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Root Blogs from Tulsa:Part II Print E-mail
By Dr.Alexey Root, WIM   
March 29, 2008
KraaiCLOlead.jpgBreaking News: The ten players seeded by rating for the  Frank K. Berry U.S. Chess Championship (Tulsa, May 13-21) were to have replied by March 25th to their invitations. Early on, GM Hikaru Nakamura, GM Joel Benjamin, and Marc Arnold declined. As of the start date of the Qualifier Open, five other invitees had not yet replied. Since the 25th, the Berry brothers have been calling those invitees. The following additional invitees have now said "no" to participating in May: GM Ildar Ibragimov and GM Larry Christiansen. At this time, having not been in touch, GM Gata Kamsky and GM Jaan Ehlvest are presumed to have declined. Therefore, this weekend's Qualifier Open participants GM Julio Beccera, GM Alexander Ivanov, GM Eugene Perelshteyn, GM Sergey Kudrin, and IM Ben Finegold are now seeded by rating into the May 13th-21st tournament. 

Tom Braunlich says, "This means that any slot these five would have won this weekend will now go to the next highest eligible finisher in the Qualifier Open. This opens up the tournament because five of the main contenders are essentially not contenders any more. Some of the lower-rated masters now have their chance. I will post a full explanation on Monday in my CLO report." 

Frank Berry U.S. Championship Qualifier
Standings after four rounds
1-6: GMs Alex Ivanov, Alex Yermolinsky, Jesse Kraai, John Fedorowicz, Alex Goldin and Sergey Kudrin.

For full wallchart after four rounds, click here.
Ivanov and Yermolinsky drew on board one in round four, while Kraai, Fedororwicz, Goldin and Kudrin won. Here are three of the critical fourth round wins:




The tournament Web site is http://www.okchess.org/qualifier.htm, and the top games are relayed live on Monroi. Going into the current (Saturday night, fifth) round, the following players are on the top three boards. The number in parentheses is the points after 4 rounds, as this is the fifth round. 

Board 1: GM Alexander Ivanov (3.5) vs. GM Sergey Kudrin (3.5) 
Board 2: GM Alex Goldin (3.5) vs. GM Alex Yermolinsky (3.5)
Board 3: GM Jesse Kraai (3.5, photo) vs. GM Julio Beccera (3.0)

Leading the women are: Chouchanik Airapetian (3.0, photo) and Bayaraa Zorigt (2.5, photo with Tom Braunlich, organizer).


 My second round opponent, NM Michael Aigner, covers the Qualifier Open in his blog http://fpawn.blogspot.com.

Type "liblist fpawn" on Internet Chess Club to review Aigner's games (start at spot #30).  

Other Qualifier players with chess blogs include IM Ben Finegold  http://finegoldchess.blogspot.com/, expert Dana Mackenzie http://www.danamackenzie.com/blog/, IM Mark Ginsburg http://nezhmet.wordpress.com/, NM Pete Karagianis http://blog.chessunderground.org/, and Andy Hortillosa www.usmilitarychess.org.

Mackenzie's blog detailed the round two time scramble between FM Todd Andrews and GM Alexander Ivanov, where TD Frank K. Berry ruled that Ivanov had to keep score when he had less than five minutes, because there is a 30 second increment. Time control is G/90 plus 30 second increment.

Social Life

 On the drive to Tulsa Friday morning, a local radio station advertised live bands at the Elephant Run, the nightclub at the site hotel. So, after round 2 on Friday night, Michael Brooks (photo) and I went. After buying me a cranberry juice, Brooks told me that Aigner's a-pawn distracted my pieces away from my kingside. But that, earlier in the game, I should have made either my bishop or knight active. Brooks also shared, "I'm a Christian. Jesus is my Savior." We may have been the only chess players at the Elephant Run. Since it was dimly lit, crowded, noisy, and smoke-filled, I can't say for sure. On Saturday, between the 9 a.m. round and the 2:30 round, Chouchanik Airpetian and I drove in my car to lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. We passed many chessplayers walking between .3 and .5 miles to restaurants, under the Interstate 44 overpass and tolerating the unseasonably cold temperature of 50. (No, it wasn't safe to pull over to offer them rides).

WIM Chouchanik Airapetian

Trivia and Correction

 After I blogged about how old Pupols and Hanken are, I lost to Pupols on Saturday morning. The age-old answer: Pupols (7-31-34) is three months older than Hanken (10-30-34).

In my first blog, I misspelled the last name of UTD student Taut Vedrickas (photo) Sorry, Taut.

  Dr. Alexey Root is a WIM and former U.S. Women's Champion. She will continue to report from Tulsa this weekend. You can find out more about her and her books in the following links:  http://lu.com/authors/AlexeyRoot.pdf , Science, Math, Checkmate and Children and Chess.