US Ch R02: All games drawn

by Frederic Friedel
5/10/2014 – That is all games in the men's section – but most well-fought and interesting. In the women's championship it was the usual bloodbath, with three decisive games and two draws. Irina Krush defeated yesterday's hero Ashritha Eswaran and leads together with Sabina-Francesca Foisor at 2.0/2. We bring you games and results, and for the first time pictures from the event.

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For the sixth consecutive year, the best chess players in the U.S. have gathered in Saint Louis to fight for the title of U.S. Champion and U.S. Women's Champion. GM Gata Kamsky is defending his title while recently anointed grandmaster Irina Krush is looking for her sixth title at the 2014 U.S. Women's Championship. The events are being held simultaneously from May 7 through May 20 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL). The games start each day at 1 p.m., with every move broadcast live and discussed by the powerful commentary team of GMs Yasser Seirawan, WGM Jennifer Shahade and Maurice Ashley on the official web site.

Men: results round 2

White Rtng
Black Rtng
GM Onischuk, Alexander 2668
GM Erenburg, Sergey 2633
GM Shankland, Samuel L 2634
GM Robson, Ray 2631
GM Kamsky, Gata 2713
GM Ramirez, Alejandro 2595
GM Lenderman, Aleksandr 2582
GM Gareev, Timur 2653
GM Naroditsky, Daniel 2543
GM Friedel, Joshua E 2505
GM Molner, Mackenzie 2522
GM Akobian, Varuzhan 2643

GM Alejandro Ramirez, originally from Costa Rica, moonlights as an editor for our news page

A kind of revenge: last year Alej took second place to Kamsky in a final playoff

Gata Kamsky

Gata Kamsky is a Soviet-born, American grandmaster, currently ranked No. 2 in the United States and No. 40 in the world. He was born in Siberia, Russia, in 1974 and learned chess at seven years old. By nine he had won the Under-15 USSR Championship, and then became a back-to-back Junior Champion of the Soviet Union at 13.

Kamsky emigrated to the U.S. in 1989 and earned his Grandmaster title the following year, also becoming the youngest player ever rated in the world top-ten. His impact on American chess has been profound, having been the highest-rated American since his arrival in 1989 – second only now to Hikaru Nakamura. Kamsky won his first of four U.S. Championships in 1991, and the following year helped America grab its first-ever gold in the World Team Chess Olympiad.

In 1994, at age 20, Kamsky became the youngest-ever to challenge for the FIDE world title and the first American since Bobby Fischer. The 20-game match against reigning champion Anatoly Karpov was finally held in 1996, in Elista, Kalmykia, in Russia. Kamsky lost the match 7.5-10.5, but substantial political controversy surrounding the event ultimately led to an eight-year hiatus from professional chess for the American GM, partially in protest.

He earned an undergrad pre-med degree in chemistry, but then changed his mind and applied to law school. After graduating, Kamsky realized how much he missed chess. Egged on by friends and fans, he decided to give chess another try. "Now I feel much less pressure. I play for myself only," he said.

Kamsky returned in 2004 – “past his prime” at 30 years old – for an extraordinary second chapter in his career. By 2007, he had regained his elite form, qualifying for the Candidates Tournament that year and later winning the Chess World Cup as the 11th seed, knocking off Magnus Carlsen in the semifinals. In 2010, Kamsky won his second U.S. Championship – 19 years removed from his first title – and returned to successfully defend the crown in 2011. Kamsky secured his fourth U.S. Championship title last year. [Source: Tournament site]

Second seed Timur Gareev, rated 2653, originally from Uzbekistan

Starting his game with 1.e4 and a glare: Sam Shankland playing Ray Robson

GM Mackenzie "Mac" Molner, rated 2522, drew Varuzhan Akobian, 2643, in 47 moves

Daniel Naroditsky, 18, from California playing Josh Friedel, 27, from Milwaukee

A fan (shortest caption ever – until we added this unnecessary parenthesis)

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Women: Results of round 1

White Rtng
Black Rtng
GM Krush, Irina 2489
NM Eswaran, Ashritha 1979
WGM Baginskaite, Camilla 2267
WIM Ni, Viktorija 2206
FM Melekhina, Alisa 2151
WGM Foisor, Sabina-F. 2238
IM Zatonskih, Anna 2469
WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev 2366
WGM Nemcova, Katerina 2282
WIM Zenyuk, Iryna 2249

Help, my opponent is a Full Men's Grand Master! Newly crown GM Irina Krush defeated...

...the hero of round one, NM Ashritha Eswaran, pretty much out of the opening

WGM Tatev Abrahamyan lost to IM Anna Zatonskih, 100 rating points her superior

Multiple Romania girls youth champion Sabina-Francesca Foisor won her black game
in round two and leads, together with Irina Krush, with 2.0/2 points

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Irina Krush

Prior to last year’s U.S. Women’s Championship, Irina turned in a spectacular performace at the 2013 Women's World Team Championship, where she earned a gold medal for her performance on board two for the U.S. team, a result Krush called the best of her career. Then in May, Irina secured her fifth U.S. Women's Championship title, and a few months later she earned her third and final grandmaster norm.

Krush was born in Odessa, USSR (now Ukraine). She learned to play chess at age five, emigrating with her parents to Brooklyn that same year (1989). Krush attended Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, one of the top high-school chess teams in the U.S. She said she enjoys the challenge of playing grandmasters most. "When you beat a strong GM, that's when you feel like you can play chess," she said. Krush was the only female player to compete in the 2010 U.S. Championship, and turned in an impressive 12th-place finish.

Irina has a degree in international relations from NYU, but she is currently concentrating on chess. In addition the 2008 Samford Chess Fellowship recipient enjoys tennis, reading, writing, yoga and music. [Source: Tournament site]

Click here for a full report on round two, including annotated games, by Brian Jerauld


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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.


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