USCF Home Chess Life Online Wild Cards Announced
|Wild Cards Announced|
|By Tom Braunlich|
|April 8, 2008|
In card games, "wild cards" allow a player holding them to press low-ranked cards into service to create a strong hand. It adds unpredictability to the outcome of each game. In this year's Frank K. Berry U.S. Chess Championships, it allows the sponsor to do much the same with some wild card players he is holding in hand.
This weekend the wild cards were added to the championship deck and confirmed. Here they are, along with the nearly complete rosters for the Championships.
Wild Cards for the U.S. Championship:
· Josh Friedel - the IM and current Samford fellow from California is still chasing GM norms and seems due for a big tournament.
· Michael Langer - the FM from Texas earned an IM norm at last year's championship and Frank thought he deserved a chance to do it again.
· Sergey Galant - our current Oklahoma champ gets the local honor. He will probably be the lowest-rated player and will have his work cut out for him.
Wild Cards of the U.S. Women's Championship:
· Chouchanik Airapetian - Chouchan is from Seattle and much better than her miserable result last year would indicate. She has the reputation of being a real giant killer when she is having a good event.
· Courtney Jamison - the local nod went to the popular scholastic star from Plano, Texas, who beat Denker Champ Warren Harper (2340) last month but who will have to face even tougher competition here.
With these names, added to the players who earned a slot from the Qualifier Open last weekend, we now have the following rosters for the Championships.
Confirmed Roster - 2008 FKB U.S. Championship
This year's championship is unfortunately missing the two top dogs Kamsky and Nakamura, but does feature 12 of the top 18 players in the country including 14 GMs and the defending champion.
* Slot 23 goes the the Senior Champ, who will be determined at the U.S. Senior Open, April 28-May 3, in Boca Raton, Florida. See: http://www.bocachess.com/senior/
** The final slot goes to the winner of the upcoming Tournament of State Champions (which was last year won by GM Julio Becerra). World Chess Live's "WCL" Tournament of State Champions is an online event held on World Chess Live, ICC's sister service, beginning April 12th, with the finals the weekend of April 18/19. It is directed by Chris Fitzgerald. The top eligible finisher in this event will get an invitation. You can watch the games live online and get more information at http://www.worldchesslive.com
The alternate on the rating list is GM Alex Fishbein, who will receive an invitation in case any of the above players must withdraw from the event.
Confirmed Roster - 2008 FKB U.S. Women's Championship
Defending champion Irina Krush heads the women's group, which will be a 10-player round robin.
The alternate on the rating list for the women is Alisa Melekhina, who will receive an invitation in case any of the above players must withdraw from the event.
The U.S. Championships both take place May 13-21 in Tulsa. For more details, see the website: http://monroi.com/the-2008-fkb-us-chess-championship-home.html
You can watch the games live online at www.monroi.com
Spectators are welcome and there will be live commentary on site using the MonRoi system.
Chess Life Online will have full coverage, including a fantasy chess competition. Prizes will include two Monroi PCMs and a board signed by all the participants. Full fantasy details coming soon. Stay tuned!