By Herky Del Mundo
The 2015 Georgia Women’s Open promises to be an exciting tournament, drawing strong competitors like WIM Carolina Blanco and Rachelle Pascua. The annual, one-day tournament will be held on September 12, 2015, in a four-round Swiss system at the Decatur First United Methodist Church at 300 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Decatur GA 30030.
Carolina Blanco, a Georgia resident who originally hails from Venezuela, is an orthodontist by profession and an Atlanta-based chess coach in her spare time. Since she was eight years old, Carolina has represented both her native and adopted countries in international tournaments in 35 countries. She has become highly proficient in several languages, including Portuguese, English, and Spanish, her native language.
Rachelle Pascua, also an international competitor, is a 2025 FIDE rated player from the Philippines. Rachelle has the distinction of representing the Philippine women’s team in two Olympiads: the 1992 Olympiad in Manila and the 1996 Olympiad in Yerevan, Armenia. She has a USCF 2038 rating, based on ten games played in Georgia.
Last year’s 2014 Georgia Women’s Open co-champions Samhitha Dasari and Jayashree Sekar have enjoyed success in other chess events. Samhitha distinguished herself recently by winning the Under 1800 class in the World Open Women’s Championship. Jayashree is a local tournament director, a teacher with KidChess, and a FIDE Trainer and Developmental Instructor.In June 2014, she played her first FIDE event in Chennai, India and was recognized as the Best Woman Player in the tournament.
Elena Gratskaya, another outstanding competitor, is a skilled international player from the Murmansk region in Russia. At age 14, Elena was the leading female blitz player in her port city. She has been the Women’s State Champion before she left for the United States. She was a member of the 2014 U.S. Amateur Team southern champion with her team, Russians Never Retreat.
The 2015 Georgia Women’s Open is expected to attract strong players of all ages, from junior chess players to seasoned competitors. Beginners and unrated players are welcome to play in the Ladies’ Rated Beginners Open, which will run concurrently with the main event. Please visit 2015 Georgia Women’s Open to register.