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Nakamura 2009 U.S. Chess Champion! Print E-mail
By Jennifer Shahade   
May 17, 2009
A beaming Hikaru Nakamura shortly after his Championship win. Photo Betsy Dynako
GM Hikaru Nakamura won clear first and $40,000 in the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship with a final round miniature smash over GM Josh Friedel. Nakamura chose a line he'd never played before in a serious chess game 1.e5 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5, a popular variation at the scholastic level. Nakamura chose this opening because he wanted to play for a win, avoiding any possible playoff for first place.

It couldn't have turned out more perfectly for Hikaru. Josh tried to mix things up, and Hikaru won in short order, finishing off with the pretty bishop retreat, 22.Bc1, trapping the queen.

Tied for second place are GM Alexander Onischuk and GM-elect Robert Hess. Hess got the edge today against GM Varuzhan Akobian, but couldn't squeeze out a win, "If it weren't for 42...b5!," he told CLO, "I may have had chances."

Onischuk played against his own student, 14-year-old IM Ray Robson. Onischuk managed to grind him down after 67 moves.

Look for a final video recap, photos from the closing ceremony and more on CLO and uschesschamps.com. The video will include interviews with Nakamura and Hess. Check the standings here.


May - Chess Life Online 2009

Copper State International Kicks OffKruml and Qi Tie in U.S. Amateur West GM Joel: Sleepless in Saint Louis Hutama Wins U.S. Amateur Championships East Ehlvest Wins Title in Chicago with Dutch Magic Six Tied for Lead in Chicago Amateur Championships UnderwayHilton on Playing Like Finegold in Chicago Photos From ChessFest 2009 Chicago Open Kicks Off Memorial Weekend Interview with Hikaru Nakamura 2010 U.S. Championships Announced at ClosingSchein Friedman Scholarship DetailsFantasy Chess Finishes! Nakamura 2009 U.S. Chess Champion!Round Eight Video Recap Fantasy Chess Update: Round EightHess and Nakamura Lead Fantasy Chess Update: Round SevenRound 7 Video Recap: Nakamura, Onischuk, Kamsky and Hess AdvanceRound Six Video Recap Akobian and Shulman Still LeadFantasy Chess Update: Round Six Round Five Video Recap Fantasy Chess Update: Round FiveU.S. Championship Video Galllery Shulman and Akobian Lead after Five Rounds Fantasy Chess Update: Rounds 3 and 4Round Four Video RecapFive Lead in Saint Louis Naroditsky in Action in Young Stars Round Three Video Recap Friedel, Shulman, Nakamura and Kamsky Lead in Saint Louis Hess, Shulman and Kamsky Lead in Saint Louis US Champs Round One: Upsets and Stellar Games by Top Two Fantasy Chess BreakdownDuchamp Counts Down to the 2009 U.S. Championship Yury Chooses White Wine and the White Pieces for Round OneUSCF Board Meeting Agenda Watch a Nakamura Scorcher on a New Gameplayer Chess Talk with Rex and Tony and Ramp-Up Video Saint Louis Psychs Up for U.S. ChampsGreg Shahade Picks Fantasy Team and Predicts U.S. Championship