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Shulman and Zatonskih Take Clear Leads Print E-mail
By Jennifer Shahade/Betsy Dynako   
May 18, 2008
Yury Shulman is now the clear leader in the 2008 U.S. Championship. Photo Betsy Dynako

In round six of the Frank Berry U.S. Championship, Yury Shulman defeated Sergey Kudrin on board one, taking the clear lead. Yury is now a full point ahead of the field with 5/6, as the others who were half a point behind him, Onischuk and Becerra, drew on board two.  Watch the final three crucial games live on Monroi.com , where Tom Braunlich and IM Alan Stein will provide live commentary.

In today's board one battle, Kudrin chose 9...b6 against Shulman's main line Exchange Grunfeld, rather than the razor-sharp cxd4 Qa5+ lines. Kudrin got into a very unpleasant Grunfeld endgame in which Black had little counterplay but had to deal with white's steam-roller on d5 and perfectly placed bishops. Black's loss here seems almost natural, without any obvious mistakes, which is why playing the Grunfeld is such a tight-rope.

Sergey Kudrin lost a tough game to Yury Shulman

Daniel Ludwig, still buzzing from his win over Jesse Kraai, played aggressive chess against Varuzhan Akobian, sacking a rook on e3 to reach the position below. Varuzhan has only one reasonable defense, but unfortunately for  the young talent from Florida, it's a very good one.

Position after 26...Qxg5. White to Move and Win

Show Solution

This was not a particularly violent round in the Frank Berry U.S. Championship- the only other decisive games were GMs Gurevich and Fedorowicz's wins over David Vigorito and Samuel Shankland.

Check out Betsy Dynako's round five 5 video from the scene:

Frank Berry U.S. Championship

Standings after six rounds
1.Yury Shulman-5
2-4. Sergey Kudrin, Julio Becerra and Alexander Onischuk-4
5-11. Josh Friedel, Alex Yermolinsky, Benjamin Finegold, Eugene Perelshteyn, Varuzhan Akobian, Gregory Kaidanov and Alexander Shabalov-3.5
12-15. Daniel Ludwig, John Fedorowicz, Alexander Ivanov and Dmitry Gurevich- 3
16-18. David Pruess, Jesse Kraai and Boris Gulko-2.5
19-23. Larry Kaufman, David Vigorito, Michael Langer, Sam Shankland, Dean Ippolito-2
24. Sergey Galant-1

Round seven pairings

 1 GM Julio Becerra  (2648 : 4.0) - GM Yuri Shulman  (2676 : 5.0) 
2 GM Gregory Kaidanov  (2697 : 3.5) - GM Alex Onischuk  (2728 : 4.0)    

3 GM Sergey Kudrin  (2588 :  4.0) - GM Alex Shabalov  (2709 : 3.5)    
4 IM Ben Finegold  (2613 : 3.5) - GM Varuzhan Akobian  (2666 : 3.5)    
5 GM Eugene Perelshteyn  (2626 : 3.5) - GM Alex Yermolinsky  (2568 : 3.5)    
6 GM Dmitry Gurevich  (2594 :  3.0) - IM Josh Friedel  (2539 : 3.5)    
7 GM Alex Ivanov  (2628 : 3.0) - GM John Fedorowicz  (2514 :3.0)    
8 FM Daniel Ludwig  (2429 :  3.0) - IM David Pruess  (2497 :  2.5)    
9 FM Michael Langer  (2307 :  2.0) - GM Boris Gulko  (2623 :  2.5)    
10 GM Jesse Kraai  (2569 : 2.5) - Ex Sergey Galant  (2176 :  1.0)    
11 IM Dean Ippolito  (2512 :  2.0) - IM David Vigorito  (2439 : 2.0)    
12 IM Larry Kaufman  (2384 :  2.0) - NM Sam Shankland  (2299 :  2.0)  

Anna Zatonskih. Photo courtesy monroi

Frank Berry U.S. Women's Championship
Standings after six rounds

1. Anna Zatonskih-6

2. Irina Krush-5.5
3. Tatev Abrahamyan-4
4-5. Batchimeg Tuvshintugs and Katerine Rohonyan-3.5
6. Tsagaan Battsetseg-3
7. Iryna Zenyuk-2
8. Esther Epstein-1.5
9. Chouchanik Airapetian-1
10. Courtney Jamison-0

In the women's division, Irina Krush conceded her first draw of the event to Iryna Zenyuk, while Anna Zatonskih pulled out a win in a long endgame against Esther Epstein. This puts Anna in the clear lead for the the first time. The match-up we have all been waiting for, Zatonskih-Krush will go down on Tuesday at 3:30 EST.

Tatev Abrahamyan

Meanwhile, Tatev Abrahamyan is staking a claim for third. She won a nice game tonight against Katerine Rohonyan, who has been in third for most of the tournament. After Rxc4, Tatev has more than enough compensation for the exchange due to Rohonyan's unharmonious pieces. Bc5 however, seems to be the real culprit after which Tatev wins material in a forcing line.

There is a lot more info on the official website, including a photo and video galleries and coverage by Tom Braunlich and Alan Stein. The latest reports are Alan's video report on Abrahamyan-Zatonskih, and Tom's round five summary.

May - Chess Life Online 2008

Response to Irina's Open Letter Open Letter from Irina Krush Hilton on Midwest Open TeamsFinal Tulsa Media Gallery Hilton Blogs from Chicago, Part II GM Joel on Reasons to Decline Akobian Wins; Friedel and Zenyuk WowHilton Blogs from ChicagoMedia Gallery on Women Champs Join the Party in Vegas The Short and the Long of the U.S. ChampsFantasy Chess FinishesAnna Zatonskih U.S. Women's Champ!Yury Shulman U.S. Champion!Chicago Chess Summer Begins FridayFantasy Down to WireShulman Clinches Playoff; Krush LeadsHighlights from I.S. 318 in PittsburghOrrin Hudson on CBS Fantasy Day 7 UpdateShulman and Krush Pull AheadRound Six Fantasy UpdateShulman and Zatonskih Take Clear LeadsRound Five Fantasy ChessShulman Wins; Krush and Zatonskih Roll onFantasy Standings Round Four UpdateKudrin Leads Men; Krush and Zatonskih Still PerfectQuestions Surround Kamsky MatchJen on ChessFest and Queens vs. RooksHappy Press but Little Space in Tulsa Round 3 Fantasy Update Five Lead in TulsaEmotions Run High in Pittsburgh Fantasy Round 2 UpdateKaidanov and Kudrin Tied in TulsaTwo Games Left Standing UTD Arrives in China Round 1 Fantasy Update Round One Closes in Tulsa Spotlight on Courtney Jamison Opening Round Shocker Players Arrive in TulsaA Parent's Perspective: Part IIDaily Fantasy Prizes A Parent's PerspectiveAnand Wins Oscar; Kamsky ThirdU.S. Championship Round 1 PairingsAmerican battles blindfolded Bulgarian4-Way Tie in Asian-American ClassicElementary Team Predictions 2008 U.S. Championship Details Tulsa Fight Club Three-Way Tie in BakuU.S. Championship UpdateEnter Your Fantasy U.S. Champ Team Now!Larry Kaufman Wins Senior OpenIrina Krush on the All-Girls-Nationals