National Championships generally bring together the country’s top players and thus a diverse collection of personalities. The 2013 U.S. Chess Championship had a nice mixture of veterans and youth to make the tournament interesting from beginning to end. The Chess Drum conducted the following interviews during the Championship.
GM Fidel Corrales Jiminez – This Cuban player recently finished his first year at Webster University and appears to be thrilled at his prospects. He gave a glowing account of his experience thus far, but also recounts the troubles he faced with the Cuban government (9:17 minutes).
Part of Webster University’s National Championship team. L-R: GM Ray Robson (USA), GM Fidel Corrales Jimenez (Cuba), GM Wesley So (Philippines), GM Manuel Leon Hoyos (Mexico). Photo by Daaim Shabazz.
GM Maurice Ashley – The chess world is well-familiar with Ashley’s story, but this interview The Chess Drum asked about his impressions of the 2013 U.S. Championship and prospects for the future. He also mentioned players whom he thought could possibly breakthrough in future championships. There was discussion on the women’s field and of course an update on his own personal projects. Enlightening!
FM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun – A child prodigy known then as “Jorge Zamora” created a sensation, but as quickly as he shone to stardom, he left the game at age twelve to pursue other interests. Known for his blitz prowess, Sammour-Hasbun won the World under-10 and under-12 championships and shortly after the World Youth Championships in 1995 and after his debut in the U.S. Chess Championship in 1997, he took on a job in construction and started a family.
FM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun vs. GM Alexander Ivanov, 1-0.
He later resumed his activity and He told me that he has two GM norms and hopefully he can find the energy to vie for his final norm. He is now based in Rhode Island. In the interview, he talks about some of his new projects as well (9:08 minutes).
Official Site: http://www.uschesschamps.com/live
Drum Coverage: http://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2013/05/03/2013-u-s-championships-st-louis/