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Gata & Gaga Close 2010 US Chess Championships Print E-mail
By Betsy Dynako & Jennifer Shahade   
May 26, 2010
Gata Kamsky victorious, Photo Betsy Dynako for CCSCSL

The 2010 US Chess Championships closing ceremony, held at the Starlight Ballroom at the Chase Park Plaze Hotel in Saint Louis, highlighted Gata and Gaga. The closing took place on the evening of May 25, after the morning's Armageddon rapid match for the title.

Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis founders Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield presented the 2010 champion, GM Gata Kamsky with a $30,000 check, ring and jacket. In his speech, Rex, who is also the president of the club said, "It’s been almost 20 years since our 2010 Champion has won a US Chess Championship, but in this time span he has made America so proud on the world stage, winning the World Cup and representing us in numerous international events, including Olympic teams."
Gata Kamsky flanked by CCSCSL founders Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield, Photo Betsy Dynako for CCSCSL

USCF Executive Director Bill Hall, along with all of the evening's speakers, praised the efforts of the Sinquefields and the CCSCSL staff. The crowd was thrilled when for the second year in a row, Hall announced that the subsequent year's event, the 2011 US Chess Championships, would also be held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
GM Vinay Bhat, GM Robert Hess, IM Levon Altounian and GM Aleksandr Lenderman, Photo Betsy Dynako for CCSCSL 

Tournament chair Jennifer Shahade announced the chess.com Best Game prize, which was judged by IMs David Pruess, Greg Shahade and WIM Alisa Melekhina. The $1000 prize went to the tournament runner-up, GM Yury Shulman, for his brilliant win over defending champion Hikaru Nakamura.

Maintaining the cinematic theme of the opening ceremony, which screened the Spectrum Studios documentary Changing of the Guard, the closing ceremony hosted a dance party. The DJ was partial to Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and old dance numbers. If that wasn't enough to excite CCSCSL GM-in-residence and Lady Gaga fan Ben Finegold, a Gaga lookalike also crashed the party, with GMs taking turns spinning in her flashy jacket. 

Gaga incarnate and GM Ben Finegold, Photo Betsy Dynako for CCSCSL

The official Championship photographer Betsy Dynako's gallery tells the rest of the story but the theme is constant: The best place to unwind after two grueling weeks of chess is at a party fit for Gat (g)a.

Photo Gallery
Jeanne Sinquefield and Gata Kamsky, Photo Betsy Dynako  for CCSCSL

The Final Four: Gata Kamsky, Yury Shulman, Hikaru Nakamura and Alexander Onischuk, Photo Betsy Dynako  for CCSCSL

CCSCSL Executive Director Tony Rich award Challengers' Swiss winner GM Shabalov a "Best of the Rest" plaque. Photo Betsy Dynako  for CCSCSL

2010 Champ Gata Kamsky with tournament commentator and chair Jennifer Shahade Photo Betsy Dynako  for CCSCSL

The Conga Line, Photo Betsy Dynako  for CCSCSL 

Larry and Natasha Christinasen, Photo Betsy Dynako  for CCSCSL

Jennifer Shahade, Hikaru Nakamura and Irina Krush, Photo Betsy Dynako  for CCSCSL

GMs Varuzhan Akobian, Yury Shulman, photographer Betsy Dynako and GM Vinay Bhat, Photo GM Mesgen Amanov

IM Irina Krush dancing to Gaga, Photo Betsy Dynako  for CCSCSL

GMs Melikset Khachiyan, Maurice Ashley and WIM Evelyn Moncayo, Photo Betsy Dynako  for CCSCSL

GM Giorgi Kacheishvilli and GM Aleksandr Lenderman, Photo Betsy Dynako for CCSCSL

Members of the Chess Hall of Fame Board and the Chess Club's architecture firm, Arcturis , Photo Betsy Dynako  for CCSCSL 

WIM Lorena Zepeda and GM Loek Van Wely, Photo Betsy Dynako  for CCSCSL

Chess For Life director Susan Barrett, WGM Jennifer Shahade and GM Hikaru Nakamura, Photo Betsy Dynako  for CCSCSL

Tech whizzes from Ceaser Creative , a tournament sponsor, Photo Betsy Dynako for CCSCSL

IM Greg Shahade (right) and Arun Sharma (center) of the US Chess League were in town when it was announced that a Saint Louis team will join the League this fall. Photo Betsy Dynako for CCSCSL

Dance Party, Photo Betsy Dynako for CCSCSL

IM Irina Krush and GMs Ben Finegold and Melikset Khachiyan, Photo Betsy Dynako for CCSCSL

Chess Club board member Mike Lueken and Randy Sinquefield, owner of Spectrum Studios

Ben Finegold and Lady Gaga had the floor to themselves for "Poker Face" and "Bad Romance", Photo Betsy Dynako for CCSCSL

For more on the 2010 US Chess Championships, including photos, pgn files, videos and written reports, see uschesschamps.com.


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