US Champ R10: Leaders in Position

by Alejandro Ramirez
4/12/2015 – Round ten set up an end that might be somewhat anti-climatic. In the Open So was able to recover from his forfeit loss by beating Kamsky with black, something that hadn't happened since 2012. Robson and Nakamura drew in a boring game, leaving Nakamura one game away from the title. In the Women's Krush won, Nemcova lost and it will all come down to their showdown.

The 2015 U.S. Championship is an elite national championship event, featuring 12 of the strongest chess players in America. Over the course of eleven rounds, these competitors will battle for $175,000 in prize money, qualification into the World Championship cycle, and the coveted title of 2015 U.S. Champion.

U.S. Chess Championship - Round Ten

Table White Score Rating Black Score Rating
1 GM Troff, Kayden W 4.5 2532 GM Gareev, Timur 3.5 2604
2 GM Robson, Ray 6.0 2656 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 6.5 2798
3 GM Onischuk, Alexander 5.0 2665 GM Sevian, Samuel 4.5 2531
4 GM Holt, Conrad 3.5 2530 GM Shankland, Samuel L 4.5 2661
5 GM Akobian, Varuzhan 4.0 2622 GM Naroditsky, Daniel 2.5 2633
6 GM Kamsky, Gata 5.0 2683 GM So, Wesley 4.5 2788


Wesley So decided to not appeal the result of the game, but instead appeal that the rating should not count for FIDE rating. His argument that in case of "cell phone forfeits" no FIDE ratings are changed was faulty, and the appeal was declined. We will have more information on this later.

Daniel King shows the highlights of round 10

Troff, Kayden ½-½ Gareev, Timur
A very complex game. Some minor pieces came off the board very quickly, but the resulting close structure was still difficult to handle. Troff might have found himself in a slightly worse position with an accurate continuation from Gareev, but he did not find it and the game was eventually drawn.

Robson, Ray ½-½ Nakamura, Hikaru
The round that everyone was waiting for, the top seed and tournament leader against the young pursuer. However things were far from interesting, in a known Scotch/Four Knights position the game simply went directly into a drawn endgame.

Robson and Nakamura played an empty game

Onischuk, Alexander 1-0 Sevian, Samuel

[Event "U.S. Championship 2015"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2015.04.11"] [Round "10"] [White "Onischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Sevian, Samuel"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2665"] [BlackElo "2531"] [Annotator "Josh Friedel"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 c5 8. Be3 Qa5 9. Qd2 Nc6 10. Rb1 a6 11. Rc1 f5 {This move looks sketchy, but making sketchy moves is what the Grunfeld is about. In any case, it's a move here.} 12. Bd3 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Ne5 14. O-O Nxd3 15. Qxd3 e5 {The first new move. This looks very scary for Black at first glance, but if he gets castled his bishops will give him good play.} 16. Nb3 Qc7 17. Qd5 {Onischuk has no intention of letting Sevian castle so easily.} Qc6 $6 {Not the best way to trade queens.} ( 17... Qf7 {looks better, but after} 18. Bc5 Be6 19. Qd6 {Black still has a couple problems to solve.}) 18. Qxc6+ bxc6 19. Rfd1 {This looks harmless at first, but I'd be nervous as Black. His pawns are weak and the bishop on g7 is not an impressive piece.} Bf8 $2 {This move is a little drastic. In general, it is best to avoid putting all your pieces on their starting squares.} (19... O-O {was necessary, and after} 20. Na5 fxe4 21. Nxc6 Be6 {Black has counterplay, but I'd still take White.}) 20. Bc5 $2 {A logical move, but there was a much stronger.} (20. Na5 {and taking the c6 pawn is simple and strong.}) 20... Be6 (20... Bxc5 21. Nxc5 Ke7 {and despite the strong knight on c5, it isn't clear how White can maintain his edge here. Rd8 is likely coming next, and Black uses the fact that his king is far more active than White's.}) 21. Bxf8 Kxf8 $2 {This recapture is a little mysterious.} (21... Rxf8 {is much better, as it is much easier to activate that rook now.}) 22. Na5 (22. exf5 { first is a little more accurate.}) 22... Rc8 (22... fxe4 23. Nxc6 Kg7 {and activating the h8 rook will give Black good chances.}) 23. exf5 gxf5 24. Re1 e4 25. f3 {Black still has some chances to hold, but this kind of ending is a nightmare to play.} Ke7 $6 (25... Rg8 {Once again, Black needs to activate this guy.} 26. fxe4 fxe4 27. Rxe4 Rg6 {and Kg7 next keeps Black in the game.}) 26. fxe4 f4 27. Rb1 Rc7 $6 (27... Rhg8 {It needs no comment now.}) 28. Rb6 {It looks over now.} Kd6 $6 {This loses right away, but the position was rather hopeless in any case.} 29. e5+ Ke7 (29... Kc5 30. Rb4 $1 {and Nb7 forces Black to sac the exchange to avoid mate.}) 30. Nxc6+ Kf7 31. Nd4 Re8 32. Rxa6 { Another tough loss for Sam, and a nice win for Onischuk, putting him contention for the top prizes.} 1-0

Sevian's last two games were not the best

Onischuk won easily and is now clear third

Holt, Conrad 1-0 Shankland, Sam
What a fight! The anti-Moscow gambits. Shankland's unusual Bb4 idea was interesting, but risky. Holt got into deep time pressure, but kept putting up the pressure. Shankland decided to part with his queen, but he received lots of material in compensation. The two rooks and knight for the queen were uncoordinated and his king was in danger. He didn't find a very accurate way of defending and lost. A fantastic game.

Akobian, Varuzhan 1-0 Naroditsky, Daniel
Akobian used a new idea in a known Vienna type gambit, which was made particularly famous by Aronian's demolition of Anand a few years ago. Naroditsky's passive position was difficult to play, though defensible. He eventually run out of moves and started playing badly. Akobian's pressure eventually cracked Black's position and he took the full point.

Kamsky, Gata 0-1 So, Wesley
After the drama from yesterday, So recovered very, very nicely:

Wesley So winning after his forfeit game

Gata Kamsky hadn't lost a game with white in the U.S. Championship since 2012

[Event "U.S. Championship 2015"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2015.04.11"] [Round "10"] [White "Kamsky, Gata"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A46"] [WhiteElo "2683"] [BlackElo "2788"] [Annotator "Josh Friedel"] [PlyCount "112"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 {Kamsky abandons his London System for a Catalan-esque hybrid.} b5 {This move looks provocative, but it's not unusual here. The idea is to punish White for not putting a pawn on c4.} 4. Bg5 $5 {An aggressive approach that was played by Topalov earlier this year.} c5 {A rare move, but certainly a logical one. Black wants to challenge the center in order to discourage e4.} (4... Bb7 {is the most common move, with a similar idea.}) 5. Bg2 Bb7 {Now we are back to the main line.} 6. c3 cxd4 7. cxd4 Be7 8. O-O h6 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. e3 {This can't be bad, but it is a little slow.} ( 10. Qd3 a6 11. a4 {was a more active approach, trying to provoke weaknesses right away.}) 10... O-O 11. Nc3 {A little provocative.} (11. Qd3 {is still quite reasonable.}) 11... b4 12. Ne2 Qb6 {I'd be nervous about abandoning the kingside, but Wesley seems to have it all under control.} 13. Nf4 Rc8 {So plays it cool.} (13... d6 {is a little safer, planning to answer Nh5 with Nd7.} ) 14. Nh5 Be7 15. Ne5 {Quite honestly, I was already seriously concerned about Wesley's position. White's knights look threatening and the queen is headed to g4.} Bxg2 16. Qg4 Bg5 (16... g5 {is also playable according to the computer, but no human wants to play a move like this.}) 17. Kxg2 Qb7+ 18. Kg1 {h4 is coming next, but Wesley shows that everything is under control.} d6 19. Nd3 $6 {White gives up on his initiative.} (19. h4 {seems like the consistent way to play. In order words, a more aggressive approach.} f5 {Only move.} (19... dxe5 20. hxg5 {is just atrocious for Black.}) 20. Qf3 {White needs to abandon the attack.} (20. Qd1 $6 dxe5 21. hxg5 hxg5 22. dxe5 Nd7 {and Black is better.}) 20... Qxf3 21. Nxf3 Be7 22. Nf4 Kf7 {and while I don't think White has any advantage, at least he can never end up worse.}) 19... Nd7 20. h4 Bf6 {There is nothing wrong with White's position yet, but his attack is dead and his pieces are not on ideal squares.} 21. Rfc1 a5 22. Ndf4 $6 {This looks very optimistic.} (22. Nxf6+ Nxf6 23. Qe2 {and while I prefer Black slightly, at least the position is relatively safe.}) 22... Qe4 $1 {This move really messes with White's coordination.} 23. Qe2 (23. Nxf6+ Nxf6 24. Qe2 e5 $1 {and Black develops an initiative.}) 23... Be7 {and now we see the problem with Ndf4. The knight on h5 is completely stranded.} 24. Qb5 {The only try.} Nf8 25. Qd3 $2 { This one doesn't cut it, however.} (25. Rxc8 Rxc8 26. Qxa5 $1 {looks scary, but after} g6 27. Qa7 Bd8 28. Qa6 Qc6 29. Qxc6 Rxc6 30. Nd3 gxh5 31. Nxb4 {and White has some compensation for the piece.}) 25... Qb7 {White's knights don't dance together very well here. Black's practically winning.} 26. Ng2 e5 $1 { This hurts both of the knights.} 27. dxe5 dxe5 28. g4 {Going on the attack? Nope, he just wants the knight to get back to g3.} Ng6 (28... Rd8 {is even better, as the queen has no good squares. For instance, if} 29. Qe2 Ng6 {and White has an even more passive version of the game.}) 29. Qf5 (29. Ng3 Bxh4 30. Qe4 {gives White better chances to survive.}) 29... Bxh4 30. Ne1 $6 {This doesn't help in the slightest, but the position was lost anyway.} Re8 $6 (30... Rxc1 31. Rxc1 Rd8 {is a killer, since Rd2 will be very strong.}) 31. Rd1 Rad8 32. Ng2 (32. Nf3 {looks more active, but once again, it is nowhere near enough. }) 32... Qb5 33. Rxd8 Rxd8 34. Qc2 Qd5 {I love centralizing moves. Kamsky plays on awhile, but the result is never in doubt.} 35. Qe2 Qd2 36. Kf1 a4 37. Ne1 Qd5 (37... e4 {I like this sadistic move, but everything works.}) 38. e4 Qe6 39. Nc2 Bg5 $1 {Everything hangs and Rd2 is a big threat.} 40. Ne3 Bxe3 41. fxe3 Nh4 42. Rd1 (42. Kf2 {defends a little better.}) 42... Rxd1+ 43. Qxd1 Kh7 44. b3 axb3 45. axb3 g6 46. Ng3 h5 47. Qd5 Qf6+ 48. Ke2 hxg4 {Kamsky plays on even here, likely in shock.} 49. Kd3 Ng2 50. Qb7 Kg7 51. Qb5 Nxe3 52. Ne2 Nf1 53. Kc4 Qd6 54. Qxb4 Nd2+ 55. Kc3 Nb1+ 56. Kc4 Qa6+ {Finally, Gata gives up. Not his finest day, but it was a very clean game by So, who recovered very impressively from his tough day yesterday.} 0-1

Pairings for Final Round

Table White Rating Black Rating
1 GM So, Wesley 2788 GM Troff, Kayden W 2532
2 GM Naroditsky, Daniel 2633 GM Kamsky, Gata 2683
3 GM Shankland, Samuel L 2661 GM Akobian, Varuzhan 2622
4 GM Sevian, Samuel 2531 GM Holt, Conrad 2530
5 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 2798 GM Onischuk, Alexander 2665
6 GM Gareev, Timur 2604 GM Robson, Ray 2656


Replay Round Ten Games

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U.S. Women's Championship - Round Ten

Table White Rating Black Rating
1 WCM Virkud, Apurva 2132 WIM Wang, Annie 1901
2 FM Melekhina, Alisa 2235 WGM Sharevich, Anna 2267
3 WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev 2322 IM Goletiani, Rusudan 2311
4 WFM Yu, Jennifer R 2180 GM Krush, Irina 2477
5 WGM Nemcova, Katerina 2279 IM Paikidze, Nazi 2333
6 WGM Foisor, Sabina-Francesca 2235 WIM Ni, Viktorija 2188

Virkud, Apurva ½-½ Wang, Annie
Virkud misplayed her Nimzo-Indian, again, and Wang had a beautiful initiative against White's center. Wang missed a few tactics to obtain a decisive advantage, and instead let her opponent go. After further trades Virkud might even have had winning chances, but it ended in a draw.

Melekhina, Alisa 0-1 Sharevich, Anna
After reaching a very unpleasant endgame, many strange things happened. The evaluation pendulum kept swinging between losing and winning as both sides kept blundering away a draw or a win, mainly due to a lack of understanding in this rook endgame. Eventually Melekhina was the one to blunder last, allowing Sharevich to win.

Good posture between Melekhina and Sharevich. Endgame technique not so much.

Abrahamyan, Tatev 1-0 Goletiani, Rusudan

[Event "U.S. Womens Championship 2015"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2015.04.11"] [Round "10"] [White "Abrahamyan, Tatev"] [Black "Goletiani, Rusudan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B32"] [WhiteElo "2322"] [BlackElo "2311"] [Annotator "Josh Friedel"] [PlyCount "133"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Qb6 {Rusa attempts to throw Tatev off with this slightly offbeat line. She usually prefers the Kan.} 5. Nb3 Nf6 6. Nc3 e6 7. Be3 Qc7 8. Bd3 d6 9. O-O a6 10. a4 b6 11. f4 {We are back into semi-standard territory.} Be7 12. Qf3 Bb7 13. Qh3 {A typical maneuver for these positions. The queen will be useful for attacking on this square.} Nb4 14. Nd4 {The knight didn't do a lot on b3, so Tatev moves it back into the game.} O-O 15. g4 {A risky way of playing, but it is consistent.} d5 {The typical response, challenging White in the center. White's attack will only have a shot if she can keep things locked up.} 16. e5 Ne4 17. Nce2 {If Black can open up the position here, White will be lost, but it isn't so easy to accomplish this.} Bc5 {Black can't really challenge the d4 square, so I'm not sure I like this move. That being said, I don't see an easy way to open things up.} 18. Rf3 {One track mind, and in this case, I think it is called for.} Qe7 19. g5 {This attack looks painfully slow, but how to stop it?} Rac8 (19... Rfc8 {might actually be better, as the rook on f8 more often gets in the way. A common idea is Qd7 followed by Bf8.}) 20. Qg4 $6 (20. Qh5 {looks much more direct, with Rh3 coming next. Black will have to play h6 gh g6 to keep her king safe, and it'll be a better version of the game for White.}) 20... g6 21. h4 {Instead of Rh3, Tatev tries to open the h-file.} h5 $6 {Human, but I think allowing h5 was the lesser evil.} (21... Rfd8 22. h5 Qd7 23. Rh3 Bf8 {bringing the bishop to the defense gives Black some chances.}) 22. gxh6 Kh7 23. Kh2 { White's attack continues to rage on, now on the g-file.} Rg8 24. Rg1 Bxd4 {An ugly move, but Rusa is desperate to find counterplay.} 25. Nxd4 Nxd3 26. cxd3 Nc5 {White should be won with best play now, but the attack still be be conducted precisely.} 27. Bf2 {A fine decision, as a4 is far less valuable.} Nxa4 28. b3 $6 {This doesn't throw away it all, but I don't think White should be spending any time guarding this pawn.} (28. Rfg3 Nxb2 29. h5 {will lead to mate. For example, if} Bc6 30. hxg6+ Rxg6 31. Qh3 Bd7 32. Nf3 {and Ng5+ will be a killer.}) 28... Nc3 {This knight is more active now, but it shouldn't do enough.} 29. Rfg3 (29. h5 {is still strong.}) 29... a5 $2 {Way too slow.} ( 29... Nb5 {trying to trade off the knights was necessary. Rc2 ideas might also give Black a little counterplay.}) 30. h5 b5 31. R3g2 {Unnecessary, but it doesn't blow anything.} (31. hxg6+ Rxg6 32. Qh3 {is a very direct win.}) 31... Rce8 32. Nf3 $6 (32. Bh4 Qf8 33. Bf6 {is monstrous.}) 32... d4 {The only chance.} 33. Ng5+ Kh8 34. Nxf7+ Qxf7 35. hxg6 Qf5 36. Qxf5 $2 {Not the best move order. This allows Black back in it.} (36. Bh4 $1 Nd5 37. Rg3 $1 {and Qxf5-Bf6 will be winning now.}) 36... exf5 37. Bh4 Nd5 38. Bf6+ Nxf6 39. exf6 Bxg2 40. Rxg2 {The pawns are menacing, and Rusa correctly eliminates one of them.} Rxg6 $1 41. Rxg6 a4 $2 {This move looks completely natural, but it happens to be losing.} (41... Rf8 $1 {was the only move. Now after} 42. f7 (42. Kh3 Kh7 {is drawn.}) 42... Rxf7 43. Ra6 Re7 44. Rxa5 Kh7 45. Rxb5 Kxh6 {and there just isn't enough material left to win.}) 42. bxa4 bxa4 43. Kh3 $1 { Tatev finds the most accurate route to victory.} Kh7 44. f7 Rf8 45. Rf6 {Now White takes the pawns on her own terms.} a3 46. Kh4 a2 47. Ra6 a1=Q 48. Rxa1 Kxh6 49. Ra6+ Kg7 50. Kg5 Rxf7 {Material is limited and even, but White is completely won. Tatev's king is excellent, and both of Black's pawns will fall. } 51. Rg6+ Kh7 52. Rd6 Kg7 53. Rxd4 Kh7 54. Rd6 Kg7 55. d4 {There is no rush to take on f5.} Kh7 56. d5 Kg7 57. Rg6+ Kh7 58. d6 Ra7 59. Re6 Kg8 60. Re7 Ra8 61. Kxf5 {It's over now.} Kf8 62. Ke6 Ra4 63. Rf7+ Kg8 64. Rf5 Re4+ 65. Re5 Rd4 66. d7 Kf8 67. Rf5+ {Rd5 comes next, so Rusa calls it quits. Despite not playing the attack in the most accurate way, a nice game overall by Tatev, who built up her position nicely and found the best way to convert the ending.} 1-0

Who is the owner of these sunglasses? Tip: they match the owner's hair

Good friends: Tatev Abrahamyan and Rusudan Goletiani

Yu, Jennifer 0-1 Krush, Irina
After making several position horrors Jennifer Yu got checkmated by Irina Krush.

A lot was exepcted of reining u-12 World Champion (for girls)
Jennifer Yu, but she has had a disappointing event

Half a point away from the title: Irina Krush

Nemcova, Katerina 0-1 Paikidze, Nazi
What an important result for the standings! And another great performance by Paikidze.

[Event "U.S. Womens Championship 2015"] [Site "Saint Louis"] [Date "2015.04.11"] [Round "10"] [White "Nemcova, Katerina"] [Black "Paikidze, Nazi"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B18"] [WhiteElo "2279"] [BlackElo "2333"] [Annotator "Josh Friedel"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "USA"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. Nh3 Nf6 7. Bc4 e6 8. O-O Be7 (8... Bd6 {is a more common move, and I prefer putting the bishop on this more active square.}) 9. f4 $5 {This idea is not unheard of, but it is extremely unnatural, and requires a very concrete follow up.} (9. Nf4 {is usually where the knight goes.}) 9... Qd7 $5 {An interesting move, discouraging the f5 advance.} (9... O-O 10. f5 exf5 11. Nxf5 Nbd7 {should be okay for Black, but at least White achieved her objective.}) 10. Kh1 {This is a slow move, and in a position where slow moves don't make sense to me.} (10. f5 {looks consistent, but after} Bxf5 (10... exf5 11. Nf4 {and Black has to deal with this garbage g6 bishop for awhile.}) 11. Nxf5 exf5 12. Qd3 g6 {and while there is some compensation, I'm not sure it is quite enough.}) 10... O-O 11. Be3 c5 $6 {A typical Caro Cann idea, but I don't think this is the moment for it.} (11... Na6 {and Nc7 developing the knight looks good. I'm not sure how White can develop an initiative here, and in fact should possibly play Ng5-f3 fixing her knight.}) 12. f5 $5 (12. dxc5 Qxd1 13. Raxd1 Bxc2 14. Rc1 { followed by f5 looks totally fine for White.}) 12... Bxf5 (12... exf5 13. dxc5 Qc8 {is playable for Black, but it's difficult to do this to your bishop on g6. }) 13. Nxf5 exf5 14. dxc5 Ng4 15. Bg1 g6 16. Bd5 $2 {Nemcova getes a little ambitious.} (16. b4 {is the greedy approach, and looks logical.}) (16. Nf4 { would be my idea, just to get that silly knight back into the game.}) 16... Qc7 17. b4 Nc6 {The problem for White here is that all this action is happening on the queenside with the knight on h3.} 18. Rb1 Rad8 19. c4 b6 $2 {Not the best way to break up the pawns.} (19... Bf6 {and Be5 looks annoying, taking advantage of White's kingside.}) 20. Nf4 bxc5 21. bxc5 {I actually think this b6 stuff helped White activate.} Rb8 $6 {Another step in the wrong direction.} (21... Bg5 {looks better.}) 22. Rxb8 Nxb8 {A sad necessity.} (22... Rxb8 23. h3 Nge5 24. Bh2 $1 {and the bishop on h2 is a total monster all of a sudden, and Nd3 will be tough to handle.}) 23. h3 Ne5 24. Re1 {Nemcova is playing well now, and Nazi has to be very accurate to stay in it.} Bh4 $1 {The only move.} 25. Re2 Nbc6 26. Bxc6 $2 {With this move, Katerina throws away the advantage she built up over the last several moves.} (26. Bh2 {is once again very strong, with a large advantage.}) 26... Nxc6 27. Qd6 Qc8 28. Nd5 {This looks pretty, but the bishop on h4 controls the knight on d5 very well.} Re8 29. Rxe8+ Qxe8 30. Nc7 $6 {Another step in the wrong direction.} (30. Bf2 $1 {I like, forcing the bishop away. Taking on f2 is illegal due to Nf6+ winning a queen.}) 30... Qe4 $1 {The centralized queen is very strong.} 31. Qd5 $6 (31. Nd5 {going back was stronger.}) 31... Bg3 32. Nb5 Qe1 {The game should be drawn with best play, but the position is still very tricky.} 33. Nd6 $2 {A losing blunder.} (33. Nd4 {was necessary, and after} Nxd4 (33... Ne5 $2 34. Qd8+ Kg7 35. Qg5 $1 { threatening Nxf5 is very strong, and if} Kf8 36. Nc2 Qc3 37. c6 $1 Nxc6 38. Nd4 {tactics are in White's favor. If} Nxd4 (38... Ne7 {is necessary, but loses a piece to} 39. Ne2) 39. Qd8+ Kg7 40. Bxd4+ {winning.}) 34. Qxd4 {The position should be drawn with best play, as the c-pawn will be impossible to queen with the bishop stuck on g1.}) 33... Ne5 34. Qa8+ (34. Nxf5 gxf5 35. Qd8+ Kg7 36. Qg5+ Ng6 {is best, but fails to deliver perpetual, and White doesn't have enough for the piece.}) 34... Kg7 35. Ne8+ Kh6 36. Nf6 Bf2 {Nazi calculates accurately to the end.} 37. Qf8+ Kg5 38. Nxh7+ Kf4 39. Qh6+ Ke4 40. Ng5+ Kd3 { and the king escapes. This was a topsy turvy game in which both sides had their chances, but in the final phase one mistake cost Nemcova the point.} 0-1

Katerina Nemcova suffered her first loss of the tournament

Foisor, Sabina 0-1 Ni, Viktorija
Foisor's position from the opening was good, but she was completely outplayed by Ni. Black was the superior player, sacrificing a pawn and obtaining a strong initiative. She converted another nice win in a tournament that has been superb for Ni.

Viktorija Ni has had a fantastic tournament after her slow start

Pairings for the Final Round

Table White Rating Black Rating
1 WIM Ni, Viktorija 2188 WCM Virkud, Apurva 2132
2 IM Paikidze, Nazi 2333 WGM Foisor, Sabina-Francesca 2235
3 GM Krush, Irina 2477 WGM Nemcova, Katerina 2279
4 IM Goletiani, Rusudan 2311 WFM Yu, Jennifer R 2180
5 WGM Sharevich, Anna 2267 WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev 2322
6 WIM Wang, Annie 1901 FM Melekhina, Alisa 2235


Replay Round Ten Games

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Commentary provided for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis by Josh Friedel:

Joshua Friedel

Josh was born in 1986 in New Hampshire, USA and is currently living in Wisconsin. He obtained his international master title in 2005 and his grandmaster in 2008. He has participated in six US Championships, including a tie for fourth in 2008. Major Open tournament victories include: the 2003 Eastern Open, 2005 Berkeley Masters, 2008 National Open, 2009 Edmonton International, 2009 North American Open, 2010 Saint Louis Open, 2010 American Open, 2013 Chicago Open.

Josh will be annotating the games for the Saint Louis Chess Club.

Photos by Lennart Ootes


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Topics USA, US Champ

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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samvils samvils 4/12/2015 09:04
new chess rule, when your opponent drools he will be forfeited.
okneechan okneechan 4/12/2015 09:23
he should have argued that it was on a separate sheet of paper and thought it was only illegal if he kept taking notes using the scoresheet
cptmajormajor cptmajormajor 4/12/2015 01:33
The headline, WHAT is Wrong with So, should have been, what is wrong with chess organizers. Really????, doodling on a piece of paper. You couldnt say to him, put that away or you will lose the game( and possibly tournament)
Just because FIDE has traditionally been run by corrupt folks bereft of common sense, does it need to be followed?
Someone wrote a comparison in golf when people do not sign scoresheet at the end... not close as everyone in golf has always known this is the case and no golf star would ever do it in other tournaments. This was vague thing I had never heard of and been following tournaments online for years. In fact, if it was so obvious a rule to everyone, there would be no explaination by Tony rich or Var akopian(FREE POINTS) since all they would need to say was he doodloed. Common sense, tell him to put it away and lets finish a game of chess.
cptmajormajor cptmajormajor 4/12/2015 03:32
Can I ask the question, if the arbitrator had walked over to wesley and said, if you doodle again anywhere, you will be forfeited, would there be outrage in the community over such a handling ? If the answer is no, then the punishment for naivety was harsh. Life can be unfair and I am sure this will teach him valuable lesson about following rules at a not so expensive price. But from my double post, its obvious I do not like it.
fusoya fusoya 4/12/2015 06:18
Leaders are always in position.
Wallace Howard Wallace Howard 4/12/2015 06:24
This is simple. There is a rule, So knew about the rule (he had been told multiple times in multiple tournaments). He broke the rule and there was punishment. And the rule is not silly. Imagine if you entered a particular opening, and your opponent began to write down the theory as "a reminder". But instead of writing " if 7...exd5 8.Nc3 then Qb6", he writes "if captures and horse 3, then lady to the side" or he draws a "doodle" to remind him of what to play. It doesn't matter. You can't have a "cheat sheet" during a chess game. You can't write notes to yourself. This isn't a stupid rule. It's also a distraction. Wesley knew about this rule because he'd been doing it for YEARS and no one cared enough to forfeit him. But this is the US Championship and I guess Var was sick of someone repeatedly being allowed to break the rules that everyone else had to follow. So was warned just the day before, but he decided to do it again.
KrushonIrina KrushonIrina 4/12/2015 06:50
As I wrote several rounds ago when she was trailing by a point, Krush will not be denied her 7th US Championship.

Let it be known that this will be a record number of US Women's Chess Championships won outright.

Gisela Kahn Gresser won it 9 times between 1944 and 1969, but 4 of those times were shared, so only 5 outright.

Before Irina, the most outright victories were 6, by Mona May Karff between 1938 and 1974. (Karff won seven times, but one was shared). Yes, Karff won her final US crown 36 years after her first! So maybe Irina still has something to shoot for (her first victory came 17 years ago, in 1998, at age 14).

Anyway, I think Irina is on her way to 10 outright crowns and undisputed title of best US women's player ever.
fons fons 4/12/2015 07:18
Uh oh, So is touching his opponents piece when it's not his move! Missed opportunity by Kamsky.

Just kidding. ;) The rules can get pretty silly though these days.
cptmajormajor cptmajormajor 4/12/2015 08:42
'Wesley knew about this rule because he'd been doing it for YEARS and no one cared enough to forfeit him.' wallace howard

This is exactly the reason why he should have been told to put it away. Rules are rules and everyone must follow but the rule was loosely enforced until it was ruthlessly enforced. There was option of a middle ground but its only one game and its unfortunate it happened at a tough time for the lad.
If player I knew did that to me he would become an enemy. An apology or stay out my way , I have no time for such people. If it was a stranger I could forgive :) Chess is war.