Memorial for pioneering woman

by Anna Kantana
1/7/2020 – Krystyna Hołuj-Radzikowska (born February 5, 1931 in Lemberg, died November 29, 2006) was a pioneer among women chess players and won a total of nine Polish Championships. She represented Poland five times at the Chess Olympiad and in 1957 in Emmen she won gold as the best single player. In honour of Hołuj-Radzikowska, the best Polish players competed against a team of women from the "rest of the world" in Wroclaw last month. The "world" won, but narrowly. | Pictured: Happy participants with photographer Maria Emelianova | Photo: Wojciech Zawadzki

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Team Poland vs the "rest of the world"

At this year's Krystyna Holuj-Radzikowska Memorial Tournament, six of the best Polish players competed against six strong international players in Wrocław from December 6th to 12th, 2019, in rapid chess, Chess960 and classical chess.

Radzikowska"She was inspiring, inspiring due to her proffessional approach, her
behaviour(...) She was really elegant, classy, inside and out."
—WGM Hanna Ereńska-Barlo, former teammate and a friend of Radzikowska

Polish women chess has been strong ever since Radzikowska's success. It is important to
remember people who helped build our world, even if it is only a chess world. In 2011, five years after her passing, the first tournament in her memory was held. This year was the 9th edition, gathering top female players from all over the world.

The Polish team consisted of GM Monika Socko (2417), IM Karina Cyfka (2412), WGM Jolanta Zawadzka (2406), WGM Joanna Majdan (2352), WIM Alicia Sliwicka (2269) and WIM Julia Antolak (2249).

The "rest of the world" team consisted of IM Meri Arabidze (2435), IM Irina Bulmaga (2434), IM Anna Zatonskih (2420), IM Anastasia Bodnaruk (2413), IM Jovanka Houska (2412) and IM Olga Badelka (2399).

The Poles were nominally outsiders and in fact they were defeated in all three disciplines:

  • 4:8 in rapid chess
  • 3:9 in chess960
  • 5:7 in classical chess

However, this did not detract from the good and friendly atmosphere.

Small gifts were waiting for the participants almost every day | Photo: Maria Emelianova

Anastasia Bodnaruk | Photo: Maria Emelianova

With 4½ out of 6, Irina Bulmaga achieved the best result | Photo: Maria Emelianova

Monika Socko scored the most points in the Fischer Random | Photo: Maria Emelianova

Alina Kashlinskaya, reigning European Champion, won the blitz tournament, but she did not take part in the main competition because it collided with the FIDE Grand Prix in Hamburg, where she supported her husband, Radoslaw Wojtaszek | Photo: Maria Emelianova

Final standings - Rapid


All games - Rapid


Final standings - Classical


All games - Classical


Anna Kantane contributed reporting


Anna Kantane (born 7 April 1995), née Iwanow, is a Polish Woman International Master (WIM) (2012). In 2005, she came third in the World Youth Chess Championship Girls U10. In 2007 she won the silver medal at the European Youth Championship Girls U12. She won several national titles in Poland and at the Girls' U18 Team Chess Championship in 2013 she won silver with Poland and gold as an individual player. She is married to the Latvian Grandmaster Tom Kantans. | Photo: David Llada


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