SAINT LOUIS, September 8, 2011 -- Two players have withdrawn from the Kings vs. Queens tournament, which is scheduled to begin this week in Saint Louis. Former World Champion Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov and Grandmaster Judit Polgar are both unable to attend, and tournament organizers have restructured the two fields to maintain rating equality between the two teams.
Karpov was unable to come due to political obligations while Polgar has advanced to the top eight in the World Cup.
“Although it would be a great honor for Judit to play on the Queens team,” said WGM Jennifer Shahade, “this fantastic feat for women is an inspiration to the female trailblazers who are here like World 960 Women’s Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk and reigning U.S. Women’s Champion Anna Zatonskih. I think it will drive the women’s team to fight even harder.”
Polgar will be replaced by International Master Martha Fierro of Ecuador, the official alternate. To maintain rating equality, the Kings fifth board will be filled by young Saint Louis National Master Kevin Cao, making the average rating of the men 2476 and the average rating of the women 2476.
The players, including FIDE ratings and the federation each represents, are as follows:
- GM Kateryna Lahno (2554) - Ukraine
- IM Anna Zatonskih (2508) - U.S.
- GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (2469) - Russia
- IM Irina Krush (2472) - U.S.
- IM Martha Fiero (2378) - Ecuador
- GM Hikaru Nakamura (2753) - U.S.
- IM Marc Arnold (2505) - U.S.
- GM Ben Finegold (2489) - U.S.
- IM Jacek Stopa (2482) - Poland
- NM Kevin Cao (2152) - U.S.
The average team rating of both the Queens and Kings is 2476 FIDE. This will be a Scheveningen-paired tournament, in which each of the five team members will play each of the opposing team members twice: once in a Fischer Random (Chess 960) game with a time control of G/25 + 10-second increment and once in a rapid game with a time control of G/25 with a 5-second increment.
The Opening Ceremony for the tournament will take place on September 9, and the first round will begin at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday, September 10.
The winning team of the event will win $20,000, divided equally between each member of that team. In addition, individual prizes will be awarded based on final standings and are are as follows:
Individual prizes total $32,500 and, when coupled with the team prize, the total prize fund for this event is $52,500.
GM Yasser Seirawan and WGM Jennifer Shahade will provide live commentary of the event, which will be open to the public. The event also will be broadcast live via the CCSCSL’s Livestream web channel: www.livesteam.com/uschess.