A perfect score: Stavroula Tsolakidou dominates women's chess blitz event

by Arne Kaehler
8/23/2023 – In mid-August, the Women's Chess Commission hosted its inaugural Online Blitz Tournament on the ChessBase Playchess platform. Under the leadership of Chairperson Regina Pokorna, the event was organized to further spotlight women's chess. Eleven female competitors took part in this intimate online blitz event, where they had the chance to challenge the formidable IM Stavroula Tsolakidou. The top Greek female player clinched the title with a flawless score of 10/10!

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Women's Chess Commission Online Blitz Tournament

with IM Stavroula Tsolakidou

In the middle of August, eleven female competitors took part in the Women's Chess Commission Online Blitz Tournament. The Playchess servers were ideally suited for such events. Before the pandemic hit, Playchess introduced a video and audio feature in the browser, allowing players to both see and hear their opponents during games. This setup perfectly replicates a blitz club evening for 6 to 12 players.

Whoever isn't playing can kibitz all other boards.

Bounty Hunting

The spotlight of the tournament shone brightly on Greece's premier female player, Stavroula Tsolakidou. While her participation alone was noteworthy, the Blitz evening added an extra twist. Any player who managed a draw against Stavroula received a €15 ChessBase gift card. And for those who triumphed over the IM, a €30 gift card awaited them as a bounty.

Stavroula Tsolakidou | Photo: Andreas Kontokanis

However, even though the VIP (Nickname: Stsolakidou) encountered formidable challengers and engaged in intense battles, she emerged victorious in every game! Of all the Blitz VIP Events we've hosted, featuring esteemed players such as Elisabeth Paehtz, Robert Ris, Simon Williams, and plenty of others, only Vincent Keymer achieved a similar clean sweep back in 2020!

The final table

The tournament was initiated by the European Chess Union 

From Austria to Cyprus - from 7 years to 60 years

The tournament boasted a diverse array of talented female players! Take Polina Karelina, for instance. Once the top female player in the Bahamas, she relocated to Austria a few years back to pursue her studies in computer science.

Polina Karelina plays chess in Austria nowadays | Photo: Paul Truong 

Another standout participant was Charlotte from Great Britain, a mere 7 1/2 years old! While she didn't clinch many victories, she put up some commendable fights and charmed fellow players with her endearing remarks like, "If I just had more time, I'd do so well in this tournament" and "I think I can win this game if I play better!"

Caroline, Charlotte's online teammate from Britain and the most senior player in the competition, embodied the spirit of sportsmanship. Despite being in a commanding position, she graciously offered Charlotte a draw. Caroline thoroughly enjoyed the event, noting:

I thought ChessBase worked very well with the Video/Mic built in. ... I will tell our online Women's and Girls Team how much fun it was ...

The other players were from Greece, Germany, France, Cyprus, and the small European country - Malta.

Interestingly, player "La Rose Ecarlate", even while vacationing near the picturesque Biarritz and armed only with her mobile phone, didn't miss out on the event. She joined in and delivered some impressive games!

Prize ceremony

Being the VIP, Stavroula was naturally excluded from the overall prize considerations.

  1. Evelyn Wagenschuetz (Evelyn Moncayo, Who won the direct duel against Dimpax, who has an equal score) won a €50 ChessBase gift card
  2. Dimitra Alexandri (Dimpax) won a €40 ChessBase gift card
  3. Polina Karelina (PolinaKarelina) won a €30 ChessBase gift card

No one managed to defeat or even draw against Stavroula, so the bounty prizes remained unclaimed.

However, the two most captivating games were selected by the tournament's founder, Regina Pokorna:

Both winners (Evelyn Mocayo + Chjaruccia) receive a €30 ChessBase gift card

All games:

Sweet endgame puzzle

We spotted a breathtaking endgame between the islands of Malta and Cyprus:

It is Black to move. Is White winning, or can Black swindle to a draw?

If you also want to play online, with your friends, family, or club mates, we got you covered in this guide.

How to play with Video + Microphone on Playchess!

Future online blitz tournaments:

Chairperson Regina Theissl Pokorna is certainly looking forward to hosting more of such events in the future. To not miss out, we recommend following the European Chess Union, and checking out the women chess commission team, for other female chess events, the calendar, and news!


Arne Kaehler, a creative mind who is passionate about board games in general, was born in Hamburg and learned to play chess at a young age. By teaching chess to youth teams and creating chess-related videos on YouTube, Arne was able to expand this passion and has even created an online course for anyone who wants to learn how to play chess. Arne writes for the English and German news sites, but focuses mainly on content for the ChessBase media channels.