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Atatürk Women Masters Chess : A New Supertournament for Women

Elite of Women Chess Meeting at the Highest Place in İstanbul

Turkey is hosting a new super tournament for women players with the sponsorship of Türkiye İş Bankası with the name of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. The dates of the event is 10-20 March 2008 and 8 invited players  with 2 top Turkish women players are going to play. The venue is the 41st floor of Türkiye İş Bankası towers, the highest building in Turkey which is located in one of the central commercial areas of İstanbul.

See the participants of the tournament at the link below and by which criteria the players were selected with the help of the link below.

Atatürk Women Chess Masters  Türkiye İş Bankası     ChessBase News

Tournament Page

The Venue of the Event

The İş Bankası Towers Complex has a total area of 225,000 square meters, which is the largest of its kind on the European continent. The cost of the entire complex, including the three towers, auditorium, retail facility and multi-storey parking space, was around $230 million.

The buildings use "intelligent skyscraper" technologies and are designed to withstand earthquakes up to Richter 8. A total of 25,000 points in the structures have sensors connected to a central computer system. There is 50 cubic meters of air for each person inside the buildings. Rain water is collected and refined for usage in the complex. There are 46 lifts and six stair wells, as well as 80,000 square meters of parking space. Many details of the building resemble Trump Tower in New York, which was designed by the same architect firm, Swanke Hayden Connell. The Is Bankasi complex entered service in August 2000.

The highest of the three towers is Tower 1 with 52 floors. It's official height is 181.20 meters – 194.57 m if you count the flag pole. This makes it the tallest building in Turkey and the Balkan peninsula (southeastern Europe).

The Venue Hosted A Legend

The venue, the very same hall hosted another very famous guest in chess back in November 2006, none other than Garry Kasparov for the promotion of his book "My Great Predecessors" in Turkey. You can see TCF President Ali Nihat Yazıcı, the walking legend himself and Bülent İnan, public relations manager of Türkiye İş Bankası at the press conference held where Kasparov gave interviews to a number of journalists and one of his last chess interviews during his post-chess career to the current press officer of TCF Özgür Akman (for his column in the newspaper Sabah).

Frederic Friedel / Özgür Akman

The rating average of the tournament is 2461,5 and it is going to be a Category 9 event. Here are the participants of the tournament:

GM Zhu Chen (Qatar)

Rating:2549 Birth Year: 1976 

Former World Champion is still one of the strongest women players in the world. She is already used to winning super women GM tournaments as she did in North Urals Cup 2007. Chen is playing for Qatar and married to GM Al-Modhiaki. Chen being top seed of the event is definitely among the favourites of the tournament.

WGM Hou Yifan (Çin)

Rating: 2527 Birth Year: 1994

China's most recent present to the world of chess, an amazing young girl, just 13 and rated over 2500 is one of the most carefully watched prodigies of the chess world. She fought successfully against a very strong opposition in Corus B recently and won her first Grandmaster norm in the Aeroflot Open. The youngest player of the strongest chess country for women will try to show her best in İstanbul. 

GM Pia Cramling (Sweden)

Rating: 2524 Birth Year: 1963

 A legend of women's chess, Cramling is among the strongest women players in the world since 1980s. She achieved GM title for men back in 1992. 2003 European Champion recently visited Turkey for playing in European Club Cup and helped her team Monaco to win the title. The winner of MonRoi Grand Prix 2007 is among the small number of women players competing with men at grandmaster level in team competitions. 


WGM Xue Zhao (China)

Rating: 2517 Birth Year: 1985

Among the rising stars of the strongest country in chess, China helped her homeland to win the last two Olympiads with dominating performances in her own board. She also shared the first place with GM Chen in North Urals Cup 2007.



IM (WGM) Anna  Ushenina (Ukraine)

Rating: 2484  Birth Year: 1985

The young star from Ukraine was the member of the Ukrainian team which won the gold medal in the Olympiads in Turin 2006. She was among the rising stars of women's chess and passed 2500 barrier in 2007. She participated in one of the most prestigious events, Corus Wijk aan Zee in C Group.



IM(WGM) Irina Krush (USA)

Rating: 2473 Birth Year: 1983

Krush is the strongest player after Susan Polgar, achieved her second US title in 2007(first one was in back in 1997) known for her videos named "Krushing Attacks" will try to apply what she teaches. She was the member of US team which won the Olympiad back in Calvia and holds a GM norm. Krush was also invited to play in Corus C earlier this year.




(IM)WGM Lela Javakhishvili (Georgia)

Rating: 2470 Birth Year: 1984

The last minute-replacement for Chiburdanidze  is her young compatriot Lela Javakishvili is the winner of numerous medals at age groups and juniors at national and international level. She won 1st Indepedence Day Tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan, another women super tournament and member of Antalya Çallıspor in İş Bank Turkish Super Leauge.


IM(WGM) Harika Dronavalli (India)

Rating: 2455 Birth Year: 1991

World Champion Under 18 in 2006 and a former prodigy in her country is recently crowned as the Commonwealth Champion. She became WGM at the age of 14 and she is now the second highest-rated women in India (after Humpy Koneru), one of the recently emerging superpower in chess.




IM(WGM) Ekaterina Atalık (Turkey)

Rating: 2408 Birth Year:1982

2006 European Champion Ekaterina Atalık, the strongest women player in Turkey has the experience with women super tournaments in Biel 2006. With her principled approach she will try to perform best at her hometown with the help of her spouse, none other than GM Suat Atalık, not only a strong tournament player but a renowned theoretician. 


WIM Betül Cemre Yıldız (Turkey)

Rating: 2208 Birth Year: 1989

Young Turkish star from İzmir, the lowest rated but a very fighting player, the winner of bronze medal in Under 18 Girls Group at 2007 World Youth Championship in Kemer, Turkey. Five-times national title holder will aim to utilise her past experience from the period when she played at the first board of the national team against the world-class opposition.