Women's Champs Down to Wire
By Betsy Dynako and Jennifer Shahade   
July 20, 2007
Photo Betsy Dynako

by Jennifer Shahade

With just one round to go, the race for the U.S. Women's Championship title is down to three players: Irina Krush, Katerina Rohonyan (both with 6/8) and defending champ Anna Zatonskih, who is half a point behind.

Krush and Rohonyan played an exciting game to a draw yesterday. Today, they are both favorites in their games (Irina plays Tatev Abrahamyan and Katerina plays Alisa Melekhina), so there is a definite chance they'll both end on 7/9. Anyone care to predict the exact % of this can post below. If they tie for first, there will be a playoff match for the title, although they will split the money. (1st prize is $7,000 and 2nd is 5,000) Anna Zatonskih plays Elizabeth Vicary for her shot to tie for first in the event that neither Krush nor Rohonyan will win. Watch the games live on monroi.com or on the official website!

Irina Krush and Katerina Rohonyan are tied for first after eight rounds. Photo Betsy Dynako.

Here is the eighth round game between Krush and Rohonyan:


Krush tried very hard to win with White, but Rohonyan defended well. After 28.Rh4, Rh6! is the only move, but it happens to save the draw.

In round 8, Zatonskih won an attacking game in an isolated Queen pawn position against Camilla Baginskaite:


Anna Zatonskih's support squad: Husband Daniel Fridman and daughter Sophia. Photo courtesy Anna Zatonskih.

The challenge for Anna in this tournament is to focus on the tournament with a four-month-old back in the room! Anna told Betsy Dynako: "
I am also breast feeding and wouldn’t give that up, even for the Championship." When Dynako asked Anna if she had trouble turning off being a mom in her first round game against Alisa Melekhina, Anna responded: "I knew that she had milk.  We also brought formula for her.  I knew Daniel would take good care of her, but after the game I ran to the room.  There was no analyzing."

Look for Elizabeth Vicary's second blog in a couple hours, and for a final report with games, analysis, and a big photo gallery.