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Thursday, March 01, 2007

2007 U.S. Championship Set for May, Maybe

In a story reported at Chess Life Online, the USCF Executive Board has approved a bid by longtime tournament organizer/director Frank Berry to run the 2007 U.S. Championship. It is scheduled to take place May 15-23, 2007 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where Berry recently held the successful 2007 Winter North American FIDE Open.

It appears that the prize fund will be a fraction of what was provided in previous years when the AF4C ran the U.S. Championship. Berry is providing $50,000 toward prizes and player expenses, with the possibility of more to come, and the USCF has agreed to contribute $15,000.

Details of the championship format remain to be ironed out, but it appears likely that the field will be considerably less than the 64 players in recent years. It is also possible that a champion will not be crowned at the tournament - the top two finishers may be asked to return for a final match later in the year. The championship has appeared to lose a bit of its luster, but we applaud Mr. Berry for salvaging the event for this year and for donating his services as tournament director, as are Jim Berry and Alex Relyea.

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