The U.S. Championships resumed today after a well-needed rest day. Gata Kamsky and Irina Krush were leading the field coming into the round, but the field was closing fast and the pace was blistering with decisive games (60% men – 76% women). Kamsky would face his main rival in Alexander Onischuk who was a scant half-point behind. Meanwhile Krush would face Sabina Foisor who was struggling to find solid ground.
Alexander Onischuk faces off against leader Gata Kamsky, 1/2-1/2.
‘Big Larry’ was felled by a diminutive ‘Lightening Holt’, 0-1.
Kamsky and Onischuk played a tough struggle, but ended indecisively. Along with Onischuk, Alejandro Ramirez has notched three wins in a row after beating Joel Benjamin to climb into joint second on 4.5/6. Nineteen-year old Conrad Holt beat Larry Christiansen to move up fourth place. John Bryant is another youngster having a wonderful tournament and is on 3.5/6 after drawing Timur Gareev in a Modern Defense. Ray Robson scored his third win in a row after losing his first two games and is tied with Gareev, Bryant, and Benjamin on 3.5/6.
In the women’s field Krush saw her lead whittled down to a mere half-point as she was held by Camilla Baginskaite while Tatev Abrahamyan beat Anjelina Belakovskaia. Abrahamyan took advantage of a blunder, netted a piece on move 15 and the game. Here on the right, Belakovskaia played 15…Nxd5?? Abrahamyan contemplated the position and forged ahead to find the right intermezzo with 16. Nxd5 Qxd5 17. Bxf5+! On the top board, Irina Krush attempted to muddy the waters with a double pawn sacrifice but Foisor decided not to fill her stomach with greed and immediately returned both pawns for a comfortable draw.
Irina Krush (right) was unable to break through against Sabina Foisor. Her lead has been whittled to a mere half-point.
Sarah Chiang was relieved to win her first game against Viktorija Ni, 0-1. Photos by Daaim Shabazz.
Sarah Chiang won her first game against Viktorija Ni. Chiang, the youngest participant at age 15, felt relieved at her first win and received inspiration from her coach Gregory Kaidanov before the game. When asked if the rest day helped she commented that she spent time at the Innovative Concepts Academy and did school work after that!
One of the issues with the timing of the tournament is the number of students competing. Both GMs Marc Arnold and Conrad Holt were in the throes of their final papers and exams and in fact were completing assignments between rounds. One player was even taking an exam that had to be proctored. Perhaps something can be done about the time conflict, but the issue is that the Chicago Open is only two weeks after so conflicts abound.
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
|1||GM Onischuk, A||4.0||2666||GM Kamsky, G||4.5||2741||½-½|
|2||GM Benjamin, J||3.5||2534||GM Ramirez, A||3.5||2551||0-1|
|3||FM Bryant, J||3.0||2442||GM Gareev, T||3.0||2674||½-½|
|4||GM Christiansen, L||3.0||2579||GM Holt, C||3.0||2513||0-1|
|5||GM Robson, R||2.5||2620||GM Shulman, Y||2.5||2570||1-0|
|6||Norowitz, Y||2.5||2451||GM Akobian, V||2.5||2616||½-½|
|7||GM Shankland, S||2.5||2612||IM Troff, K||2.5||2421||½-½|
|8||GM Kaidanov, G||2.5||2593||GM Stripunsky, A||2.5||2570||½-½|
|9||GM Shabalov, A||2.0||2544||GM Hess, R||2.0||2595||1-0|
|10||GM Finegold, B||1.5||2505||GM Khachiyan, M||2.0||2518||1-0|
|11||FM Sammour-Hasbun, J||1.5||2463||GM Ivanov, A||1.5||2529||1-0|
|12||GM Arnold, M||0.5||2538||FM Sevian, S||1.5||2371||½-½|
|1||WGM Foisor, S||2.0||2300||IM Krush, I||5.0||2470||½-½|
|2||WIM Ni, V||2.0||2262||WFM Chiang, S||0.0||2098||0-1|
|3||WGM Abrahamyan, T||4.0||2280||WGM Belakovskaia, A||2.0||2263||1-0|
|4||WGM Baginskaite, C||2.5||2278||IM Zatonskih, A||3.5||2466||0-1|
|5||WFM Kats, A||1.5||2144||WIM Zenyuk, I||2.5||2243||½-½|
Official Site: http://www.uschesschamps.com/
Drum Coverage: http://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2013/05/03/2013-u-s-championships-st-louis/