"Czech beauty smashed Karpov"

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Jackova smashed KarpovThis headline could be read in Blesk, the biggest newspaper of the Czech Republic, earlier this week. Its readers were informed about the fantastic victory of Jana Jackova over ex-world champion Anatoli Karpov, who lost in just 22 moves. After five rounds in Marianske Lazne, "Snowdrops and Old Hands" are exactly even: 10-10.

We know the formula from the 90s when chess maecenas Joop van Oosterom (currently responsible for the Amber and NH tournaments) sponsored many tournaments between talented female chess players against highly experienced, former top players. It was exactly this format that was chosen by Pavel Matocha for a tournament that's currently taking place in the Czech town of Marianske Lazne (the former Marienbad).

The town where 72-year-old Goethe met his 17-year-old Ulrika is witnessing four chess legends meeting promising young female chess players. In the "Old Stagers" (as they are called by the Czech) team there's Anatoli Karpov, Vlastimil Hort, Fridrik Olafsson and Wolfgang Uhlmann; the "Lasses" team consists of Viktorija Cmylite, Anna Ushenina, Katerina Nemcova and Jana Jackova.

The two teams (called "Snowdrops versus Old Hands" elsewhere - were prefer this one) meet twice following the Scheveningen system. Venue is the hotel Cristal Palace in Mari?ɬ°nsk?ɬ© L?ɬ°zn?Ñ‚Ä?, from November 29 to December 6, 2008.

Hotel Christal Palace

Hotel Christal Palace

The games start at 16:00 CET daily (live here) with the exception of the last day, when they start at 13:00. The tournament is organized by Prague Chess Society and tournament director is Pavel Matocha, who was also responsible for e.g. the rapid matches Navara-Short & Timman-Jackova and Navara-Kramnik.

The first round included a sensation: after a mere 22 moves Anatoli Karpov had to resign against Jana Jackova. He was about to get mated!

At half time, after four rounds, the young ladies were leading by a small margin: 8.5 points out of 16 games, to 7.5 for the legends. Yesterday the four distinguished gentlemen levelled the score with the white pieces: Karpov took revenge against Jackova and Hort beat Nemcova, while Olafsson-Ushenina had ended in a draw. Cmilyte prevented the men from taking the lead; she beat Uhlmann.

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Here are all the games played so far:


Old Hands, Old Friends: Karpov, Uhlmann, Hort and Olafsson


WGM Katerina Nemcova (2369), no. 1 in the Czech Republic, at the drawing of lots


World champion in "footbag" Vaclav Klouda


IM Jana Jackova (2360) interviewed for NOVA TV


Pavel Matocha - remarkable haircuts, remarkable tournaments


Vlastimil Hort with his wife, who works in the publishing business


Jackova made headlines by crushing a former world champion


Viktorija Cmylite, best performing lady with 3?Ǭ? / 5


Anatoli Karpov, with the same score after five rounds


Former FIDE President GM Fridrik Olafsson (2440) analyzing with Katerina Nemcova


The legendary GM Wolfgang Uhlmann (2417) from the Olympiad's city of Dresden


IM Anna Ushenina (2496), Ukraine's highest rated female player


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