2010 US Women's and Junior Championships

7/12/2010 – Two of the most prestigious tournaments in the country, the 2010 U.S. Women's Championship and the 2010 U.S. Junior Closed Championship, are taking place July 9-20 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. IM Anna Zatonskih is looking to defend the crown which she won two years in succession. In the Junior section Ray Robson is the top seed. Report after two rounds.

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2010 U.S. Women's and
Junior Closed Championships

In 2007 Krush unseated Zatonskih, the 2006 champion, to claim her second U.S. Women’s Championship title. The following year, a heated Armageddon match allowed Zatonskih to reclaim the title and set the stage for a marquis match-up in St. Louis at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Championship. A slow start by Krush, however, and an unparalleled performance by Zatonskih allowed for a runaway victory and gave Zatonskih her third title.


Anna Zatonskih, 2009 US Women's Champion


IM Irina Krush, who won the title in 2006 (and 1998 at the age of 14)


The dramatic and controversial Armageddon final in 2008, on which we reported extensively:

Armageddon decider – more reader feedback
24.06.2008 – How does Anna Zatonskih feel about her sudden-death win of the US Women's Championship earlier this year? What do other readers think about the comments that have been made on the subject? The letters keep pouring in, and even BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen, who once beat Irina Krush, has weighed in with a proposal for a new blitz clock.

US Women's Armageddon – reactions from our readers
15.06.2008 – The final tiebreak game that decided the 2008 US Women's Chess Championship in favour of Anna Zatonskih led to a protest by Irina Krush, who lost in a controversial manner. The critical phase was caught on video, which our readers could view in slow motion. "This film has been dissected as much as the Zapruder JFK assassination film," writes Julian Wan of Ann Arbor, USA. Selected letters.

Armageddon at the US Women's Championship
09.06.2008 – At the 2008 Women's Chess Championship IMs Anna Zatonskih and Irina Krush tied for first, then played rapid and blitz tiebreakers, and finally a very dramatic Armageddon game, which Anna won in the last possible second. Irina has protested in an open letter that her opponent was making moves before she had completed her own. You can watch the scene in a forensic video – in slow motion.

Shulman wins US Championship; Zatonskih wins Women's Title
23.05.2008 – GM Yury Shulman won the 2008 Frank K. Berry U.S. Championship with 7/9, with IM Johhua Friedel completing his final GM norm. In the Women's Championship IMs Anna Zatonskih and Irina Krush tied for first, then went into dramatic blitz tiebreaks, which Anna won in the last possible second. You can watch the scene in a new version of this dramatic video.

The 2010 U.S. Women's Championship carries a $65,000 prize fund, the largest in the history of the tournament. The breakdown is as follows: 1st: $16,000, 2nd: $12,000, 3rd: $9,000, 4th: $7,000 etc. until 10th: $2,000.


Participants IM Anna Zatonskih, Tatev Abrahamyan, WGM Sabina Foisor, WIM Alisa Melekhina

Women’s Chess in the U.S. Facts

  • The first unoffcial U.S. women's champion was crowned in 1857. Though her name was never listed, a description of the chess queen secured her legacy: "This lady is believed to be the strongest amateur of her sex in the country, and would certainly be ranked as a first-rate in any club."
  • The first published game by a U.S. woman player appeared in an eight-page brochure in 1830.
  • A Texas man in 1885 publicly offered a $100 bet that his wife could beat any man in chess.
  • Mona May Karff won seven titles, topped only by Gisela Kahn Gresser’s nine wins.
  • Irina Krush holds the record as the youngest player to win the U.S. Women’s Chess Championship. She won it in 1998 at age 14.
  • In 1909 Eliza Foot “placed on the market a series of chess puzzles,” making her the first female U.S. chess author.

U.S. Junior Closed Championship

The U.S. Junior Closed Championship is the most prestigious tournament in the country for the nation's top emerging talent. Players under the age of 21 are competing at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis July 9-20 for the title of U.S. Junior Champion and an automatic bid to the World Junior Championship.

The 2010 U.S. Junior Championship also features a record-breaking prize fund. The ten participants are fighting for $10,300 in prizes and will also receive a laptop computer as a part of their prize. The breakdown is as follows: 1st: $3,000, 2nd: $2,000, 3rd: $1,500, 4th: $1,000 etc, until 10th: $250.


Contenders NM Parker Zhao (2267), GM Ray Robson (2613)

Previous winners of the United States Junior Closed Championship include Bobby Fischer, Larry Christiansen, Patrick Wolff, Joshua Waitzkin, Tal Shaked, Hikaru Nakamura, Robert Hess, and the 2009 Champion GM Ray Robson. Robson has returned to Saint Louis to defend his title against nine other up-and-coming chess masters, including the 2009 and 2010 U.S.Championship participant IM Sam Shankland.

Rounds one and two

Round one – July 10, 2010
Zatonskih, Anna
1-0
Rohonyan, Katerina
Zenyuk, Iryna
1-0
Foisor, Sabina-Francesca
Abrahamyan, Tatev
1-0
Baginskaite, Camilla
Marinello, Beatriz M
0-1
Krush, Irina
Marshall, Abby
0-1
Melekhina, Alisa
Round two – July 11, 2010
Krush, Irina
1-0
Abrahamyan, Tatev
Melekhina, Alisa
1-0
Marinello, Beatriz M
Zenyuk, Iryna
1-0
Marshall, Abby
Baginskaite, Camilla
0-1
Zatonskih, Anna
Foisor, Sabina-Francesca
0-1
Rohonyan, Katerina


In round one top seed IM Irina Krush, rated 2476, beat...


Beatriz Marinello, 2160, who is on the Ilyumzhinov Presidential ticket


Anna Zatonskih, who like Irina Krush, won both her games so far


WIM Alisa Melekhina, rated 2323, also won both her games in rounds one and two


WGM Sabina Foisor vs WIM Iryna Zenyuk in round one (Zenyuk won in 46 moves)


In this game Abby Marshall got mated by Alisa Melekhina – "That sucks," said Abby,
who played the King's Gambit, "losing in like 26 moves."

Standings after two rounds

Statistics

After the first two rounds four players lead with perfect scores. so far this tournament has brought only decisive games, which we need to celebrate with a pie chart. Of the ten games:

  • 0% (no games) ended in draws
  • White won six games = 60%
  • Black won four games = 40%

Juniors

Round one – July 10, 2010
Harper, Warren
1-0
Bryant, John Daniel
Zhao, Parker
1-0
Shankland, Samuel L
Zierk, Steven C
0-1
Yang, Darwin
Rosen, Eric S
½-½
Robson, Ray
Holt, Conrad
½-½
Hughes, Tyler B
Round two – July 11, 2010
Yang, Darwin
1-0
Holt, Conrad
Robson, Ray
1-0
Bryant, John Daniel
Hughes, Tyler B
½-½
Zhao, Parker
Rosen, Eric S
0-1
Zierk, Steven C
Shankland, Samuel L
0-1
Harper, Warren


In round one NM Eric Rosen, rated 2209, had the top seed in a mate net


Ray Robson, rated 400 points higher than his opponent, just managed to avoid an upset defeat

NM Eric Rosen - GM Ray Robson
2010 U.S. Women's and Junior Closed Cham St. Louis
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.d4 Ngf6 5.Nc3 cxd4 6.Qxd4 g6 7.Bg5 Bg7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Qd2 Nc5 10.Rae1 a6 11.Bd3 Re8 12.Bh6 Bh8 13.h3 b5 14.Ng5 Bb7 15.f4 e6 16.a3 Rc8 17.Qf2 Qb6 18.Kh2 b4 19.axb4 Qxb4 20.Qh4 Qxb2 21.Nd1 Qd4 22.Nf2 Nxd3 23.cxd3 Rc2 24.Nf3 Qc3 25.f5 a5 26.fxe6 fxe6 27.Ng5 a4 28.Ng4 Nxg4+ 29.Qxg4 Bg7 30.Bxg7 Qxg7 31.Kh1 h5 32.Qd1 Rec8 33.Nxe6 Qe5 34.Nf4 Qg5 35.Qf3 Rf8 36.g3 a3 37.d4 Kh7?? (37...Qb5 should win the game for Black)

38.Ne6 Qd2 39.Nxf8+ Kh6. Black is getting mated. 40.Qf4+ Qxf4 41.Rxf4 a2 42.d5 Rb2 43.Rf6 Kg7 44.Rff1. Move by move White has given up his advantage and now must go for a perpetual: 44...Ba6 45.Ne6+ Kh6 46.Rf8 Kh7 47.Ng5+ Kg7 48.Ne6+ Kh7 49.Ng5+ Kg7 ½-½.


With two wins FM Darwin Yang, rated 2422, is in the lead in the Junior section...


together with Warren Harper, 2388, who also won his first two games

Standings after two rounds


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


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