Friday, September 11, 2009

2009 U.S. Women's Chess Championship

The beautiful Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, which hosted the 2009 U.S. Championship earlier this year, is once again the scene of championship chess, this time the Women's Championship. The Championship dates are October 3-13. The 10-player round robin has the largest U.S. women's prize fund ever, including $15,000 for 1st. List of confirmed players: IM/WGM Anna Zatonskih (2496) IM/WGM Irina Krush (2478) IM/WGM Rusudan Goletiani (2437) WGM Sabina-Francesca Foisor (2390) WGM Camilla Baginskaite (2356) WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (2334) WIM Alisa Melekhina (2301) WIM Iryna Zenyuk (2281) WIM Battsetseg Tsagaan (2265) NM Yun Fan (2201) There are several special events that will be held in conjunction with the Women's Championship, including an all women performers jazz concert, a blindfold simul by current U.S. Women's Chess Champion Anna Zatonskih, and a blitz tournament in which all of the WCC players (except for Zatonskih, who will be doing the simul) will be playing! Free to the public. What a great way to promote chess and encourage our young players, particularly the chess femmes. There is also going to be something special happening at the conclusion of the Championship - this directly from the USCF website: Finally, on October 14, the night after the tournament, witness a unique contest of chess and chance as the 2009 U.S. Women's Chess Champion, crowned just a day before, will face off against a special guest. This event will take place at the Kemper Museum in Washington University. I've no idea what this could be, but it sounds interesting :) NEWS! On behalf of Goddesschess, I'm also pleased to announce that we are once again sponsoring a Goddesschess Fighting Chess Award of $500. GM Susan Polgar, despite her busy schedule, has graciously agreed to once again act as our Judge to select the winner of the Award at the conclusion of play! GM Polgar selected the winner of the 2008 Goddesschess Fighting Chess Award, Tatev Abrahamyan, for her record of 6 wins, no draws, and 3 losses in last year's U.S. Women's Chess Championship. We are very grateful to GM Polgar for her continued support and willingness to lend her expertise.


Unknown said...

Hi Jan,
I see that the USCF has reserved October 13th from 5-7 for a possible tie-breaker. What kind of tie-breaker is the USCF using if two or more players are tied for first after 9 rounds of play?
I hope it isn't another

I had the privilege of participating with Irina Krush and Alisa Melekhina
in the 2009 Canadian Open Chess Championships. I watched Alisa draw her game with IM Leonid Gerzhoy (elo 2530) and I watched Irina draw with GM Michael Adams.

It is should be one of the most competitive U.S. Women's Chess Championships ever with all of the invited players being in the top 20
rated players on the USCF ratings list.,com_top_players/Itemid,371?op=list&month=0908&f=foreign&l=Top%20Women&h=Top%20Women%20regardless%20of%20Country,%20Residence,%20or%20Federation

Good luck to all the players and thanks to GoddessesChess for promoting and sponsoring the event!

Jan said...

Hi Wayne,

We're very happy to sponsor the Fighting Chess prize for the Championship but of course it's a drop in the bucket to the real costs of sponsoring this year's event. It is wonderful that the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis and others have stepped up to the plate for U.S. chess in a BIG way!

Regarding the tie-break - I honestly don't know. I think it is a good practice though, to set aside time for tie-breaks on a separate day if at all feasible. Requiring exhausted players to immediately go through the further tension of rapid and blitz games to break a tie at the end of regular play is ridiculous IMO.

Melekhina won an individual gold medal for her play at the just concluded Women's World Team Championship. I haven't seen her or Krush in action in person - the first and last chess tournament I attended was in 1999 in Las Vegas (the FIDE Knock-Out WC) where I saw Judit Polgar play. But I'll get to another tournament some day :)

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