Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Boris and the Ladies Steal the Show at U.S. Open

Veteran GM Boris Gulko beat out six other players, all with 7.5/9, on tie-break to take the title to the 2007 U.S. Open. I think Boris and some of the young ladies stole the show! There was Alisa Melekhina (2168) (ranked 66th), turning heads with her winsome looks and poised performance OTB. Alisa came to the notice of many chess fans (guys, that is) when she played in the U.S. Women’s Championship last month. Alisa, who recently turned 16, merited a story of her own at Chess Life Online with a score of 5.5/6 at the time, although she faltered a bit afterward and ended the tournament with a score of 6.0/9 to secure 36th place. Abby Marshall (2038), who was ranked 101st, finished in 15th place with 7.0/8. Abby is one of a crop of young female players who is gaining skills and confidence playing in various Susan Polgar-sponsored tournaments. Born in 1991, Abby won the 2006 Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls (she also won the 2005 event). This is a great finish for Abby - and I wish her performance had received more press. Megan Lee (I believe she is 10, but I could not find her date of birth), another “Polgar girl” (she won the $500 Ursula Foster award for top under 14 girl at the 2007 Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls), was ranked 302nd (1571) going into the tournament and finished in 110th place with 5.5 – another outstanding performance. I probably missed a few of the girls and women who participated in this year’s U.S. Open – I’m not always sure of the names and gender is not indicated in USCF’s player information. I’ve got a list of their final rankings and scores at Chess Femme News.

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