2005 US Chess Championship

Round Five
1   GM Hikaru Nakamura  
  GM Sergey Kudrin
2   GM Alexander Shabalov  
  GM Alex Stripunsky
3   GM Alexander Fishbein  
  GM Igor Novikov
4   GM Joel Benjamin  
  GM Yury Shulman
5   IM Dmitry Schneider  
  GM Gregory Serper
6   GM Aleks Wojtkiewicz  
  GM Gata Kamsky
7   GM Gregory Kaidanov  
  IM Eugene Perelshteyn
8   GM Julio Becerra  
  GM Alexander Goldin
9   GM Boris Gulko  
  IM Cyrus Lakdawala
10   GM Walter Browne  
  GM Ildar Ibragimov
11   GM Varuzhan Akobian  
  GM Dmitry Gurevich
12   IM Levon Altounian  
  GM Alex Yermolinsky
13   FM Dmitry Zilberstein  
  GM Nick DeFirmian
14   IM Blas Lugo  
  GM Larry Christiansen
15   FM Joshua Friedel  
  GM Alexander Onischuk
16   WGM Anna Zatonskih  
  GM Alexander Ivanov
17   FM Lev Milman  
  IM Ben Finegold
18   IM Renier Gonzalez  
  IM Ron Burnett
19   WIM Tsagaan Battsetseg  
  IM Stanislav Kriventsov
20   IM Jesse Kraai  
  Salvijus Bercys
21   IM Irina Krush  
  WGM Rusudan Goletiani
22   IM Yury Lapshun  
  FM Matt Hoekstra
23   FM Marcel Martinez  
  FM Robby Adamson
24   FM Stephen Muhammad  
  Jake Kleiman
25   GM Anatoly Lein  
  FM Fabio La Rota
26   FM Tegshuren Enkhbat  
  WIM Esther Epstein
27   WIM Anna Hahn  
  FM Bruci Lopez
28   Vanessa West  
  WIM Jennifer Shahade
29   WFM Laura Ross  
  FM Michael Casella
30   WFM Tatev Abrahamyan  
  Tatiana Vayserberg
31   Iryna Zenyuk  
  WFM Anna Levina
32   WFM Olga Sagalchik  
  Chouchanik Airapetian

At the midway point five-way tie for 1st!

Hikaru Nakamura showed why he may have surpassed Alexander Shabalov as the most exciting player on the U.S. circuit today. His game with Sergey Kudrin showed his fighting spirit and will to win until the last bit of energy is squeezed from the position. Out of a Grunfeld, the two players entered a speculative line and almost immediately, the game was a firestorm after Nakamura's 8.cxd5!? He then offered an exchange, but Kudrin did not want the task of defending his dark squares and a pending attack with h4-h5.

The game held a delicate balance when Nakamura sacrificed a pawn to gain more time putting his pieces in attack mode. After 15.d6 Qa3 16.Bxf7+! The point being that on 16Kxf7 (16Rxf7 17.Rxc8+) 17.Ng5+ Kg8 (17Kf6 18.Qd4+ e5 19.Qxe5#; 17Ke8 18.Rxc8+) 18.Rxc8! with threat of smothered mate with 19.Qd5+ Kh8 20.Nf7+ Kg8 21.Nh6+ Kh8 22.Qg8+ Rxg8 23.Nf7#. However, after 18.Rxc8 black can play 18Qb3.

According to the main site, the story was that Nakamura had analyzed 17.Bg5, but missed the prophylactic 17Nc6!
(see annotated game).Nakamura's pieces were swarming the board, but  Kudrin  was able to stave off the attack by giving back material and brought his queen back to defend the fort. It looked to be drawn, but the precocious 16-year old took one more shot with 29.e5? Bxe5 30.Qh6. Kudrin missed a couple of a counter-shots in 29Rd8! and 31.Rf4!  but a draw was soon agreed.

In DeFirmian-Nakamura, black played 30 Rxe5!

Nakamura dived in with 16.Bxf7+ leading to a powerful attack.

Alexander Fishbein kept pace with a nice win over Igor Novikov. Playing the anti-Sicilian Rossolimo, developed an aggressive position and snapped off a pawn with 21.Bxh6! which led to a favorable complications. When the smoke cleared, Fishbein had two minor pieces for a rook like Josh Friedel learned against Alexander Onischuk and Dmitry Schneider learned against Gregory Serper, the rook is no match.

There were several exciting draws in Benjamin-Shulman (French Tarrasch) and Akobian-Gurevich (Benko Gambit) and some excellent wins Milman-Finegold (1-0 in a Rauzer Sicilian) and Muhammad-Kleiman (1-0 in a Slav).

Coming off of tough draw,
Stephen Muhammad battled his opponent in an interesting middlegame, but gained the advantage when Kleiman overlooked the strength of white's passed b-pawn. That pawn was later used to disguise a star move from the diagrammed position.

While black was burdened with the task of watching the dangerous passed pawn, Muhammad opened operations on the other wing and uncorked the sharp
36.e4! (diagram). After 36 Bxe4, the lowly pawn revealed the plan with 37.e6! Now black has to allow another passed pawn because on 37fxe6 white mates with 38.Rxg7+  Kh6 and 39.g5+. Kleiman resigned in a few more moves.

Muhammad uncorks a nice pawn combination with 36.e4! On 36Bxe4, 37.e6! wins.

(position after  36.e4!)

Round #5 Information Center

Selected Games

GM Hikaru Nakamura - GM Sergey Kudrin, -
FM Stephen Muhammad - Jake Kleiman, 1-0
GM Alexander Fishbein - GM Igor Novikov, 1-0
GM Walter Browne - GM Ildar Ibragimov, 0-1
GM Varuzhan Akobian - GM Dmitry Gurevich, -
WIM Anna Khan - FM Bruci Lopez, 1-0

PGN download (all 32 games)

The Chess Drum

| Round 1 | Round 2Round 3 | Round 4 | Round 5 |
| Round 6 | Round 7 | Round 8 | Round 9 | playoffs |

| Home | Championship News |