Saint Louis: Zatonskih vs Krush drawn

7/14/2010 – Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih are the clear favourites in the US Women's Championship 2010. The two are just six rating points apart – 2476 to 2470 – but 150 points ahead of the rest of the field. Every single games of the tournament had been decisive until the two met in round three. After four rounds the two lead, with Parker Zhao on top in the Juniors. Big illustrated report.

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

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 her crown, which she won for two years in succession. In the Junior section Ray Robson is the top seed.

Round three: Favorites draw at Women’s Championship

Women round three – July 12, 2010
Zatonskih, Anna
½-½
Krush, Irina
Abrahamyan, Tatev
1-0
Melekhina, Alisa
Marinello, Beatriz M
1-0
Zenyuk, Iryna
Rohonyan, Katerina
0-1
Baginskaite, Camilla
Marshall, Abby
0-1
Foisor, Sabina-Francesca

The streak has been broken. IM Anna Zatonskih held off an aggressive IM Irina Krush to secure a draw and a first-place tie. After 30 straight decisive games at the U.S. Women’s Championship, a run that began during round six of the 2009 U.S. Women’s Championship, the two early favorites agreed to a draw after an enthralling battle.

An aggressive yet calculated gamble by IM Irina Krush was countered by IM Anna Zatonskih’s solid defense, and the rivalry that has been stewing for years will be placed on the back burner pending a possible playoff to decide the championship.


WIM Alisa Melekhina

After losses by WIM Alisa Melekhina and WIM Iryna Zenyuk, Krush and Zatonskih sit atop the leaderboard, each with scores of 2.5/3.

Juniors round three – July 12, 2010
Zhao, Parker
1-0
Yang, Darwin
Harper, Warren
1-0
Hughes, Tyler B
Zierk, Steven C
0-1
Robson, Ray
Bryant, John Daniel
0-1
Shankland, Samuel L
Holt, Conrad
0-1
Rosen, Eric S

The U.S. Junior Closed Championship had an unlikely early leader after three rounds: FM Warren Harper won his game today with white against NM Tyler Hughes, which puts Harper at 3/3 atop the heap.


Steven Zierk making his opening moves against Ray Robson (Black won in 46)

Harper’s perfect score put him above the highest-rated player and tournament favorite GM Ray Robson, who defeated FM Steven Zierk.

NM Parker Zhao managed to defeat wunderkind FM Darwin Yang to pull into a two-way tie with GM Ray Robson at 2.5/3.


Round four: Zhao takes over lead at Junior Closed, Zatonskih and Krush win

Women round four – July 13, 2010
Krush, Irina
1-0
Rohonyan, Katerina
Melekhina, Alisa
0-1
Zatonskih, Anna
Zenyuk, Iryna
0-1
Abrahamyan, Tatev
Foisor, Sabina-Francesca
½-½
Baginskaite, Camilla
Marshall, Abby
½-½
Marinello, Beatriz M

After a draw between the two top seeds in round three of the 2010 U.S. Women’s Championship, IM Anna Zatonskih and IM Irina Krush each won their round four game to maintain a first-place tie with scores of 3.5/4.


IM Anna Zatonskih

Zatonskih had a tough test with black against WIM Alisa Melekhina. Both players had used almost half of their time by move nine. At one point, Zatonskih spent almost 30 minutes on 6...g6. After mounting a kingside attack, Melekhina shifted her attack to the queen side with 24.Qa5, perhaps in an effort to complicate the position to take advantage of Zatonskih’s time trouble. Once the queens were off the board, Zatonskih’s experience was too much for Melekhina as she was slowly outplayed by the three-time U.S. Women’s Champion.


IM Irina Krush

Krush looked strong in her victory over Rohonyan. After round two, Krush said she felt if she could play to her potential, she like her chances of recapturing the title. “I fell like I’m playing well,” she said. “If I keep playing like this, everything will be okay.”


WFM Abby Marshall drew WIM Beatriz Marinello to pick up half a point, her first of the tourney

WFM Tatev Abrahamyan won her round three game against WIM Iryna Zenyuk, which puts her in sole possession of third place with a score of 3/4.


Tatev analyses in the press room with Jennifer Shahade and Ben Feingold

Juniors round four – July 13, 2010
Yang, Darwin
1-0
Harper, Warren
Robson, Ray
½-½
Shankland, Samuel L
Zierk, Steven C
1-0
Holt, Conrad
Rosen, Eric S
0-1
Zhao, Parker
Hughes, Tyler B
0-1
Bryant, John Daniel

The two highest-ranked players coming into the 2010 U.S. Junior Closed Championship, GM Ray Robson and IM Sam Shankland, faced off in round four. The game, a typical Caro-Kann in which Shankland castled kingside with black, was hard fought but ended in a draw after 31 moves.


IM Sam Shankland during his game against...


... GM Ray Robson, who is the top seed in this event

After the draw, Robson is in a three-way tie for second place with a score of 3/4. A victory today by FM Darwin Yang over tourney-leader FM Warren Harper gives them each 3/4 as well. Shankland’s 1.5/4 puts him in a sixth-place tie with NM Eric Rosen.


Eric Rosen vs Peter Zhao ended in a 45-move win for Black, who is now in the lead


Prodigy Darwin Yang beat previous leader Warren Harper to join him and Robson in the second slot


Standings after four rounds – Women

Standings after four rounds – Juniors

Statistics

After four rounds and twenty games of play we have the following statistics (games, percentage):

 
Women
 
Juniors
Draws
3 = 15%
 
4 = 20%
White wins
9 = 45%
 
8 = 40%
Black wins
8 = 40%
8 = 40%

Note that the average rating of the ten women players is 2307, and of the juniors 2372.

Women

Juniors


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