|Robson Earns Final US Championship Spot|
|March 9, 2011|
16-year-old GM Ray Robson earned the final US Championship spot in a
thrilling playoff contest against GM Alejandro Ramirez. Robson and Ramirez tied for 2nd-3rd behind GM Gregory Kaidanov at the Saint Louis Invitational (March 4-9), where two US Championship seats were at stake. The playoff for the second spot consisted of a two-game rapid match. If that match was split, the tie would be broken with an Armageddon rapid game. The first rapid game was a balanced reverse Benoni that ended in a draw as the final position headed for perpetual check.
Nerves ran much higher in the wild second game, which featured an exchange sacrifice and the pretty game-changer 43.Bb8!
Congrats to Ray, who will join a formidable 16-player US Championship field which includes the clear winner of the Saint Louis Invitational, GM Gregory Kaidanov and World Championship candidate and defending US Champion Gata Kamsky. The event will take place at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis from April 13-28 in conjunction with the US Women's Championship.