Rochelle Wu Wins 1st Unruly Queens Event, Next Edition Set for May 16

Young chess champion WFM Ellen Wang gears up with her friends for the 2nd Unruly Queens chess tournament tomorrow at 3:00 PM EDT (find full details in the google form and gofundme page and watch on In this article, she reflects on the first edition held a few weeks ago. WIM Rochelle Wu took it down, while over $3000 was raised for COVID-19 relief.  2:57, 2:58, 2:59… the clock ticked nerve-rackingly until the 3pm opening of the 1st Unruly Queens Online Chess Tournament. As 67 female players leveling from amateurs to titled players gathered for their chess duels, four organizers and three guest commentators calmly conducted their last-minute dry run and composed themselves for some intense analyses on the upcoming hard-fought battles on This was the debut event of my USATE 2nd-place winning team, Unruly Queens, on By reconnecting the female members of the chess community during the unprecedented pandemic, Martha, Evelyn, Yassi and I wish to encourage female players around the world to continue improving and enjoying chess. Isolation would never be the reason to curb our passion for the game or sever our friendship built around the game. Along with promoting chess, the tournament was also our first endeavor to raise funds for UNICEF’s Coronavirus Response Program, which engages global effort to serve the urgent needs of child victims. As our cover story on fundraiser page ( says, our hearts go out to those kids who lost their beloved ones, their educational opportunities, or their accesses to food and basic health care. We are proud to be part of the action that protects the most vulnerable children from the impact of the virus and invited our friends within and beyond chess community to join us. A great initiative and a good cause certainly fosters strong partnership, as 7-time US Women’s Champion, GM Irina Krush, the reigning US Women’s Champion, WGM Jennifer Yu and the reigning US Junior Girls Champion, IM Carissa Yip instantly accepted our invitation to commentate and offer a Q&A session post tournament. WGM Jennifer Shahade, 2-time US Women’s Champion and US Chess Women’s Director, also generously donated and kindly publicized our tournament on the US Chess  website. The tournament was divided into two sections, Open and u1500, based on players’ blitz ratings. With a format of G3+2, the recurring time scrambles challenged players’ quick wits to dissolve complexity and created lots of enrapturing and disheartening moments. Our commentators were constantly amazed by the dramatic change of the tide in a game in a split second, or by a brilliant tactical blow that seized the winning chance and eliminated any comeback.

Rochelle Wu, Photo IM Rosen

In the Open section that featured five titled masters, tanki97 dominated the field with a dazzling full score of 9/9. I mentally clapped loud for tanki97, my long-time chess friend WIM Rochelle Wu since we first met on a flight to Georgia for 2016 World Cadet. My excitement reached the same climax as the time when I cheered for her G10 Championship in Georgia. Here is Rochelle’s victory against the runner up Sasha Konovalenko. The opposite side castling battle eventually favored black:

[pgn] [Event "Live Chess"] [Date "2020.04.26"] [Round "?"] [White "Sasha_Konovalenko"] [Black "tanki97"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A40"] [WhiteElo "2135"] [BlackElo "2255"] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] 1. d4 g6 2. Bf4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. e4 Nd7 5. Qd2 Ngf6 6. O-O-O O-O 7. Bh6 e5 8. d5 a6 9. f3 b5 10. g4 Nb6 11. h4 Bd7 12. h5 b4 13. Nb1 a5 14. Bd3 Na4 15. Ne2 Nc5 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Ng3 Nxd3+ 18. Qxd3 a4 19. Qe3 Ng8 20. Rh2 g5 21. h6+ Kh8 22. Rh5 f6 23. Rg1 Ne7 24. Nf5 Bxf5 25. gxf5 Rg8 26. Rh2 Qe8 27. Nd2 c6 28. dxc6 Qxc6 29. Kb1 Rgc8 30. Qd3 a3 31. b3 d5 32. Rd1 dxe4 33. fxe4 Rd8 34. Qe3 Rd4 35. Rhh1 Rad8 36. Qf3 Qc3 37. Qxc3 bxc3 38. Kc1 cxd2+ 39. Kb1 Nc6 40. Rh2 Rxe4 41. Rhxd2 Rxd2 42. Rxd2 Re1+ 0-1[/pgn]
Another thrilling game was the one between Sasha_Konovalenko and the third-place winner SABSMSJESSICA. Although white tried to attack early in the game, black was able to hold the inferior endgame later on:
[pgn] [Event "Live Chess"] [Date "2020.04.26"] [Round "?"] [White "SABSMSJESSICA"] [Black "Sasha_Konovalenko"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D00"] [WhiteElo "1960"] [BlackElo "2162"] [PlyCount "205"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. e3 Nf6 3. Bd3 Bg4 4. f3 Bh5 5. Ne2 e6 6. Ng3 Bg6 7. O-O a6 8. c3 c5 9. f4 Nc6 10. Qe2 Qb6 11. Kh1 Be7 12. Nd2 Qc7 13. Nf3 Nh5 14. Ne5 Nxg3+ 15. hxg3 c4 16. Bc2 f6 17. Nxc6 Qxc6 18. f5 exf5 19. Bxf5 Qd6 20. Qg4 Kf7 21. Kg1 Bxf5 22. Qxf5 Rad8 23. Qf3 h5 24. Re1 h4 25. g4 Qg3 26. Qxg3 hxg3 27. e4 Rh4 28. exd5 Rxg4 29. Re3 Rxd5 30. Rf3 Rh5 31. Bf4 Rf5 32. Be3 Rh5 33. Re1 Bd6 34. Kf1 Rgh4 35. Ke2 Rh2 36. Rg1 Rh1 37. Rff1 Rxg1 38. Rxg1 Rf5 39. Rf1 Ra5 40. a3 Rb5 41. Bc1 g5 42. Kf3 Ke6 43. Ke2 f5 44. Kf3 f4 45. Ke4 b6 46. Rh1 Kf7 47. Rh6 Be7 48. Rh7+ Kf8 49. Rh8+ Kg7 50. Rh1 Bf6 51. Rd1 g4 52. Kxf4 Kf7 53. Ke4 Ke6 54. d5+ Kd7 55. Kf4 Be7 56. Kxg4 Bd6 57. Kf5 a5 58. Ke4 Rb3 59. Rf1 b5 60. Rf7+ Ke8 61. Rf6 Ke7 62. Re6+ Kd7 63. Rg6 b4 64. axb4 axb4 65. Rg7+ Ke8 66. Kd4 bxc3 67. bxc3 Be7 68. Kxc4 Rb1 69. Bg5 Bf8 70. Rg8 Kf7 71. Rh8 Rb2 72. Bf4 Rxg2 73. Rh3 Rg1 74. Rxg3 Rd1 75. Bc7 Ke8 76. Re3+ Kd7 77. Bb6 Bd6 78. Bc5 Bc7 79. Re7+ Kd8 80. d6 Bxd6 81. Bxd6 Rxd6 82. Re5 Kc7 83. Rc5+ Kb7 84. Kb5 Rd1 85. Kc4 Rd6 86. Rd5 Rg6 87. Kd4 Kc6 88. Rc5+ Kb6 89. Re5 Kc6 90. c4 Rg4+ 91. Re4 Rxe4+ 92. Kxe4 Kc5 93. Kd3 Kc6 94. Kd4 Kd6 95. c5+ Kc6 96. Kc4 Kc7 97. Kd5 Kd7 98. c6+ Kc7 99. Kc5 Kc8 100. Kb5 Kc7 101. Kc5 Kc8 102. Kd5 Kc7 103. Kc5 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
In the meanwhile, u1500 section was no less impressive despite the ratings. Everyone displayed remarkable resilience and fighting spirits, and many games were ultimately suspense till the end. The podium finally sizzled out with madmadammin taking home the championship. Her game versing the 2nd-place winner, weizou, was brimming with tactics. As I watched with my partner streamers Irina and Evelyn, we all felt there was no room to breathe for either player:
[pgn] [Event "Live Chess"] [Date "2020.04.26"] [Round "?"] [White "weizou"] [Black "madmadammim"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B01"] [WhiteElo "1393"] [BlackElo "1420"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. d4 Nxd5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. c4 Nf6 6. Be3 Bg4 7. Be2 Qd6 8. h3 Bh5 9. Nc3 e6 10. O-O Be7 11. Nb5 Qd7 12. Qd2 a6 13. Nc3 Rd8 14. Rad1 O-O 15. b3 Bb4 16. Qd3 Bg6 17. Qd2 Ne4 18. Qc1 Nxc3 19. Rd2 Nxe2+ 20. Rxe2 Bd3 21. Rb2 Ba3 22. Qc3 Bxf1 23. Kxf1 Bxb2 24. Qxb2 f6 25. Qc3 Rfe8 26. c5 Ne7 27. Bf4 Nd5 28. Qd2 Nxf4 29. Qxf4 e5 30. dxe5 Qd1+ 31. Ne1 Rxe5 32. Qc4+ Kh8 33. Qc3 Rd2 0-1[/pgn]
The Q&A session concluded the tournament with intriguing questions and inspiring answers, when all the commentators coming together to greet fans and players. When asked how psychology is affected in chess, where players are predominantly males, Carissa Yip shared with everyone her feeling: “I don’t think there’s any difference in terms of play style, but in terms of psychology, yeah. The fact that there are just so many more guys in chess compared to girls, it definitely does get intimidating. When I was younger, it was very intimidating not to see that many girls my age playing chess. All-female and all-girl tournaments, I am very much in support of those, because it just has a sense of community.” Carissa’s words echoed the theme of the 1st Unruly Queens’ tournament, as well as that of many more in the future. Such sense of community is what we are aspiring to reinforce during the pandemic and in the longer horizon. Through actions, we want to convey a message to all female chess players that we all can be UNRULY QUEENS over the chess board and we all belong to a compassionate community. And with the strong support from this community as well as from the broader chess world and beyond, the donations through our GoFundMe website continued even days after the tournament. 58 donors helped us raise over $3000 in a mere two weeks! We are grateful for the individuals, families and organizations who contributed to the success of this tournament by playing, streaming, donating, or promoting on social media. We are all part of a great initiative and a good cause! Our next Unruly Queens Event will take place on Saturday, May 16 at 3 PM EDT. Find more details on gofundme, register on the google form and club. Watch on Evelyn Zhu's twitch channel, featuring commentary by Grandmaster Irina Krush. Ellen"> Wang was a recent guest at our weekly Girls Club seminars. Find her lesson here and look for a snippet from Carissa's coming soon, as well as a podcast interview with Carissa on Ladies' Knight. 


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The second game: 3...Bg4 was first played in Pillsbury-Jasnogrodsky, Impromptu Tournament New York 1893. That game also continued with 4.f3 Bh5. 5.Ne2 is the main move (whereas that game continued with 5.c4). On 5.Ne2 e6, white should probably actually go for 6.c4 (Marshall beat Alapin in Vienna 1908 with the inferior 6.c3). 6.Ng3 Bg6 occurred in Trenchard-Halprin, Vienna 1898 and Trenchard-Tarrasch, Vienna 1898 (in neither game did white castle on move 7). After 7.0-0 in the game, 7...c5 was probably more to the point (than 7...a6). In any case black was better and had won the opening battle. The third game (U1500 section): In this line of the Scandinavian, I had to look it up but 4...Nc6 is quite rare and bad. It was first played in Sharp-Marshall, Atlantic City 1920. A strong reply is considered to be 5.Bb5. On 5.c4 Nf6 white might consider 6.d5, essentially forcing the knight back to b8. OK after 6.d5 Nb8 7.Nc3 e6 it's still a game, but white must be better. The game continuation also looked strong for white. It looks like white just blundered the game away with 16.Qd3??

In reply to by Justin Sarkar (not verified)

I played that game.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

A bad line of the Scandi you say? You won't get any argument from the Shahades on that one! Thanks for your analysis Justin!

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