Yet another format has emerged in this year's edition of the U.S. Championship, but will hope to bring as much excitement as previous years.  This year's field will have two 32-player fields producing two winners. These two winners will meet in a match to determine the U.S. Champion. Despite the controversy of the format change, other adjustments have brought positive reactions.

Reigning champion,
Hikaru Nakamura will be joined by Gata Kamsky as the top seeds of each group. There is an interesting mixture of players, each having met a number of challenges to qualify. Two players that will add instant intrigue to the field are GM Maxim Dlugy, who is returning to active play and FM Emory Tate, Jr., one of the game's most exciting players.

Site of the 2006 U.S. Championship
(NTC Promenade, - San Diego)

The return of the "Cuban Mafia" will make news as well as 1600-rated Kelly Cottrell. Remarkably Stephen Muhammad is making his third consecutive trip to the "big dance" and is one of the few non-GM players to do so. He is looking to make his breakthrough and repeat the success enjoyed in 2003 U.S. Chess Championships three years ago.

Dr. Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum

U.S. Chess Championship Center
The Chess Drum
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