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U.S. State Champion of Champions: The Final Four Print E-mail
By Joan DuBois   
April 1, 2009
Official Press Release
April 1, 2009
Contact: John Henderson

After a competitive day on the Internet Chess Club that saw 29 state champions from Alaska, Hawaii through California to Washington, and from Maine through to Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Tennessee, the U.S. State Champion of Champions tournament reaches the Final Four.

The two zonal tournaments in both the Eastern and Western Conferences produced some epic battles and a couple of runaway winners.  All the early action came in the Western Conference, where the first to qualify  was the youngest competitor Sam Shankland from North California, who top-scored on 9.5/10 to dominate his zonal tournament.  Next up was John Bryant of Southern California, who scored 8.5/10 in the other zonal to also book his place in the finals.

But it was a different story in the Eastern Conferences, with two extremely close zonal battles. Connecticut top seed GM Sergey Kudrin found the going tough in a three-way showdown for the top spot alongside Mackenzie Molner of New Jersey and IM James Rizzitano of Massachusetts.  In the end though, age and guile proved no match for youth and speed, as Molner took the top spot ahead of the two veterans by a narrow margin.

And there was a more dramatic battle in the second zonal, which went to a playoff, as FM Ronald Simpson of North Carolina tied for first place on 11.5/13 with Dov Gorman of Virginia, with Simpson winning the playoff, 2-0, to reach the finals.

Next Saturday, April 4th, with independent proctors in place at each venue to ensure fair-play, and an extended time control of two G25min + 10sec games (and blitz playoffs, if needed), ICC will host the Final Four with Molner vs. Simpson for the Eastern Conference title and Shankland vs. Bryant for the Western Conference title; the winners then meeting on Sunday, April 5th, to play for the title of U.S. State Champion of Champions and round-trip ticket and final qualifying spot for the 2009 U.S. Championship, hosted by the Scholastic Center and Chess Club of St. Louis, Missouri.

Go to U.S. State Champion of Champions page for crosstable of results and to download all zonal tournament games.

Further information:
John B. Henderson
ICC Director of Chess Content
Tel: 847-347-9593
E-mail: [email protected]