Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2010 U.S. Women's Chess Championship - Round 5

Whew!  When I left the office shortly after 5 p.m. none of the other games had been decided, but it looked as if some of them might be shortly so.  I've been busy with other things since I got home and now, this is the first peek I'm having at the results from Round 5 other than what I already knew happened - the 12 move draw by Baginskaite and Krush.  Ordinarily I would not applaud such an action, but as a protest against having to play six such intense games in a row WITHOUT A BREAK -- yes, they STILL have to play another game tomorrow before their off day -- I will state again is really ridiculous planning, these chess femmes are my heroines!  I hope they greatly enjoyed their afternoon and early evening off the clock!  It's about 8:45 p.m. local time.


Marinello - Foisor:  0 -1
Zatonskih - Zenyuk: 1 - 0 (Zenyuk made a blunder, or caved in to time trouble, or both; when I left the office, she had a better position overall than Zatonskih.  Zenyuk resigned on move 41, after making time control.)
Abrahamyan - Marshall: 1 - 0 (Marshall came out swinging and as far as I know, did not relent during the entire game.  A true example of fighting spirit.  If I have any energy left before it's bed time, I'll listen to the final commentaries on this game to see if I can glean what happened.  Marshall resigned on move 41, just after time control, so she may have made some inaccurate moves during a time scramble.)
Rohonyan - Melekhina: 1/2 - 1/2
Baginskaite - Krush: 1/2 - 1/2

ROUND 5 STANDINGS - rather interesting:

Rank Name Score M/F Rating TPR W-We 1 2 3 4 5

1 IM Anna Zatonskih 4.5 F 2518 2734 +1.03 1 1 ½ 1 1
2 IM Irina Krush 4.0 F 2521 2607 +0.54 1 1 ½ 1 ½
3 WFM Tatev Abrahamyan 4.0 F 2403 2586 +1.12 1 0 1 1 1
4 WGM Sabina Foisor 2.5 F 2356 2282 -0.50 0 0 1 ½ 1
5 WIM Alisa Melekhina 2.5 F 2323 2332 +0.05 1 1 0 0 ½
6 WGM Camilla Baginskaite 2.0 F 2387 2352 -0.25 0 0 1 ½ ½
7 WIM Iryna Zenyuk 2.0 F 2286 2267 -0.16 1 1 0 0 0
8 WGM Katerina Rohonyan 1.5 F 2322 2272 -0.35 0 1 0 0 ½
9 WIM Beatriz Marinello 1.5 F 2206 2190 -0.16 0 0 1 ½ 0
10 WFM Abby Marshall 0.5 F 2211 1949 -1.32 0 0 0 ½ 0

How'd I do predictions wise?  This is what I wrote at Chess Femme News last night:

Relatively speaking, I expect Abrahamyan to win against Marshall. She'll want to keep pace with the leaders, who will each be gunning for wins. Call me crazy, but I think Baginskaite will give Krush a hard time tomorrow - don't know about that one. Zatonskih should come out on top over Zenyuk - which means Krush will be pushing for a win to keep pace. If Krush draws, Zatonskih wins and Abrahamyan wins, suddenly Krush is in third pace. Hmmm....

Rohonyan and Melekhina - odds favor a draw but neither lady has been inclined toward drawish games! I can't say about Rohonyan but I'm fairly sure Melekhina does not want to settle for "middle of the pack" this Championship! Don't have a clue what may happen in that one. Marinello-Foisor, I think Foisor may pull out a win.

1.  Expect Abrahamyan to win against Marshall - POINT.
2.  Baginskaite will give Krush a hard time tomorrow - don't know about that one.  I'm awarding myself a full point, as the game ended in a draw after 12 moves, the position being dead even and likely to end in a draw (according to what I remember GM Finegold saying) even if it had been played out.
3.  Zatonskih should come out on top over Zenyuk - POINT.
4.  Rohonyan and Melekhina - odds favor a draw...don't have a clue what may happen in that one.  I'm awarding myself a full point on this one.
5.  Marinello-Foisor, I think Foisor may pull out a win.  POINT.

Hey, I'm getting pretty good at this prognostication stuff - five for five - LOL!  I was, however, wrong in predicting that Krush would end up in third place if she drew with Baginskaite and both Zatonskih and Abrahamyan won their games (which is actually what happened - wooo wooo!)  She is currently in second place, tied with Abrahamyan score-wise with 4.0/5.  Zatonskih leads with 4.5/5.

Foisor and Melekhina are even (at 50% - 2.5/5). 

If it is true that a clear winner will need 7.5/9 to take the title without an Armageddon play-off (I sure as hell hope that doesn't happen - what an awful way to decide a title), the top three women have their work cut out for them, that's for sure!  Zatonskih would need to score three more points in four games -- she could do it with two wins and two draws, or three wins and a loss; Krush would need to score three and a half points in four games - wow; so would Abrahamyan.  Not a smidgeon's worth of room for error for either the second or third place chess femme at this point, not unless Zatonskih falters.

Which at this point, realistically leaves Foisor, Melekhina, Baginskaite and Zenyuk battling it out for 4th place.  But hey, anything can - and seems to happen - in this Championship!

Exhaustion is taking it's toll.  None of the chess femmes had a very long game today - Marinello/Foisor was the longest at 48 moves each.  Two games didn't reach time control!  The other two finished on move 41, just after time control.  How about this for a plan - next year, schedule two off days, one after R3 and one after R6.  Or, if you really only want to schedule only one off day, do it after R5, NOT after R6.  I don't give an ultimate poop about watching chess over the weekend if the players are half-dead while they're doing it!Anyway, I work on Friday so if the ladies play on Friday I can't watch anyway! 

So, what's up for R6 tomorrow?  Here are the pairings:

1 WGM Sabina Foisor 2.5 2356 IM Irina Krush 4.0 2521
2 WIM Alisa Melekhina 2.5 2323 WGM Camilla Baginskaite 2.0 2387
3 WIM Iryna Zenyuk 2.0 2286 WGM Katerina Rohonyan 1.5 2322
4 WFM Abby Marshall 0.5 2211 IM Anna Zatonskih 4.5 2518
5 WIM Beatriz Marinello 1.5 2206 WFM Tatev Abrahamyan 4.0 2403

My predictions:
Foisor/Krush: 0 - 1

Melekhina/Baginskaite: 1/2 - 1/2.  Outside chance for Melekhina to score a full point, but she's tired and it's showing.  If it gets down to a game past time control, I'm saying draw, as neither player is in the mood for a 60 to 80 move battle that may end in a draw anyway.  Melekhina will come out with some long drawn-out variations to try and wear Baginskaite down and attempt to force her into a mistake through sheer exhaustion.

Zenyuk/Rohonyan:  1/2 - 1/2.  Seasoned warriors that they are, they may well reach a dead-drawn game early on.

Marshall/Zatonskih: realistically, Zatonskih should take the full point; but for some reason that makes no sense my intuition is telling me that this could well end in a draw - and a short one at that.  Zatonskih may want to start her day off early.  Zatonskih has not lost a game this Championship; she can spare a draw as long as she scores 2.5 more points in her final 3 games...

Marinello/Abrahamyan: 0 -1.  Tatev is in no mood to compromise with anyone, not even for an extra half-day off time.  I don't expect a slow, grinding down game no matter what Marinello attempts.

So - we'll see whether should I contemplate relocating to Vegas and changing my profession to booky...  Yeah. right.

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