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2013 U.S. Championships Celebrate 5 Years in Saint Louis Print E-mail
By Mike Wilmering   
April 11, 2013
AlexOGata.jpgSAINT LOUIS, April 11, 2013 -- The fields are set for both the 2013 U.S. Championship and 2013 U.S. Women’s Championship, scheduled to be held simultaneously May 2 through May 13 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL).

This marks the fifth consecutive year that each of these prestigious events will be held in Saint Louis. The opening ceremony takes place on May 2, and the first round for both events will kick off at 1 p.m. CDT on May 3.

In honor of the five-year anniversary, the 2013 U.S. Championship will feature a 24-player Swiss, the same format that was featured the first time the CCSCSL hosted a national championship in 2009. This year’s event will feature a guaranteed prize fund of more than $180,000.

Tony Rich, executive director of the CCSCSL, said the expanded field is sure to encourage fighting chess with many decisive results.

“With such a dynamic field, this year’s event is shaping up to be our most exciting U.S. Championship to date,” Rich said.

GM Hikaru Nakamura, the reigning U.S. Champion, declined his invitation to play in this year’s event, opting instead to compete in the Norway Chess 2013 super tournament featuring World Championship challenger GM Magnus Carlsen.

With Nakamura out, a number of youthful challengers hope to usher in a changing of the guard including reigning World Champions IM Kayden Troff (U-14 World Champion) and IM-elect Sam Sevian (U-12 World Champion). Among other new faces at the U.S. Championship is GM Timur Gareeev, who recently transferred federations from Uzbekistan and is coming off of an undefeated, first-place finish at the North American Open in Las Vegas this past December.

The complete list of players, and their current USCF ratings, for the 2013 U.S. Championship is as follows:

GM Gata Kamsky (2815)
GM Timur Gareev (2766)
GM Alexander Onischuk (2732)
GM Ray Robson (2698)
GM Sam Shankland (2698)
GM Varuzhan Akobian (2690)
GM Alex Stripunsky (2680)
GM Gregory Kaidanov (2673)
GM Alexander Ivanov (2664)
GM Robert Hess (2661)
GM Larry Christiansen (2657)
GM Yury Shulman (2639)
GM Alex Shabalov (2633)
GM Marc Arnold (2626)
GM Melikset Khachiyan (2625)
FM Jorge Sammour-Hasbun (2621)
GM Joel Benjamin (2618)
IM-elect Yaacov Norowitz (2612)
GM Alejandro Ramirez (2606)
GM Conrad Holt (2591)
GM Ben Finegold (2570)
FM John Bryant (2542)
IM Kayden Troff (2505)
IM-elect Sam Sevian (2467)

In addition to the $180,000 prize fund, the CCSCSL again will sponsor the “$64K Fischer Prize,” to be awarded to anyone that scores a perfect 9-0 in the U.S. Championship, in honor of Bobby Fischer’s result at the 1963-64 U.S. Championship.

The 2012 U.S. Women’s Championship will feature 10 players and a guaranteed prize fund of $65,000. IM Irina Krush looks to defend her U.S. Women’s Championship crown. Confirmed players for the 2012 U.S. Women’s Championship are as follows:

IM Anna Zatonskih (2506)
IM Irina Krush (2489)
WGM Tatev Abrahamyan (2409)
WGM Sabina Foisor (2397)
WGM Camilla Baginskaite (2358)
WIM Viktorija Ni (2353)
WIM Iryna Zenyuk (2341)
WGM Anjelina Belakovskaia (2334)
WFM Sarah Chiang (2238)
WFM Alena Kats (2229)

For the first time in the five years the CCSCSL has hosted the event, organizers are bringing in three commentators to provide even more extensive live coverage of the games and more in-depth player interviews and post-game analysis. GM Maurice Ashley, GM Yasser Seirawan and WGM Jennifer Shahade will provide live play-by-play coverage of the event via www.livestream.com/uschess.

Additionally, the live coverage will be picked up by FOX Sports Midwest online, with a special hour-long recap of the event airing on FOX Sports Midwest on May 25.

Franc Guadalupe will be the chief arbiter for the U.S. Championship with Carol Jarecki helming the U.S. Women’s Championship.

Check www.uschesschamps.com for the latest updates, full player bios, info about past U.S. Championships and news about the top players in the U.S.

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