Anna Zatonskih withdrew from the tournament for medical reasons, but not for anything life-threatening. The chess community wish her a speedy recovery. She will be replaced by Doug Eckert, an alternate player who also attended the opening ceremony. Doug will start with 0 points.
As a result of IM Anna Zatonskih’s withdrawal from the U.S. Chess Championship, the tournament field effectively has been expanded from 24 players to 25. FM Doug Eckert, the alternate who replaces Zatonskih, will start the fourth round on Monday with no points. Meanwhile, Zatonskih will finish the tournament with one-half point for a draw she earned in the second round. She will continue to be placed in the overall standings, even though she will not play any more games.
For immediate release
St. Louis, MO May 10, 2009:
Local Kansas City player International Master Michael Brooks is proving to be the dangerous unknown quantity for some of the game's leading Grandmasters in the 2009 U.S. Championship at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
IM Ray Robson, Photo: Betsy Dynako
After narrowly losing to top-rated Grandmaster Jaan Ehlvest from Baltimore, MD, in an epic opening round clash, Brooks, 47, who rarely plays outside of his native state of Missouri, caused the sensation of round two by outplaying and beating one of the pre-championship favorites in four-time U.S. Champion Grandmaster Alexander Shabalov of Pittsburgh, PA. The game proved to be one of best of the day's round and the appreciative local Missouri audience gave their man the biggest cheer of the day with the sensational win over such a high-rated opponent.
Brooks, playing opponents all rated much higher than himself in the elite event of the American game, is now playing to par with a 50 per cent score of 1.5-points from his first three games after he successfully held IM Enrico Sevillano from Tehachapi, CA, to a draw in round three.
Live coverage: http://www.saintlouischessclub.org/US-Championship-2009-Live
Media Contact: John Henderson