For Immediate Release: November 19, 2004
Contact: John Henderson, (+1) 206.229.923

San Diego hosts 2005 U.S. Chessmaster Chess Championships
(64 of the Nation's Best Chess Players Compete for $250,000+ in Cash Prizes)

San Diego, CA - America's Foundation for Chess (AF4C) and San Diego's NTC Foundation are joining forces to bring the U.S. Chess Championships to San Diego, which starts next week at the Hilton Torrey Pines, La Jolla, California. The public is invited to watch the top 64 U.S. chess players compete for the overall Championship title as well as the Women's Championship title. 64 Chess Masters are planning their attack to out maneuver opponents in the most prestigious tournament to date. Spectators will be able to meet the players and hear expert commentary during the matches.

A new dedicated championship web site at has now been launched, and this will include all the latest news, live games, game download, reports, and pictures direct from the playing venue.

More People Compete For National Titles

Seventeen top-rated players (12 men, 5 women) - including the 2003 U.S. Champion Alexander Shabalov and the 2004 U.S. Women's Champion Jennifer Shahade, the 2003 and 2004 U.S. Junior Champions, Varuzhan Akobian and Lev Milman, and the 2002 and 2003 USCF Grand Prix Champion Aleks Wojtkiewicz - were automatically seeded into the event. For the first time, an online Champion of Champions event hosted by the Internet Chess Club saw Ronald Burnett of Tennessee become the first qualifier from all the State Champions.

Making up the rest of the field will be 43 additional players (33 men, 10 women) who survived the qualifying events held at the National Open, Foxwoods Open, the Chicago Open, the World Open, the U.S. Open and the North American Open. This open-competition format has also allowed many young, non-titled players to compete for the first time for a cherished spot in the national championship.

In addition, AF4C utilized their two wild card spots, agreed to by the USCF, to further our mission of promoting chess. AF4C's Wild Card committee voted to invite returning superstar
Gata Kamsky after a five-year lay-off from the game, who will be this year's top seed, as well as 14-year-old Salvijus Bercys, the #1 U.S. rated player under the age of 16.

Richest Annual Prize in Game's History

AF4C has consistently boosted the prize fund since taking over in 2000, and this year the prize fund for the 2005 U.S. Chess Championships is a record $255,000. No other national championship in the world offers a prize fund to players higher than this. This unprecedented amount - with $25,000 slotted for the winner - should encourage more Americans to pursue a career in chess so that one day soon America finds its next Bobby Fischer - an American-born world champion who cultivated a new-found fascination with chess around the world.

U.S. Chess Championship Tournament Schedule
Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines
10950 North Torrey Pines Drive

Championship Tournament Play
All Rounds begin at 1:00 p.m. and are free to the public
(Except where noted)

Wednesday, November 24
Thursday, November 25*
(Begins @ Noon)
Friday, November 26
Saturday, November 27 (Kid's Simul at MCRD, San Diego)
Sunday, November 28
Monday, November 29
Tuesday, November 30
Wednesday, December 1 (First Move/Chess in the Classroom School Visits)
Thursday, December 2
Friday, December 3
Saturday, December 4
Sunday, December 5 (Awards and Closing Ceremony, 5:00-7:00 pm)

Kids' Simul
Saturday, November 27th
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Marine Corp Recruit Depot, San Diego
Information Hotline : 619. 226.1491 ext 110,

About America's Foundation for Chess
Founded on the hope of making chess a subject taught in every school in the United States, AF4C, a nonprofit organization, is committed to making chess a larger part of America's cultural fabric -- accessible in schools and in popular culture. AF4C hopes to elevate the profile of chess in America so that it will soon become a regular part of every child's classroom experience.
About NTC Foundation

The NTC Foundation, a 501[c][3] nonprofit organization, is responsible for the renovation of the 26 historic buildings at the former San Diego Naval Training Center into a new arts, civic and cultural district called NTC Promenade. NTC Promenade will be the U.S. Chess Championships home beginning in 2006.

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Posted by The Chess Drum: 19 November 2004