US Ch. Rd5: Kamsky pessimistic

by ChessBase
5/13/2014 – Gata Kamsky is the reigning Champion and has four US titles under his belt. But after another uneventful draw in round five he expressing frustration with his current inability to win: “Probably you’re going to see a new U.S. champion this year.” In the women's section Irina Krush is seeking a "three-peat" and her sixth title, leading the field alone with 3.5/4 points. Big round five report.

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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.

Round 5: Irina Krushing; New Winners Shuffle Standings

By Brian Jerauld

Four-time champion Gata Kamsky walked through another uneventful draw on Monday afternoon – his fourth split in five rounds – while Varuzhan Akobian, Alejandro Ramirez and Daniel Naroditsky each gained traction in the standings by notching their first wins of the tournament. Afterward, nodding to the competitive 2014 field and expressing frustration with his current inability to win, Kamsky admitted: “Probably you’re going to see a new U.S. champion this year.”

Samuel Shankland held top seed Gata Kamsky to a 31-move draw

Men results of round five

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

Aleksandr Lenderman (4.0/5), who collected three wins through the first four rounds, drew for just the second time this U.S. Championship on Monday against Sergey Erenberg, yet continues to set the pace by a full-point. Kamsky, Akobian, Alex Onischuck and Timur Gareev share second place (3/5); Ramirez and Naroditsky lurk with 2.5/5.

Men's standings after five rounds

Varuzhan Akobian’s often straightforward, bend-but-don’t-break style had produced four consecutive draws and may have kept him jogging along in the tournament’s early going, but it would ultimately leave the No. four seed slow on any intentions to make a run for the national title. Round five made it clear that the 30-year-old planned on opening up his stride.

U.S. Juniors Closed Championship winner Daniel Naroditsky knew his position was familiar, just not on the board. Naroditsky last played Ray Robson in the 2011 U.S. Championship – at the same venue, in the same round, and with the same color – and on Monday it proved to bring the same result. Naroditsky won as black in the fifth round to serve Robson his second consecutive loss. “I was a little nervous, especially with Ray, who is known for his opening preparation,” Naroditsky said. “When he confidently plays a novelty, and it looks pretty dangerous, then I’m immediately on my heels. But there’s no magic in chess, he didn’t refute the Ruy Lopez, so I just gathered myself and found a way out of it.”

More accurate was that Ray Robson got himself into it, sending his rook astray in
an endgame and losing it inside the black camp.

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Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez

Last year’s runner-up, Alejandro Ramirez was inspired by the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer when he was four years old. He became FIDE Master at the age of nine, an International Master at the age of 13 and a grandmaster at the age of 15.

In May 2003, he secured his first GM norm at 14 by scoring a stellar 7/9 at the Capablanca in Memoriam Tournament held in La Habana, Cuba. The following year, he tied for first place in the Zonal Tournament held in Guayaquil, Ecuador, in August 2003, to secure his second GM norm. He obtained his third norm a few months later at the Los Inmortales Tournament at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. At the age of 15, he became the first Centro-American to achieve the Grandmaster chess title and became, at that time, the second youngest chess grandmaster.

Major tournament victories include first place in the Morelia Open 2008 and the first place in the U.S. Chess Open 2010 held in Irvine, California.

Alejandro studied video game design at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) ultimately earning a master’s degree in Arts & Technology. He currently serves as an editor for the popular chess news website ChessBase. [Source: Tournament site]

Women's Championship

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

While the U.S. chess king questioned who might bear his crown next, America’s queen began resizing hers. Irina Krush (above right), seeking a three-peat and her sixth title, showed no inefficiency in collecting wins and grabbed control of yet another U.S. Women’s Championship race. Krush rolled on Monday, stomping out Camilla Baginskaite’s Nimzo-Indian to take clear first in the 2014 event with 3.5/4. Anna Zatonskih (above far left), who entered the day tied for first, lost pace after narrowly escaping with a draw against Viktorija Ni and now holds clear second with 3.0/4. Tatev Abrahamyan and Ashritha Eswaran trail in third with 2.5/4.

Women's standings after four rounds

WGM Camilla Baginskaite has done well in keeping her half-point from Irina Krush’s grasp in past women’s championships, including a 2010 matchup that settled in a 12-move draw-by-repetition, a relationship that prompted a look ahead in the schedule by the reigning queen.

“That was one of the things I noticed when I got the pairings: that I was white against Camilla,” Krush said. “I have made a couple draws with her in these championships with black, and I had to play pretty sharply in order to win the games I’ve won. She has a lot of experience and she’s a solid player, so I thought it was a good thing to get white against her. This win was a little bit different from what I usually get, because I don’t get to win so stylishly so often.” Indeed, Krush looked formidable on Monday, tearing open Baginskaite’s Nimzo-Indian and forcing resignation after 23 moves in dominating fashion.

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2008 and 2010 Czech Women's Champion Katerina Nemcova defeated Sabina Foisor in round four

FM Alisa Melekhina was quite lucky to survive an endgame against...

... NM Ashritha Eswaran, the 13-year-old sensation of this event


Anna Zatonskih

Anna Zatonskih is a four-time U.S. Women's Champion. Four years ago she won the U.S. Women's Championship with a dominating score of 8.5/9, but she ran into stiff competition in 2010 against her longtime nemesis IM Irina Krush.

Zatonskih recaptured the title in 2011 with a gutsy and grueling performance. Including the tiebreak and playoff matches, she played 19 games of chess over a two-week period to win the 2011 U.S. Women's title. Each of the past two years, however, Krush has edged Anna by the narrowest of margins. Krush and Zatonskih have been the clear favorite each of the past six years, and odds-on money is that it will come down to one of the two to win the title of 2014 U.S. Women's Champion.

Anna said her chess highlights include the 2004 silver medal and the 2008 bronze she helped the U.S. team win at the World Chess Olympiad. Outside of the chess she has a variety of interests, from bicycling to ping pong to scuba diving. She even played an underwater match while in scuba gear on a giant board. The game couldn't go longer than 50 minutes, but she played to a draw.

Coached by her husband, German Grandmaster Daniel Friedman, Anna comes into the tournament in the hopes of securing her fifth title. [Source: Tournament site]

The video coverage of the US Championships is very comprehensive

A view in the control center for the multimedia and Internet broadcasts

Report: Brian Jerauld + ChessBase, photos by Lennart Ootes


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