2009 U.S. Chess Championship (St. Louis, USA)

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis

The U.S. chess community is gearing up for what promises to be an exciting tournament. The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis plays host to the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship as 24 players will square off for the national crown. Gata Kamsky and Hikaru Nakamura will lead the way in a field featuring a 9-round Swiss and $130,000 prize fund. According to the USCF website, the field will consist of the following 24 players:

  • the top 12 American players by rating, using the April rating supplement;
  • the top two female players by rating, using the April rating supplement;
  • the 2008 U.S. Champion;
  • the 2008 U.S. Junior Closed Champion;
  • the 2008 U.S. Open Champion;
  • the 2009 U.S. State Champion of Champions;
  • six wild card spots.
  • From the photos of the venue, it appears that the conditions are excellent and the organizers are looking forward to the challenge.

    For more information, please visit www.saintlouischessclub.org or call 314-361-CHESS.

    37 Comments

    1. Round 1
      Friday, May 8, 2:00 pm CST

      The first round of the U.S. Championship has begun and it is in progress now. Hikaru Nakamura and Alexander Shabalov will be an interesting battle. Several players will make their debut including hometown favorite, Charles Lawton.

      #
      White
      USCF
      Result
      Black
      USCF
      1.
      GM Yury Shulman
      2697
      1-0
      IM Enrico Sevillano
      2549
      2.
      GM Ildar Ibragimov
      2628
      0-1
      GM Gata Kamsky
      2798
      3.
      GM Hikaru Nakamura
      2757
      1-0
      GM Alexander Shabalov
      2620
      4.
      GM Joshua Friedel
      2568
      1/2
      GM Alexander Onischuk
      2736
      5.
      IM Robert Hess
      2545
      1-0
      GM Larry Christiansen
      2681
      6.
      GM Julio Becerra
      2672
      1-0
      IM Ray Robson
      2542
      7.
      IM Anna Zatonskih
      2503
      0-1
      GM Varuzhan Akobian
      2664
      8.
      GM Gregory Kaidanov
      2662
      1/2
      IM Irina Krush
      2496
      9.
      IM Samuel Shankland
      2464
      1/2
      GM Joel Benjamin
      2650
      10.
      GM Jaan Ehlvest
      2649
      1-0
      IM Michael Brooks
      2419
      11.
      Charles Lawton
      2350
      0-1
      GM Melikset Khachiyan
      2632
      12.
      GM Boris Gulko
      2631
      0-1
      Tyler Hughes
      2293

      View 1st Round Games here!

      Video by Macauley Peterson (ICC/Chess.FM)

    2. A couple of upsets today, but very exciting play… only three draws. U.S. Junior Champion Tyler Hughes beat Boris Gulko. Gulko has not played consistently for more than a decade, but he continues to qualify on rating. His last tournament was Casino de Barcelona in which he was the only listed player! Someone explain that one. 😕

      In this game he allowed the young upstart tremendous initiative and missed a nice shot in the end. Nakamura-Shabalov was an exciting encounter as the game entered complications before white won a pawn and go a dominating endgame. Nakamura sacrificed a knight to get two steamrolling pawns up the board.

      Games coming!

    3. There is nothing strange about the Casino de Barcelona tournament, except the way it is presented on the MSA page. What happens is, if a USCF member plays in a foreign tournament, he has the option of submitting that foreign performance for USCF rating purposes. It is possible it is no longer optional, and now mandatory. In any case, for other examples that should make this process clear, look up Hikaru Nakamura on MSA, and look at the pages for the Gibraltar Open, Olympiad, Montreal Open, and Japan League. You will see that only USCF members are listed.

    4. Magistral Casino de Barcelona 2008

      Final standings:

      1. GM Alexey Dreev (RUS 2670) – 7.0
      2. GM Kiril Georgiev (BUL 2644) – 6.5
      3. GM Baadur Jobava (GEO 2664) – 5.5
      4. GM Boris Gulko (USA 2552) – 5.0
      5-6. IM Fidel Corrales (CUB 2551) and GM Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL 2550) – 4.5
      7. GM Josep Manuel López (ESP 2547) – 4.0
      8. GM Holden Hernández (CUB 2580) – 3.0
      9-10. GM Marc Narciso (ESP 2511) and GM Artur Kogan (ISR 2561) – 2.5

    5. Round 2
      Saturday, May 9, 2:00pm CST

      #
      White
      USCF
      Result
      Black
      USCF
      1.
      GM Gata Kamsky
      2798
      1-0
      GM Varuzhan Akobian
      2664
      2.
      GM Jaan Ehlvest
      2649
      1/2
      GM Hikaru Nakamura
      2757
      3.
      GM Melikset Khachiyan
      2632
      0-1
      GM Yury Shulman
      2697
      4.
      IM Robert Hess
      2545
      1-0
      GM Julio Becerra
      2672
      5.
      Tyler Hughes
      2293
      0-1
      GM Alexander Onischuk
      2736
      6.
      GM Joshua Friedel
      2568
      1-0
      GM Gregory Kaidanov
      2662
      7.
      GM Joel Benjamin
      2650
      1-0
      IM Irina Krush
      2496
      8.
      GM Larry Christiansen
      2681
      1/2
      IM Samuel Shankland
      2464
      9.
      IM Ray Robson
      2542
      1-0
      GM Boris Gulko
      2631
      10.
      IM Anna Zatonskih
      2503
      1/2
      GM Ildar Ibragimov
      2628
      11.
      GM Alexander Shabalov
      2620
      0-1
      IM Michael Brooks
      2419
      12.
      IM Enrico Sevillano
      2549
      1-0
      Charles Lawton
      2350

      View 2nd Round Games here!

      Video by Macauley Peterson (ICC/Chess.FM)

    6. This US Championship is said to be the strongest in history. One poster on Mig’s Daily Dirt stated that this was hard to believe given that players such as Alexander Ivanov, Alexander Yermolinsky and Alexander Lenderman are not playing. I believe we’ve seen Ivanov and Yermolinsky play in this tournament for 20 years and it refreshing to see players like Robert Hess, Michael Brooks and Charles Lawton get in through the wildcard.

      This is a way of rewarding obscure players who have done a lot for chess in their local communities. Brooks was once one of the strongest young talents in the country. IM Enrico Sevilliano is also an interesting addition and is the first Filipino to compete in the U.S. Championship. These stories add intrigue to the event.

      We all remember the 80s when the same permutation players seem to be playing for the U.S. Championship every year and became a routine that fans grew tired of. With names like Julio Becerra, Josh Friedel and Ray Robson, it presents a representative cross section of where the talent lies in the U.S.

    7. Robert Hess and Ray Robson win!! These two represent the brightest future in U.S. chess. Brooks beat Shabalov! Perhaps Shabba got too much sun in Barbados. 😐

    8. Two games left. Friedel seems to be winning against Kaidanov. Lawton is still battling with Sevilliano… seems drawn although 70.h4 was an interesting try. Check this game!


    9. Round 3
      Sunday, May 10, 2:00pm CST

      #
      White
      USCF
      Result
      Black
      USCF
      1.
      GM Yury Shulman
      2697
      1/2
      GM Gata Kamsky
      2798
      2.
      GM Hikaru Nakamura
      2757
      1-0
      IM Robert Hess
      2545
      3.
      GM Alexander Onischuk
      2736
      1/2
      GM Jaan Ehlvest
      2649
      4.
      GM Joel Benjamin
      2650
      0-1
      GM Joshua Friedel
      2568
      5.
      GM Julio Becerra
      2672
      1-0
      Tyler Hughes
      2293
      6.
      GM Varuzhan Akobian
      2664
      1-0
      IM Ray Robson
      2542
      7.
      IM Samuel Shankland
      2464
      1/2
      GM Melikset Khachiyan
      2632
      8.
      IM Michael Brooks
      2419
      1/2
      IM Enrico Sevillano
      2549
      9.
      GM Ildar Ibragimov
      2628
      1/2
      GM Larry Christiansen
      2681
      10.
      GM Gregory Kaidanov
      2662
      1/2
      IM Anna Zatonskih
      2503
      11.
      IM Irina Krush
      2496
      1-0
      GM Boris Gulko
      2631
      12.
      Charles Lawton
      2350
      0-1
      GM Alexander Shabalov
      2620

      View 3rd Round Games here!

      Video by Macauley Peterson (ICC/Chess.FM)

      Standings

      1st-4th: Kamsky, Nakamura, Shulman, Friedel, 2.5
      5th-9th: Onischuk, Becerra, Akobian, Ehlvest, Hess, 2.0
      10th-16th: Kaidanov, Benjamin, Khachiyan, Sevillano, Krush, Shakland, Brooks, 1.5
      17th-21st: Christiansen, Ibragimov, Shabalov, Robson, Hughes
      22nd: Zatoniskih, .5
      23rd-25th: Gulko, Lawton, 0

    10. One poster said 20…Nf4 was a blunder in the Sevilliano-Lawton game. He suggests 20…Nxd4, but of course when you’re facing pressure (king in center), simplest moves don’t come easy.

      Still no word yet on the ending of game.

    11. Reading the account given in the link above, and the cited sections from both the USCF and FIDE rule books, the final score of that game is a travesty. The fair step at this point would be for the arbiter to apologize for incorrectly interfering with the game, and then set the result 1/2-1/2.

    12. It is a travesty. Apparently she was not familiar with either rule, or at least did not interpret it correctly. The fact that the players were not up in arms or demand integrity is one reason that chess does not receive the respect it deserves. These controversies will continue to happen when you entrust the rulings to arbiters who interpret the rules very loosely. A fierce protest should be lodged immediately.

      This reminds me of Rene Phillips-Zviad Izoria when the arbiter mysteriously ruled the game a draw when Phillips had mating material and time left on the clock. These rulings are egregious violations of tournament code and ethics and these arbiters should be suspended and/or be forced to undergo additional training to be reinstated.

    13. I am following the discussion of the Sevilliano-Lawton+Arbiter situation, however I am confused about what the actual last move, and end position was. A) I have seen accounts that white’s Rc7 was the last move with the Black Bishop already on f6. B) And I have seen accounts of the last move being Black’s bishop to f6 with white’s Rc7 already played. I do understand that the reported account of the arbiter’s clear error affected the outcome of this game, but without a clear statement of the game account, and mention of when the arbiter’s interference occured, I find the game assessment a little unclear. Obviously, in a stand alone format without an arbiter, A) above is a clear draw, but B) indicates that maybe Black was outplayed in an equal position. Of course both A) and B) could also be positions that occur as a result of the arbiter’s mistake and influence. By all appearances, the arbiter’s enforcement of the rules was applied somewhat subjectively or punitively as to the question of ‘legibility’ as Mr. Lawton clearly followed her instruction by all reported accounts. In any case, I would like to know the true game account. My references include both this site and the official championship site or Monroi aided game presentations, and all text linked to this site concerning this incident. Thanks in advance for any clarity you can provide. Peace – Kimani A. Stancil

    14. Lawton was not outplayed. The last move was indeed 89.Rc7 with the threat of 90.d6. Carol Jarecki was apparently observing the game since it was the last one to finish. The exchange ensued when both players had minutes left. I’ll try to get more details, but these type of errors will continue to happen if people do not demand fairness.

      I’ll e-mail someone there. I’m actually looking at plane tickets to St. Louis.

    15. Round 4
      Monday, May 11, 2:00pm CST

      Chess fans will notice a change in the pairings. Anna Zatonskih had to withdraw from the tournament due to having to undergo an emergency surgery. She’ll be fine. Organizers scrambled to find a replacement and found FM Doug Eckert of Missouri. I remember Eckert being a top junior in the 80s.

      #
      White
      USCF
      Result
      Black
      USCF
      1.
      GM Gata Kamsky
      2798
      1/2
      GM Joshua Friedel
      2568
      2.
      GM Yury Shulman
      2697
      1/2
      GM Hikaru Nakamura
      2757
      3.
      GM Alexander Onischuk
      2736
      1/2
      IM Robert Hess
      2545
      4.
      GM Varuzhan Akobian
      2664
      1-0
      GM Julio Becerra
      2672
      5.
      GM Gregory Kaidanov
      2662
      1/2
      GM Jaan Ehlvest
      2649
      6.
      IM Michael Brooks
      2419
      1/2
      GM Joel Benjamin
      2650
      7.
      GM Melikset Khachiyan
      2632
      1-0
      IM Irina Krush
      2496
      8.
      IM Enrico Sevillano
      2549
      0-1
      IM Samuel Shankland
      2464
      9.
      GM Larry Christiansen
      2681
      1/2
      GM Alexander Shabalov
      2620
      10.
      IM Ray Robson
      2542
      1-0
      GM Ildar Ibragimov
      2628
      11.
      Tyler Hughes
      2293
      1-0
      Charles Lawton
      2350
      12.
      GM Boris Gulko
      2631
      1-0
      FM Doug Eckert
      2278

      View 4th Round Games here!

      Video by Macauley Peterson (ICC/Chess.FM)

      Standings

      1st-5th: Kamsky, Nakamura, Shulman, Friedel, Akobian, 3.0
      6th-10th: Onischuk, Ehlvest, Hess, Khachiyan, Shakland, 2.5
      11th-16th: Becerra, Kaidanov, Benjamin, Brooks, Robson, Hughes, 2.0
      17th-20th: Sevillano, Krush, Christiansen, Shabalov, 1.5
      21st-22nd: Ibragimov, Gulko, 1
      23rd-24th: Eckert, Lawton, 0

      Zatonskih, .5 (withdrew)

    16. Round 5
      Tuesday, May 12, 2:00pm CST

      #
      White
      USCF
      Result
      Black
      USCF
      1.
      GM Hikaru Nakamura
      2757
      1/2
      GM Gata Kamsky
      2798
      2.
      GM Joshua Friedel
      2757
      0-1
      GM Yury Shulman
      2697
      3.
      GM Jaan Ehlvest
      2649
      0-1
      GM Varuzhan Akobian
      2664
      4.
      IM Samuel Shankland
      2464
      0-1
      GM Alexander Onischuk
      2736
      5.
      IM Robert Hess
      2545
      1-0
      GM Melikset Khachiyan
      2632
      6.
      GM Julio Becerra
      2672
      0-1
      IM Michael Brooks
      2419
      7.
      IM Ray Robson
      2542
      1/2
      GM Gregory Kaidanov
      2662
      8.
      GM Joel Benjamin
      2650
      1-0
      Tyler Hughes
      2293
      9.
      IM Irina Krush
      2496
      1/2
      GM Larry Christiansen
      2681
      10.
      GM Alexander Shabalov
      2620
      0-1
      IM Enrico Sevillano
      2549
      11.
      GM Ildar Ibragimov
      2628
      1/2
      GM Boris Gulko
      2631
      12.
      FM Doug Eckert
      2278
      1-0
      Charles Lawton
      2350

      Good games today! Kamsky and Nakamura mixed it up in an exciting battle but would agree to a draw after 35 moves. Ehlvest sacrificed his queen with the speculative 20.Qxc5!? He seemed to have gotten play with his minor pieces, but ended with little compensation. Black had a material advantage and a formidable pawn center to boot.

      Another exciting game was Sevillano-Brooks. The Missouri native played a solid Alekhine while the Cuban native played an attacking setup. Black played the interesting 27…b6 getting the two bishops after 28.Bxa5 bxa5. This bishop would become a terror and decide the game. Black won a central pawn and took over the game. Out of desperation, Becerra sacked an exchange, but got little for his investment. Brooks finished the game nicely.

      Shulman and Akobian will play tomorrow as the games will start to heat up!

      View 5th Round Games here!

      Video by Macauley Peterson (ICC/Chess.FM)

      Standings

      1st-2nd: Shulman, Akobian, 4.0
      3rd-6th: Kamsky, Nakamura, Onischuk, Hess, 3.5
      7th-9th: Friedel, Benjamin, Brooks, 3.0
      10th-15th: Ehlvest, Shakland, Khachiyan, Kaidanov, Robson, Sevillano, 2.5
      16th-19th: Becerra, Christiansen, Krush, Hughes, 2.0
      20th-22nd: Ibragimov, Gulko, Shabalov, 1.5
      23rd: Eckert, 1
      24th: Lawton, 0

      Zatonskih, .5 (withdrew)

    17. Round 6
      Wednesday, May 13, 2:00pm CST

      #
      White
      USCF
      Result
      Black
      USCF
      1.
      GM Varuzhan Akobian
      2664
      1/2
      GM Yury Shulman
      2697
      2.
      GM Gata Kamsky
      2798
      1/2
      IM Robert Hess
      2545
      3.
      GM Alexander Onischuk
      2736
      1/2
      GM Hikaru Nakamura
      2757
      4.
      IM Michael Brooks
      2419
      0-1
      GM Joshua Friedel
      2568
      5.
      GM Melikset Khachiyan
      2632
      0-1
      GM Joel Benjamin
      2650
      6.
      GM Gregory Kaidanov
      2662
      1-0
      IM Samuel Shankland
      2464
      7.
      IM Enrico Sevillano
      2549
      1/2
      GM Jaan Ehlvest
      2649
      8.
      GM Larry Christiansen
      2681
      0-1
      IM Ray Robson
      2542
      9.
      IM Irina Krush
      2496
      1-0
      GM Julio Becerra
      2672
      10.
      Tyler Hughes
      2293
      0-1
      GM Ildar Ibragimov
      2628
      11.
      GM Alexander Shabalov
      2620
      1-0
      FM Doug Eckert
      2278
      12.
      Charles Lawton
      2350
      0-1
      GM Boris Gulko
      2631

      Not much movement today as the top three boards drew leaving the leaderboard unchanged. The most exciting moment of the round was IM Ray Robson’s demolition of GM Larry Christiansen. These are the types of attacks “Big Larry” has been on the winning side of so many times, but today he met the wrath of the young phenom who chased his king all over the board before a mercy kill.

      View 6th Round Games here!

      Video by Macauley Peterson (ICC/Chess.FM)

      Standings

      1st-2nd: Shulman, Akobian, 4.5
      3rd-8th: Kamsky, Nakamura, Onischuk, Hess, Friedel, Benjamin, 4.0
      9th-10th: Kaidanov, Robson, 3.5
      11th-14th: Ehlvest, Brooks, Krush, Sevillano, 3.0
      15th-19th: Shankland, Ibragimov, Khachiyan, Gulko, Shabalov, 2.0
      20th-22nd: Becerra, Christiansen, Hughes, 2.0
      23rd: Eckert, 1
      24th: Lawton, 0

      Zatonskih, .5 (withdrew)

    18. Round 7
      Thursday, May 14, 2:00pm CST

      #
      White
      USCF
      Result
      Black
      USCF
      1.
      GM Yury Shulman
      2697
      0-1
      GM Alexander Onischuk
      2736
      2.
      GM Hikaru Nakamura
      2757
      1-0
      GM Varuzhan Akobian
      2664
      3.
      GM Joel Benjamin
      2650
      0-1
      GM Gata Kamsky
      2798
      4.
      GM Joshua Friedel
      2568
      0-1
      IM Robert Hess
      2545
      5.
      IM Enrico Sevillano
      2549
      1-0
      GM Gregory Kaidanov
      2662
      6.
      IM Ray Robson
      2542
      0-1
      IM Michael Brooks
      2419
      7.
      GM Jaan Ehlvest
      2649
      1-0
      IM Irina Krush
      2496
      8.
      GM Ildar Ibragimov
      2628
      1-0
      GM Melikset Khachiyan
      2632
      9.
      GM Boris Gulko
      2631
      1/2
      GM Alexander Shabalov
      2620
      10.
      IM Samuel Shankland
      2464
      0-1
      Tyler Hughes
      2293
      11.
      FM Doug Eckert
      2278
      0-1
      GM Larry Christiansen
      2681
      12.
      GM Julio Becerra
      2672
      1-0
      Charles Lawton
      2350

      BOARDS RUN RED… only one draw in 12 games!

      GM-elect Robert Hess. Photo by Betsy Dynako.

      This tournament is shaping up as anticipated. The three highest-rated players hold the top three positions, but the surprise of the tournament has to be GM-elect Robert Hess (right). While he already has the norms for the title, it is always good to gain additional norms to squelch any ideas one’s worthiness.

      Other contenders are defending champion Yury Shulman and Varuzhan Akobian. Five of the top six positions are held by members of the 2008 bronze medal Olympiad team. Hess will definitely have future chances to win his own Olympiad medals. In round 7, he took the full point from Josh Friedel.

      This tournament has been so competitive that upsets are becoming common. Hess, Robson are shining while Sam Shankland and Tyler Hughes have gained valuable experience. Michael Brooks is having a phenomenal tournament and is on course for a GM norm. He is on +1. His long-time friend Lawton is still looking to break the goose egg.

      View 7th Round Games here!

      GM Hikaru Nakamura against GM Varuzhan Akobian

      GM Hikaru Nakamura against GM Varuzhan Akobian in Round 7 (1-0).
      Photos by Betsy Dynako.

      Video by Macauley Peterson (ICC/Chess.FM).

      Standings

      1st-4th: Kamsky, Nakamura, Onischuk, Hess, 5.0
      5th-6th: Shulman, Akobian, 4.5
      7th-11th: Friedel, Ehlvest, Brooks, Benjamin, Sevillano, 4.0
      12th-14th: Kaidanov, Robson, Ibragimov, 3.5
      15th-20th: Krush, Christiansen, Becerra, Hughes, Gulko, Shabalov, 3.0
      21st-22nd: Shankland, Khachiyan, 2.5
      23rd: Eckert, 1
      24th: Lawton, 0

      Zatonskih, .5 (withdrew)

    19. Round 8
      Saturday, May 16, 11:00am CST

      #
      White
      USCF
      Result
      Black
      USCF
      1.
      GM Gata Kamsky
      2798
      1/2
      GM Alexander Onischuk
      2736
      2.
      IM Robert Hess
      2545
      1-0
      GM Yury Shulman
      2697
      3.
      IM Michael Brooks
      2419
      0-1
      GM Hikaru Nakamura
      2757
      4.
      GM Varuzhan Akobian
      2664
      1-0
      GM Joel Benjamin
      2650
      5.
      GM Josh Friedel
      2568
      1-0
      GM Jaan Ehlvest
      2649
      6.
      IM Ray Robson
      2542
      1-0
      IM Enrico Sevillano
      2549
      7.
      GM Gregory Kaidanov
      2662
      1/2
      GM Ildar Ibragimov
      2628
      8.
      GM Larry Christiansen
      2681
      1-0
      Tyler Hughes
      2293
      9.
      GM Boris Gulko
      2631
      1/2
      GM Julio Becerra
      2672
      10.
      GM Alexander Shabalov
      2620
      1-0
      IM Irina Krush
      2496
      11.
      GM Melikset Khachiyan
      2632
      0-1
      FM Doug Eckert
      2272
      12.
      Charles Lawton
      2350
      1/2
      IM Samuel Shankland
      2464

      Robert Hess enroute to his victory over defending champion Yury Shulman. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

      Robert Hess enroute to his victory over defending champion Yury Shulman.
      Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

      Things get a bit more interesting with the victories of Robert Hess and Hikaru Nakamaru over Yury Shulman and Michael Brooks, respectively. Hess is having perhaps his best performance and is now on stage to win the tournament! Hikaru Nakamura put Brooks’ GM norm chances in jeopardy by winning in convincing manner in a Sveshnikov. Brooks stumbled in the complications and Nakamura deftly wrapped up the point.

      Fourteen-year old Ray Robson is still in the hunt for a GM norm and crushed Enrico Sevillano and will need to win his last round to earn the norm. Despite his loss, Brooks will need to win his last game to get his first GM norm. His other Missouri comrades were more fortunate.

      Local product Doug Eckert won against Melikset Khachiyan. The tax accountant is serving as an alternate for Anna Zatonskih and told The Chess Drum that he never dreamt he’d have a chance to play in this tournament. With three kids and and a busy schedule, Eckert lives in Quincy and has little time to work on his game. Charles Lawton got on the board today by playing an exciting game with Samuel Shankland.

      Charles Lawton 
Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

      Charles Lawton opening against Samuel Shankland.
      Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

      After game ended in a draw, Lawton breathed a sign of relief and flashed a bright smile. Later he seen socializing with local kids and giving autographs. It was a great sight to see a local legend interacting with kids. Clearly the young guns are firing off in this tournament. Nakamura, Hess, Friedel and Robson all represent the future of U.S Chess and this tournament may represent the coming of a new era.

      View 8th Round Games here!

      Standings

      1st-2nd: Nakamura, Hess, 6.0
      3rd-5th: Kamsky, Onischuk, Akobian, 5.5
      6th: Friedel, 5.0
      7th-8th: Shulman, Robson,
      9th-16th: Ehlvest, Brooks, Benjamin, Sevillano, Christiansen, Ibragimov, Kaidanov, Shabalov, 4.0
      17th-18th: Becerra, Gulko, 3.5
      19th-21st: Krush, Shankland, Hughes, 3.0
      22nd: Khachiyan, 2.5
      23rd: Eckert, 2
      24th: Lawton, .5

      Zatonskih, .5 (withdrew)

    20. Lawton draws! It was a good game against IM Samuel Shankland. I thought that Lawton was better in the middle game. Good job Lawton. Win the last game!

    21. Here is the Lawton-Shankland game. They played a good 15 moves in a B+B vs. B ending before Shankland offered a draw. Lawton told me that Shankland was up an hour on the clock. At first I thought he had 1:44 minutes, but that was 1:44 hours! Lawton had around 7 minutes.


    22. I am loving this Robert Hess boy .I watched his games from the Invitation tournament a few weeks ago.He is coming up with good stuff.

    23. Hess is certainly a talent. I’ve watched him ever since I played him years back. All the young guns are doing well. Nakamura, Friedel, Hess, Robson are all products of U.S. chess which seems to indicate a changing of the guard.

    24. Round 9
      Sunday, May 17, 10:00am CST

      #
      White
      USCF
      Result
      Black
      USCF
      1.
      IM Robert Hess
      2545
      1/2
      GM Varuzhan Akobian
      2664
      2.
      GM Hikaru Nakamura
      2757
      1-0
      GM Joshua Friedel
      2568
      3.
      GM Alexander Onischuk
      2736
      1-0
      IM Ray Robson
      2542
      4.
      GM Jaan Ehlvest
      2649
      1/2
      GM Gata Kamsky
      2798
      5.
      GM Yury Shulman
      2697
      1/2
      GM Gregory Kaidanov
      2662
      6.
      IM Enrico Sevillano
      2549
      0-1
      GM Larry Christiansen
      2681
      7.
      GM Joel Benjamin
      2650
      1/2
      GM Alexander Shabalov
      2620
      8.
      GM Ildar Ibragimov
      2628
      1-0
      IM Michael Brooks
      2419
      9.
      IM Samuel Shankland
      2464
      0-1
      GM Boris Gulko
      2631
      10.
      GM Julio Becerra
      2672
      1/2
      GM Melikset Khachiyan
      2632
      11.
      Tyler Hughes
      2293
      1-0
      FM Doug Eckert
      2272
      12.
      IM Irina Krush
      2496
      1/2
      Charles Lawton
      2350

      View 9th Round Games here!

      Final Standings

      1st: Nakamura, 7.0
      2nd-3rd: Hess, Onischuk, 6.5
      4th-5th: Kamsky, Akobian, 6.0
      6th-9th: Friedel, Shulman, Ibragimov, Christiansen, 5.0
      10th-15th: Ehlvest, Robson, Benjamin, Kaidanov, Shabalov, Gulko, 4.5
      16th-19th: Brooks, Sevillano, Becerra, Hughes, 4.0
      20th: Krush, 3.5
      21st-22nd: Shankland, Khachiyan, 3.0
      23rd: Eckert, 2
      24th: Lawton, 1

      Zatonskih, .5 (withdrew)

      HIKARU NAKAMURA… 2009 U.S. CHESS CHAMPION
      Hikaru Nakamura vs. Josh Friedel (1-0)

      Hikaru Nakamura topples Josh Friedel and is the new U.S. Champion!
      Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

    25. NAKAMURA is amazing.just when everyone thought he was going to Texas University ,he went to probably Dickinson college ,now when all think he wont maintain 2700,he grows stronger ,Haha Smallville aka Star Wars stares fortune directly in the face always,brave taking risks.

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