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

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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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