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Four Decisive Games in Round 1 of the US Women's Print E-mail
October 4, 2009
Jeanne Sinquefield, who started the Chess Club with Rex, rings the bell to kick off the game, Photos all by Betsy Dynako
Round one of the 2009 U.S. Women's Championship (Saint Louis, October 3-13) saw four decisive games, including a beautiful win by WGM Camila Baginskaite over WFM Tatev Abrahamyan. Camila played 5.b6 against the Benko Gambit and won an instructive game in which she exploited her space edge on both sides of the board. In her post-game interview, Camila said that although she plays chess less often than in years past, she feels more relaxed when playing.
Macauley Peterson interviews Camila Baginskaite for chess.fm

The game included some nice positional manouvers like Nd1-e3-c4 and was topped off by the nice 29. Nxd6 sack. If 29...Nxd6, Camila was planning 30. Qxg6+ Kf8 and the simple f5 with the crushing threat of f6.

IM Anna Zatonskih and WIM Iryna Zenyuk

A headliner game of the day, Zenyuk-Zatonskih, featured successful preparation on Zenyuk's part. Zatonskih played the Dutch, which she rarely plays, but Zenyuk was ready for it and achieved a great opening position. But Zenyuk fell into deep time pressure and with more time and experience, Zatonskih outplayed her in the subsequent complications, finding the sneaky 28...Nc6 well before it appeared on the board.

WIM Tsagaan Battsetseg and IM Rusudan Goletiani

Goletiani-Tsagaan was a Sicilian slugfest.

As Goletiani pointed out in the post-game interview, she wouldn't want to show this game to her students, since neither player castled all game. Goletiani has good results in the Sicilian even though she often gets scary positions, "I've had worse than this one," she said. Still, White's position looked very juicy by move 29. But b3 and Rg1 were both mistakes and the attack rapidly shifted into Rusa's hands.
Yun Fan against Sabina Foisor

The other Sicilian of the day, Fan-Foisor turned into a great Sicilian endgame for Black. Although White got some play later on, Black pulled out the win:

IM Irina Krush vs. WIM Alisa Melekhina

Since Irina Krush was playing White against the youngest competitor of the event, 18-year-old Alisa Melekhina, the crowd expected her to take every opportunity to show off her greater experience in King's Indian positions. Surprisingly, Irina went for the Exchange Variation, and she did manage to post some problems for Alisa. But Melekhina played accurately enough that Krush couldn't see anything better than a repetition on move 21.

Watch game two at 3 PM EST on the Internet Chess Club or on the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis on a live gameplayer powered by monroi. On either site, you can listen in to live audio chess.fm commentary by GM-elect Ben Finegold and WGM Jennifer Shahade. Also check out an article on the opening festivities and watch a video of Anna Zatonskih's blindfold display. Look for Mike Klein's press release and Chris Bird's bulletin update on the CCSCSL website.

October - Chess Life Online 2009

Josh Friedel on a Stylish Win but a Mediocre Result Jerry Hanken Games Wanted Lenderman and Robson Climbing at the World Junior Kaufman on the Early Rounds of the World Senior GM Joel on Steinitz's 4th Rule USCF News: USCF Fees for FIDE ChangeWorld Team Championship Squad Set Dying With Your Boots On9Queens Presents the Best Games at the U.S. Women's Khachiyan Tops Western States A Defending Champ on Arriving in Italy Championship Secrets: Sudoku & No Computer Shabalov Wins Cleveland Open Two GMs Lead While Upsets Reign in Reno Week 8 US Chess League Recap Help America's Most Wanted Find Robert Snyder Ray Robson on His Road to GM Robson and Lenderman off to World Junior in Argentina Jennifer on Women's TitlesUS Titles Approved at FIDE CongressThree Share Honors at Midwest Class World Championship Set for Sofia, April 2010US Chess League Nears Playoffs Enkhbat and Barnett Top Maryland Open Chess Without Borders Finalist for 2009 Chicago Innovation Award Glamour and Big Bucks Close the U.S. Women's Anna Zatonskih Wins US Women's: Video Recap Anna Zatonskih Clinches Decisive Championship Memorial Service for Jerry HankenRay Robson Earns Final GM Norm! Zatonskih Climbs to 5.5/6: Video RecapZatonskih Increases Lead at the US Women's Irina vs. Iryna in Round Five of the Women's Letter to USCF Life Members Zatonskih Topples Krush Krush-Zatonskih Battle Nears Six Medals for USA in MexicoFour Decisive Games in Round 1 of the US Women's U.S. Women's Opens With Jazz, Hooping and Blindfold Americans Hunt for Medals in Mexico Jerry Hanken Passes Away at 74Interview with a Hall of Famer: GM John Fedorowicz