Sunday, April 24, 2011

2011 U.S. Chess Championships

I'm back home with a working wireless connection, hooray!

The first place I went for coverage of what's been going on in the U.S.  championships is The Week in Chess and it did not disappoint.  Nice writing about the play-off matches between Sam (I'm gonna quit chess) Shankland and second-highest rated player of the men GM Alexander Onischuk.  Shankland defeated Onischuk in a two-game play-off under shortened time controls (game in 25 minutes plus time increment added per move), so the final four going into the "final" part of the Men's - er, excuse me, "Open" tournament - are young guns Shankland and Robert Hess versus experienced Gata Kamsky and Yury Shulman.

In the Women's Championship things got interesting with a play-off between two-time U.S. Women's Chess Champion IM Anna Zatonskih and Sabrina Foisor, who'd started her tournament off with a bang by defeating reigning U.S. Women's champ IM Irina Krush.  Zatonskih, one of the highest rated female players in the United States, was favored to cruise to a position in the top four players to advance to the second part of the Championship.  Things did not go so well for her, though.  She was forced to battle back from a -1 position to even get to a play-off birth.  However, Zatonskih rallied sufficiently to win both play-off games against Foisor.  Keep an eye on Foisor.  She has always shown a lot of promise, having been playing since she was a mere tyke, raised in a family of chessplayers who play in the European circuit. 


1IM Krush, Irina5.5F24722578+0.84011111½
2WGM Baginskaite, Camilla4.5F23422468+1.2301½11½½
3WFM Abrahamyan, Tatev4.5F23262470+1.4010½11½½
4IM Zatonskih, Anna4.0F24992394-0.92½1½0011
5WGM Foisor, Sabina-Francesca4.0F23502415+0.6511½10½0
6IM Goletiani, Rusudan2.0F23672205-1.55½00010½
7WIM Zenyuk, Iryna2.0F22452222-0.27½01000½
8FM Melekhina, Alisa1.5F23042142-1.38½0000½½

Pairings Semi Finals game 1 (Saturday, 23 April 2011)

1IM Zatonskih, Anna0.02499IM Krush, Irina0.024721-0
2WFM Abrahamyan, Tatev0.02326WGM Baginskaite, Camilla0.023420-1

Pairings Semi Finals game 2 (Sunday, 24 April 2011)

1IM Krush, Irina0.02472IM Zatonskih, Anna1.02499
2WGM Baginskaite, Camilla1.02342WFM Abrahamyan, Tatev0.02326

The winners of these mini-matches will face-off against each other for the Championship crown.  As you can see, both Krush and Abrahamyan need to score wins today to force play-off games.

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