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Archive for April 30th, 2009

chess
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Saint Louis Chess Club

Saint Louis Chess Club

us-chess-2009

us-chess-championship-players

Kamsky, Nakamura and Onischuk – 3 of the players in this tournament. Click on images for a larger view.
Please click here to read more player-info.
Follow the tournament on Twitter
http://twitter.com/ccscsl
players-2009

Players confirmed for the US Chess Championship 2009
Please click here for the official site of the US Chess Championship 2009
All links in this post will open in a new window.


I usually blog tournaments from Europe as I do know some of the GM’s and have played through a few games of some of them. Kamsky is one of my favourite players and I do hope that I will have time to follow his games in the US CC. As I’m busy with studies too, – an assignment due in two weeks! – I know I won’t be able to blog games intensively like I used to do, but let’s cross fingers! MTel is also coming up and hoping to do at least an entry about it. You can follow the first link on my sidebar with MTel’s logo for player information, etc.

 The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis is scheduled to host the U.S. Chess Championship May 7-17, less than a year after the center opened in a 112-year-old building in the city’s Central West End.

Competitors are to include the “Big Three” of chess in America – Gata Kamsky, Hikaru Nakamura and Alexander Onischuk, along with current U.S. champion Yury Shulman. The female medalists in the Chess Olympiad, Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih, also are competing.Top players are gearing up, both mentally and physically. Shulman said exercise is helpful before or after play. He also regularly teaches chess, works with a chess database which stores millions of games, and reads chess books.
At the championship, live commentary will be provided on the lower level by grandmasters Jennifer Shahade and Emil Sutovsky
Please click here to read the complete article.


 
Image: saintlouischessclub.org


FISCHER MEMORIAL PRIZE, JACKPOT BONUS ADDED TO PRIZES

FOR 2009 U.S. CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP BEING HELD IN ST. LOUIS

ST. LOUIS, February 19, 2009 — A $64,000 bonus in memory of late chess champion Bobby Fischer and a jackpot bonus for a “clear” first-place winner have been added to the prizes being awarded at the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship. The tournament, which will be held May 7-17, 2009 at the new Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, will offer a purse of more than $130,000 in prize money.

Any player who scores a 9-0 sweep will be awarded the Fischer Memorial Prize, a $64,000 bonus in addition to the first-place award. The prize is in remembrance of the late American world champion Bobby Fischer, who died in 2008 at age 64. Fischer scored an 11-0 victory in the 1963-64 U.S. championship, the only perfect score in the event’s history.
Read complete article
HERE
chess-facts
US Chess facts
Pairings: Round 1
pairings round 1
Kamsky round 1 move 8
Ibragimov vs Kamsky round 1 move 8
Friedel vs Onischuk round 1 move 8
Friedel vs Onischuk round 1 move 8
Kamsky move 15
Kamsky – round 1 move 15
Onischuk end position

Onischuk – End position – 1/2
Kamsky end position
Kamsky End position – 0-1
 

Friedel vs Onischuk Round 1

Friedel vs Onischuk Round 1

Robert Hess Round 1

Robert Hess Round 1

Ibragimov vs Kamsky Round 1

Ibragimov vs Kamsky Round 1

Shankland vs Benjamin Round 1

Shankland vs Benjamin Round 1

Yury Shulman

Yury Shulman

Melikset Kaidanov Round 1

Melikset Kaidanov Round 1

 
 pairings round 2
Pairings round 2
standings after round 1
Standings after round 1 — first 10 places
 Round 2 Kamsky move 16
Kamsky vs Akobian round 2 move 16
Varuzhan Akobian
Akobian
Hughues vs Onischuk round 2 move 15
Hughues vs Onischuk round 2 move 15

Onischuk move 16
Onischuk move 16 –
 
Kamsky round 2 end position

Kamsky vs Akobian round 2 – end position – 1-0

[Event “2009 U.S. Championship”]
[Site “St.Louis”]
[Date “2009.05.09”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Kamsky, Gata”]
[Black “Akobian, Varuzhan”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteElo “2798”]
[BlackElo “2664”]
[PlyCount “81”]
[EventDate “2009.05.??”]
[EventType “swiss”]
[Source “MonRoi”]

 [[1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Bd3 c5 7. Nxf6  Nxf6 8. Be3 Nd5 9. Ne5 Bd6 10. Qh5 Qc7 11. Bb5  Kf8 12. O-O-O a6 13. Bc4 Nf6 14. Qf3 Rb8 15. Bf4 b5 16. Rhe1 cxd4 17. Rxd4 Rb6 18. Bb3 Bb7 19. Qh3 a5 20. Rxd6 Rxd6 21. Nxf7 Kxf7 22. Qxe6  Rxe6 23. Bxe6  Kg6 24. Bxc7 Re8 25. Bxa5 Bxg2 26. f4 h5 27. Re5 Kh6 28. Bd2 Bc6 29. Rc5 Bd7 30. Bxd7 Nxd7 31. Rxb5 Re2 32. h4 Nf6 33. f5  Kh7 34. Kd1 Rh2 35. Be1 Ng4 36. Rb3 Rh1 37. a4 Rf1 38. a5 Rxf5 39. a6 Rf7 40. Ra3 Rd7  41. Kc1 1-0]
[Event “2009 U.S. Championship”]
[Site “St.Louis”]
[Date “2009.05.12”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Nakamura, Hikaru”]
[Black “Kamsky, Gata”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[WhiteElo “2757”]
[BlackElo “2798”]
[PlyCount “69”]
[EventDate “2009.05.??”]
[EventType “swiss”]
[Source “MonRoi”]

[[1. c4 g6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Qa4+ Bd7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 a6 7. d4 b5 8. Qb3 c5 9. dxc5 Bg7 10. e4 O-O 11. Be2 Be6 12. Qc2 Nbd7 13. Be3 Rc8 14. c6 Rxc6 15. Nd4 Rd6 16. Rd1 Ng4 17. Bxg4 Bxg4 18. f3 Ne5 19. Bf2 Nc4 20. Nc6 Bxc3+ 21. bxc3 Qc7 22. Nb4 Be6 23. O-O Rfd8 24. Bd4 a5 25. Nd3 b4 26. Nf4 Qd7 27. Rc1 Na3 28. Qf2 Nb5 29. Bc5 Rd2 30. Qh4 f6 31. cxb4 axb4 32. Qh6 Rxa2 33. Nxg6 hxg6 34. Qxg6+ Kh8 35. Qh6+ 1/2-1/2]]

Standings after round 2: Top 16 players

Standings after round 2: Top 16 players

Pairings Round 3

Pairings Round 3

 News update from Saint Louis:

Saint Louis, May 9, 2009 — The second day of the U.S. Chess Championship was a repeat of the first, with big upsets and teenagers making the biggest buzz. While it’s hardly a surprise that No. 1 ranked Gata Kamsky of Brooklyn, N.Y., is undefeated after round two, it’s shocking that one of the two other undefeated players in the 24-competitor championship is Robert Hess, a 17-year-old from New York.

Hess came into the tournament ranked 37th in the United States. He has defeated grandmasters in both rounds: sixth-ranked Larry Christiansen, of Cambridge, Mass., on Friday, and seventh-ranked Julio Becerra of Miami, Fla., on Saturday.

Other Round 2 winners included Missourian Michael Brooks. The 91st-ranked Brooks, from Kansas City, beat 15th-ranked Alexander Shabalov, a grandmaster from Glendale, Calif. The youngest player in the tournament, Ray Robson, 14, of Largo, Fla., was victorious over the oldest player, 12th-ranked Boris Gulko, of Fairlawn, N.J., who is ranked 12th.
Defending champion Yury Shulman, of Barrington, Ill., the fourth-ranked player, remained unbeaten. But the second-ranked player in the country, Hikaru Nakamura, lost his chance at an undefeated tournament, when he played to a draw with Jaan Ehlvest, of Baltimore, who is ranked 11th.

Any player going undefeated over nine rounds will receive a $64,000 prize named for Bobby Fischer, the only player to accomplish that feat. In all, there is nearly $200,000 of potential prize money available.
The nine-round tournament continues Sunday, May 10th from 2pm-8pm., and will conclude Sunday, May 17. The club also will host the 2009 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship from October 2-12

Click on this link of my blogger-blog and play through the game of Kamsky in Round 3. The link will open in a new window.
http://chessaleeinlondon.blogspot.com/2009/05/us-chess-championship-2009.html

Standings  after round 3  – first 10 
    
   1. GM Kamsky, Gata        2.5    
   2. GM Nakamura, Hikaru        2.5    
   3. GM Shulman, Yury    2.5    
   4. GM Friedel, Joshua       2.5    
   5. GM Onischuk, Alexander     2.0    
   6. GM Becerra, Julio       2.0    
   7. GM Akobian, Varuzhan       2.0    
   8. GM Ehlvest, Jaan      2.0    
   9. IM Hess, Robert      2.0    
  10. GM Kaidanov, Gregory    1.5 

Pairings Round 4 – Monday, May 11, 2:00 pm
1. GM Gata Kamsky (2½) 2798 – GM Joshua Friedel (2½) 2568
2. GM Yury Shulman (2½) 2697 – GM Hikaru Nakamura (2½) 2757
3. GM Alexander Onischuk (2) 2736 – IM Robert Hess (2) 2545
4. GM Varuzhan Akobian (2) 2664 – GM Julio Becerra (2) 2672
5. GM Gregory Kaidanov (1½) 2662 – GM Jaan Ehlvest (2) 2649
6. IM Michael Brooks (1½) 2419 – GM Joel Benjamin (1½) 2650
7. GM Melikset Khachiyan (1½) 2632 – IM Irina Krush (1½) 2496
8. IM Enrico Sevillano (1½) 2549 – IM Samuel Shankland (1½) 2464
9. GM Larry Christiansen (1) 2681 – GM Alexander Shabalov (1) 2620
10. IM Ray Robson (1) 2542 – GM Ildar Ibragimov (1) 2628
11. Tyler Hughes (1) 2293 – Charles Lawton (0) 2350
12. GM Boris Gulko (0) 2631 – Doug Eckert (0) 2278

Please follow this link to follow Kamsky’s game live – Round 4 – or to play through it if you’re too late for the real time game.
http://chessaleeinlondon.blogspot.com/2009/05/us-chess-championship-2009_10.html

US chess flag
News-update from Saint Louis:

Defending Champ Yury Shulman Clashes with Gata Kamsky At Round Three of U.S. Chess Championship
 
St. Louis, MO May 10, 2009: It’s the big clash of the contenders and rivals in round three of the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, with the early top board pairing of the defending champion, Yury Shulman from Illinois, and the #1 seed and favorite for the title, Gata Kamsky from Brooklyn. 
 
The top two are on full points and leading the chase for bonus $64,000 Fischer Memorial Prize for any player with a perfect sweep of 9-0.  The prize is in recognition of the phenomenal feat of the late American world champion Bobby Fischer, who won 11-0 to take the 1963/64 title – the only player in the long and distinguished history of the U.S. Championship to win with a sweep.
 
The only other player on full points and in contention for the Fischer Memorial Prize is the 17-year-old newly-minted American Grandmaster Robert Hess from New York, who in round three plays a grudge match against former U.S. champion and second seed Hikaru Nakamura, also from New York.  Last month, the two met in the Foxwoods Open in Connecticut with Hess easily winning and the result counting for his third and final grandmaster norm.  Nakamura, who broke every Fischer age group record in U.S. save for that of youngest U.S. Champion, will be going all out for revenge.
 
The U.S. Championship is being played in a spirit of sportsmanship and professionalism throughout, and this could be witnessed in the pairing between U.S. Women’s champion Woman’s Grandmaster Anna Zatonskia and Grandmaster Gregory Kaidanov from Kentucky, another of the top seeds. 
 
Due to a minor ailment, WGM Zatonskih, the only mother in the 24-player field on Mother’s Day, had to attend St. Louis University Hospital for treatment for a minor ailment.  Unfortunately this meant she was unable to play her round three game and would have had to automatically forfeit the loss to her opponent without a move being played – but, in a true act of sportsmanship, Kaidanov – who could easily have claimed a win by default – magnanimously offered to postpone their match-up until the official rest day on Friday, when they will both play catch-up on the day the rest of the field are on a break. In a footnote to yesterday’s round two, local player Charles Lawton discovered the hard way the difference between the standard of play at the U.S. Championship and local tournaments he’s more used to ruling the roost in. In a time scramble when he was down to his last 5 minutes, he opted to save valuable seconds by stopping to score his game, only to flagged for an infringement of the rules by chief arbiter Carol Jarecki as she warned him he had to continue to keep a score of the game. 
 
But Lawton lost on time in the ensuing dispute with the arbiter as he tried to keep his score up to date as he fell foul of International FIDE rules (which govern all national championships) and local USCF rules.  With FIDE (the French acronym of the governing body of world chess), if you have 5 minutes or less on your clock you still have to keep a score of the game, with USCF rules you do not have to do so.

Standings after round 4-Top 6
  1. GM Kamsky, Gata (1)………..      3.0
  2. GM Nakamura, Hikaru (2)…….      3.0
  3. GM Shulman, Yury (4)……….     3.0
  4. GM Akobian, Varuzhan (7)……      3.0
  5. GM Friedel, Joshua (15)…….        3.0
  6. GM Onischuk, Alexander (3)….       2.5

Pairings Round 5 – Tuesday, May 12, 2:00 pm
 
1. GM Hikaru Nakamura (3) 2757 – GM Gata Kamsky (3) 2798
2. GM Joshua Friedel (3) 2757 – GM Yury Shulman (3) 2697
3. GM Jaan Ehlvest (2½) 2649 – GM Varuzhan Akobian (3) 2664
4. IM Samuel Shankland (2½) 2464 – GM Alexander Onischuk (2½) 2736
5. IM Robert Hess (2½) 2545 – GM Melikset Khachiyan (2½) 2632
6. GM Julio Becerra (2) 2672 – IM Michael Brooks (2) 2419
7. IM Ray Robson (2) 2542 – GM Gregory Kaidanov (2) 2662
8. GM Joel Benjamin (2) 2650 – Tyler Hughes (2) 2293
9. IM Irina Krush (1½) 2496 – GM Larry Christiansen (1½) 2681
10. GM Alexander Shabalov (1½) 2620 – IM Enrico Sevillano (1½) 2549
11. GM Ildar Ibragimov (1) 2628 – GM Boris Gulko (1) 2631
12. FM Doug Eckert (0) 2278 – Charles Lawton (0) 2350

Round 5 – Results – top 5
1. GM Hikaru Nakamura (3) 2757 ½-½ GM Gata Kamsky (3) 2798
2. GM Joshua Friedel (3) 2568 0-1 GM Yury Shulman (3) 2697
3. GM Jaan Ehlvest (2½) 2649 0-1 GM Varuzhan Akobian (3) 2664
4. IM Samuel Shankland (2½) 2464 0-1 GM Alexander Onischuk (2½) 2736
5. IM Robert Hess (2½) 2545 1-0 GM Melikset Khachiyan (2½) 2632

Pairings – Round 6, Wednesday, May 13, 2:00 pm- top 5

1. GM Varuzhan Akobian (4) 2664 – GM Yury Shulman (4) 2697
2. GM Gata Kamsky (3½) 2798 – IM Robert Hess (3½) 2545
3. GM Alexander Onischuk (3½) 2736 – GM Hikaru Nakamura (3½) 2757
4. IM Michael Brooks (3) 2419 – GM Joshua Friedel (3) 2568
5. GM Melikset Khachiyan (2½) 2632 – GM Joel Benjamin (3) 2650

Standings Top 6
 

   1. GM Shulman, Yury (4)……….      4.0
   2. GM Akobian, Varuzhan (7)……        4.0
   3. GM Kamsky, Gata (1)………..     3.5
   4. GM Nakamura, Hikaru (2)…….        3.5
   5. GM Onischuk, Alexander (3)….      3.5
   6. IM Hess, Robert (17)……….        3.5

Kamsky vs Hess Round 6

Kamsky vs Hess Round 6

Players Round 6

Players Round 6

Yury Shulman Round 6

Yury Shulman Round 6

Photos of players by: Betsy Dynako, Official Event Photographer

Results: Round 6 (May 13, 2009)                                                                              
Lawton,Charles – Gulko, Boris F 0-1 36 B43 Sicilian Paulsen
Shabalov, Alexander – Eckert, Doug D 1-0 25 B80 Sicilian Scheveningen
Hughes, Tyler B – Ibragimov, Ildar 0-1 34 E20 Nimzo Indian
Krush, Irina – Becerra Rivero, Julio 1-0 40 D44 Anti-Meran Gambit
Christiansen, Larry M – Robson, Ray 0-1 36 D31 Semi-Slav Defence
Sevillano, Enrico – Ehlvest, Jaan ½-½ 69 C64 Ruy Lopez Classical
Kaidanov, Gregory S – Shankland, Samuel L 1-0 49 D45 Anti-Meran Variations
Khachiyan, Melikset – Benjamin, Joel 0-1 49 C50 Giuoco Piano
Brooks, Michael A – Friedel, Joshua E 0-1 40 C69 Ruy Lopez Exchange
Onischuk, Alexander – Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ 43 E43 Nimzo Indian Rubinstein
Kamsky, Gata – Hess, Robert L ½-½ 35 B72 Sicilian Dragon
Akobian, Varuzhan – Shulman, Yuri ½-½ 33 D45 Anti-Meran Variations

Standings After Round 6 – Top 10
                      
1.  GM Shulman, Yury (4)…….  IL 2697    4.5
2.  GM Akobian, Varuzhan (7)…  CA 2664   4.5
3.  GM Kamsky, Gata (1)……..  NY 2798   4.0
4.  GM Nakamura, Hikaru (2)….  NY 2757   4.0
5.  GM Onischuk, Alexander (3).  VA 2736   4.0
6.  GM Benjamin, Joel (9)……  NJ 2650   4.0
7.  GM Friedel, Joshua (15)….  NH 2568   4.0
8.  IM Hess, Robert (17)…….  NY 2545    4.0
9.  GM Kaidanov, Gregory (8)…  KY 2662  3.5
10. IM Robson, Ray (18)……..  FL 2542  3.5

Newsupdate from Saint Louis Chess Club

SHULMAN AND AKOBIAN HOLD LEAD AT U.S. CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP

 
St. Louis, Mo., May 13, 2009 — Defending champion Yury Shulman, of Barrington, Ill., and Varuzhan Akobian, of North Hollywood, Calif., continue to hold the lead of the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
As overnight leaders, the two were matched up Wednesday in round six of the $135,000 championship. A win would have given the victor sole possession of first place, but Shulman and Akobian played to a draw. They share the top of the leader board with 4.5 points.
 
A pack of six players is a half-point back, including the top three ranked U.S. players coming into the tournament:  New Yorkers Gata Kamsky and Hikaru Nakamura,  and Alexander Onischuk, of Baltimore. Also in the group is 17-year-old Robert Hess, of New York, who played to a draw Wednesday in his match with Kamsky.  
 
The youngest player in the field, 14-year-old Ray Robson, of Largo, Fla., beat three-time U.S. champion Larry Christiansen, of Cambridge, Mass., as the young phenom took a big step in his quest to becoming the country’s youngest chess grandmaster. Also breaking down the barriers in the game was another outstanding performance from Irina Krush, of Brooklyn, N.Y., the sole woman player in the championship after the illness-related withdrawal of Anna Zatonskih of Long Island, N.Y. Krush turned in the best performance of the day by beating Julio Becerra, a grandmaster from Miami, Fl.

Results: Round 7
1. GM Yury Shulman (4½) 2697 0-1 GM Alexander Onischuk (4) 2736
2. GM Hikaru Nakamura (4) 2757 1-0 GM Varuzhan Akobian (4½) 2664
3. GM Joel Benjamin (4) 2650 0-1 GM Gata Kamsky (4) 2798
4. GM Joshua Friedel (4) 2568 0-1 IM Robert Hess (4) 2545
5. IM Enrico Sevillano (3) 2549 1-0 GM Gregory Kaidanov (3½) 2662
6. IM Ray Robson (3½) 2542 0-1 IM Michael Brooks (3) 2419
7. GM Jaan Ehlvest (3) 2649 1-0 IM Irina Krush (3) 2496
8. GM Ildar Ibragimov (2½) 2628 1-0 GM Melikset Khachiyan (2½) 2632
9. GM Boris Gulko (2½) 2631 ½-½ GM Alexander Shabalov (2½) 2620
10. IM Samuel Shankland (2½) 2464 0-1 Tyler Hughes (2) 2293
11. FM Doug Eckert (1) 2278 0-1 GM Larry Christiansen (2) 2681
12. GM Julio Becerra (2) 2672 1-0 Charles Lawton (0) 2350

Pairings
Round 8, Saturday, May 16, 11:00 am

1. GM Gata Kamsky (5) 2798 – GM Alexander Onischuk (5) 2736
2. IM Robert Hess (5) 2545 – GM Yury Shulman (4½) 2697
3. IM Michael Brooks (4) 2419 – GM Hikaru Nakamura (5) 2757
4. GM Varuzhan Akobian (4½) 2664 – GM Joel Benjamin (4) 2650
5. GM Joshua Friedel (4) 2568 – GM Jaan Ehlvest (4) 2649
6. IM Ray Robson (3½) 2542 – IM Enrico Sevillano (4) 2549
7. GM Gregory Kaidanov (3½) 2662 – GM Ildar Ibragimov (3½) 2628
8. GM Larry Christiansen (3) 2681 – Tyler Hughes (3) 2293
9. GM Boris Gulko (3) 2631 – GM Julio Becerra (3) 2672
10. GM Alexander Shabalov (3) 2620 – IM Irina Krush (3) 2496
11. GM Melikset Khachiyan (2½) 2632 – FM Doug Eckert (1) 2278
12. Charles Lawton (0) 2350 – IM Samuel Shankland (2½) 2464

Standings: Top 10
              
1.  GM Kamsky, Gata (1)…….. NY 2798   5.0
2.  GM Nakamura, Hikaru (2)…. NY 2757    5.0
3.  GM Onischuk, Alexander (3). VA 2736     5.0
4.  IM Hess, Robert (17)……. NY 2545   5.0
5.  GM Shulman, Yury (4)……. IL 2697     4.5
6.  GM Akobian, Varuzhan (7)… CA 2664   4.5
7.  GM Benjamin, Joel (9)…… NJ 2650    4.0
8.  GM Ehlvest, Jaan (10)…… NY 2649    4.0
9.  GM Friedel, Joshua (15)…. NH 2568   4.0
10. IM Sevillano, Enrico (16).. CA 2549    4.0

News-update from Saint Louis Chess Club:

TOP 3 SEEDS, RISING STAR, SIT ATOP U.S. CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

 
St. Louis, Mo., 15 May, 2009 — The leaderboard flipped Thursday in the seventh of nine rounds of the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. At the end of the day, the three top seeds coming into the tournament, and a 17-year-old rising star, shared first place.

No. 1 seed Gata Kamsky, of Brooklyn, N.Y., No. 2 Hikaru Nakamura, of White Plains, N.Y.,  No. 3 Alexander Onsichuk, of Baltimore, and Robert Hess, 17, of Brooklyn, N.Y., have 5 points apiece. There is $135,000 in prize money at stake. Defending champion Yury Shulman, of Barrington, Ill., and Varuzhan Akobian, of North Hollywood, Calif., who shared the lead after the sixth routh, fell into second place with 4.5 points after losing to Onischuk and Nakamura, respectively. Kamsky defeated three-time U.S. champion Joel Benjamin, of New Jersey, and Hess defeated Josh Friedel, of New York.
 
Michael Brooks, of Kansas City, Mo., had a dramatic turnaround in his game, putting him closer to earning grandmaster status.  Brooks, 47, beat the youngest player in the field, 14-year-old phenom Ray Robson, of Largo, Fla., to end the day with 4 points.  Not only will his above-par performance raise his chess rating, but if he manages to score 1.5 points over his final two games, he will be on course for a grandmaster norm. No Missourian has become a grandmaster.
 
Friday is a rest day.  Round eight of the nine-round championship will be on Saturday. The tournament concludes Sunday.

 Round 8: Results
If you click on my blogger link here, you can play through the games of the top boards in Round 8. The link will open in a new window.

http://chessaleeinlondon.blogspot.com/2009/05/us-chess-championship-2009_10.html

Round 8 Kamsky vs Onischuk end position 1/2

Round 8 Kamsky vs Onischuk end position 1/2

Round 8 Akobian vs Benjamin move 42

Round 8 Akobian vs Benjamin move 42

Round 8 Hess vs Shulman move 42

Round 8 Hess vs Shulman move 42

Round 8 Lawton vs Shankland final position 1/2

Round 8 Lawton vs Shankland final position 1/2

Round 8 Robson vs Sevillano move 41

Round 8 Robson vs Sevillano move 41

Round 8 Kamsky vs Onischuk

Round 8 Kamsky vs Onischuk

 NEWS-update from Saint Louis Chess Club:

YOUNG GUNS BATTLE FOR U.S. CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE

 
Saint. Louis, May 16 — After eight rounds of tense competition at the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship, two young players enter the final round tied for the lead and the title.
 
Former champion and second seed Hikaru Nakamura, 21, of White Plains, N.Y., who in 2004 became the youngest player since Bobby Fischer to win the national title, was the first to take the lead in the penultimate round by beating Michael Brooks, of Kansas City, Mo. He has six points.Nakamura was followed later in the day at the top of the leader board by rising star and high school football linebacker Robert Hess, 17, of New York. Hess capitalized on an endgame error from defending champion Yury Shulman, of Barrington, Ill., to score a win when a draw seemed the more likely result.  
 
Three players are a half point behind Nakamura and Hess: No. 1 seed Gata Kamsky, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Alexander Onischuk, of Baltimore, (who drew with Kamsky); Varuzhan Akobian, of North Hollywood, Calif., who beat three-time U.S. champion Joel Benjamin, of New Jersey; and Josh Friedel, of New York, who beat Jaan Ehlvest, of Baltimore. In the final round, Nakamura will play Friedel and Hess will meet Akobian.  If more than one player finishes with the same number of points at the top of the leader board, there will be a playoff for the title and prize money on Sunday evening.
 
Despite losing to Nakamura, Michael Brooks’ dream of achieving a grandmaster norm late in life at 47 still lives on.  But to do so, he faces the tough task of having to win his last round game against Ildar Ilbragimov, of New Haven, Conn., to become the first Missourian to attain a grandmaster-level performance. 

Meanwhile, the youngest player in the 24-player field, Ray Robson, 14, of Largo, Fla., needs only a draw against his coach, Alexander Onischuk, to also score his first grandmaster norm.  
 
Standings after round 8 – Top 6
1.  GM Nakamura, Hikaru (2)…. NY 2757…6.0
2.  IM Hess, Robert (17)……. NY 2545…6.0
3.  GM Kamsky, Gata (1)…….. NY 2798…5.5
4.  GM Onischuk, Alexander (3). VA 2736…5.5
5.  GM Akobian, Varuzhan (7)… CA 2664…5.5
6.  GM Friedel, Joshua (15)…. NH 2568…5.0

Pairings: FINAL
Round 9, Sunday, May 17, 10:00 am
Board White Rating Result Black Rating
1. IM Robert Hess (6) 2545 – GM Varuzhan Akobian (5½) 2664
2. GM Hikaru Nakamura (6) 2757 – GM Joshua Friedel (5) 2568
3. GM Alexander Onischuk (5½) 2736 – IM Ray Robson (4½) 2542
4. GM Jaan Ehlvest (4) 2649 – GM Gata Kamsky (5½) 2798
5. GM Yury Shulman (4½) 2697 – GM Gregory Kaidanov (4) 2662
6. IM Enrico Sevillano (4) 2549 – GM Larry Christiansen (4) 2681
7. GM Joel Benjamin (4) 2650 – GM Alexander Shabalov (4) 2620
8. GM Ildar Ibragimov (4) 2628 – IM Michael Brooks (4) 2419
9. IM Samuel Shankland (3) 2464 – GM Boris Gulko (3½) 2631
10. GM Julio Becerra (3½) 2672 – GM Melikset Khachiyan (2½) 2632
11. Tyler Hughes (3) 2293 – FM Doug Eckert (2) 2278
12. IM Irina Krush (3) 2496 – Charles Lawton (½) 2350

Round 9 – 17th May 2009

Round 9 Nakamura vs Friedel 1-0

Round 9 Nakamura vs Friedel 1-0

 A trapped Queen in this game if you ask me!

The winner of the US Chess Championships 2009....

The winner of the US Chess Championships 2009....

NEWS-update from Saint Louis Chess Club

HIKARU NAKAMURA WINS 2009 US CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP

Saint Louis, May 17 — Hikaru Nakamura, 21, of White Plains, N.Y., won the the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship after winning in the ninth and final round at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
 
Second-seeded Nakamura, who also won the title in 2004, when he was just 16, won the venerable 164-year-old title and first prize of $40,000 ($35,000, plus a $5,000 outright winner’s bonus) after beating Josh Friedel, of New York. Nakamura finished with seven points over nine games, and never lost a game.
 
He was assured the title after 17-year-old Robert Hess, of New York, managed only a draw in his last round game with Varuzhan Akobian, of North Hollywood, Calif. Hess and Nakamura entered the final round tied with six points. Hess tied for second with Alexander Onischuk of Baltimore, who defeated the youngest player in the tournament, Ray Robson, 14, of Largo, Fla.

Akobian and Gata Kamsky, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who was the No. 1 seed coming into the tournament, tied for fourth. Nakamura, who as a junior broke every age-group record set by Bobby Fischer, except that of youngest U.S. champion (Fischer did this at age 14), played confident and assured over the 10 days of tense competition.  

“I was very happy with my play throughout and relieved to have won the title again,” said Nakamura moments after being confirmed champion.  “This is a title that means so much to me and the U.S. chess community — and I have to thank the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis for putting on such a memorable championship.  Winning the second title feels better to me than the first.”
 
Nakamura will officially be crowned the 2009 U.S. chess champion Sunday evening by championship sponsor Rex Sinquefield — founder of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center — during a closing ceremony at the Zodiac Room of the Chase Park Hotel in St.  Louis’ trendy Central West End.


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