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U.S. Championship in Oklahoma! Print E-mail
By USCF Board   
February 28, 2007
Photo Jacob Okada

The USCF Executive Board has approved a bid by Frank K. Berry to hold the Frank K. Berry US Championship May 15-23, 2007 as a 9-round Swiss at the Holiday Inn in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The vote was 3-1 with Sloan opposed and Channing and Marinello abstaining.

At least $65,000 will be available for prizes and/or player expenses; it has not yet been determined whether money towards expenses will be paid separately, or in the form of prizes to all players. Frank K. Berry has contributed $50,000 and may raise or donate more, and USCF has committed to raising or donating $15,000.

If enough money is available, it is possible that the top two players in the Swiss will qualify for a match to be played in Stillwater several months later to decide the US Champion. Whether or not this format will be used has not yet been decided.

It is expected that at least 34 players will compete in this event, the 31 who qualified according to procedures previously announced by America's Foundation for Chess when that group planned to be the sponsor and three "wildcard" players, probably local, to be named by the organizing committee. Additional "wildcard" spots will be offered to any player willing to pay a very high entry fee (probably in five figures) to compete. Read details on these "patron entry fees."

The Tournament Directors will be Frank K. Berry, Jim Berry, and Alex Relyea, all of whom are donating their services. The organizing committee consists of Frank K. Berry, Jim Berry, John Donaldson, Bill Goichberg, Bill Hall, and Jerry Hanken.

The players qualified so far are:

Defending US champion: Alexander Onischuk, Maryland
US Women's champion: Anna Zatonskih, New York
US Senior champion: Joe Bradford, Texas
US Junior champion: Robert Hess, New York
Grand Prix champion: Jaan Ehlvest, New York

Top three rated players from 12/06 list:
Gata Kamsky, New York
Hikaru Nakamura, New York
Gregory Kaidanov, Kentucky

Top two rated women from 12/06 list:
Susan Polgar, New York
Irina Krush, New York

US Masters:
Bryan Smith Pennsylvania
Ron Burnett Tennessee

Foxwoods Open:
Eugene Perelshteyn, Massachusetts
Alex Stripunsky, New York
Alex Ivanov, Massachusetts
Alex Shabalov, Pennsylvania

National Open
Varuzhan Akobian, California
Nick De Firmian, New York

World Open:
Joel Benjamin, New Jersey
Ildar Ibragimov, Connecticut

US Open:
Yury Shulman, Illinois
Michael Aigner, California

Western States Open:
Sergey Kudrin, Connecticut
Enrico Sevillano, California

American Open:
Melikset Khachiyan, Califronia
David Pruess, Califronia

National Chess Congress:
Justin Sarkar, New York
Ray Robson, Florida

North American Open:
Dmitry Gurevich, Illinois
Michael Mulyar, Colorado

Online State Champions Tournament:
Julio Becerra