I Robot – at Russian Women's Chess Championship

by ChessBase
11/17/2010 – The 60th Russian Women's Championship Super Final has started in Moscow. Before it did there was an opening ceremony at the Chess House, with prominent players from the Tal and Blitz Championships in attendence – as well as a simul playing mechanical robot, which earlier had fearlessly mated the chief economic advisor of Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. Pictures and videos.

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60th Russian Women's Chess Championship Super Final

This is taking place in the Moscow Central House of Chess from November 16 to 27, with rounds beginning at 15:00h local time. The tournament is a round robin with Tatiana Kosintseva (2581), Nadezhda Kosintseva (2576), Alexandra Kosteniuk (2507), Alisa Galliamova (2487), Valentine Gunina (2479), Natalia Pogonina (2472), Olga Girya (2435), Anastasia Bodnaruk (2407), Nazi Paykidze (2401), Svetlana Matveeva (2389), Tatiana Schadrina (2384) and Vera Nebolsina (2377). The prize fund is 1,400,000 Rubles = 33,000 Euros = US $45,000.

Between the Tal Memorial and the World Blitz Championship there was a reception for the start of the Russian Women’s Championship ("Super Final"), which is taking place from November 16-27 in Moscow. A number of Tal and World Blitz participants attended, as documented by Chess-News, a new (okay, we only discovered it recently) Russian language service, which sent its reporter Eugene Surov to the party.

Participants Alisa Galljamova, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Nadezhda and Tatiana Kosintseva,
all full GMs, interview a new applicant for a place in the Women's Championship.

She is budding young talent Francesca Maria, daughter of Alexandra, who may be starting a tad early

She does take part in an informal blitz encounter between the participants and guests

Mum Alexandra is the reigning Women's World Champion

Sisters Nadezhda and Tatiana, favourites for the Russian Championship – at 2576
and 2581 they are number five and four respectively in the November world rankings

The man behind the girls: trainer Yuri Dokhoian, former second of Garry Kasparov

Here's a short video interview (in Russian) with these very talented young ladies

Another prominent participant: Natalia Pogonina, standing behind the super sisters

Men having fun at the women's championship: Kramnik plays Aronian, Karjakin plays Gelfand

... and they'll play all the way down to bare kings!

Suave: fashion model Magnus Carlsen speaks to the ladies

I Robot

Here's the bad news: one of the participants at the Russian Women's Championship is a machine of female gender – now stop that, be serous!! Actually a Russian technology company was showing an industrial robot wired to a chess playing program that fascinated many of the guests – including and especially Vladimir Kramnik, who played a game against it.

Kramnik is closely watched by Arkady Dvorkovich, Russian economist and Chief Economic Advisor to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev (his father, Vladimir Dvorkovich, was an international chess arbiter and a close friend of Garry Kasparov). If you speak Russian you will enjoy the taller Vlady's comments, if not you will enjoy his body language when the robot makes a move. Note how meticulously it presses the clock.

Want to see something even more depressing? The contraption can swivel 360° and actually play simultaneous blitz against four opponents. Earlier this year it took on a cute pig-tailled girl and the above mentioned Vladimir Dvorkovich, who got mated by the machine on f7.


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

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