsun, Olena"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D13"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2013.01.12"] [SourceDate "2013.04.04"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 a6 5. cxd5 cxd5 6. Bf4 Nc6 7. Rc1 Bf5 8. e3 Rc8 9. Be2 e6 10. O-O Bd6 11. Bxd6 Qxd6 12. Qb3 Rc7 13. Na4 O-O 14. Nc5 Qe7 15. Qa4 Rfc8 16. Rc3 Ne4 17. Nxe4 Bxe4 18. Rfc1 Bxf3 19. Bxf3 g6 20. Qc2 Kg7 21. g3 h5 22. h4 Qd8 23. a3 Kf8 24. Be2 Kg7 25. Kg2 Kg8 26. Rc5 Kg7 27. b4 Ra8 28. Qc3 Rcc8 29. a4 Ne7 30. a5 Rxc5 31. bxc5 Nc6 32. Ra1 Qc7 33. Kg1 Rc8 34. Bf1 Kf8 35. Qd2 Rd8 36. Qc3 Rc8 37. Qd2 Rd8 38. Qc3 Rc8 1/2-1/2
GM Spartak Vysochin commented upon the match, which was broadcast on-line on the international chess site Playchess.com, as well as at the official web site.
After the game a tablet computer with pre-installed chess software was raffled among the guests of the event. Twelve-year-old Evheniy Slepchuk from Kyiv won the prize.
Olena Boytsun and Anna Ushenina with chess children from the charity
A private one-on-one lesson from the WIM
The match received broad media coverage: eight national, four regional TV channels and three radio stations were present at the event; and many national Ukrainian newspapers and informational agencies sent their reporters to follow the game.
Photos by Nikolai Gavljuk
The Ukrainian Charity Foundation “Chess for Children” was founded in November 2012 by WIM Olena Boytsun. The primary purpose of the Fund activity is to discover the potential of every child by engaging children into playing chess and by promoting chess in society.