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33 competitors tried to match wits with a top chess player in the world. How did they do
33 competitors tried to match wits with a top chess player in the world. How did they do
33 competitors tried to match wits with a top chess player in the world. How did they do

Published on: 03/30/2024

Description

QUINCY – Fans of the popular TV series “The Queen’s Gambit” had the chance to see the real thing in the person of Nadya Kosintseva, one of the world’s top chess players. Kosintseva, who is from Russia and moved to the United States in 2013, gave a simul exhibition, playing 33 opponents at the same time. She defeated all competitors. 

The function room inside downtown Quincy’s historic Bethany Congregational Church, with its creaky wooden floors and surplus of Easter decorations, brimmed with people eager to witness or compete against one of only 41 female grandmasters in chess history. 

At the beginning of the simul, Kosintseva paced along the inner perimeter of five banquet tables. On the other side sat 33 nervous challengers. It’s unclear if any expected to win. Some said they came for the privilege of being soundly defeated by a grandmaster.  

While the amateurs had several minutes to plan their next moves, Kosintseva passed rapidly from one board to the next, assessing all possibilities and outcomes in a split second. 

The night wore on, and king after king fell crown first on the checkered boards. Kosintseva’s route turned from a large rectangle to a zigzag between surviving players. After four hours, the last king fell, leaving only the queen standing. 

“Nobody had a chance,” said Mike Yezukevich, founder of the South Shore Chess Club and organizer of the event on Wednesday. Yezukevich said one of his longstanding students succeeded in staying just a pawn down for most of the match before succumbing like the rest.  

Standing against a side wall, May Black, of Holbrook, watched her 7-year-old son Miles command one of the 33 boards.  

“He’s been playing since he was 4,” she said. “Chess has really helped Miles gain confidence, to be strategic, to think things through. He’s able to sit and concentrate. It’s really amazing.”

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May said that when Miles learned he would play a grandmaster, he was nervous, then excited. “If I win, will I get her title?” she quoted her son as saying.  

Over an hour into the exhibition, Miles, who wore a bowtie for the occasion, had not yet lost. Nor did he seem the least bit nervous. Asked what interests him about chess, “It’s like war,” he said, “and it has a lot of mindfulness.”  

At the next board sat his friend, 9-year-old Maddy Goodman of Weymouth. She said she felt good about how the game was going. At that time she spoke to The Patriot Ledger, she had lasted 16 moves and was still alive.  

That’s more than her father, Ben, could say. He fell to Kosintseva after only seven moves. 

Ben said the event provided an important opportunity for his daughter. “It’s great to see a role model, a woman doing something (Maddy) is interested in,” he said.  

Rowen Manley, 17, of Kingston, who has played chess for more than a decade, takes lessons with Yezukevich and participates in a small club with her schoolmates. As she planned her 22nd move of the match, she expressed admiration for her famous competitor.  

“I think it’s really inspiring,” she said. “Chess is mostly all boys. It’s nice to see a woman as successful as she is. 

“It’s really nice how she came out here to do this with us, with people of all ages,” she added. “We all get to play her, and that’s really cool.”  

Another young female chess student of Yezukevich to try her luck against the grandmaster was Quincy’s Siya Tandon, 11, whose father taught her to play at an early age.  

“Yes, I can beat him,” Siya said of matches with her first teacher. 

Though she lost after 22 moves, Siya said she’s grateful for the chance to play Kosintseva and encouraged others like herself to take up the sport.  

“You should try it,” she said to other girls who want to train their minds. “You will like it.” 

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News Source : https://www.patriotledger.com/story/news/2024/03/30/quincy-ma-nadya-kosintseva-chess-grandmaster-simul-exhibition-south-shore-chess-club-girls-women/73132791007/

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