The US Chess Scoop on Valley Forge: Part I
By Jennifer Shahade and Dim Mak Films   
July 1, 2010
At the 2010 Philadelphia International, IM Bryan Smith captured first place and the $2000 grand prize. He talked to the US Chess Scoop about his big win and a close call against IM Sam Shankland.

Bryan's favorite game from the tournament was his win against fellow Philadelphia Inventor Thomas Bartell.

Amanda Mateer of Arizona and Farai Mandizha of Zimbabwe were all smiles at the event's conclusion. Amanda earned her first WIM norm, while Farai earned his third IM norm. Amanda told the US Chess Scoop how her coach, GM Alejandro Ramirez, strengthened her Benoni to help her win her favorite game of the tournament. 

Farai Mandizha earned back to back norms in the New York and Philadelphia Internationals. According to Farai, this should complete his IM title, because he has an earlier norm from Foxwoods, and his rating is due to go over 2400.  Farai talked to the Scoop about chess in Zimbabwe and why he loves playing in the USA.

Another norm hopeful, tournament winner Bryan Smith did not compete against enough GMs to earn a norm. Only six GMs played in the Philadelphia International, and because they did not perform well, the actual leaders gunning for GM norms were often paired with other IMs. With two GM norms to his credit, IM Sam Shankland was particularly disappointed by this problem. He felt the prize fund was an insufficient incentive to play without serious norm chances. In an angry mood, Sam talked to the US Chess Scoop about his tournament and why he might quit chess after the 2010 US Junior Closed Championship (July 9-19, Saint Louis).

Evan Rosenberg, fresh off a norm from the New York International, was optimistic about the Philadelphia International. He talked to the Scoop about how he did and offers advice to CLO readers.

GM Luke McShane of England is one of many international stars playing in the World Open 7-day schedule. He talked to the Scoop about his opinion on "soccer-scoring", in which a win is tallied as 3 points, a draw is 1 and a loss is 0.

Check the World Open website for games, standings and more. Also look for blogging by Jonathan Hilton and a final set of US Chess Scoop videos at the end of the tournament.