Williams To Host U.S. Chess Federation Chess Tournament

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Williamstown -- There will be knights out in the morning. The Williams College Chess Club will host a U.S. Chess Federation open, non-elimination chess tournament on Jan. 6. The tournament will include a rated, as well as a non-rated match, each consisting of three rounds and will be held in Griffin Hall, rooms 3 and 4, on the Williams College campus. The entry fee for the rated section is $12 and $2 for the unrated section. Registration for the rated tournament will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. and requires USCF membership, which can be purchased at the tournament. Registration for the non-rated tournament will last from 10 to 11 a.m. and does not require an USCF membership. Winners in the rated tournament will be awarded cash prizes and those in non-rated section will receive non-cash prizes. In USCF tournaments, opponents are coupled together according to their chess rating and gain and lose points depending on the game's result. The games are time controlled by using a chess clock that counts down the time allotted for each player to make his or her moves. Both the rated and the non-rated sections of the game are timed: in the rated matches, the players are given a total of 90 minutes each to complete the moves and in the non-rated ones, the players have a total of 30 minutes each. Chess has been shown to have an increasing importance in the academic life of students. As Dr. Haraldur Karlsson, associate professor of geosciences at Texas Tech University, pointed out in an article published by the New York Times, "there tends to be a link between good chess skills and good academic skills." The Williams Chess Club, which is to host the tournament, hosted a similar event last year. The club meets regularly on Tuesday nights during the academic year and plays both formal and informal USCF rated tournaments. Last year, club members taught a class on chess at the Williamstown Elementary School through the Adventures in Learning Program. Grandmaster Talk On Saturday, January 13, 2007, Williams College will also host a short talk on top-flight chess delivered by Grandmaster Ronen Har-Zvi. There are only 565 Grandmasters in Chess in the world and the title is awarded by FIDE, the World Chess Federation. The expert in chess will also play 20 simultaneous chess games. The event will take place at 1:30 p.m. in Griffin Hall, room 3. Readers interested in obtaining more information about the chess club or in participating in any of these events, should access www.enyca.org or contact Trevor Murphy at tmurphy@williams.edu or (413) 458-2947.
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Williams Anthropologist Receives Grant to Support Climate Change Research

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Kim Gutschow, lecturer in religion and anthropology at Williams College, has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Geographic Society to fund a project titled "Climate Change Adaptation: By the People & For the People" in the Ladakh region of India.

The grant was co-written and co-conceived with Robin Sears, research associate in anthropology at Williams, and includes an international team comprised of Gutschow, Sears and four Ladakhi individuals who have been active in climate change adaptation and social justice work for the past 30 years.

Climate change and modernization have introduced unprecedented risk in high-altitude Himalayan societies such as Ladakh, which spans the upper Indus watershed. Gutschow and Sears will direct a team of Ladakhi youth and women to conduct research and advocate for specific interventions that can best address the local impacts of climate change in their region, such as water shortages from variably shrinking glaciers and reduced snowfall; declining food security due to rising temperatures and more frequent locust plagues; and occasional glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) or floods from extreme cloudbursts.

The project examines local strategies for coping with the effects of climate change and modernization as men and youth have left villages to seek jobs and education in urban centers, leaving the bulk of farming in the hands of women and the elderly.

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