BOTW: 2017.02.09

The 2017 Women's World Chess Championship, a PRO Chess match featuring Carlsen and Caruana (maybe), and the not-too-successful attempts to sexy-up Fabiano Caruana's public image are this week's Best of the Web.

Women's World Championship 2017

February 10 – March 5, 2017.
Tehran, Iran

A 64-player knock-out tournament for the Women's World Championship.

Two game matches, one game per day, followed by rapid tie-breaks (if neceesary) on the third day.
After 5 rounds, the two finalists will play a best-of-four match.

Qualifiers from all over the world, including 11 from Russia, and featuring four former Women’s World Champions: Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia), Anna Ushenina (Ukraine), Zhu Chen (Qatar), and Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria). Current Women's World Champion Hou Yifan will not play, as a protest against the constantly changing formats of the WWChs.

2016 Canadian women's Champion WIM Qiyu Zhou will play.
The photo above shows Qiyu being interviewed for TV during the Opening Ceremony. Like all the other women playing there, she is wearing the manditory headscarf.
In round 1, Qiyu is paired against GM Natalija Pogonina (RUS), who was the runner-up in 2014 to the winner, Mariya Muzychuk. 
It's a tough, but not impossible pairing. In 2014, Canadian Yuanling Yuan won her first match game against the eventual winner, Mariya Muzychuk, but lost the second game and the tie-break to the eventual World Champion.

Iran recently restricted access by US visitors -- a response to the Trump administration's ban on travel from Iran and six other countries -- which resulted in a US wrestling team missing an international competition last week. There is no word on whether this will prevent the three qualifiers from the USA from playing: Katerina Nemcova, Viktorija Ni, and Sabina Foisor. UPDATE:  All three American players were at the Opening ceremony.

All rounds start at 3pm local time, 6:30 am EST

Round 1:
game 1: February 11: Pogonina - Zhou
game 2: February 12: Zhou - Pogonina


PRO Chess League: week 5

Saturday, February 11, 2017

This week's round will be Saturday, rather than the usual Wednesday, to accommodate play between teams from different time-zones. This week's intercontinental match-ups include:

    • Montreal ChessBrahs vs Norway Gnomes, 10:40 a.m. EST.
    • Toronto Dragons vs London Towers, 2:55 p.m. EST.

UPDATED: Lineups are still TBA were confirmed late Thursday: the Montreal v Norway match will might see the top two players in the PRO Chess League go head-to-head: Magnus Carlsen (NOR) against Fabiano Caruana (MTL). Stay tuned for details

Official Lineups are: 

Montreal: Caruana, Hansen, Hambleton, Oussedik
Norway: Carlsen, Hammer, Tari, Nordquelle 

You can watch the games live with free GM commentary on

For more info and links about the PRO Chess League, see these posts:

The Bachelor or Beauty and the Geek?

Ever wondered what it would be like if chessplayers had "walk on" music like fighters do? How about Nino Rota's Godfather soundtrack as walk-on music for Italian-American super GM Fabiano Caruana

You can find out what obviously won't be Fabi's choice by watching this witty profile of Caruana, mostly shot during the 2017 TATA Steel event two weeks ago: