Round Three (Group A)
Bd
White
Res
Black
101   Onischuk, Alexander (2.0)
1-0
  Gonzalez, Renier (2.0)
102   De Firmian, Nick (1.5)
1-0
  Ibragimov, Ildar (1.5)
103   Finegold, Benjamin (1.5)
½
  Schneider, Dmitry (1.5)
104   Kraai, Jesse (1.5)
½
  Goldin, Alexander (1.5)
105   Benjamin, Joel (1.5)
½
  Friedel, Joshua (1.5)
106   Gurevich, Dmitry (1.5)
1-0
  Dlugy, Maxim (1.5)
107   Stripunsky, Alexander (1.0)
½
  Bercys, Salvijus (1.5)
108   Schneider, Igor (1.0)
½
  Serper, Gregory (1.0)
109   Stein, Alan R (1.0)
½
  Fernandez, Daniel (1.0)
110   Tate, Emory (1.0)
0-1
  Goletiani, Rusudan (1.0)
111   Baginskaite, Camilla (1.0)
1-0
  Nakamura, Hikaru (0.5)
112   Lenderman, Alex (0.5)
0-1
  Akobian, Varuzhan (0.5)
113   Ross, Laura (0.5)
0-1
  Kudrin, Sergey (0.5)
114   Kleiman, Jake (0.5)
0-1
  Florean, Andrei (0.5)
115   Cottrell-Finegold, Kelly (0.0)
0-1
  Epstein, Esther (0.0)
116   Vicary, Elizabeth (0.0)
½
  Zenyuk, Iryna (0.0)

Yet Another Ukrainian!

The Ukraine has been having a wonderful run of tournaments in the past couple of years with the success of
Vassily Ivanchuk, Ruslan Ponomariov and the young corps of rising stars in tow. Alexander Onischuk came to the U.S. several years ago and brought with him a chess tradition that is bearing fruit.

In the 3rd round of the U.S. Championship, he continued his run of perfection by upending the upstart from Cuba, Renier Gonzalez. This game was as interesting game featuring maneuvers and no pawn captured until Onischuk uncorked a knight sacrifice to shatter Gonzalez's fortress with 40.Nxe6+! (diagram)

White kept the initiative and three pawns while the black queen was waiting to get in the game. Gonzalez could have forced a perpetual checked but erred with the fateful 56Ng5 after the fleet-footed queen danced around the king and picked off the knight. Onischuk would move on to remain the only player with a 3-0 score.

Onischuk-Gonzalez after 40.Nxe6!

Onischuk-Gonzalez after 40.Nxe6!

Benjamin-Friedel saw an interesting piece sacrifice by white, but it appeared that black may have misplayed his hand and allow compensation. Benjamin's clump of kingside pawns marched menacingly close to the king and appeared to be ready to steamroll the position, but Friedel's active rook save the day. Perhaps the biggest upset of the day in Group A had Camilla Baginskate beating a beleaguered Hikaru Nakamura.

Baginskate reviewed her game in the postmortem and believes that she did nothing particular special to win. In fact, Alex Shabalov stated that Nakamura missed
14e4! with clear compensation for the pawn. However, she skated on a tightrope to avoid cracking as so many of Nakamura's opponents seem to do. Baginskate held off the pressure, pocketed another pawn and simplified to a winning position.

Defending women's champion
Rusudan Goletiani beat Emory Tate in an interesting game that saw her put up a hedgehog against Tate's English Maroczy Bind. Tate has played the English for a brief period with some success, but it doesn't appear to bear his style. However, yet he got a favorable position. Both players got into a bit of time pressure and Tate missed a nice tactic 33Bxd6! Goletiani nursed a two-pawn lead and staved off Tate's final tricks.

Selected Games
GM Alexander Onischuk-IM Renier Gonzalez, 1-0
GM Joel Benjamin-IM Josh Friedel, -
WGM Camilla Baginskate-GM Hikaru Nakamura, 1-0
FM Emory Tate-WGM Rusudan Goletiani, 1-0

PGN download (round 3 - all games)

Round Three (Group B)
Bd
White
Res
Black
201   Novikov, Igor (2.0)
½
  Shulman, Yury (2.0)
202   Becerra, Julio (1.5)
½
  Kamsky, Gata (1.5)
203   Shabalov, Alexander (1.5)
1-0
  Milman, Lev (1.5)
204   Perelshteyn, Eugene (1.5)
0-1
  Ivanov, Alexander (1.5)
205   Christiansen, Larry (1.5)
1-0
  Wojtkiewicz, Aleks (1.5)
206   Kaidanov, Gregory (1.0)
½
  Ippolito, Dean J (1.0)
207   Ginsburg, Mark (1.0)
0-1
  Gulko, Boris (1.0)
208   Muhammad, Stephen (1.0)
0-1
  Fishbein, Alexander (1.0)
209   Yermolinsky, Alex (1.0)
1-0
  Lugo, Blas (1.0)
210   Vigorito, David E (1.0)
½
  Fedorowicz, John (1.0)
211   Tuvshintugs, Batch (1.0)
1-0
  Kreiman, Boris (1.0)
212   Liu, Elliott (1.0)
0-1
  Kriventsov, Stanislav (1.0)
213   Browne, Walter (0.5)
1-0
  Airapetian, Chouchanik (0.5)
214   Zatonskih, Anna (0.5)
1-0
  Abrahamyan, Tatev (0.5)
215   Christiansen, Natasha (0.0)
0-1
  Sarkar, Justin (0.0)
216   Itkis, Hana (0.0)
½
  West, Vanessa A (0.0)

Better with Age!

It appeared as if the veterans won this round in Group B. Twelve out of the sixteen games were decisive as many of the former U.S. Champions shined through. In Christiansen-Wojtkiewicz, black's position fell like a house of cards after a speculative 13 Bxe6! sacrifice which was said to be Christiansen's home preparation.

Stephen Muhammad fell into a cramped position against Fishbein's King's Indian and may have been able to free his position with 21.Bh5!? As it were, Fishbein barreled down the kingside as Muhammad tried to conjure up play along the h-file. He had to trade his last defense piece for a powerful knight which was about to set up a camp on e5 and then f3. Black traded two rooks for his queen and they came in good effect after Muhammad's king fell into a mating net.

Batchimeg Tuvshintugs played an inspired game winning her second game against a Grandmaster. She had beaten Fishbein in round one and this time she would topple Boris Kreiman. The Mongolian outplayed a stunned Kreiman who had to watch the beautiful sequence 24.Qf4! e5 25.Qxe5 Be6 26.Rxd8! Qxd8 27.Nc6 netting a piece.

Selected Games

GM Larry Christiansen-GM Aleks Wojtkiewicz, 1-0
IM-elect Stephen Muhammad-GMAlexander Fishbein, 0-1
WIM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs-GM Boris Kreiman, 1-0

PGN download (round 3 - all games)



Round #3 Information Center


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Report written by Dr. Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum