Shulman wins US Championship; Zatonskih wins Women's Title

5/23/2008 – 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 2008 FKB US Chess Championship

The championships were sponsored by IA Frank K. Berry and held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, at the Radisson Hotel. The main championship was a 9-round Swiss with 24 players, and the women’s championship a ten-player round robin.

The rate of play was 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. The first prize was $13,000 plus a Caribbean cruise.

Yury Shulman wins US Championship; Anna Zatonskih wins Women’s Title

By Tom Braunlich

Yury Shulman won the 24-player 9-SS event sponsored by Frank K. Berry in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with solid play that included wins over GMs Gulko, Kaidanov, Becerra, Kudrin, and IM Pruess. He had a full point lead going into round nine and a quick draw with IM Josh Friedel gave him the title, while also giving Friedel his third GM norm. An example of Shulman’s play was win over veteran GM Boris Gulko.


US Champion 2008: GM Yury Schulman, with 7.0/9 and a 2760 performance

Gulko,B (2559) - Shulman,Y (2606) [E04]
Frank K Berry ch-USA Tulsa USA (3), 15.05.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 a6 6.Ne5 c5 7.Na3 cxd4 8.Naxc4 Bc5 9.Bd2 Nd5 10.Rc1 0-0 11.0-0 Nd7 12.Nd3 Ba7 13.Ba5 Qe7 14.Qb3 Rb8 15.Nce5 Nxe5 16.Nxe5 Qf6 17.Nd3 b6 18.Bb4 Rd8 19.Bxd5 Rxd5 20.Rc7 Bb7 21.Be7 Qf5 22.Qc2 e5 23.Rc1 h6 24.Nb4

24...d3! 25.exd3 Rd7 26.Rxb7 Rbxb7 27.Qc8+ Kh7 28.Nxa6 Qxd3 29.Nb4 Qd2 30.Bf8 Rb8 0-1.

Alex Onischuk was clear second with 6½, and Sergey Kudrin was clear third with 6.0/9

Final standings in the open championship

# Player Title Rating Pts. Perf.
1. Shulman, Yuri GM 2606 7 2760
2. Onischuk, Alexander GM 2664 2707
3. Kudrin, Sergey GM 2549 6 2672
4. Friedel, Joshua E IM 2484 2614
5. Akobian, Varuzhan GM 2601 2596
6. Perelshteyn, Eugene GM 2552 2559
7. Becerra Rivero, Julio GM 2575 5 2597
8. Ivanov, Alexander GM 2560 5 2517
9. Finegold, Benjamin IM 2539 5 2508
10. Gulko, Boris F GM 2559 5 2501
11. Kaidanov, Gregory GM 2596 2545
12. Fedorowicz, John P GM 2459 2543
13. Shabalov, Alexander GM 2633 2487
14. Gurevich, Dmitry GM 2513 2429
15. Yermolinsky, Alex GM 2518 4 2514
16. Kraai, Jesse GM 2509 4 2465
17. Pruess, David IM 2425 4 2455
18. Ludwig, Daniel 2357 4 2423
19. Vigorito, David IM 2405 2351
20. Langer, Michael FM 2254 2352
21. Ippolito, Dean IM 2425 2342
22. Kaufman, Larry C IM 2365 2353
23. Shankland, Samuel 2296 2237
24. Galant, Sergey 2235 2135


Second: GM Alexander Onischuk, with 6.5/9 and a 2707 performance


Now we are a GM: Joshua E Friedel, 2484, 5.5/9, fourth


Oh the spelling: GM Eugene Perelshteyn, 2552, 5.5/9, sixth place


Seventh: GM Julion Becerra Rivero, 2575, 5.0/9


Women's Section

In the women’s event, both IM Anna Zatonskih and IM Irina Krush finished with 7½ points in the ten-player round robin. An example of the play of these two rivals was their eighth-round draw:

Zatonskih,A (2458) - Krush,I (2479) [E69]
Frank K Berry ch-USA w Tulsa USA (8), 20.05.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 c6 7.Nc3 Qa5 8.e4 e5 9.h3 Nbd7 10.Re1 Re8 11.a3 Qc7 12.Be3 exd4 13.Nxd4 Nc5 14.Qc2 a5 15.b3 h5 16.Rad1 Nfd7 17.Rd2 Ne5 18.Red1 a4 19.b4 Nxc4 20.bxc5 Nxe3 21.fxe3 dxc5 22.Nde2 b5 23.e5 Bf5 24.Qc1 Bxe5 25.Ne4 c4 26.Nd6 Bxd6 27.Rxd6 Be4 28.Qd2 Bxg2 29.Kxg2 Qe7 30.Kf2 h4 31.Qd4 c5 32.Qxc5 Rac8 33.Qd4 c3 34.Nxc3 hxg3+ 35.Kg2 Qxe3 36.Qxe3 Rxe3 37.Nxb5 Rb3 38.Rd8+ Rxd8 39.Rxd8+ Kg7 40.Nd4 Rxa3 41.Nf3 Ra1 42.Kxg3 a3 43.Ra8 a2 44.Kf2 g5 45.Ne1 Kg6 46.Nc2 Rh1 47.Kg2 Rd1 48.Rxa2 Rd2+ 49.Kf3 Kh5 50.Ke3 Rh2 51.Kd3 f5 52.Ra8 Rxh3+ 53.Ne3 g4 54.Rf8 Rf3 55.Ke2 Kg5 56.Rf7 Kg6 57.Ra7 Kg5 58.Ra5 Rf4 59.Ra8 Rf3 60.Rf8 Kg6 61.Rb8 Kg5 62.Rb5 Rf4 63.Rb8 ½-½.

Final standings in the women's section

# Player Title Rating Pts. Perf.
1. Krush, Irina IM 2479 2498
2. Zatonskih, Anna IM 2458 2500
3. Rohonyan, Katerina WGM 2309 6 2369
4. Abrahamyan, Tatev WFM 2239 6 2376
5. Tuvshintugs, Batchimeg WIM 2278 2327
6. Battsetseg, Tsagaan WIM 2254 2250
7. Zenyuk, Iryna WFM 2233 2172
8. Epstein, Esther WIM 2184 2 2037
9. Airapetian, Chouchanik WFM 2092 2 2048
10. Jamison, Courtney 1979 ½ 1836

A playoff between them went down to the wire. After two Game/15 (+3) games and two Game/5 (+2) games were split, a remarkable Armageddon game determined the result of this grueling finale. The rules called for one player to name the times (with black having draw odds) and the other to chose which color she wanted. No time increment. Krush had white with 6 minutes, while Zatonskih had 4½ minutes and the draw odds. A tense game ensued and both players entered severe time trouble. At one point Anna had two seconds left compared to about 20 for Irina. But Anna’s draw odds were a big advantage here – she could blitz out moves hardly thinking (just moving the piece nearest to the clock), while Irina actually had to do something with her moves since she had to win. Krush lost on time with 0:01 left on Anna’s clock! It doesn’t get any closer than that.

In the above YouTube video we get an overview of the tournament, interviews and then the drama of the women's playoff. Don't miss Irina's final comment and storm-off – this was really most distressing.

In the interview Anna says: “I realized that I had two seconds. I was so shocked that I am going to lose right now. She has six (seconds). I played Rb8-e8 because it was so close to clock.”


US Women's champion – by a single second: IM Anna Zatonskih


Lookin' good: second place for IM Irina Krush


Third: WGM Katerina Rohonyan, 2309, 6.0/10


Chief organiser Tom Braunlich and sponsor Frank Berry


The taker and photoshopper of the pictures on this page: Zeljka Malobabic of MonRoi

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