Women’s chess

Women’s chess continues to develop across the country, with two noteworthy events in the Midlands over the last two weeks.

Worcestershire v Nottinghamshire – 15th February
WGM Katarzyna Toma played on board 1 for the Worcestershire county team in their regional stage match against Nottinghamshire on 15th February. Worcestershire won the match 10-6 and Katarzyna won her game against Peter Mercs. She joins an impressive list of women players who have appeared on top board for their county including (with apologies for any unintended omissions) —
Vera Menchik, who played board 1 for Kent vs Essex 12th September 1942
Susan Lalic, who appeared on board 1 for Surrey (and also played for Worcestershire)
Harriet Hunt, who played board 1 for Oxon (in the 1990s)
Jovanka Houska, who played on board 1 for Berkshire (also in the 1990s)
Dagne Ciuksyte, who played on Board 1 for Suffolk (in the 2010s)
Zehra Topel, who played on Board 1 against Essex in the SCCU Championship (in the 2010s)

Warwickshire Championships
This weekend (21st – 23rd February) saw the 2020 Warwickshire Championship in Coventry, which is now awarding the title of Warwickshire Women’s Champion for the top female player, together with prizes for the top females in each section. 
The female prize fund was supported by the ECF, and the event saw a big turnout of female players, with almost 20% women or girls. The highest placed female player was Anna Szasz, who played in the Open section, and becomes the Joint Warwickshire Women’s Champion for 2020 along with Imogen Dicen.
GM Mark Hebden came first overall in the open with 4.5/5, followed by IM Jonah Willow. Bruce Baer won the Tucker Trophy as the highest-placed Warwickshire player.

[Photograph courtesy of CSC Teesside]