No "Fischer prize" at US Championship 2016

by Johannes Fischer
4/17/2016 – 1963/64 Bobby Fischer won the US Championship with 11.0/11. A player winning the event 2016 with the same score was promised 64,000 USD. But no one will. After So and Caruana drew their game in round three and Robson split the point against Xiong, Caruana, So and Robson lead with 2.5/3. In the women's tournament Abrahamyan, Yip and Paikidze lead with 2.5/3 each.

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Open tournament

Results of round three

Table White Score Rating Black Score Rating Result
1 GM Shankland, Samuel L 1.0 2656 GM Akobian, Varuzhan 0.5 2615 1-0
2 GM So, Wesley 2.0 2773 GM Caruana, Fabiano 2.0 2795 ½-½
3 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 1.5 2787 IM Chandra, Akshat 0.0 2477 ½-½
4 GM Shabalov, Alexander 0.5 2528 GM Kamsky, Gata 0.5 2678 ½-½
5 GM Onischuk, Alexander 0.5 2664 GM Lenderman, Aleksandr 0.5 2618 1-0
6 GM Xiong, Jeffery 1.0 2618 GM Robson, Ray 2.0 2663 ½-½

In the top encounter of round three Fabiano Caruana played with Black against Wesley So but had no trouble at all. Soon after the opening he seized the initiative and could hope that his passed b-pawn would give him winning chances. But So defended tenaciously and after 92 moves the game ended in a draw.


Wesley So (Photo: Lennart Ootes)

In round two Alexander Onischuk suffered a bitter defeat against Ray Robson but in round three he showed his resilience by coming back with a fine win against Aleksandr Lenderman. After an apparently harmless opening Onischuk did not take long to show entertaining and courageous chess that he crowned with spectacular tactics and good endgame technique.


Alexander Onischuk (Photo: Spectrum Studios)

Aleksandr Lenderman (Photo: Austin Fuller)

Sam Shankland also showed resilience. After his defeat against Fabiano Caruana in round two he used tactical opportunities in the endgame to win against Varuzhian Akobian.


Sam Shankland (Photo: Lennart Ootes)

15-year old Jeffery Xiong (Photo: Austin Fuller) drew with White against Ray Robson.




Women's Tournament

Results of round three

Table White Score Rating Black Score Rating Result
1 WFM Yu, Jennifer R 0.5 2157 WIM Bykovtsev, Agata 1.0 2219 ½-½
2 Yip, Carissa 2.0 2164 WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev 2.0 2342 ½-½
3 IM Paikidze, Nazi 1.5 2346 WIM Eswaran, Ashritha 0.5 2225 1-0
4 WGM Nemcova, Katerina 1.0 2367 FM Gorti, Akshita 0.0 2184 0-1
5 WGM Foisor, Sabina-Francesca 0.5 2258 IM Zatonskih, Anna 1.0 2470 ½-½
6 FM Melekhina, Alisa 0.5 2205 GM Krush, Irina 1.5 2465 ½-½

In the women's tournament 12-year Carissa Yip was close to losing against Tatev Abrahamyan but managed to hold. After three rounds she now has 2.5/3 and shares the lead with Abrahamyan and Nazi Paikidze.

Carissa Yip (Photo: Spectrum Studios)

However, the most dramatic eoncounter was perhaps the game of Alisa Melekhina against Irina Krush. Melekhina, who now works as a lawyer and thus has very little time for chess, convincingly outplayed full-time professional Irina Krush but just before the time-control failed to seal the deal and failed to win a clearly position.


Alisa Melekhina (Photo: Spectrum Studios)





Pictures: Tournament page...

Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


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koko48 koko48 4/19/2016 01:19
I remember when Chessmetrics or some other retroactive rating/metric system, had the gall to rank Fischer's 11-0 US Championship as only the 30th or 35th best tournament result of all time

Now people realize just how ridiculous and impossible that result was....That's why the Sinquefields can afford to offer such a huge prize for an 11-0 score...It's almost like Warren Buffett safely awarding $1billion dollars for a perfect NCAA Basketball tournament bracket...Because it ain't gonna happen
Hawkman Hawkman 4/18/2016 11:13
I realize it's very early, but the women's tourney so far is interesting, because the last time it was won by someone other than Krush or Anna was 2005!
flonks flonks 4/18/2016 09:21
Whatever Fisher's political problems where, one can still honor his achievement. 11/11 is not a result, it's a humiliation.
Justjeff Justjeff 4/18/2016 01:29
I have no special insight, but the USCF may just be honoring the sponsor's request. Sinquefield calls the shots here, not USCF.
Mr TambourineMan Mr TambourineMan 4/17/2016 11:50
Only match-fixing may cause Fischer's results too occur again . Moreover, one can wonder why the USCF in this way want to honor a former member they´ll have excluded and distanced itself from ?