Shulman and Zatonskih Take Clear Leads
By Jennifer Shahade/Betsy Dynako   
May 18, 2008
Yury Shulman is now the clear leader in the 2008 U.S. Championship. Photo Betsy Dynako

In round six of the Frank Berry U.S. Championship, Yury Shulman defeated Sergey Kudrin on board one, taking the clear lead. Yury is now a full point ahead of the field with 5/6, as the others who were half a point behind him, Onischuk and Becerra, drew on board two.  Watch the final three crucial games live on , where Tom Braunlich and IM Alan Stein will provide live commentary.

In today's board one battle, Kudrin chose 9...b6 against Shulman's main line Exchange Grunfeld, rather than the razor-sharp cxd4 Qa5+ lines. Kudrin got into a very unpleasant Grunfeld endgame in which Black had little counterplay but had to deal with white's steam-roller on d5 and perfectly placed bishops. Black's loss here seems almost natural, without any obvious mistakes, which is why playing the Grunfeld is such a tight-rope.


Sergey Kudrin lost a tough game to Yury Shulman

Daniel Ludwig, still buzzing from his win over Jesse Kraai, played aggressive chess against Varuzhan Akobian, sacking a rook on e3 to reach the position below. Varuzhan has only one reasonable defense, but unfortunately for  the young talent from Florida, it's a very good one.

Position after 26...Qxg5. White to Move and Win

Show Solution

This was not a particularly violent round in the Frank Berry U.S. Championship- the only other decisive games were GMs Gurevich and Fedorowicz's wins over David Vigorito and Samuel Shankland.


Check out Betsy Dynako's round five 5 video from the scene:

Frank Berry U.S. Championship

Standings after six rounds
1.Yury Shulman-5
2-4. Sergey Kudrin, Julio Becerra and Alexander Onischuk-4
5-11. Josh Friedel, Alex Yermolinsky, Benjamin Finegold, Eugene Perelshteyn, Varuzhan Akobian, Gregory Kaidanov and Alexander Shabalov-3.5
12-15. Daniel Ludwig, John Fedorowicz, Alexander Ivanov and Dmitry Gurevich- 3
16-18. David Pruess, Jesse Kraai and Boris Gulko-2.5
19-23. Larry Kaufman, David Vigorito, Michael Langer, Sam Shankland, Dean Ippolito-2
24. Sergey Galant-1

Round seven pairings

 1 GM Julio Becerra  (2648 : 4.0) - GM Yuri Shulman  (2676 : 5.0) 
2 GM Gregory Kaidanov  (2697 : 3.5) - GM Alex Onischuk  (2728 : 4.0)    

3 GM Sergey Kudrin  (2588 :  4.0) - GM Alex Shabalov  (2709 : 3.5)    
4 IM Ben Finegold  (2613 : 3.5) - GM Varuzhan Akobian  (2666 : 3.5)    
5 GM Eugene Perelshteyn  (2626 : 3.5) - GM Alex Yermolinsky  (2568 : 3.5)    
6 GM Dmitry Gurevich  (2594 :  3.0) - IM Josh Friedel  (2539 : 3.5)    
7 GM Alex Ivanov  (2628 : 3.0) - GM John Fedorowicz  (2514 :3.0)    
8 FM Daniel Ludwig  (2429 :  3.0) - IM David Pruess  (2497 :  2.5)    
9 FM Michael Langer  (2307 :  2.0) - GM Boris Gulko  (2623 :  2.5)    
10 GM Jesse Kraai  (2569 : 2.5) - Ex Sergey Galant  (2176 :  1.0)    
11 IM Dean Ippolito  (2512 :  2.0) - IM David Vigorito  (2439 : 2.0)    
12 IM Larry Kaufman  (2384 :  2.0) - NM Sam Shankland  (2299 :  2.0)  

Anna Zatonskih. Photo courtesy monroi

Frank Berry U.S. Women's Championship
Standings after six rounds

1. Anna Zatonskih-6

2. Irina Krush-5.5
3. Tatev Abrahamyan-4
4-5. Batchimeg Tuvshintugs and Katerine Rohonyan-3.5
6. Tsagaan Battsetseg-3
7. Iryna Zenyuk-2
8. Esther Epstein-1.5
9. Chouchanik Airapetian-1
10. Courtney Jamison-0

In the women's division, Irina Krush conceded her first draw of the event to Iryna Zenyuk, while Anna Zatonskih pulled out a win in a long endgame against Esther Epstein. This puts Anna in the clear lead for the the first time. The match-up we have all been waiting for, Zatonskih-Krush will go down on Tuesday at 3:30 EST.



Tatev Abrahamyan

Meanwhile, Tatev Abrahamyan is staking a claim for third. She won a nice game tonight against Katerine Rohonyan, who has been in third for most of the tournament. After Rxc4, Tatev has more than enough compensation for the exchange due to Rohonyan's unharmonious pieces. Bc5 however, seems to be the real culprit after which Tatev wins material in a forcing line.


There is a lot more info on the official website, including a photo and video galleries and coverage by Tom Braunlich and Alan Stein. The latest reports are Alan's video report on Abrahamyan-Zatonskih, and Tom's round five summary.