2008 U.S. Championship Details
By Tom Braunlich   
January 26, 2008
logoFKB2008lead.jpg The U.S. Chess Championship dates back to 1845 and includes among its victors such famous champions of the past as Morphy, Pillsbury, Marshall, Reshevsky, and the late Bobby Fischer. Who will be the champion for 2008?

The 2008 Frank K. Berry U.S. Chess Championship is now slated for May 13-21 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is sanctioned by the USCF and will be a 9-round Swiss System event with 24 contenders. The 2008 Frank K. Berry U.S. Women's Chess Championship will be held at the same time and location, as a 10-player round robin. International Arbiter Frank K. Berry is again sponsoring this year's events as he did last year in nearby Stillwater. The move to Tulsa is intended to simplify travel for the players.

The organizing committee today announces the following details:

Venue - Radisson Hotel Tulsa.   http://www.radisson.com/tulsaok_hotel

Prizes - at least $50,000

Seeding - The 24 invitees to the event will be determined as follows:

·         U.S. Champion (Alex Shabalov).

·         U.S. Open Champion (Boris Gulko).

·         U.S. Junior Champion (Marc Arnold).

·         U.S. Senior Champion  (To be determined at the U.S. Senior Open, scheduled for April 28-May 3 in Florida).

·         U.S. WCL Tournament of State Champions Winner (World Chess Live's "WCL" Tournament of State Champions winner from an online event held on World Chess Live, ICC's sister service, beginning April 12th. "www.worldchesslive.com ").

·         9 Top rated players on the March 2008 rating list  (due out February 10).

·         7 Qualifiers from the Qualifier Open tournament (March 28-30 in Tulsa). See: http://main.uschess.org/content/view/8108/141/ for the announcement or http://www.okchess.org/qualifier.htm for the tournament's website.

·         3 Wild Cards selected by Frank K. Berry to round out the field (to be announced in April).

Since the already-seeded Shabalov and Gulko will likely be among the top 10 players on the rating list, in effect invitations will go to the Top 11 rated players, plus the various qualifiers to make up 24 total players. This might be considered somewhat "tighter" at the top compared with last year in which there were only 6 players seeded directly by rating out of 36 total, and similar ratios in the previous few years.

Players who win qualification or are seeded under these rules but who decline the invitation will be replaced by the next available person in line on the March rating list. In case an already-seeded player wins the U.S. Senior Open (or the Qualifier Open) the qualification spot goes to the next-highest eligible finisher in that tournament. Of course all players must meet the eligibility requirements.
The Frank K. Berry U.S. Women's Chess Championship

Prizes -$25,000

Seeding - The 10 contenders for the title will be determined as follows:

·         U.S. Women's Champion (Irina Krush)

·         6 Top-Rated Women players on the March Rating List

·         3 Wild Cards selected by Frank K. Berry (One of these wild cards will be top female finisher at the Qualifier Open).

MonRoi will again be a sponsor, and will carry the official website and host LIVE games from both events for viewing online. http://www.monroi.com/

In the event of a tie for first place at the championship, in both the events, there will be a playoff for the title similar to previous years. The final announcement of the players will be made in April on Chess Life Online. The championship organizing committee consists of Frank K. Berry, Jim Berry, and Tom Braunlich; with assistance from Bill Goichberg, Bill Hall, and John Donaldson.