Media Coverage of the FKB U.S. Championship PDF Print E-mail
Fri, May 23 2008 (07:19)

NY Times
, Dylan Leob McClain


USCF, Jennifer Shahade and Betsy Dynako etc.

Chessbase, Frederic Friedel


Susan Polgar etc.

Chessvibes, Peter Doggers


Chessdom, Goran Urosevic


Tulsa World, David Harper


Daily Herald, Chad Brooks


LA Times, Jack Peters,0,535918.story Chess, Mark Weeks

Chesscafe, Susan Polgar


Chessville, JanXena


Washington Times, David R. Sands

and about 50 chess blogs.

Susan Polgar on Anna Zatonshih - Irina Krush Play-Off PDF Print E-mail
Thu, May 22 2008 (14:48)

First of all, I would like to thank Frank K. Berry for sponsoring the 2008 US and US Women's Championships. Secondly, I would like to thank Tom Braunlich and Jim Berry for their help in organizing this event, and Zeljka Malobabic of MonRoi for the splendid LIVE broadcast. Lastly, I would like to thank Goddesschess for the sponsoring the "Fighting Chess" award in the US Women's Championship.

Some people raised the issue of the US Women's Championship Playoff last night. IM Irina Krush and IM Anna Zatonskih both played very difficult last round games for the title. In the case of Irina, the game went beyond 100 moves! At the end, they tied for 1st place and a playoff took place. The format is two 15 minute (plus small increment/delay) games then two 5 minute (plus small increment/delay) if there is a tie. If the tie continues then an Armageddon game would take place to decide the winner. The whole thing ended more than 9 hours after the last round started.


Susan Polgar

Acknowledgments by Tom Braunlich, Chief Organizer PDF Print E-mail
Thu, May 22 2008 (11:17)


I’d like to take this opportunity thank everyone on the tournament staff and also the following commercial supporters of the event:
House of Staunton — for donating the beautiful chess sets used, reproductions of the Fischer-Spassky set that will be autographed by all the players and sold after the event with proceeds going to the USCF. — for adding a nice perk to the first prize, a deal for the winner to join the 2008 Caribbean Gambit Chess Cruise.
Jeff Smith, of South Carolina — who donated $100 per round for the “Best Fighting Game” of the day. and The Susan Polgar Foundation — for generously donating $500 for the “GoddessChess ‘Fighting Chess’ Award”. This was awarded by Susan Polgar to Tatev Abrahamyan, who had 6 wins, 3 losses, and zero draws.
Thanks also to: Zeljka Malobabic for her tireless work as the MonRoi internet guru, photographer, and video editor. Betsy Dynako, the photographer for Chess Life, who made everyone look good. IM Alan Stein, for his live commentary and video game analysis online. Jim Berry, for his work as Chief T.D. and as a member of the organizing committee (and the USCF). And of course International Arbiter Frank K. Berry, for his generous sponsorship and tournament direction.
As for me, the Chief Organizer, I’m just glad it is all over. Working on an event like this has many rewards and many anxieties. Trying to get a bunch of grandmasters to do something can often be like trying to herd cats. But it is well worth it, as getting to know these great players better was a real pleasure.


Round 9 Summary Report by Tom Braunlich PDF Print E-mail
Wed, May 21 2008 (21:45)

GM Yury Shulman won the U.S. Championship and IM Anna Zatonskih won the U.S. Women’s Championship — but they accomplished these feats in different ways.


Shulman’s game was a quick draw because his opponent, Josh Friedel, needed only a draw himself to earn his third and final GM norm. Therefore a draw was a VERY satisfactory result for both. Congratulations to Yury for his first championship. Josh should get the GM title as soon as his rating gets over 2500 (I believe it is 2490 or so now), so that shouldn’t be long.


By contrast, Anna Zatonskih’s road to the title was a long one due to what grueling battle with rival Irina Krush. Going into round 9 Irina had a ½-point lead. Anna beat Battsetseg to put the pressure on. Irina, perhaps pressing for the win against Rohonyan, got in trouble and lost a piece in an ending, but her far-advanced pawn made it difficult for KatRo to convert a win. After KatRo missed a few wins Irina managed to transform into R+N vs R and on move 108 they agreed a draw.

Chess Player
Irina Krush in Good Spirits After an Armageddon Match
Irina graduated from NYU with a degree in International Relations

Anna and Irina then entered into a playoff for the title (prize money was split). With dozens of players watching on the projection screen in the Commentary Room, and kibitzing fervently, the players split two Game/15 (+3 sec increment) games, which Gregory Kaidanov called well played. Then followed two Game/5 (+2) games. Anna was winning the first when she nervously put her queen en prise. She then had to win with black; and did so, sending the game into an “Armageddon” final match. Irina had white and 6 minutes, while Anna had black with 4 ½ minutes and draw odds. No time increment. This game too went down to the wire. At one point Anna had 2 seconds left to Irina’s 20. But Anna’s draw odds gave her an edge. She could make quick moves while Irina had to do something with her moves, which drains time. In the end Irina lost on time with 0:01 left on Anna’s clock! It is impossible to have a closer match than this!


Congratulations to Anna for her championship, and Irina too, for such an exciting match.


Tatev Abrahamyan lost her game, ending in a tie for third with Katherine Rohonyan. Both had fine 6-3 scores.


Onischuk cut through The Fed’s antipositional KID position to win a nice game and finish in clear second place. Kudrin and Perelstheyn played a very interesting draw to leave Sergey in clear third place.


Another important game was Ludwig – Galant. Daniel was seeking an IM norm with a win. But he got nowhere in the opening and Sergey was better throughout. In the end a draw occurred. But everyone believes Daniel will have many more chances for norms as was made clear by his impressive play here.


After the play was over we had a nice formal closing ceremony. The players signed autographed boards for House of Staunton and for the Fantasy Chess prize, etc. All the staff were recognized, and then the three top finishers in each tournament came up to receive their awards and give a speech. It was a great tournament!


Interviews with Yury, Josh, Anna, Frank and Jim Berry PDF Print E-mail
Wed, May 21 2008 (16:53)

Includes Zatonskih - Krush Play-Offs


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