Home Page arrow Chess Life Online arrow 2009 arrow September arrow Four Decisive Games in Round 1 of the US Women's
Four Decisive Games in Round 1 of the US Women's Print E-mail
October 4, 2009
Jeanne Sinquefield, who started the Chess Club with Rex, rings the bell to kick off the game, Photos all by Betsy Dynako
Round one of the 2009 U.S. Women's Championship (Saint Louis, October 3-13) saw four decisive games, including a beautiful win by WGM Camila Baginskaite over WFM Tatev Abrahamyan. Camila played 5.b6 against the Benko Gambit and won an instructive game in which she exploited her space edge on both sides of the board. In her post-game interview, Camila said that although she plays chess less often than in years past, she feels more relaxed when playing.
Macauley Peterson interviews Camila Baginskaite for chess.fm

The game included some nice positional manouvers like Nd1-e3-c4 and was topped off by the nice 29. Nxd6 sack. If 29...Nxd6, Camila was planning 30. Qxg6+ Kf8 and the simple f5 with the crushing threat of f6.


IM Anna Zatonskih and WIM Iryna Zenyuk

A headliner game of the day, Zenyuk-Zatonskih, featured successful preparation on Zenyuk's part. Zatonskih played the Dutch, which she rarely plays, but Zenyuk was ready for it and achieved a great opening position. But Zenyuk fell into deep time pressure and with more time and experience, Zatonskih outplayed her in the subsequent complications, finding the sneaky 28...Nc6 well before it appeared on the board.


WIM Tsagaan Battsetseg and IM Rusudan Goletiani

Goletiani-Tsagaan was a Sicilian slugfest.


As Goletiani pointed out in the post-game interview, she wouldn't want to show this game to her students, since neither player castled all game. Goletiani has good results in the Sicilian even though she often gets scary positions, "I've had worse than this one," she said. Still, White's position looked very juicy by move 29. But b3 and Rg1 were both mistakes and the attack rapidly shifted into Rusa's hands.
Yun Fan against Sabina Foisor

The other Sicilian of the day, Fan-Foisor turned into a great Sicilian endgame for Black. Although White got some play later on, Black pulled out the win:


IM Irina Krush vs. WIM Alisa Melekhina

Since Irina Krush was playing White against the youngest competitor of the event, 18-year-old Alisa Melekhina, the crowd expected her to take every opportunity to show off her greater experience in King's Indian positions. Surprisingly, Irina went for the Exchange Variation, and she did manage to post some problems for Alisa. But Melekhina played accurately enough that Krush couldn't see anything better than a repetition on move 21.


Watch game two at 3 PM EST on the Internet Chess Club or on the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis on a live gameplayer powered by monroi. On either site, you can listen in to live audio chess.fm commentary by GM-elect Ben Finegold and WGM Jennifer Shahade. Also check out an article on the opening festivities and watch a video of Anna Zatonskih's blindfold display. Look for Mike Klein's press release and Chris Bird's bulletin update on the CCSCSL website.