Monday, April 25, 2011

Fireworks at the U.S. Chess Championships Play-Offs!

First game: Krush, who was winning, somehow looses her thread, allowing Zatonskih back in the game.   And then, in a mutual time scramble and with both commentators Ashley and Shahade saying the game is a dead draw, Zatonskih with black somehow ends up with two pawns that could march down the board.  Krush blew it!  Krush resigns, losing with the white pieces.

Meanwhile, Hess and Shulman worked to another draw, as the game see-sawed back and forth; finally, neither player could get an advantage.

And in the other women's game, Abrahamyan dominates the middle and end games and gets a win.

More play-off action coming up later; right now the players are resting up for Game 2.  Zatonskih and Abrahamyan have a huge advantage with their respective wins; now Krush and Baginskaite will be fighting for their lives!

Updated 4:13 p.m.

Krush defeats Zatonskih with the black pieces, forcing an Armegeddon play-off in about 15 minutes. The players will blind bid minutes for black with draw odds; the loser of this process gets white pieces with 45 minutes.

Tatev Abrahamyan defeated Camille Baginskaite with the black pieces and she moves to the final!  That's my girl!

Young gun Robert Hess lost with black to Yuri Shulman, who will now face Gata Kamsky in the final match.  Tomorrow Hess will play another young gun, Sam Shankland, for third and fourth place money.

Updated 7:29 p.m.

Anna Zatonskih bid low - 26 minutes? - something like that - for black and draw odds.  Krush bid 45 minutes!  She automatically won white.  Ensued a very interesting game that had it's share of "blunders" except when you're playing under time pressure and against a basically equal-strength player what are "blunders?"

In the end, Zatonskih was playing for the win and achieved a very good position against which Krush could engender no meaningful counterplay, although to give her credit, she did try!  Krush resigned when Anna still had nearly 8 minutes left on her clock, and she had 3 minutes and change.  She had lost all of her time advantage and her position on the board was hopeless.  She was already down two pawns and would probably have lost another if she had continued to play.

AND SO, it is Tatev Abrahamyan and Anna Zatonskih vying for the Women's Championship title starting tomorrow! 

I know this will sound totally unbelievable, but as I was packing up to leave the office shortly before 5 p.m. local time the Armageddon game between Irina and Anna was still going on, and I knew it would be decided by the time I got home.  I just had a gut feeling that Anna was going to win.  And so she did.  Sometimes those gut feelings are valid -- but sometimes, not :)

Thanks for the videos, St. Louis.  I was able to speed through it to the point where I'd left off (more or less) and watch the rest of the game unfold while sipping a glass of wine in the comfort of my own home. 

Watch live streaming video from uschess at

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...