A memorial tournament for Eva Moser

by ChessBase
2/26/2024 – Eva Moser was the best female chess player in Austrian history and one of the few female players to win the absolute title of her country. The Austrian Chess Federation is honouring the world-class player, who died too young, with an international women's chess tournament. From Sunday in Graz. | Photo: Austrian Chess Federation

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By Regina Theissl-Pokorna

Chess Ladies Graz - Memorial Tournament for Eva Moser in Graz, Austria (25 February - 3 March)

Eva Moser was undoubtedly one of the best Austrian players in modern chess history. Her father taught her to play chess at the age of 6, and it was a friend that she eventually followed to take a chess subject at her school.

Eva had early success in the youth and junior categories, and her extraordinary talent and hard work were rewarded with major honours such as WGM and IM titles, as well as winning the 2006 Open Austrian Championship ahead of many strong male Austrian players. At the age of 30, she reached her highest rating of 2471, placing her among the top 25 female players in the world.

Eva was known for her creative and uncompromising style of play, which earned her the saying “Fantasy instead of theory”, which was also the title of the Chess Base DVD she recorded in German (Phantasie statt Theorie).

“Fantasy instead of theory” is also a chess philosophy that many of her fans still follow, including Eva’s former colleague and friend from the Austrian women’s national team, Veronika Exler:

She also influenced me a lot in chess. My favourite phrase of hers is: imagination instead of theory.

One of the most memorable games Eva ever played — Petar Arnaudov (2442) v. Eva Moser (2436), 4th Gutmann Memorial, Augsburg/Germany 2013/2014 — can be found in her biography, which the chess historian Michael Ehn, the Honorary President of the Austrian Chess Federation Kurt Jungwirth and the grandmaster Markus Ragger wrote in 2021 under the title Eva Moser - Phantasie und Präzision auf dem Schachbrett.

In this tournament, Eva achieved her first grandmaster norm with 7½ out of 9 points and a Tournament Performance Rating of 2684.

The Chess Ladies Graz tournament will take place in Graz, the city where Eva spent most of her time. For Michael Stöttinger, President of the Austrian Chess Federation and main organiser, the venue was clear from the outset:

We especially want to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Eva Moser’s death with this tournament and remind all chess fans of Eva’s legacy. Eva, the greatest Austrian chess player of modern times, moved to Graz after leaving school and spent the rest of her life here. Graz was therefore the most suitable location for this memorial tournament. The Palais Attems with its magnificent halls offers a venue that truly breathes chess history.

Chess Ladies Graz will be a round-robin tournament with 5 international and 5 Austrian top players. Among the invited players are illustrious names such as IM/WGM Ekaterina Atalik, IM/WGM Lilit Mkrtchian, IM/WGM Deimante Daulyte - Cornette, IM/WGM Anastasia Bodnaruk (reigning Rapid World Champion) and IM/WGM Marina Brunello.

Visit the tournament website to find out more about the life of Eva Moser, the full list of players and the rules of the tournament: Home - Chess Ladies Graz.

We can look forward to many exciting games and wish all participating ladies the best of luck in this memorable event!

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