|Gata & Gaga Close 2010 US Chess Championships|
|By Betsy Dynako & Jennifer Shahade|
|May 26, 2010|
The 2010 US Chess Championships closing ceremony, held at the Starlight Ballroom at the Chase Park Plaze Hotel in Saint Louis, highlighted Gata and Gaga. The closing took place on the evening of May 25, after the morning's Armageddon rapid match for the title.
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis founders Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield presented the 2010 champion, GM Gata Kamsky with a $30,000 check, ring and jacket. In his speech, Rex, who is also the president of the club said, "It’s been almost 20 years since our 2010 Champion has won a US Chess Championship, but in this time span he has made America so proud on the world stage, winning the World Cup and representing us in numerous international events, including Olympic teams."
USCF Executive Director Bill Hall, along with all of the evening's speakers, praised the efforts of the Sinquefields and the CCSCSL staff. The crowd was thrilled when for the second year in a row, Hall announced that the subsequent year's event, the 2011 US Chess Championships, would also be held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
Tournament chair Jennifer Shahade announced the chess.com Best Game prize, which was judged by IMs David Pruess, Greg Shahade and WIM Alisa Melekhina. The $1000 prize went to the tournament runner-up, GM Yury Shulman, for his brilliant win over defending champion Hikaru Nakamura.
Maintaining the cinematic theme of the opening ceremony, which screened the Spectrum Studios documentary Changing of the Guard, the closing ceremony hosted a dance party. The DJ was partial to Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and old dance numbers. If that wasn't enough to excite CCSCSL GM-in-residence and Lady Gaga fan Ben Finegold, a Gaga lookalike also crashed the party, with GMs taking turns spinning in her flashy jacket.
The official Championship photographer Betsy Dynako's gallery tells the rest of the story but the theme is constant: The best place to unwind after two grueling weeks of chess is at a party fit for Gat (g)a.
For more on the 2010 US Chess Championships, including photos, pgn files, videos and written reports, see uschesschamps.com.