Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

US Chess Championships 2011 (Semi-Final)

US Championship Semi-Final produce Kamsky-Shulman and Zatonskih-Abrahamyan Finals

Can first time finalist Tatev Abrahamyan expose tiredness from Anna Zatonskih who has had a long road to the final?

Can first time finalist Tatev Abrahamyan expose tiredness from Anna Zatonskih who has had a long road to the final? |

The finalists of the US Championships in Saint Louis have been settled. Yuri Shulman finally exposed some inexperience in the impressive Robert Hess to win the second rapid game of their playoff. Anna Zatonskih beat Irina Krush in a final Armageddon playoff, it might not be the best chess ever, but their rivalry is riveting. 23 year old Tatev Abrahamyan beat Camilla Baginskaite in the rapids to reach her first ever final. There will also be 3rd-4th playoffs. Mike Klein's report, results, games, photos and videos below.

U.S. Championship, U.S. Women's Championship Finals Begin Tomorrow By FM Mike Klein

After much talk of the youth movement at the 2011 U.S. Championship, the veterans will have the final say. GM Yury Shulman won the second game of the two-game tiebreak today against teenage GM Robert Hess, setting up a repeat of last year's final with GM Gata Kamsky. At the 2010 Championship, Kamsky defeated Shulman in a one-game draw-odds playoff, which ended in a draw, giving Kamsky the title. This year, the two will play a two-game match, starting Tuesday, under classical time controls.

The loss was Hess' first of the tournament and follows a series of three draws against Shulman. They drew two games in the last two days and added a third during the first rapid game today. "To Yury's credit, he played really well," Hess said.

Hess' tournament is not over. He will play fellow 19-year-old GM-elect Sam Shankland in a similar match for third place. Shankland lost to Kamsky yesterday which gave Kamsky the day off today.

In the U.S. Women's Championship, one player got through to the finals in the rapid games, while another had to go past even that. WFM Tatev Abrahamyan won both her games today against WGM Camilla Baginskaite to advance to the finals. Yesterday she won the second of two games against Baginskaite just to earn the right to advance to today. "I don't know how that happened!" Abrahamyan said of her three consecutive wins. "After I lost (Saturday) I sort of relaxed." She was asked if she was now the torch-bearer for the young players remaining in the tournament. "I didn't know I'm still in the ‘young' category, but that's good to know!" Abrahamyan is 23. She is the youngest woman still remaining in the field.

IMs Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih split their head-to-head match with one win each, and required a final Armageddon match to decide a winner. The two entered secret bids to determine colors and starting times. Krush bid 45 minutes, the maximum allowable, all but securing her chance to play White. Zatonskih bid much lower - 27 minutes - and earned the right to pick Black with draw odds.

The two repeated their previous two games with the same colors, until Zatonskih used the prepared move 13...Nd3+ to force off a few pieces. "Psychologically it would be difficult to play opposite-colored bishops," Zatonskih explained. Krush's central advance never materialized and she eventually found her king in the middle of the crossfire. "With this match it seems whoever gets the better position loses," said GM Hikaru Nakamura. After move 35, there was nothing left and Krush resigned, giving Zatonskih the right to challenge Abrahamyan for the national championship.

In tomorrow's finals, colors were drawn randomly by IA Carol Jarecki. Kamsky will take White against Shulman and Abrahamyan will have White versus Zatonskih. In the third-place games, it will be Shankland-Hess and Baginskaite-Krush. All players will switch colors for Wednesday's games, with Thursday set aside for any necessary tiebreaks. The awards ceremony will be Thursday night.

To follow the games and commentary live, visit at 2 p.m. local, 3 p.m. Eastern.

Interview with Yury Shulman -

Our second finalist, Yury Shulman, on beating Hess and his new baby born yesterday!

Interviews with Robert Hess and Tatev Abrahamyan -

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the public to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, lessons and special lectures.

Another important aspect of our mission is to develop in-school and after-school scholastic chess programs. Chess teaches valuable lessons for developing students like problem solving, critical thinking, spatial awareness and goal setting. If you'd like more information about the CCSCSL, our mission or our programs, or if you'd like to support our cause with a financial contribution, please call us at 314.361.CHESS (2437), or e-mail

ch-USA Playoff Saint Louis
Shankland, Samuel L - Kamsky, Gata ½-½ 49 D15 Slav Defence
Kamsky, Gata - Shankland, Samuel L 1-0 42 B90 Sicilian Najdorf Variation
ch-USA Playoff Saint Louis (USA), 30 viii 2010
Name Ti NAT Rtng 1 2 Total Perf
Kamsky, Gata g USA 2733 ½ 1 2705
Shankland, Samuel L m USA 2512 ½ 0 ½ 2540
ch-USA Playoff Saint Louis
Shulman, Yuri - Hess, Robert L ½-½ 38 E17 Queens Indian
Hess, Robert L - Shulman, Yuri ½-½ 36 C03 French Tarrasch
Hess, Robert L - Shulman, Yuri ½-½ 61 C08 French Tarrasch
Shulman, Yuri - Hess, Robert L 1-0 36 E92 King's Indian Classical
ch-USA Playoff Saint Louis (USA), 23-25 iv 2011
Name Ti NAT Rtng 1 2 3 4 Total Perf
Shulman, Yuri g USA 2622 ½ ½ ½ 1 2660
Hess, Robert L g USA 2565 ½ ½ ½ 0 2535
ch-USA Playoff Saint Louis
Zatonskih, Anna - Krush, Irina 1-0 37 B22 Sicilian Alapin
Krush, Irina - Zatonskih, Anna 1-0 37 D37 QGD 5.Bf4
Krush, Irina - Zatonskih, Anna 0-1 69 D31 Semi-Slav Defence
Zatonskih, Anna - Krush, Irina 0-1 46 A41 Modern Defence
Krush, Irina - Zatonskih, Anna 0-1 35 D31 Semi-Slav Defence
ch-USA Playoff Saint Louis (USA), 23-25 iv 2011
Name Ti NAT Rtng 1 2 3 4 5 Total Perf
Zatonskih, Anna m USA 2499 1 0 1 0 1 3 2544
Krush, Irina m USA 2472 0 1 0 1 0 2 2427
ch-USA Playoff Saint Louis
Abrahamyan, Tatev - Baginskaite, Camilla 0-1 35 C51 Evans Gambit
Baginskaite, Camilla - Abrahamyan, Tatev 0-1 54 E63 King's Indian 6...Nc6
Abrahamyan, Tatev - Baginskaite, Camilla 1-0 45 C53 Giuoco Piano
Baginskaite, Camilla - Abrahamyan, Tatev 0-1 39 E63 King's Indian 6...Nc6
ch-USA Playoff Saint Louis (USA), 23-25 iv 2011
Name Ti NAT Rtng 1 2 3 4 Total Perf
Abrahamyan, Tatev wf USA 2326 0 1 1 1 3 2535
Baginskaite, Camilla wg USA 2342 1 0 0 0 1 2133

View the games on this Page

Download the PGN from this page


Shereshevsky Method

Chess and Bridge Shop Titled Tuesday

ChessBase Ad 6 Live DB

American Chess Magazine 4

Ginger GM - Chess Grandmaster Simon Williams

Contact Mark Crowther (TWIC) if you wish to advertise here.

The Week in Chess Magazine

Send a £30 donation via Paypal and contact me via email (Email Mark Crowther - I'll send you an address for a cbv file of my personal copy of every issue of the games in one database. Over 2 million games.

Read about 20 years of TWIC.

Read about issue 1200.

TWIC 1211 22nd January 2018 - 2165 games

Read TWIC 1211

Download TWIC 1211 PGN

Download TWIC 1211 ChessBase