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US Championship St Louis USA 2009 (4)

Five-Way Logjam at the Top Of U.S. Chess Championship

Saint Louis, May 11, 2009 -- The atmosphere is becoming tense at the top in the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship hosted at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. Five of the country's leading grandmasters share first place at the conclusion of round four.


Round 4 Kamsky - Friedel. Photo © Betsy Dynako. Official site: http://www.saintlouischessclub.org/US-Championship-2009


Round 4. Melikset Khachiyan vs Irina Krush. Photo © Betsy Dynako. Official site: http://www.saintlouischessclub.org/US-Championship-2009

Round 4 (May 11, 2009)
Shulman, Yuri - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ 84 D27 QGA
Brooks, Michael A - Benjamin, Joel ½-½ 25 C41 Philidor's Defence
Hughes, Tyler B - Lawton,Charles 1-0 33 A41 Modern Defence
Christiansen, Larry M - Shabalov, Alexander ½-½ 49 E76 King's Indian Four Pawns
Akobian, Varuzhan - Becerra Rivero, Julio 1-0 46 D45 Anti-Meran Variations
Onischuk, Alexander - Hess, Robert L ½-½ 47 E56 Nimzo Indian
Kamsky, Gata - Friedel, Joshua E ½-½ 69 C78 Ruy Lopez Moeller Defence
Robson, Ray - Ibragimov, Ildar 1-0 36 B12 Caro Kann Advanced
Sevillano, Enrico - Shankland, Samuel L 0-1 68 C78 Ruy Lopez Moeller Defence
Kaidanov, Gregory S - Ehlvest, Jaan ½-½ 53 E98 King's Indian Classical
Gulko, Boris F - Eckert, Doug D 1-0 21 D82 Gruenfeld 4.Bf4
Khachiyan, Melikset - Krush, Irina 1-0 58 B57 Sicilian Sozin Attack



ch-USA Saint Louis (USA), 8-16 v 2009
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  
1. Kamsky, Gata g USA 2720 +21 +5 =2 =3 . . . . . 3 2779
2. Shulman, Yuri g USA 2632 +19 +10 =1 =4 . . . . . 3 2814
3. Friedel, Joshua E g USA 2516 =6 +14 +12 =1 . . . . . 3 2838
4. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2701 +20 =7 +8 =2 . . . . . 3 2766
5. Akobian, Varuzhan g USA 2612 +23 -1 +15 +11 . . . . . 3 2756
6. Onischuk, Alexander g USA 2684 =3 +16 =7 =8 . . . . . 2554
7. Ehlvest, Jaan g USA 2606 +13 =4 =6 =14 . . . . . 2705
8. Hess, Robert L m USA 2485 +17 +11 -4 =6 . . . . . 2740
9. Shankland, Samuel L m USA 2446 =12 =17 =10 +19 . . . . . 2654
10. Khachiyan, Melikset g USA 2546 +25 -2 =9 +18 . . . . . 2477
11. Becerra Rivero, Julio g USA 2609 +15 -8 +16 -5 . . . . . 2 2448
12. Benjamin, Joel g USA 2583 =9 +18 -3 =13 . . . . . 2 2469
13. Brooks, Michael A m USA 2463 -7 +20 =19 =12 . . . . . 2 2569
14. Kaidanov, Gregory S g USA 2595 =18 -3 +23 =7 . . . . . 2 2508
15. Robson, Ray m USA 2465 -11 +22 -5 +21 . . . . . 2 2592
16. Hughes, Tyler B   USA 2230 +22 -6 -11 +25 . . . . . 2 2463
17. Christiansen, Larry M g USA 2588 -8 =9 =21 =20 . . . . . 2434
18. Krush, Irina m USA 2452 =14 -12 +22 -10 . . . . . 2484
19. Sevillano, Enrico m USA 2520 -2 +25 =13 -9 . . . . . 2298
20. Shabalov, Alexander g USA 2569 -4 -13 +25 =17 . . . . . 2351
21. Ibragimov, Ildar g USA 2586 -1 =23 =17 -15 . . . . . 1 2365
22. Gulko, Boris F g USA 2561 -16 -15 -18 +24 . . . . . 1 2162
23. Zatonskih, Anna m USA 2461 -5 =21 -14 . . . . . . ½ 2324
24. Eckert, Doug D f USA 2275 . . . -22 . . . . . 0
25. Lawton,Charles   USA ---- -10 -19 -20 -16 . . . . . 0

Saint Louis, May 11, 2009 -- The atmosphere is becoming tense at the top in the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship hosted at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. Five of the country's leading grandmasters share first place at the conclusion of round four.

The top pairings between overnight leaders, #1 seed Gata Kamsky vs. Josh Friedel, and defending champion Yury Shulman vs. #2 seed Hikaru Nakamura, ended in epic draws. The top two seeds held the advantage throughout, as they tried to press for the sole lead in the $135,000 tournament.

The impasse at the top allowed Varuzhan Akobian, who played the best game of the day, to join the leading pack of five at the top with three points in four games. Akobian, of North Hollywood, Calif., who is ranked No. 8 in the country, scored a resounding victory over seventh-ranked Julio Becerra, of Miami. Akobian, 25, is one of a newer generation of media-savvy chess grandmasters who is adding more personality to the game. Last year, he was the subject of the MTV Real Life documentary series, "I'm A Genius . . .."

After the top five, another large pack is just a half-point behind. The list includes two teenagers, Robert Hess of New York and Sam Shankland of California. The youngest player in the 24-player field, 14-year-old Ray Robson from Largo, Fla., moved to within a point of the lead after he defeated 13th-ranked Ildar Ibraigimov of New Haven, Conn.

The nine-round championship concludes Sunday.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis opened in July 2008, and has over 500 members. The club also will host the 2009 U.S. Women's Chess Championship from October 2-12. ###

ZATONSKIH WITHDRAWS FROM CHAMPIONSHIP; REPLACED BY DOUG ECKERT

Saint Louis , May 11 -- Anna Zatonskih withdrew Sunday from the U.S. Chess Championship because of an unspecified medical illness.

"There were some medical issues," said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, which is hosting the tournament. "I know that she went to the hospital Sunday morning."

Zatonskih's medical problems are not life threatening. Her third-round match with Gregory Kaidanov of Lexington, Ky., was declared a forfeit, and Kaidanov was awarded one point for a victory.

Zatonskih, of Long Island, N.Y., is the reigning U.S. Women's Chess champion. She will be replaced in the championship by Doug Eckert, a Saint Louis native now living in central Illinois. Eckert was attending the championship as an alternate. He will play 12th-ranked grandmaster Boris Gulko in the fourth round, which will be held today from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Rex Sinquefield, the founder of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center, has guaranteed prize money to both Zatonskih and Eckert based on where they place in the standings. In effect, the tournament has been expanded from 24 players to 25, and Zatonskih will finish with one-half point for the draw she earned in the second round. Eckert will start the fourth round with no points. The player who finishes 25th will receive $2,000.

The nine-round championship concludes Sunday.

For a live update of tournament play on Twitter, go to www.twitter.com/ccscsl. Results of all matches are available at www.saintlouischessclub.org.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis opened in July 2008, and has over 500 members. The club also will host the 2009 U.S. Women's Chess Championship from October 2-12.

Live coverage: http://www.saintlouischessclub.org/US-Championship-2009-Live - Twitter: http://twitter.com/ccscslM/a>

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