Kudrin Leads Men; Krush and Zatonskih Still Perfect
By Jennifer Shahade/Betsy Dynako   
May 16, 2008
In round four, Yury Shulman and Alexander Onischuk drew on board one.
Photo Betsy Dynako

A victory over Varuzhan Akobian puts Sergey Kudrin in clear first in the Frank Berry U.S. Championship, with 3.5/4. Kudrin chose a super-aggressive line against the Pirc, but Akobian was the one who ended up attacking. Unfortunately for the April Chess Life Mag cover star, Kudrin found some accurate moves, like 19.Nxf6! (19.gxf5 would allow the annoying Rxh1+) and 22.Ra4!, to reel in the full point.

GM Sergey Kudrin

Four players are close behind with 3/4, including friends Alexander Onischuk and Yury Shulman, who in round four, played a hard-fought 50+ move draw on board one.

Julio Becerra and Gregory Kaidanov also drew on board two, completing the 3/4 score group. The top three boards played the round in the smaller room in attempt to resolve the problem of the main room being too cramped.  We'll see if this solution pleases all parties.

The most exciting battle of all may have occurred before the clocks started, and luckily for CLO readers, Betsy Dynako had just arrived in Tulsa to capture it, along with the rest of the photos in this article:

Unfortunately for Dean, his victory in arm-wrestling was not repeated in the game. Here is Sam's victory, along with a less red-faced photograph!


IM Josh Friedel pulled off the other major upset of the round, against GM Boris Gulko

Frank Berry U.S. Championship

Standings after four rounds
1. Sergey Kudrin-3.5/4
2-5. Julio Becerra, Yury Shulman, Gregory Kaidanov and Alexander Onischuk-3/4
6-7. Josh Friedel and Alex Yermolinsky-2.5/4
8-16. Sam Shankland, Daniel Ludwig, David Pruess, Jesse Kraai, John Fedorowicz, Benjamin Finegold, Eugene Perelstheyn, Varuzhan Akobian, Alexander Shabalov-2/4
17-21. Larry Kaufman, David Vigorito, Alexander Ivanov, Boris Gulko and Dmitry Gurevich- 1.5/4
22. Michael Langer-1
23-24. Sergey Galant and Dean Ippolito-0.5
Round five pairings
1 GM Alex Onischuk (2728 :3.0) - GM Sergey Kudrin (2588 : 3.5)
2 GM Gregory Kaidanov (2697 : 3.0) - GM Yuri Shulman (2676 : 3.0)
3 IM Josh Friedel (2539 : 2.5) - GM Julio Becerra (2648 : 3.0)
4 GM Varuzhan Akobian (2666 : 2.0) - GM Alex Yermolinsky (2568 : 2.5)
5 GM John Fedorowicz (2514 : 2.0) - GM Alex Shabalov (2709 :2.0)
6 IM David Pruess (2497 : 2.0) - GM Eugene Perelshteyn (2626 : 2.0)
7 IM Ben Finegold (2613 : 2.0) - NM Sam Shankland (2299 : 2.0)
8 FM Daniel Ludwig (2429 : 2.0) - GM Jesse Kraai (2569 : 2.0)
9 GM Alex Ivanov (2628 : 1.5) - IM Larry Kaufman (2384 : 1.5)
10 GM Boris Gulko (2623 : 1.5) - IM David Vigorito (2439 : 1.5)
11 GM Dmitry Gurevich (2594 : 1.5) - FM Michael Langer (2307 :1.0)
12 Sergey Galant (2176 : 0.5) - IM Dean Ippolito (2512 :  0.5)

The most crucial face-off in round four of the women's was Katerine Rohonyan's game against Anna Zatonskih

Frank Berry U.S. Women's Championship
Standings after four rounds
1-2. Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih-4/4

3. Tatev Abrahamyan-3/4
4. Katerina Rohonyan- 2.5/4
5-6. Tsagaan Battsetseg and Batchimeg Tuvshintugs-2/4
7-8. Chouchanik Airapetian and Iryna Zenyuk-1/4
9. Esther Epstein- 0.5/4
10. Courtney Jamison-0/4

 In the women's event, Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih are still undefeated, with 4/4 each. Anna got through Katerina Rohonyan, who was just half a point behind her and Irina. Irina won against wildcard Courtney Jamison.