Sunday, May 5, 2013

2013 U.S. Women's Chess Championship: R3

Hola darlings!  In between bouts of yard work (first really nice day since 10 days ago, and my yard is a MESS) I'm listening to/watching live coverage of R3 at U.S. Chess outside on my old table and chairs under my umbrella, all cleaned up after being stored in the garage all winter.  Sure feels good to be able to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and spring after a long, hard winter and nasty cold, wet spring! 

This year's U.S. Championshps commentators are Jen Shahade and Yasser Seirawan as the primary commentary team, withMaurice Ashley giving special indepth analyses and commentary on select positions within various games as well as interviews with the players.

Great coverage thus far!

The marquee ladies' game today is Zatonskih v. Krush.  Can't believe this time is correct (?) but if it is, Anna is in a hell of a lot of time trouble even before the middle game has been reached.  Take a look at this screen shot of their game, just after Anna made her 17th move with white:

This game between Kats and Abrahamyan looks like a crazy game I'd try to play (until I crash and burn because I do not understand relative positioning and leave pieces hanging all over the place, sigh).  Here is the position just after Kats' 17th move, with her knight threatening Abrahamyan's bishop on d6:

Both players appear to be headed toward time trouble...

More later.

Updated 6:12 p.m.:

Well, while all this excitement was going on, I was out cutting the lawn in the front yard.  Looks much better, I have to say.  Even though we've had tons of crappy weather, all the rain we had the two weeks prior to my Las Vegas trip and then some sunshine made the grass grow like crazy! 

Check this out, pairings and results from R3:

1WGM Baginskaite, Camilla0.52278WGM Foisor, Sabina0.023001-0
2WFM Kats, Alena0.52144WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev2.02280½-½
3WIM Zenyuk, Iryna1.02243WIM Ni, Viktorija1.022621-0
4IM Zatonskih, Anna2.02466IM Krush, Irina2.024700-1
5WGM Belakovskaia, Anjelina1.02263WFM Chiang, Sarah0.02098

And while I was copying the results and pairings, Belakovskaia defeated Chiang on move 69 and Chiang resigned.  Belakovskaia had five pawns behinf the white pieces, Chiang had 2 and her King was slowly being boxed in. 

Here are the current standings (after R3):

1IM Krush, Irina3.0F24703019+0.83111
2WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev2.5F22802514+0.8511½
3IM Zatonskih, Anna2.0F24662408-0.14110
4WGM Belakovskaia, Anjelina2.0F22632413+0.59011
5WIM Zenyuk, Iryna2.0F22432402+0.63101
6WGM Baginskaite, Camilla1.5F22782281+0.01½01
7WIM Ni, Viktorija1.0F22622097-0.67½½0
8WFM Kats, Alena1.0F21442212+0.210½½
9WGM Foisor, Sabina0.0F23001539-1.61000
10WFM Chiang, Sarah0.0F20981583-0.70000

I note with interest:

(1)  Abrahamyan, a perennial threat to take the title over the past 3-4 years, has put herself in an excellent position.

(2)  Belakovskaia, rusty, but tenacious!  She lost with black to Zatonskih in R1 -- it would have been an absolute shocker if she'd managed a draw;  R2 saw her win with the black pieces against higher rated Sabina Foisor who, shockingly, has not scored after 3 rounds. 

(3)  I am very impressed with Kats, who, playing white, scored a draw against Abrahamyan today, rated more than 100 points higher.  Kats had a draw (with black) against higher rated Viktorija Ni yesterday.

(4) Krush is perfect thus far, though playing far from perfect games. Can she make a perfect score?  Arguably the greatest threat to defeat Krush was Anna Zatonskih, whom she knocked off today while playing with black!  Who is to stop her now?  Tatev...

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