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Akobian and Shulman Still Lead Print E-mail
By Jennifer Shahade   
May 13, 2009
In round six of the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship (Saint Louis, May 7-17), friends and Olympic teammates Varuzhan Akobian and Yury Shulman drew their game but still share the lead with 4.5/6.


See round seven pairings and the official tournament website with video gallery. Check live games tomorrow at 3 PM EST on the official site, monroi.com or the Internet Chess Club.

Alexander Onischuk vs. Hikaru Nakamura, Photo Betsy Dynako

The only players within striking distance of Shulman and Akobian were Gata Kamsky, Robert Hess and Hikaru Nakamura, but they also drew their games. Nakamura faced Onischuk on the black side of an 4. e3 Nimzo-Indian. He said he chose the Nimzo because he wanted a solid game, but he regretted his choice when he found himself facing a very tough defensive task. Nakamura thought he would hold after he got f5 in, because his knight was so much stronger than Onischuk's bishop.

Gata Kamsky vs. Robert Hess, Photo Betsy Dynako

Against Kamsky, 17-year-old GM-elect Hess chose the "Dragdorf", a hybrid of the Dragon and the Najdorf. It was the first time Hess had ever played the Sicilian, and he managed a solid draw against the #1 seed.


But there was also blood in this round. Crowd favorites Irina Krush, Ray Robson and Josh Friedel all scored today.




IM Irina Krush vs. GM Julio Becerra, Photo Betsy Dynako

This brings Irina and Ray within striking distance of GM norms. Check out the round six recap video: