Nakamura, Polgar Headline Kings vs Queens Battle

  • SonofPearl
  • on 7/27/11, 9:51 AM.


The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis will host a special tournament to coincide with the grand opening of the World Chess Hall of Fame, which is set to open to the public on September 9 in Saint Louis.

 Kings vs. Queens: A Battle of the Sexes will feature some of the top chessplayers in the world in a 5-on-5 team event, which will take place September 9-16.
The Queens field is headlined by the strongest female player in chess history, GM Judit Polgar. US #1 and Rapid specialist GM Hikaru Nakamura will lead the Kings into battle.
The players, including FIDE ratings and the federation each represents, are as follows:

 GM Judit Polgar (2699) - Hungary
 GM Kateryna Lahno (2536) - Ukraine
 IM Anna Zatonskih (2522) - U.S.
 GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (2497) - Russia       
 IM Irina Krush (2486) - U.S.
 GM Hikaru Nakamura (2770) - U.S.
 GM Timur Gareyev (2613) - Uzbekistan           
 GM Ben Finegold (2488) - U.S.
 IM Jacek Stopa (2474) - Poland
 IM Marc Arnold (2445) - U.S.


judit polgar 2 st.jpg Hikaru_Nakamura_USChamps_2010_resized st.jpg
kateryna lahno st.jpg Timur Gareyev.jpg
anna zatonskih st.jpg ben finegold st.jpg
Alexandra Kosteniuk1 (2)st.jpg Jacek Stopa.jpg
irina krush st.jpg marc_arnold.jpg

The average team rating of the Queens is 2548 FIDE and the Kings average rating is 2558 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.

Tony Rich, executive director of the CCSCSL, said it was only fitting to bring out the worlds best for the grand opening of the World Chess Hall of Fame.

This tournament, the first of its kind, creates an even playing field for the top men and women in chess to do battle, Rich said. The format is fitting for the celebratory environment surrounding the opening of the Hall of Fame, and were happy to put on a unique event that will be enjoyable for spectators.

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:

 1st: $5,500
2nd: $5,000
3rd: $4,500
4th: $4,000
5th: $3,500
6th: $3,000
7th: $2,500
8th: $2,000
9th: $1,500
10th: $1,000

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 CCSCSLs Livestream web channel:
Visit for more information, or click this link to access the calendar of events.

7146 reads 21 comments
3 votes


  • 5 years ago


    I agree with fish_food that events titled Kings vs. Queens or the like tend to reaffirm old-fashioned stereotypes about gender having a meaning in areas where it doesn't mean anything.

    Also, it's obviously not about the results (otherwise they would have played a longer time control), it's more about the publicity and the spectacle -- in which case why not invite some "real Kings", if they're going to call it that? 

    My guess is that the top male GMs tend to ask for more money to participate in such events, so this is about as good as they could get on a shoestring.


    P.S. RuralRob's question is one I was also interested in.

  • 5 years ago


    @fish_food...yes we will agree to disagree on this point.  I am insulted in the fact that you seem to consider anything other than classical chess not "serious" or "real" chess.  I happen to play Chess 960, and blitz and rapid chess and personally think that those types of chess are just as valid as classical chess.  I agree with you whole-heartedly that there has been too much of a reliance on chess computers and programs in today's chess and that we are losing the art of positional chess with today's players, but other forms of chess and faster time limits can still provide exciting chess games.

    As for Men v. Women...I am always a fan of that.  Especially in competitions where they are compeating in something that is traditionally a male or female dominant event.  Hence in chess I would love to see the women crush the men because chess has been considered a "men's" sport even though that is certainly a fallacy.  If it was a bake-off I would be rooting for the men's side to win.  It is just something I personally enjoy.

    So I will watch this King's v. Queen's event and enjoy it for whatever it's worth.  I am looking forward to it and I will find it entertaining.  And you have the right to not watch it, or watch it and complain about the quality of play.  We will agree to disagree on this one.  It really is no big deal in the grand scheme of things.

    Also, not quite sure what the reference to my screen name was.  It is not related at all to the psychological inkblot rorschach test, but rather is derived from the character Rorschach from the Watchmen graphic novel and movie.  And 1985 comes from the year that the story takes place hence Rorschach1985.  And my personality is quite a bit different from the fictional character I take my screen name from.  I fancy myself a lot more sane that the Rorschach from Watchman Smile

  • 5 years ago


    @ rorschach1985 --

    We will have to agree to disagree. $20,000 is not exactly "fun" money in my book...

    Anyway, how are you (or anybody else, for that matter) insulted by my calling the event not serious? Do you identify with the event so much you are insulted when it is attacked? Or do you really think Game/25 is serious chess. Certainly somebody with the name  rorschach1985 must understand that feeling insulted by something that was not even about you is a very interesting thing in and of itself...

    Men vs. women is not interesting for me in chess...The Polgars have shown women can kaaarush the best male GMs, even world champions. Women have nothing to prove here, so this women vs men thing resembles a circus and is being done just for publicity. Entertaining to some yes, but I don't like the stereotype it promotes.....Even if the women crush the men, the men then have the exuse it was Game/ lets get rid of the fast time control and excuses.

  • 5 years ago


    @fish_food...while I normally agree with you on most of your posts on this one I sincerly disagree.  Lighten up a little....I don't think it's suppose to be a "serious" tournament in the sense that most super GM tournaments are, but rather a fun tournament where there are quite a few well known players playing what should be some interesting chess.  The fact that Judit Polgar and Alexandra Kosteniuk, two very well known international GM's are playing is worth the price of admission alone.  I'm not asking you to change your opinion of what "real" or "serious" chess is, just don't insult the rest of us who is anxious to see this event which I think will prove to be hard fought and very entertaining.  This is an event and not a circus as you put it.

    @valentin....Kings=Men, Queen=Women....that's how you should see the title as.  If the St. Louis Chess Club were able to get Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, Kramnik and Nakamura to face Judit and Susan Polgar, the two Kosinteva sisters and Hifan wouldn't exactly be an even match and pretty boring to watch.  In this matchup the two sides are almost equal in their average FIDE ratings so this should be a pretty exciting tournament to watch.

  • 5 years ago


    ACLogikel --Not at all. I was echoing the opinion of some world champions, of which I happen to agree with.

    Here ( is Botvinnik, for example. I have previously quoted Tal.

    Although the clock may force errors, pressure is mounting to make chess more telegenic by speeding it up.

    World champion Mikhail Botvinnik once called this "a lightweight approach that panders to cheap pragmatism and erases the line between serious chess and blitz."

    I also do not think it is serious chess. More a chess circus than chess tournament. I believe Naka took much longer than 25 minutes for a single move in his recent tournament.

  • 5 years ago


    @fish_food right, because you're the authority on what serious chess is?

    Im willing to bet any 960 or speed chess match by any of the players listed is vastly superior to any "serious chess" you've ever played. Show some respect and humble yourself, at the very least we are all chess enthusiasts and should support the world of chess and its players regardless of how skewed your own personal view is.

  • 5 years ago


    @ _valentin_

    Would you prefer the chess club instead sponsor a shooting fish in a barrel event.

  • 5 years ago


    The Kings lineup is almost laughable from the perspective that some of these players are not in the top-1000 for men, and only Hikaru on the male side is a top-100 GM.  So the title "Kings" is rather deceiving, though the Queens are indeed some of the strongest women in the world.  I wonder if they wished to keep the ratings similar (and hence the intrigue in the tournament), and so chose men participants that are much weaker than is appropriate for the title "Kings" (at least on a worldwide level)...

  • 5 years ago


    All right, well, I'm not too interested in following this tournament, but I did find out that Mrs. Lahno is very attractive.  Is she single?  ;)

  • 5 years ago


    What fun!

  • 5 years ago


    It will be interesting to see a lot of high quality 960 games.

  • 5 years ago


    Go Stopa go!!

  • 5 years ago


    What a non-event.

    Who cares who wins in a Fischer random and a G/25...this is not serious chess.

  • 5 years ago


    this is going to be brilliant! hats off to whoever put this together

  • 5 years ago


    Let's see, the greatest women's chess player ever, a former women's world chess champion, two US women's champion against Nakamura and a bunch of who's that??  The Queen's will dismantle the Kings without breaking a sweat.

  • 5 years ago


    Is there any doubt which team will win? 

  • 5 years ago


    I may fly out there just to see Kostentiuk :)

  • 5 years ago


    That St. Louis club is doing a great job of putting together great chess events!

  • 5 years ago


    This should be interesting to watch!

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