Glamour and Big Bucks Close the U.S. Women's
By Jennifer Shahade   
October 16, 2009
Anna Zatonskih with her check, Photo Betsy Dynako
The U.S. Women's Championship (October 3-13, Saint Louis) closed with Anna Zatonskih picking up a $15,000 check for her incredible 8.5/9 score! In contrast to most huge check photos, Anna and official U.S. Women's Championship photographer Betsy Dynako had some fun with her poses, even borrowing the shoes off board member Susan Barrett's feet.

Zatonskih also won the Goddesschess fighting spirit award ($500) and the 9queens #1 best game prize ($300) for her win over Melekhina.

Another very happy player at the closing ceremony was Camila Baginskaite, who took clear second for $12,000. She also picked up the 2nd World Women's Championship spot and an IM norm. Tied for 3rd-4th were Alisa Melekhina and Irina Krush, good for $7500 each. Tatev Abrahamyan's second half rally put her in clear fifth. Her prize was $6000. See final crosstable here.

Executive director Bill Hall announced that the USCF and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis agreed to host the US Women's Championship in Saint Louis in 2010. The news incited a standing ovation. 

A standing ovation for the 2010 US Women's Championships in Saint Louis!

Anna, along with several of the other competitors got a large dose of glamour in on the free day when they were invited to pose for Suzy Gorman, a Saint Louis fixture whose subjects have included Bill Clinton and the rapper Nelly.

Anna Zatonskih, and a friend, Photo Suzy Gorman

Alisa Melekhina, Photo Suzy Gorman

Tsagaan Battsetseg, Rusudan Goletiani, Yun Fan, Photo Suzy Gorman

Clear second in the US Women's: Camila Baginskaite, Photo Suzy Gorman

Alisa Melekhina, Photo Suzy Gorman

The Charlie's Angels of chess?: Alisa Melekhina, Rusudan Goletiani and Yun Fan, Photo Suzy Gorman

Tsagaan Battsetseg, Photo Suzy Gorman
Alisa Melekhina, Yun Fan, Rusudan Goletiani , Photo Suzy Gorman
The focus of a champion: Anna Zatonskih, Photo Suzy Gorman

Anna Zatonskih stayed in town an extra day for a media blitz and a special event at the Kemper Museum at Washington University in Saint Louis. Anna played Chess Club founder Rex Sinquefield in roulette chess, a game that I created with artist & curator Larry List. More details on roulette chess coming soon to CLO.

Larry List and Jennifer Shahade pose with their creation. Photo Betsy Dynako

For more info, photos and bulletins from the Women's Championship, check out