2015 U.S. Chess Championships (Round #11)

2015 U.S. Chess Championship
USA USA USA
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Round #11 (Sunday, 12 April 2015)
Overall
Table White Score Rating Black Score Rating Result
1 GM So, Wesley 5.5 2788 GM Troff, Kayden W 5.0 2532 1-0
2 GM Naroditsky, Daniel 2.5 2633 GM Kamsky, Gata 5.0 2683 ½-½
3 GM Shankland, Samuel L 4.5 2661 GM Akobian, Varuzhan 5.0 2622 ½-½
4 GM Sevian, Samuel 4.5 2531 GM Holt, Conrad 4.5 2530 1-0
5 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 7.0 2798 GM Onischuk, Alexander 6.0 2665 1-0
6 GM Gareev, Timur 4.0 2604 GM Robson, Ray 6.5 2656 0-1
Women
Table White Score Rating Black Score Rating Result
1 WIM Ni, Viktorija 6.0 2188 WCM Virkud, Apurva 3.5 2132 1-0
2 IM Paikidze, Nazi 7.0 2333 WGM Foisor, Sabina-Francesca 5.0 2235 ½-½
3 GM Krush, Irina 8.0 2477 WGM Nemcova, Katerina 7.0 2279 ½-½
4 IM Goletiani, Rusudan 5.5 2311 WFM Yu, Jennifer R 2.0 2180 ½-½
5 WGM Sharevich, Anna 5.5 2267 WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev 5.5 2322 1-0
6 WIM Wang, Annie 2.5 1901 FM Melekhina, Alisa 2.5 2235 1-0
Games (Men, Women)

Round #11: Nakamura, Krush… 2015 U.S. Champions!

Hikaru Nakamura bagged his 4th title. His first was 10 years ago!

There was a bit of tension in the last round of the 2015 U.S. Chess Championship, but in the end, all went according to script. Top seeds Hikaru Nakamura and Irina Krush clinched titles in the crucial last round. Nakamura upended Alexander Onischuk in a Scotch Gambit, an unlikely choice but one with a bit of venom if black is not careful.

In this line black sacrificed a pawn for piece play, but was unable to obtain an initiative. In the end Onischuk dropped a piece after 27…Nxf2 28.Nd4. This tournament was a bit strange in that Nakamura didn’t play his absolute best chess, but was able to stave off a surging Ray Robson and in the end, a fourth U.S. Championship.

A time of reflection ahead for So.
Photo by Lennart Ootes.

Robson had a wonderful showing with +4 result and is perhaps showing that he will be a force to be reckoned with in future events. Fourteen-year old Samuel Sevian also had a strong event scoring 50% against the strongest field he has ever faced. His win over Wesley So showed that he has enough confidence to win big games.

As for So, his mid-tournament meltdown was due to offsite factors that seem a lot more complicated than merely writing notes on a sheet of paper. An entire imbroglio has unfurled with accusations being aimed at various people (including Millionaire Chess). What is important now is for the 21-year old So to get this episode behind him and to reconcile with his family. In this end, these are going to be the people who are there when the lights grown dim. So is a wonderful young man, a prodigious talent and the chess world wishes him well!

Irina Krush displaying her usual exuberance after 7th title.
Will she wear her famous red dress?
Photo by Lennart Ootes.

In the women’s field, Irina Krush showed that she was the most stable and also showed the despite some tough moments, she kept her composure and was able to avoid a crisis. On the other hand, Katerina Nemcova waited until the penultimate round to have a rare setback losing to runner-up Nazi Paikidze. However, beating Krush in the last round would have given her the title despite that fact that an unbeaten Paikidze beat both Krush and Nemcova. It was an interesting tournament with breakout performance for Viktorija Ni (7/11) and debutante Anna Sharevich (6.5/11).

Rusudan Goletiani faltered in the later rounds and ended on +1. National players Tatev Abrahamyan and Sabina-Francecsa Foisor were inconsistent and finished with even scores. At the bottom half you had the wildcard scholastic players who merely chalked this tournament as an experience. There was Annie Wang opening win over Abrahamyan that started a buzz. Apurva Virkud had a couple wins and draws with Paikidze and Sharevich.

Will Apurva Virkud be a future contender?
Photo by Lennart Ootes.

Will these junior players continue with chess or will they become a footnote in history like previous young participants Baraka Shabazz, Cindy Tsai, Hana Itkis, Laura Ross and Ashritha Eswaran? In the meantime, the vacuum of talented girls leaving chess has been filled by immigrants seeking higher education. Half of the women’s field consists of recent emigres, many who double as university students.

One of the persons who may shed light on this issue is Alisa Melekhina. In her case, she scored poorly, but not for the lack of fight. It was merely a case of nerves and missed opportunities. It goes without saying that being a lawyer at a New York law firm carries with it a unique set of challenges. Nevertheless, Melekhina has made her mark and the variety of her accomplishments is proof that one can have a successful balance in a life which includes chess. While she flamed out of the event, her article in Chess Life will be an ongoing case of how one can find that balance!

Official Site: https://www.uschesschamps.com/
Livestream: https://new.livestream.com/ccscsl/USChessChampionships
Chess24.com: https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/us-championship-2015#live
Drum Coverage! https://www.thechessdrum.net/

OVERALL

WOMEN

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

8 Comments

  1. 2015 U.S. Chess Championship
    USA USA USA
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Final Standings (Overall)
    Rank Name Score M/F Rating TPR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
    1 GM Nakamura, H 8.0 M 2798 2803 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1
    2 GM Robson, R 7.5 M 2656 2774 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1
    3 GM So, W 6.5 M 2788 2694 1 1 0 ½ 1 0 1 0 0 1 1
    4 GM Onischuk, A 6.0 M 2665 2676 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 ½ 1 0
    5 GM Kamsky, G 5.5 M 2683 2638 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 ½ ½ 0 ½
    6 GM Akobian, V 5.5 M 2622 2644 1 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 1 1 ½
    7 GM Sevian, S 5.5 M 2531 2652 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 1
    8 GM Shankland, S 5.0 M 2661 2604 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½
    9 GM Troff, K 5.0 M 2532 2616 0 1 ½ ½ 1 0 1 0 ½ ½ 0
    10 GM Holt, C 4.5 M 2530 2587 0 1 0 ½ 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
    11 GM Gareev, T 4.0 M 2604 2543 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0
    12 GM Naroditsky, D 3.0 M 2633 2468 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 1 0 ½
    All PGN Games (Overall)

    2015 U.S. Chess Championship
    USA USA USA
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Final Standings (Women)
    Rank Name Score M/F Rating TPR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
    1 GM Krush, I 8.5 F 2477 2444 ½ 1 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 ½
    2 IM Paikidze, N 7.5 F 2333 2366 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½
    3 WGM Nemcova, K 7.5 F 2279 2368 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 0 ½
    4 WIM Ni, V 7.0 F 2188 2345 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1
    5 WGM Sharevich, A 6.5 F 2267 2301 1 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1
    6 IM Goletiani, R 6.0 F 2311 2269 ½ 1 1 ½ 0 1 0 1 ½ 0 ½
    7 WGM Abrahamyan, T 5.5 F 2322 2233 0 0 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 1 0
    8 WGM Foisor, S 5.5 F 2235 2239 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½
    9 WCM Virkud, A 3.5 F 2132 2115 1 ½ 0 0 1 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0
    10 WIM Wang, A 3.5 F 1901 2114 1 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1
    11 FM Melekhina, A 2.5 F 2235 2028 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 0
    12 WFM Yu, J 2.5 F 2180 2033 0 1 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½
    All PGN Games (Women)

  2. What were the “accusations” against Millionaire Chess? I’m not aware of these.

    Thank you, Al

    1. There was an accusation posted on one of the social media networks saying that this is the type of drama that is brought on my Millionaire Chess (paraphrase). They are implying that the $100,000 Wesley So won was the reason that all of these things happened. It’s a dubious notion, but I added this because it is one of many hypotheses being offered.

      1. Ah! I though they meant Wesley So was writing notes during his games at Millionaire Chess and was never called on it.

        1. No… he has had that habit since his teen years and also did it at Tata Steel as well. Listen to the interview he did after winning in round ten. At around 2:10-minute mark he discussed this habit.

  3. Greetings Chessdrummers, i just arrived at the Buffalo Public Library , this is where i LEARN CHESS anything new and interestin goin on in the chess world? I see we got the So controversy goin on and naka beat my DARK HORSE, TRICKY ROBSON! lol ANYTHING ELSE TODAY?

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