Friedel, Shulman, Nakamura and Kamsky Lead in Saint Louis
By Jennifer Shahade   
May 10, 2009
Photo Betsy Dynako courtesy Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

In round three of the 2009 U.S. Championship (May 8-17, Saint Louis) 22-year-old GM Josh Friedel defeated GM Joel Benjamin while GM Hikaru  Nakamura won against GM-elect Robert Hess.


Friedel and Nakamura now top the charts with 2.5/3 along with Kamsky and Shulman, who drew in a theoretical Grunfeld. 

Here are the pairings for round four, which feature Friedel and Kamsky on board one and Nakamura and Shulman on board two. See the pgn here; view the entire index of photo galleries for the tournament and play through all of the games on our interactive java chess viewer here. (Click here for help with Java or the chess viewer.)

The biggest news of the day was unfortunate: Anna Zatonskih withdrew from the tournament for medical reasons, but not for anything life-threatening. The chess community, including USCF, CLO and CCSCSL wish her a speedy recovery. She will be replaced by Doug Eckert, an alternate player who also attended the opening ceremony. Doug will start with 0 points.

Photo Betsy Dynako courtesy Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis , IM Irina Krush and GM Boris Gulko

IM Irina Krush won a nice endgame against GM Boris Gulko.


Shabalov also rebounded with a win over Charles Lawton: "Whenever I win with the Alekhine", he said on a visit to the press/commentary room, "I know things are on the right track."


Tune in for live coverage by me, GM Emil Sutovsky and Macauley Peterson at or  After the games, Grandmasters such as Kamsky, Shabalov and Onischuk come down to be interviewed on the air.

Also see the latest video recap from round two.