November 28, 2010 1:23

"Snow Drops" beat "Old Hands" 18-14

Snow Drops vs Old Hands 2010In the traditional Czech Coal Chess Match in Marianske Lazne this year the "Snow Drops" (Humpy Koneru, Viktorija Cmilyte, Arianne Caoili and Tereza Olsarova) defeated the "Old Hands" (Vlastimil Hort, Lajos Portisch, Wolfgang Uhlmann and Dragoljub Velimirovic) with a score of 18-14.

Levon Aronian, Arianne Caoili, Pavel Matocha, Sergei Movsesian and Julia Kochetkova sharing a drink in Marianske Lazne

The traditional Czech Coal Chess Match is a double-round Scheveningen match between chess legends ("Old Hands") and young female talents ("Snow Drops"). This year it took place November 20-27 at the Villa Butterfly Hotel in Marianske Lazne (the former Marienbad), Czech Republic. The rate of play was 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes and 30 seconds increment to finish the game. The tournament was organized by the Prague Chess Society.

Czech Coal 2010 | Schedule & results

Czech Coal 2010 | Schedule & results

Czech Coal 2010 | Team results

Czech Coal 2010 | Team results

Czech Coal 2010 | Individual results

Czech Coal 2010 | Individual results

The tournament saw very few draws. Pairing old friends such as Hort and Kortchnoi against each other might lead to many friendly draws, but in such a Scheveningen format, where the legends play the ladies, there's much more fighting spirit. The older generation wants to show how good they were - and still are - while their much younger opponents might still want to convince some remaining skeptics of their chess strength.

The Snow Drops beat the Old Hands with an even bigger score than last year: 18-14. As expected, Humpy Koneru set down the highest score for the winning team, with 6 out of 8. She only lost 1.5-0.5 to Vlastimil Hort, who happened to be the best player in the Old Hands team, scoring a respectable 5 out of 8.

Selection of games

Game viewer by ChessTempo

The beautiful Marianske Lazne, a spa town in the Karlovy Vary region of the Czech Republic...

...depicted in beautiful snow scenesf

Snow Drops in the snow: Arianne Caoili (l.) and Viktorija Cmilyte

The warmer playing hall inside - besides the games, visitors could also enjoy an art exhibition by the German artist Bernd Besser and photo portraits of famous grandmasters taken by the photographer Vladimir Jagr

Czech Republic's number one player David Navara gave commentary together with IM David Konopka, sometimes assisted by GMs Sergei Movsesian and Levon Aronian...

...and a simul too - he scored 15 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss

The team of legendary grandmasters this year consisted of Lajos Portisch (HUN, 2544)...

...Dragoljub Velimirovic (SRB, 2425)...

...Vlastimil Hort (GER, 2473, standing) and Wolfgang Ulhmann (GER, 2412)

They played against 'Snow Drops' Humpy Koneru (IND, 2600)...

...Viktorija Cmilyte (LTU, 2514)...

...Tereza Olsarova (CZE, 2185)...

...and Arianne Caoili (AUS, 2242), who brought her boyfriend...

...and occasional photographer...

...and occasional sparring partner (and world's number 3) Levon Aronian

Photos © Vladimir Jagr


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Thomas's picture

Yeah of course - I just found it amusing and sort of revealing that he mentioned first their looks, then their moves, and then (Dancing with the Stars) both combined!

S's picture

Every man has got to set his own priorities..
And Cmylite, she has one of the nicest faces I have ever seen (but a name that sounds like a STD). Maybe only second to Navara's. But she is very beautiful indeed.

On a serious note- this tournament exists because some of the participants are women (and if it were guys at this level few people would take interest) so I always find it funny when people are criticized because they talk about women players and their looks (I understand that is not what you did btw).

Imo it's perfectly normal, at least until they have reached the level where special girly tournaments are no longer needed.

p.s. what kind of people are actually voting on our posts?!

Thomas's picture

I guess it's OK as long as noone writes "they are ugly but talented"or "they are beautiful but can't really play chess" ... . But your point about "level where special girly tournaments are no longer needed" could be interpreted as "once they cross 2600, looks no longer matter as much"!? Indeed, IMHO Humpy Koneru is the least beautiful of the team ..... .

BTW one could sort of turn your argument around: Male rising stars became too strong for the veterans, look at how the composition of the Amsterdam Experience team has changed the last years.

About names: What about Nepomniachtchi? And Nijboer may also be tricky - those who don't speak Dutch probably pronounce it in many different ways.

S's picture

Well Brian is a dude, and dudes-apart from some magnus fanboys- tend to be less interested in how men look. Nothing wrong with that.

S's picture

Lol@the white king in that game

gg's picture

The most surprising thing is maybe that a 2185 player like Olsarova can do better than a legend like Portisch. The latter is old but still 2544 and his results lately haven't been bad. Players like Caoili and Olsarova should have very much to learn from these old players that still in their decline are hundreds of points ahead of them on the rating lists.

Thomas's picture

How beautiful are the men - the older ones and the youngsters Aronian and Navara? Apparently it's not worthwhile mentioning ..... .

monoceros4's picture

Aronian looks rather handsome...when he remembers to shave.

Brian Wall's picture

Nice going, ladies. The men are all my Chess heroes for decades and the women are all very beautiful and very talented. I can only imagine what wild suggestions 2800+ Levon Aronian added to the analysis. Viktorija looks like she wants to pull her hair out! Maybe Arianne can convince Aronian to enter Dancing with the Stars.

Jens Kristiansen's picture

Yes, indeed. But some of the games show that the old-hands can still teach the young ladies some difficult steps.
May I draw you attention to the game Velimirovic-Smylite? Veli uses one of his old ideas from the 70es: 11.Bxb6!? in a line gone out of fashion before Victoria was born. 15.-,Qg5? is probably wrong (15.-,0-0!?). And then 16.d7+! is pure Velimirovic-style. I suppose black is lost after that, even though I havent cheked it deeply.
By the way: What´s in that drink they are sharing?

FIDE Master's picture

Congratulations to Vlastimil Hort on his 5/8 performance; the veterans can still hold their own in major tournaments. :)

In the game Caoili-Hort (game 1), Black could have equalised more easily with 4...Bb4! 5.c3 Be7 and ...d5.

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