My Gawd, it's full of Alexes!

12/1/2004 – Thee rounds before the end of the 2005 US Championship in San Diego Alex Stripunky has taken the lead, after beating Alex Fischbein in round six. Grigory Serper was dogged in his drawing intentions against Nakamura, and th unforgotten Gata Kamsky is languishin on place 22. More...

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2005 US Chess Championship

November 23 – December 5, 2004
San Diego, California

The titles of 2005 US and Women's Chess Champion will be decided in an event which is taking place at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines hotel. The event is titled "2005" because, due to an awkward contractual conflict, the US Chess Federation held a 2004 Women's championship earlier this year. All of the players, men and women, participate in the same Swiss event. The Women's champion is the woman who scores the greatest number of points.There are 64 players, 49 men and 15 women. The prize fund, provided by America's Foundation for Chess (AFC), is over $250,000. First prize is $25,000 overall and $12,500 for the Women's champion.

Round six report

After six rounds and before the rest day (Wednesday), with three rounds to play, GM Alex Stripunsky stepped up the pace by beating Alex Fishbein and taking clear first place. There is a high-powered pack of non-Alexes a half-point behind Stripunsky. Gregory Kaidanov beat Kudrin and Shulman took out defending champion Shabalov. Hikaru Nakamura has been stalled with two draws in a row, this one coming against Gregory Serper.


Alex Stripunky vs Alex Fischbein. Stripunksy is not doing a Terminator thing, he was in a
car crash and hurt his eye, which is why he's wearing the glasses. Full recovery expected.

Gata Kamsky pressed for a long time against Joel Benjamin but couldn't find a win. Finally the rook endgame ended when Benjamin claimed a three-fold repetition.


The unforgotten Gata Kamsky against Joel Benjamin

The Serper-Nakamura game has to go down as one of more bizarre things we've seen on a chessboard in a while. Serper clearly wasn't interested in a long day on the stage, despite having white against a co-leader. He set up a solid symmetrical formation and on move 17 he started moving his bishop back and forth between d2 and e1. For nine moves in a row!


Grigory Serper (left) sitting tight for a draw against Nakamura

Was there a method to his madness? We may never know if this was an odd way offer a draw, a strange way to gain time on the clock, or a brilliant try to get Nakamura to create weaknesses in his position. Whatever it was, Nakamura ignored it and expanded on the queenside, eventually breaking through. But there was no way to gain a decisive advantage in the position and despite pressing for 94 moves (!), Nakamura finally had to give up the half point. To top it off, it finished in a stalemate after Serper played a cute piece sacrifice to create a book draw fortress. Time will tell if Nakamura has all the qualities of a world champion, but it's already clear the teen has the tenacity of a world-beater.

Serper,G (2542) - Nakamura,H (2620) [D12]
2005 US Chessmaster Championship San Diego (6), 30.11.2004

82.Nxe4! Kxe4 83.Kf1 Be5 84.Kg1 Kd3 85.e4 Ke3 86.Kf1 Kd4 87.Kg1 Kc4 88.Kh1 Kd3 89.Kg1 Ke2 90.Kh1 Bd4 91.e5 Bxe5

92.Kg1 Ke1 93.Kh1 Kf2 94.h4 gxh4 ½-½


YAA (yet another Alex) Yermolinsky vs Julio Becerra


15-year-old Salvijus Bercys facing 41-year-old YAA Wojtkiewicz


Having a terrible tournament: Jennifer Shahade vs 16-year-old Laura Ross

Standings after six rounds

Name
Rtg
1
2
3
4
5
6
Pts
1 Stripunsky,A 2533 w 1/25 b 1/42 b ½/2 w 1/3 b ½/18 w 1/8 5.0
2 Nakamura,H 2620 w 1/40 b 1/39 w ½/1 b 1/16 w ½/6 b ½/5 4.5
3 Kaidanov,G 2611 w 1/55 b ½/4 w 1/23 b 0/1 w 1/27 b 1/6 4.5
4 Shulman,Y 2549 b 1/46 w ½/3 b ½/7 w 1/41 b ½/12 w 1/18 4.5
5 Serper,G 2542 b ½/50 w 1/51 b ½/20 w 1/19 b 1/24 w ½/2 4.5
6 Kudrin,S 2528 w 1/60 b 1/10 w 1/9 b ½/29 b ½/2 w 0/3 4.0
7 Gulko,B 2600 w 1/32 b ½/23 w ½/4 b ½/27 w 1/39 b ½/9 4.0
8 Fishbein,A 2505 w 1/41 b 0/9 w 1/52 b 1/17 w 1/29 b 0/1 4.0
9 Ibragimov,I 2585 b 1/48 w 1/8 b 0/6 w ½/31 b 1/43 w ½/7 4.0
10 Goldin,A 2620 b 1/45 w 0/6 b ½/37 w 1/32 b ½/11 w 1/31 4.0
11 Becerra,J 2537 w 1/49 b ½/17 w 0/29 b 1/35 w ½/10 b 1/33 4.0
12 Benjamin,J 2554 w ½/35 b ½/52 w 1/25 b 1/42 w ½/4 b ½/22 4.0
13 Lugo,B 2399 b 0/16 w 1/59 b 1/36 w ½/21 w ½/30 b 1/44 4.0
14 Gonzalez,R 2428 w 1/63 b ½/34 b ½/26 w 0/18 w 1/53 b 1/29 4.0
15 Milman,L 2434 w 0/17 b 0/41 w 1/63 b 1/47 w 1/34 b 1/30 4.0
16 DeFirmian,N 2550 w 1/13 b ½/19 w 1/38 w 0/2 b ½/20 b ½/23 3.5
17 Onischuk,A 2653 b 1/15 w ½/11 b ½/31 w 0/8 b 1/37 w ½/24 3.5
18 Shabalov,A 2608 w 0/19 b 1/61 w 1/53 b 1/14 w ½/1 b 0/4 3.5
19 Zatonskih,A (w) 2440 b 1/18 w ½/16 b ½/21 b 0/5 w ½/44 w 1/43 3.5
20 Zilberstein,D 2379 w ½/33 b 1/44 w ½/5 b ½/30 w ½/16 w ½/26 3.5
21 Wojtkiewicz,A 2539 w 1/47 b ½/29 w ½/19 b ½/13 w ½/22 b ½/25 3.5
22 Kamsky,G 2717 b ½/36 w ½/24 b ½/32 w 1/38 b ½/21 w ½/12 3.5
23 Gurevich,D 2499 b 1/56 w ½/7 b 0/3 w 1/54 b ½/26 w ½/16 3.5
24 Schneider,D 2453 w 1/62 b ½/22 w ½/30 b 1/34 w 0/5 b ½/17 3.5
25 Bercys,S 2356 b 0/1 w 1/57 b 0/12 w 1/59 b 1/36 w ½/21 3.5
26 Akobian,V 2571 w 1/53 b ½/38 w ½/14 b ½/39 w ½/23 b ½/20 3.5
27 Perelshteyn,E 2579 b ½/51 w ½/50 b 1/28 w ½/7 b 0/3 w 1/45 3.5
28 Goletiani,R (w) 2336 w 0/30 b 1/62 w 0/27 w 1/55 b ½/45 b 1/42 3.5
29 Novikov,I 2588 b 1/37 w ½/21 b 1/11 w ½/6 b 0/8 w 0/14 3.0
30 Christiansen,L 2531 b 1/28 w ½/43 b ½/24 w ½/20 b ½/13 w 0/15 3.0
31 Altounian,L 2456 w ½/61 b 1/35 w ½/17 b ½/9 w ½/33 b 0/10 3.0
32 Martinez,M 2383 b 0/7 w 1/46 w ½/22 b 0/10 w ½/35 b 1/54 3.0
33 Yermolinsky,A 2568 b ½/20 w ½/36 b 1/48 w ½/43 b ½/31 w 0/11 3.0
34 Finegold,B 2531 b 1/54 w ½/14 b ½/43 w 0/24 b 0/15 w 1/41 3.0
35 Adamson,R 2373 b ½/12 w 0/31 b 1/51 w 0/11 b ½/32 w 1/55 3.0
36 Kraai,J 2425 w ½/22 b ½/33 w 0/13 b 1/52 w 0/25 b 1/53 3.0
37 Friedel,J 2436 w 0/29 b 1/49 w ½/10 b ½/44 w 0/17 b 1/50 3.0
38 Lapshun,Y 2461 b 1/57 w ½/26 b 0/16 b 0/22 w ½/54 w 1/51 3.0
39 Lakdawala,C 2422 b 1/64 w 0/2 b 1/60 w ½/26 b 0/7 w ½/40 3.0
40 Muhammad,S 2387 b 0/2 w 0/56 b 1/64 w ½/50 w 1/46 b ½/39 3.0
41 Battsetseg,T (w) 2243 b 0/8 w 1/15 b 1/45 b 0/4 w ½/42 b 0/34 2.5
42 Kriventsov,S 2414 b 1/59 w 0/1 b 1/50 w 0/12 b ½/41 w 0/28 2.5
43 Browne,W 2455 w 1/58 b ½/30 w ½/34 b ½/33 w 0/9 b 0/19 2.5
44 Ivanov,A 2582 b ½/52 w 0/20 b 1/56 w ½/37 b ½/19 w 0/13 2.5
45 Krush,I (w) 2464 w 0/10 b 1/47 w 0/41 b 1/60 w ½/28 b 0/27 2.5
46 Kleiman,J 2217 w 0/4 b 0/32 w 1/62 w ½/48 b 0/40 w 1/57 2.5
47 Casella,M 2259 b 0/21 w 0/45 b 1/57 w 0/15 b ½/56 w 1/59 2.5
48 Lein,A 2387 w 0/9 b 1/63 w 0/33 b ½/46 w ½/50 b ½/49 2.5
49 Abrahamyan,T (w) 2238 b 0/11 w 0/37 b 0/59 b 1/58 w 1/62 w ½/48 2.5
50 La Rota,F 2333 w ½/5 b ½/27 w 0/42 b ½/40 b ½/48 w 0/37 2.0
51 Hahn,A (w) 2235 w ½/27 b 0/5 w 0/35 b ½/61 w 1/52 b 0/38 2.0
52 Lopez,B 2403 w ½/44 w ½/12 b 0/8 w 0/36 b 0/51 b 1/63 2.0
53 Burnett,R 2444 b 0/26 w 1/64 b 0/18 w 1/56 b 0/14 w 0/36 2.0
54 Hoekstra,M 2369 w 0/34 b ½/58 w 1/61 b 0/23 b ½/38 w 0/32 2.0
55 Enkhbat,T 2406 b 0/3 w 0/60 w 1/58 b 0/28 w 1/61 b 0/35 2.0
56 Ross,L (w) 2117 w 0/23 b 1/40 w 0/44 b 0/53 w ½/47 b ½/60 2.0
57 West,V (w) 2107 w 0/38 b 0/25 w 0/47 b 1/63 w 1/60 b 0/46 2.0
58 Levina,A (w) 2052 b 0/43 w ½/54 b 0/55 w 0/49 b ½/59 w 1/64 2.0
59 Zenyuk,I (w) 2153 w 0/42 b 0/13 w 1/49 b 0/25 w ½/58 b 0/47 1.5
60 Shahade,J (w) 2361 b 0/6 b 1/55 w 0/39 w 0/45 b 0/57 w ½/56 1.5
61 Epstein,E (w) 2188 b ½/31 w 0/18 b 0/54 w ½/51 b 0/55 w ½/62 1.5
62 Vayserberg,T (w) 1973 b 0/24 w 0/28 b 0/46 w 1/64 b 0/49 b ½/61 1.5
63 Airapetian,C (w) 2149 b 0/14 w 0/48 b 0/15 w 0/57 b 1/64 w 0/52 1.0
64 Sagalchik,O (w) 2132 w 0/39 b 0/53 w 0/40 b 0/62 w 0/63 b 0/58 0.0

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