Congratulations to WGM Anjelina Belakovskaia, winner of the FIRST ever US Senior Women’s Championship! WGM Belakovskaia captured the title and the $4,000 first prize in a nailbiter game with WFM Olga Salachik, who played to the brink of upset, but Anjelina defended well. The final rankings were:
|1||WGM Belakovskaia, Anjelina||USA||2218||4.5|
|2||WFM Sagalchik, Olga||USA||2100||4|
|3||Cabrera, Varinia F||USA||1814||3|
|4||WIM Marinello, Beatriz||USA||2200||3|
|5||WFM Tsodikova, Natalia||USA||2181||2.5|
|6||WIM Dimitrijevic, Vesna||USA||1907||2.5|
|7||WCM Christiansen, Natasha||USA||1817||2|
|8||WIM Root, Alexey||USA||2000||2|
|9||O`Neill, Julie Anne||USA||1800||2|
|10||WIM Shernaz, Kennedy||USA||1900||1.5|
|11||WCM Kuhner, Mary||USA||1737||1|
|12||WIM Teasley, Dorothy||USA||2000||1|
Recaps of all the games can be found in the links below!
The Berkeley Chess School was thrilled to host this inaugural championship, showcasing the abilities of the nation’s top senior women players. We extend gracious thanks to the Eade Foundation and the USChess Women’s Program, whose generous support made this Championship possible. But most of all
we extend thanks to the women themselves. Though we were able to offer lodging and a prize fund, women came long distances, putting aside personal plans and obligations, often at considerable expense, to participate. Their chief incentive was not our comparatively modest prize fund; it was the
opportunity to show women and girls, still significantly under-represented among the ranks of active players, what can be achieved by women in chess!
Hosting a National Championship was a FIRST for BCS as well, and we had a few nailbiters of our own. We learned that ride-hailing services do not always arrive with the requested capacity, or even arrive. And as excited as we were to host the Championship in our newly renovated Chess Center (featuring a
256 square foot chess board window!), the construction schedule for our renovation was a textbook example of Zeno’s paradox: the distance remaining to achieve our goal can apparently be halved to infinity! There was even the brief specter of Covid, but only the specter (the common cold is alive and well). Players dealt with inconveniences with camaraderie and aplomb! And these brilliant and accomplished women played well!
Games were streamed on multiple platforms, with James Eade of the Eade Foundation and IM Elliot Winslow providing game analyses on the BCS Twitch Channel: Caissa1 (named, appropriately, for the Goddess of Chess!), Jean-Rudolph Cendejas, our board wizard, took wonderful photographs. WIM and author Alexey Root signed books (United States Women Chess Champions, 1937 -2020) for fans before Round 1. Artists came and sketched the players, commenting that “They make wonderful models, they never move!” (Meaning posturally, not in play!) And poets were there, too!
After the Awards Dinner, WIM Dorothy Teasely honored BCS Founder and President Elizabeth Shaughnessy, who worked every day of the tournament (BCS management is not top heavy! The C Suite and Board provided food, chauffeur, and custodial services for the Championship), with her own limerick! So appropriate, because the Maigue poets of Limerick, Ireland, popularized this form: