Wednesday, October 7, 2009

2009 U.S. Women's Chess Championship

Standings after R3: # Name USCF FIDE Score 1 Anna Zatonskih 2492 2462 3 2 Sabina Foisor 2279 2320 2½ 3 Camilla Baginskaite 2356 2317 2 4 Alisa Melekhina 2253 2220 2 5 Irina Krush 2490 2458 1½ 6 Rusudan Goletiani 2437 2391 1½ 7 Iryna Zenyuk 2271 2285 1 8 Battsetseg Tsagaan 2265 2258 1 9 Tatev Abrahamyan 2342 2275 ½ 10 Yun Fan 2134 1935 0 Quite a bit of commentary about the Krush-Zatonskih game yesterday at various websites. I expect more will follow. As I played through the game last night and again today (during my lunch hour) while reading through USA's newly-minted GM Ben Finegold's commentary at, I could only admire how collectedly and economically Zatonskih played. I was able to listen to about 10 minutes of live commentary yesterday just before leaving the office at five and at that point in the game Zatonskih had moved her pawn to b5 on move 22 and Krush was having a long think while Jen Shahade and Finegold discussed various possible responsive moves, and audience members at Chess FM were suggesting the computer-aided Bd3. It was nail-biting -- what would Krush do? Time was ticking away though, and I did not want to sit in my office a second longer than I had too, so took off my headset, turned off the computer, and headed home. I wasn't able to check on the status of the game until after 7 p.m., and it had been long over by then. I am surprised that Tatev Abrahamyan is not higher in the rankings, managing only one draw in three games? I expected Melekhina to do well, and she has not disappointed. She has played a lot of games between last year and this year against higher-rated guys, and I think her ELO is deceptive of her current chess accumen. I'm also not surprised by where Foisor currently sits in the standings, after having followed her career for years while she played in Europe. It's early days yet. I'll try to plug in later this afternoon once the games start and see if I can catch some of the live commentary. Maybe there will be more nail-biting drama chess style!

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