By Frank ‘Boy’ Pestaño

Chessmoso

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I WAS watching the preview of the Miss Philippines beauty contest and it gave me an idea to search for the most beautiful chess players in the world.

Beauty pageants have become part of the Filipino culture. It is probably true that there is no other country in the world that hold as many beauty contests as the Philippines.

Greet your friends and families this Sinulog season. Sun.Star covers Sinulog 2011 live!

We have beauty queens in every city, province ,municipality and every big event. There is even a Miss Gay beauty contest.

Why this fascination about beauty?

A survey was made among male chess players and it showed that they choose significantly riskier strategies when playing against an attractive female opponent.

A 2006 study found that for door-to-door charitable fundraising, men respond more to attractive female solicitors than women do.

In 2010, researchers found that including an attractive woman in an ad has a significant effect on men but not on women .

I searched the net for the most beautiful chess players (must be titled) and I came across more than 40 names, all extraordinarily attractive.

I pruned the list to 10 and here are the finalists.

Miss Chess for 2011 is Harsanyi Kinga, while the first runner-up is Sophie Milliete and second runner-up is Arianne Caoli.

Here are the profiles of the 10 finalists.

1.) Harsanyi Kinga ,22, is a Hungarian Woman Fide Master and they say that she always wins against men because they are distracted by her beauty.

2.) Sophie Milliete,27, is the current national women’s champion of France and a WGM. A keen exponent of team chess, she represented France in the Chess Olympiads of 2004 and 2006. She also participated at the European Team Championships of 2003, 2005 and 2007

3.) Arianne Caoli, 24, is a Filipino-Australian Woman International Master title known as the “Anna Kournikova of chess.” She began playing chess at the age of six. At one point during 2002, she achieved a Fide rating in excess of 2300.

4.) Vera Nebolsina, 21, is a Russian WGM. Her most valuable victory to date was the World Junior Championship for Girls (under 20) at Yerevan in 2007 .

5.) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 26, is a former women’s world chess champion and known as the “Maria Shaparova of chess.” In November 2004, she was awarded the GM title, becoming the 10th woman to receive the highest title of FIDE.

6.) Natalia Pogonina,25, is a Russian WGM. She finished first at the prestigious Moscow Open 2009, and won the bronze medal at the European Women Championship 2009.

7.) Regina Pokorna, 21, is a WGM from Slovakia. GM Vladislav Tkachiev, talking about beauty in chess, called her “a child-woman, an eternal girl.”

8.) Anna Sharevich, 25, is a Belarusian WGM. She played for Belarus in the Women’s Chess Olympiads of 2002 to 2008.

9.) Vesna Rozic, 23, is a WIM from Slovenia. She will make it to any list of beautiful chess players.

10.) Sanja Dedijer, 21, is a WIM from Bosnia-Herzegovina. She was also chosen as the most photogenic woman in the 2006 Olympiad.

TATA STEEL. After 10 rounds, Wesley So is tied for the lead in Group B with Zahar Efimenko at 6.5 points. Wesley performance rating is 2765 on four wins, five draws and a single loss. His live rating has improved by 13 points and is now at 2686.

Standings after the 10th round.

Group A: Anand, Nakamura 7.0, Aronian, Kramnik 6.5; Carlsen, Nepomniachtchi, Vachier-Lagravem 5.5; Giri, Ponomariov, Wang Hao, 5.0; Smeets 3.5, L`ami 3.0; Grischuk, Shirov 2.5.

Group B: Wesley, Efimenko, 6.5; Navara Sargissian, McShane,Tkachiev, 6.0; Wojtaszek, Liem 5.5; Li Chao 5.0; Ganguly 4.0; Fressinet, Hammer, 3.5; Nijboer, Spoelman 3.0.

(boypestano@gmail.com,www.chessmoso@blogspot.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 28, 2011.