Shulman Clinches Playoff; Krush Leads
By Jennifer Shahade/Betsy Dynako   
May 20, 2008
Yury faced Eugene Perelshteyn on board one today. Photo Betsy Dynako

With his hard-fought draw against Eugene Perelshteyn, Yury Shulman clinched at least a tie for first in the Frank Berry U.S. Championship. His closest rivals, Kudrin and Onischuk were a full point behind them, and they also drew to Friedel and Akobian, respectively.


 Shulman will face IM Josh Friedel with Black in the final round. The final games will start tomorrow, May 21 at 3:15 EST. You can watch the games live on along with live commentary by Tom Braunlich and Alan Stein. Scroll down to the end of the article to read the complete rules in the event of a playoff.

Drawing was the order of the day; there were only three decisive results among the men. Surprisingly all the wins were scored by Black:





Betsy Dynako's eighth round video coverage presents the intensity of the penultimate round:

Frank Berry U.S. Championship
Standings after eight rounds
1. Yury Shulman- 6.5
2-3. Sergey Kudrin and Alexander Onischuk
4-6. Josh Friedel, Eugene Perelshteyn and Varuzhan Akobian
7-9. John Fedorowicz, Benjamin Finegold and Julio Becerra
10-15. Jesse Kraai, Alexander Ivanov, Boris Gulko, Dmitry Gurevich, Gregory Kaidanov and Alexander Shabalov
16-19. Daniel Ludwig, David Pruess, Alexander Yermolinsky and Dean Ippolito
20-21. Larry Kaufman and David Vigorito
22-23. Michael Langer and Samuel Shankland
24. Sergey Galant

Final round pairings
1 IM Josh Friedel  (2539 :5.0) - GM Yuri Shulman  (2676 : 6.5)   
2 GM Sergey Kudrin  (2588 : 5.5) - GM Eugene Perelshteyn  (2626 :5.0)   
3 GM Alex Onischuk  (2728 : 5.5) - GM John Fedorowicz  (2514 : 4.5)   
4 GM Julio Becerra  (2648 : 4.5) - GM Varuzhan Akobian  (2666 : 5.0)   
5 GM Gregory Kaidanov  (2697 :4.0) - IM Ben Finegold  (2613 : 4.5)   
6 GM Dmitry Gurevich  (2594 : 4.0) - GM Alex Shabalov  (2709 : 4.0)   
7 GM Alex Ivanov  (2628 :4.0) - GM Jesse Kraai  (2569 : 4.0)   
8 IM Dean Ippolito  (2512 : 3.5) - GM Boris Gulko  (2623 :  4.0)   
9 IM David Pruess  (2497 : 3.5) - IM Larry Kaufman  (2384 : 3.0)   
10 IM David Vigorito  (2439 : 3.5) - GM Alex Yermolinsky  (2568 :3.5)   
11 FM Michael Langer  (2307 :  2.0) - NM Sam Shankland  (2299 : 2.5)   
12 FM Daniel Ludwig  (2429 : 3.5) - Sergey Galant  (2176 : 1.0)   


Frank Berry U.S. Women's Championship
Standings after eight rounds
1. Irina Krush-7
2. Anna Zatonskih-6.5
3. Tatev Abrahamyan-6
4-5. Katerine Rohonyan and Batchimeg Tuvshintugs
6. Tsagaan Battsetseg
7. Iryna Zenyuk-2.5
8. Esther Epstein-1.5
9. Chouchanik Airapetian-1
10. Courtney Jamison- 0

In the women's battle to watch, Krush and Zatonskih drew an intense fight that almost went into a rook and knight vs. rook ending. This draw keeps Irina half a point ahead of the field and within smelling distance of her second running U.S. Women's title.Tatev Abrahamyan  is in clear third with six points and she can technically tie for first. Tatev plays Chimi Tuvshintugs tomorrow.

 Tomorrow's pairings thicken the plot as both Krush and Zatonksih will face tough opponents, Rohonyan and Battsetseg, both of whom are coming off wins.



Playoff Rules

In case of a tie for first, prize money will be split normally but there will be a quick playoff to determine the title. If necessary, mathematical tiebreaks will be used to determine the top two tied players for the playoff. The playoff will occur immediately following Round 9, and will consist of: (1) Two games of G/15 + 3 second increment, then if still tied (2) Two games of G/5 + 3 sec. increment, then if still tied (3) one "armageddon" game. The armageddon game will use the "pie-cutter rule" to determine its time format, as follows: one player, chosen at random, states the times that white and black will have, with no increment, and with black having draw odds. The total time of the two players must total between 10 and 12 minutes. After the first player selects the times, the other player chooses which color he/she wants to play using those times. A common time split is 7 White and 5 black, but the first player could say, for example, 7½  White and 4½  Black, and his opponent would then have to choose which color to play.