Nava (Sterenberg) Starr (born Riga, Latvia, April 4, 1949) is one of the top female chess players in Canada. She is an eight-time Canadian Ladies' champion, and a Women's International Master (WIM). She has represented Canada 12 times in chess Olympiads, and six times in World Championships.
Biography, chess achievements and style
Starr was born in Latvia and currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is married to Sasha Starr, and has one married daughter, Regina and two grandchildren, Mathew and Naomi. Sasha Starr is also a Master-strength player.
Starr's chess style is sharp, offensive and always looking for combinations. She favours sharp and unusual openings, such as the Grand Prix Attack (Sicilian), b3 in the French, f5 variation in the Ruy Lopez, the Philidor Defence as Black, and many others. She received the WIM title by winning her first Ladies' Canadian Chess Championship in 1978 in Victoria, British Columbia. The best players she has defeated are: Pia Cramling (Sweden), Milunka Lazarević (Former Yugoslavia), Barbara Hund (Switzerland) and Roman Pelts (Canada). Starr wrote an article in En Passant magazine dealing with the reasons "Why men are superior to women in chess".
Major tournament and match results
- WIM – 8 times Canadian Ladies' Champion
- Represented Canada at 12 Chess Olympiads, 10 times on first board
- Haifa 1976, 2nd board, 9/10, +8 =2 −0, won the board gold medal;
- Buenos Aires 1978, 1st board, 10/14, +8 =4 −2;
- Lucerne 1982, 1st board, 7.5/11, +5 =5 −1;
- Valletta 1980, 1st board, 9/12, +7 =4 −1, won the board bronze medal;
- Thessaloniki 1984, 1st board, 8/12, +7 =2 −3;
- Thessaloniki 1988, 1st board, 5/12, +4 =2 −6;
- Manila 1992, 1st board, 9/13, +7 =4 −2;
- Moscow 1994, Russia, 8.5/12, +6 =5 −1;
- Yerevan 1996, 1st board, 6/12, +3 =6 −3;
- Bled 2002 1st board, 5.5/11, +5 =1 −5;
- Calvià 2004, 1st board, 8.5/12, +7 =3 −2;
- Turin 2006, 2nd board, 5.5/10, +4 =3 −3.
Totals in Olympiad play for Canada: 141 games (all-time Canadian women's record), +71 =41 −29, for 64.9 per cent.
- 6-times participant in the individual Women's World Championships:
Notable chess games
- Arianne Caoili vs Nava Starr, Bled Olympiad (women) 2002, Benko Gambit (A58), 0-1 Starr transforms the game into the sharp Benko Gambit and scores a pretty thematic win.
- Dinara Khaziyeva vs Nava Starr, Canadian Championship, Toronto 2004, King's Indian Attack / Zukertort Opening (A04), 0-1 Khaziyeva was a young player who has to learn the ropes from a veteran like Starr.
- Nava Starr vs Angela Franco, Turin Olympiad (women) 2006, Four Knights' Game, Scotch Variation (C47), 1-0 Very nice endgame victory.