2010 U.S. Championships Announced at Closing
May 20, 2009
The closing ceremony of the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship featured opera singing by GM Emil Sutovsky and speeches by the top three finishers, GM Hikaru Nakamura, GM-elect Robert Hess and GM Alexander Onischuk. The highpoint of the night was the announcement made by founder+president Rex Sinquefield, who started the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis with his wife Jeanne: There is an agreement to host the 2010 U.S. Chess Championships in Saint Louis. Details to come.

 For now enjoy a final photo gallery by Betsy Dynako, official event photographer.

Making the announcement of the evening: Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield

GMs Gregory Kaidanov, Emil Sutovsky, Gata Kamsky and Melikset Khachiyan

Fan Meets Fan

There were many happy players at the closing ceremony, due to the big announcement about 2010, the amazing view of Saint Louis and flowing streams of red and white. But IM Irina Krush was beyond thrilled. A few months prior, she was introduced to the Saint Louis rapper Oreo.con's Lil Wayne diss on youtube.com. "I just got hooked on this guy." In fact, Irina was so into Oreo.con that she had memorized some of his raps, one of which she performed at an Italian restaurant during the Championships. But she never expected to meet him until after round eight, when IM David Pruess contacted Irina with some numbers. She tried one, "I didnt recognize the voice, and asked 'Who is this?' and he said '.con." I'm not sure what I said after that. I guess I was in some shock. We talked for a while, turned out he'd even heard of my name cause of the Kasparov vs. the world game ten years ago!" Oreo.con also attended the closing ceremony but unfortunately, he did not rap this time. Perhaps for the U.S. Women's Championship in October?

The rapper Oreo.con and IM Irina Krush

John Henderson, Nick Heard, Joel Berez, Lauren Smith and Macauley Peterson

GM-elect Robert Hess in the hot seat

Doug Eckert with Ray Robson and his father

GM Emil Sutovsky sings at the closing ceremony

Assistant Arbiter Chris Bird and Chief Arbiter Carol Jarecki

The CCSCSL board and the top three: Susan Barrett, Robert Hess, Michael Lueken, Jeanne Sinquefield, Hikaru Nakamura, Rex Sinquefield, Alexander Onischuk, Rachel Keller-Brown and Jim Voelker

Irina Krush and the arch

Jeanne Sinquefield, Jennifer Shahade, Jim Voelker

Natasha and Larry Christiansen

Gata Kamsky and Emil Sutovsky

Jennifer Shahade, Rex Sinquefield, Irina Krush

Jeanne Sinquefield, Gata Kamsky, Rex Sinquefield, Anna Zatonskih, Daniel Fridman, Alexander Onischuk

Look for upcoming post-event blogs by Jennifer Shahade and GM Joel Benjamin and video interviews with Hikaru Nakamura and Robert Hess. Also read part I of Hikaru Nakamura's wrap-up on his personal blog.