Round Nine (Group A)
Bd
White
Res
Black
101   Onischuk, Alexander (6.5)
½
  Nakamura, Hikaru (5.5)
102   Akobian, Varuzhan (5.5)
0-1
  Ibragimov, Ildar (5.5)
103   Stripunsky, Alexander (5.5)
1-0
  Goldin, Alexander (5.0)
104   Kudrin, Sergey (5.0)
½
  Fernandez, Daniel (5.0)
105   Finegold, Benjamin (4.5)
1-0
  Benjamin, Joel (4.5)
106   Friedel, Joshua (4.5)
½
  Serper, Gregory (4.5)
107   Gurevich, Dmitry (4.5)
1-0
  Schneider, Dmitry (4.5)
108   de Firmian, Nick E (4.0)
½
  Goletiani, Rusudan (4.5) (w)
109   Florean, Andrei (4.0)
0-1
  Kraai, Jesse (4.0)
110   Stein, Alan (4.0)
1-0
  Tate, Emory (4.0)
111   Bercys, Salvijus (3.5)
0-1
  Dlugy, Maxim (3.5)
112   Gonzalez, Renier (3.5)
0-1
  Schneider, Igor (3.5)
113   Lenderman, Alex (3.0)
1-0
  Zenyuk, Iryna (3.0) (w)
114   Baginskaite, Camilla (3.0) (w)
½
  Epstein, Esther (3.0) (w)
115   Kleiman, Jake (1.5)
0-1
  Ross, Laura (3.0) (w)
116   Vicary, Elizabeth (2.5) (w)
1-0
  Cottrell-Finegold, Kelly (0.0) (w)

Alexander was Great!

Alexander Onischuk will advance to the playoff round after holding off the hard-charging Hikaru Nakamura in a tense battle. A draw gave the Ukrainian clear first on 7-2 and he left in his wake two players at 6-2 Ildar Ibragimov, Alexander Stripunsky. Nakamura ended with 6-3 including a five-game win streak. Rusudan Goletiani, who clinched an IM norm by drawing Nick DeFirmian, will play Anna Zatonskih who got through with a controversial 14-move draw with Aleks Wojtkiewicz. Goletiani is the defending champion.

This group had a lot of fighting chess and in this round 11/16 games were decisive. For the tournament , "Group A" had 98/144 decisive games (68%) which is an incredible percentage. A total of 20/32 players scored at least 50%. There was certainly a benefit to imposing the "no draw" rule. There is a consensus that there are improvements to be made in the format, but the "no draw" rule seemed to have produced fighting chess. Other news in Group A:
Josh Friedel earned a GM norm while Alan Stein got an IM norm.

PGN download (round 9 - all games)

Final Standings (Group A)
Place Name/Team Rate
Score
1: MMed
2: Solk
3: SBx2
1 GM Onischuk, Alexander (3) 2686
7.0
36.5
44.0
66.5
2 GM Ibragimov, Ildar (2) 2707
6.5
38.0
46.0
66.0
3 GM Stripunsky, Alexander (7) 2642
6.5
36.0
43.0
64.0
4 GM Nakamura, Hikaru (1) 2774
6.0
35.0
40.0
54.5
5 GM Gurevich, Dmitry (13) 2562
5.5
39.0
47.0
53.0
6 GM Akobian, Varuzhan (4) 2662
5.5
37.5
45.0
52.5
7 IM Fernandez, Daniel (23) 2424
5.5
37.0
44.0
47.0
8 GM Kudrin, Sergey (8) 2627
5.5
35.0
42.0
44.5
9 IM Finegold, Benjamin (5) 2657
5.5
32.5
39.5
49.0
10 IM Friedel, Joshua E (17) 2513
5.0
38.5
47.5
52.5
11 GM Serper, Gregory (12) 2577
5.0
36.5
44.0
42.0
12 FM Stein, Alan R (18) 2486
5.0
36.0
43.5
44.5
13 IM Kraai, Jesse (15) 2540
5.0
36.0
42.5
42.0
14 GM Goldin, Alexander (6) 2642
5.0
35.0
42.5
42.5
15 WGM Goletiani, Rusudan (25) 2393
5.0
33.5
37.0
34.0
16 GM De Firmian, Nick E (11) 2600
4.5
26.5
46.0
43.0
17 GM Benjamin, Joel (9) 2624
4.5
25.0
43.0
42.5
18 IM Schneider, Dmitry (16) 2525
4.5
25.0
42.0
31.5
19 GM Dlugy, Maxim (10) 2604
4.5
24.5
43.5
38.0
20 FM Schneider, Igor (24) 2420
4.5
22.0
35.0
26.0
21 FM Tate,Emory A (20) 2441
4.0
30.5
41.5
32.0
22 IM Florean, Andrei (19) 2479
4.0
27.5
40.0
25.0
23 IM Lenderman, Alex (22) 2427
4.0
24.0
35.0
24.0
24 WFM Ross, Laura R (28) 2238
4.0
20.0
30.5
17.0
25 IM Gonzalez, Renier (14) 2548
3.5
33.5
47.0
35.5
26 FM Bercys, Salvijus (21) 2440
3.5
32.0
44.0
31.5
27 WGM Baginskaite, Camilla (26) 2331
3.5
30.5
43.0
29.5
28 WIM Epstein, Esther (29) 2172
3.5
21.5
33.0
13.5
29 WFM Vicary, Elizabeth (30) 2118
3.5
19.0
29.0
15.0
30 Zenyuk, Iryna (31) 2101
3.0
20.5
29.5
10.5
31 Kleiman, Jake (27) 2318
1.5
22.5
33.0
6.0
32 Cottrell-Finegold, Kelly (32) 1663
0.0
24.0
33.5
0.0

Round Nine (Group B)
Bd
White
Res
Black
201   Fishbein, Alexander (5.0)
1-0
  Shulman, Yury (6.5)
202   Kamsky, Gata (5.5)
1-0
  Shabalov, Alexander (5.0)
203   Yermolinsky, Alex (5.0)
0-1
  Christiansen, Larry (5.5)
204   Novikov, Igor (5.0)
½
  Perelshteyn, Eugene (4.5)
205   Kaidanov, Gregory (4.5)
½
  Ivanov, Alexander (4.5)
206   Zatonskih, Anna (4.5) (w)
½
  Wojtkiewicz, Aleks (4.5)
207   Gulko, Boris (4.0)
½
  Kreiman, Boris (4.5)
208   Fedorowicz, John (4.0)
½
  Kriventsov, Stanislav (4.0)
209   Milman, Lev (4.0)
½
  Ippolito, Dean (4.0)
210   Browne, Walter S (4.0)
1-0
  Ginsburg, Mark (4.0)
211   Becerra, Julio (3.5)
1-0
  Sarkar, Justin (4.0)
212   Muhammad, Stephen (3.5)
1-0
  Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg (3.5) (w)
213   Airapetian, Chouchanik (3.5) (w)
0-1
  Lugo, Blas (3.5)
214   West, Vanessa A (2.5) (w)
1-0
  Liu, Elliott (3.5)
215   Itkis, Hana (1.5) (w)
0-1
  Vigorito, David E (3.0)
216   Abrahamyan, Tatev (3.0) (w)
1-0
  Christiansen,Natasha (0.5) (w)

Top Heavy!

In an amazing finish to what was the end to an interesting preliminary, the top three boards had decisive results, so the tiebreak system had to be used to determine the group winner. Alexander Fishbein, who started slowly, finished strong and toppled frontrunner Yury Shulman. This produced a three-way tie between Shulman, Gata Kamsky (who beat  Alexander Shabalov) and Larry Christiansen (who beat Alexander Yermolinsky) all ended on 6-2. Since Shulman had such a great tournament (beating Shabalov, Gregory Kaidanov and Alexander Ivanov and drawing Kamsky and Christiansen), he edged out Kamsky for the top spot.

As stated earlier, this group had players who had more conservative styles and it showed in the results. For the tournament, "Group B" had a 76/144 decisive games (52.8%) which means that almost half the games were drawn. Nevertheless, the games were still hard fought and 22/32 scored at least 50%. There were many interesting stories including
Batchimeg Tuvshintugs who still earned a WGM norm despite losing her last four games. She played seven GMs, WGM Goletiani and IM-elect Stephen Muhammad, who defeated her in the last round.

PGN download (round 9 - all games)

Final Standings (Group B)
Place Name/Team Rate
Score
1: MMed
2: Solk
3: SBx2
1 GM Shulman, Yury (9) 2623
6.5
39.5
47.0
63.5
2 GM Kamsky, Gata (1) 2729
6.5
38.5
46.5
65.5
3 GM Christiansen, Larry (7) 2633
6.5
38.0
45.5
64.0
4 GM Fishbein, Alexander (11) 2593
6.0
35.5
43.0
58.5
5 GM Novikov, Igor (6) 2643
5.5
40.5
50.0
58.0
6 GM Shabalov, Alexander (4) 2665
5.0
39.0
48.0
49.0
7 IM Perelshteyn, Eugene (10) 2614
5.0
38.0
46.5
48.5
8 GM Yermolinsky, Alex (12) 2590
5.0
37.5
44.5
46.0
9 GM Ivanov, Alexander (5) 2657
5.0
37.0
46.0
49.5
10 GM Wojtkiewicz,Aleks (14) 2555
5.0
36.0
42.0
41.5
11 GM Kaidanov, Gregory (2) 2722
5.0
35.0
43.0
46.0
12 WGM Zatonskih, Anna (19) 2469
5.0
33.5
41.0
43.5
13 GM Kreiman, Boris (15) 2535
5.0
33.5
40.5
43.5
14 GM Browne, Walter S (17) 2507
5.0
32.0
36.0
31.0
15 GM Gulko, Boris (3) 2678
4.5
24.5
43.5
42.5
16 IM Kriventsov, Stanislav (18) 2491
4.5
24.0
42.5
40.0
17 GM Becerra, Julio (8) 2629
4.5
22.5
41.5
41.0
18 IM Milman, Lev (16) 2528
4.5
22.5
38.0
31.5
19 IM Lugo, Blas (22) 2440
4.5
22.0
39.5
34.0
20 IM Ippolito, Dean J (20) 2464
4.5
22.0
37.0
32.0
21 GM Fedorowicz, John P (13) 2558
4.5
21.5
38.5
38.0
22 FM Muhammad, Stephen (21) 2458
4.5
20.5
36.5
31.5
23 IM Ginsburg, Mark (23) 2425
4.0
29.0
40.5
34.5
24 IM Sarkar, Justin (25) 2399
4.0
26.5
39.0
26.5
25 WFM Abrahamyan, Tatev (26) 2325
4.0
24.0
34.0
21.5
26 IM Vigorito, David E (24) 2422
4.0
23.0
33.0
21.5
27 WIM Tuvshintugs, Batch (27) 2271
3.5
34.5
47.5
35.5
28 Liu, Elliott (28) 2266
3.5
23.5
33.5
18.0
29 Airapetian, Chouch (29) 2162
3.5
23.0
34.5
18.0
30 West, Vanessa A (31) 2034
3.5
21.5
31.0
18.0
31 WFM Itkis,Hana (30) 2149
1.5
23.5
33.0
7.5
32 WCM Christiansen,Nata (32) 1872
0.5
24.0
33.5
1.5



Round #9 Information Center


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Report written by Dr. Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum