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US Champs Round One: Upsets and Stellar Games by Top Two Print E-mail
By Jennifer Shahade   
May 8, 2009
GM Gata Kamsky analyzed his win over GM Ildar Ibragimov in the commentary room
The first round of the 2009 U.S. Championship (Saint Louis, May 8-17) saw upsets by GM-elect Robert Hess and U.S. Junior Champion Tyler Hughes over GMs Larry Christiansen and GM Boris Gulko. Hughes' win was particuarly remarkable because Tyler is the lowest rated player in the field. Tyler sacrificed a pawn with 26...Nd7 because 27.Rxb7 Ne5 28. Rxe7 and Black must recapture with Rxe7 because Nxc4 loses to Rxe8+ Bf8 Rg4+ Kh7 Rxf8. He got a lot of compensation for the pawn, but the final blow was 39...Qxg4! simplifying into a totally won endgame.


Check out round two pairings here
which features two Olympiad members Kamsky and Akobian on board one and Nakamura vs.Ehlvest on board two. Tune in for the live coverage tomorrow on uschesschamps.com or the Internet Chess Club. Tomorrow, the DGT boards that failed mid-game, will be supplemented by a manually entered Monroi backup. Download the entire pgn file here or play through all of the games on our interactive java chess viewer here. (Click here for help with Java or the chess viewer.)
Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky both won very convincing games against Alexander Shabalov and Ildar Ibragimov, respectively.


Many of the spectators and me and Emil Sutovsky in the commentary room, thought Kamsky was in control in a Grunfeld-like English against Ibragimov. However, Ildar and Gata both thought White had the opening edge.


Many favorites prevailed, including GM Julio Becerra, who put the squeeze on IM Ray Robson and finished off with a classic knight fork tactic.


GM Yury Shulman was happy to pick the white wine from the opening ceremony--"He is a White player" according to GM Emil Sutovsky, meaning that he has a particularly strong style with the white pieces.


Speaking of the opening ceremony, here are the photos from the event, held at the Saint Louis Museum of Art. Luckily for the hundreds of attendees, the rain began just minutes after the ceremony concluded. Also see a full set of photos by official U.S. Championship photographer Betsy Dynako from round 1.

Yury Shulman, Hikaru Nakamura, Anna Zatonskih and Ildar Ibragimov, Photo Betsy Dyanko

GM Yury Shulman chooses white! Photo Betsy Dynako

GM Alexander Onischuk and GM Melikset Khachiyan
Chess Club Founder Rex Sinquefield
Charles Lawton and Melikset Khachiyan
GM Jaan Ehlvest, Photo Betsy Dynako 




May - Chess Life Online 2009

Copper State International Kicks OffKruml and Qi Tie in U.S. Amateur West GM Joel: Sleepless in Saint Louis Hutama Wins U.S. Amateur Championships East Ehlvest Wins Title in Chicago with Dutch Magic Six Tied for Lead in Chicago Amateur Championships UnderwayHilton on Playing Like Finegold in Chicago Photos From ChessFest 2009 Chicago Open Kicks Off Memorial Weekend Interview with Hikaru Nakamura 2010 U.S. Championships Announced at ClosingSchein Friedman Scholarship DetailsFantasy Chess Finishes! Nakamura 2009 U.S. Chess Champion!Round Eight Video Recap Fantasy Chess Update: Round EightHess and Nakamura Lead Fantasy Chess Update: Round SevenRound 7 Video Recap: Nakamura, Onischuk, Kamsky and Hess AdvanceRound Six Video Recap Akobian and Shulman Still LeadFantasy Chess Update: Round Six Round Five Video Recap Fantasy Chess Update: Round FiveU.S. Championship Video Galllery Shulman and Akobian Lead after Five Rounds Fantasy Chess Update: Rounds 3 and 4Round Four Video RecapFive Lead in Saint Louis Naroditsky in Action in Young Stars Round Three Video Recap Friedel, Shulman, Nakamura and Kamsky Lead in Saint Louis Hess, Shulman and Kamsky Lead in Saint Louis US Champs Round One: Upsets and Stellar Games by Top Two Fantasy Chess BreakdownDuchamp Counts Down to the 2009 U.S. Championship Yury Chooses White Wine and the White Pieces for Round OneUSCF Board Meeting Agenda Watch a Nakamura Scorcher on a New Gameplayer Chess Talk with Rex and Tony and Ramp-Up Video Saint Louis Psychs Up for U.S. ChampsGreg Shahade Picks Fantasy Team and Predicts U.S. Championship