The U.S. Chess Championship dates back to 1845 and includes among its victors such famous champions of the past as Morphy, Pillsbury, Marshall, Reshevsky, and the late Bobby Fischer. Who will be the champion for 2008?
The 2008 Frank K. Berry U.S. Chess Championship in Tulsa (Oklahoma) is sanctioned by the USCF and is a 9-round Swiss System event with 24 contenders. The 2008 Frank K. Berry U.S. Women's Chess Championship is held at the same time and location, as a 10-player round robin. International Arbiter Frank K. Berry is again sponsoring this year's events as he did last year in nearby Stillwater. The championship organizing committee consists of Frank K. Berry, Jim Berry, and Tom Braunlich.
The 2008 Frank K. Berry U.S. Chess Championship
The 24 invitees include 12 of the top 18 rated players in the U.S., including defending Champion GM Alex Shabalov and 13 other grandmasters. Seven players were added to the field from the recent Qualifier Open tournament and three wild cards were named on April 8 by sponsor Frank K. Berry.
The Frank K. Berry U.S. Women's Chess Championship
The 10 contenders for the title include defending Women's Champion, Irina Krush, plus six other players from the top 10 and two “wild cards” chosen by Frank K. Berry. NM Iryna Zenyuk earned a spot as top female at the Qualifier Open.
In the event of a tie for first place at the championship, in both the events, there will be a playoff for the title similar to previous years.The rate of play is 40 moves in 100 minutes + 30 seconds increment per move, then 30 minutes for the rest of the game with with 30 seconds increment per move.
In case of a tie for first, prize money will be split normally but there will be a quick playoff to determine the title. If necessary, mathematical tiebreaks will be used to determine the top two tied players for the playoff. The playoff will occur immediately following Round 9, and will consist of: (1) Two games of G/15 + 3 second increment, then if still tied (2) Two games of G/5 + 3 sec. increment, then if still tied (3) one "armageddon" game. The armageddon game will use the "pie-cutter rule" to determine its time format, as follows: one player, chosen at random, states the times that white and black will have, with no increment, and with black having draw odds. The total time of the two players must total between 10 and 12 minutes. After the first player selects the times, the other player chooses which color he/she wants to play using those times. A common time split is 7 White and 5 black, but the first player could say, for example, 7½ White and 4½ Black, and his opponent would then have to choose which color to play.