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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

U.S. Chess School Holds 4th Session

Back : Victor Shen, Christian Tanaka, Alec Getz, Michael Lee, GM Gregory Kaidanov
Front: Brian Luo, Aleksander Ostrovskiy, Daniel Naroditsky, Darwin Yang

Greg Shahade's U.S. Chess School held its fourth session July 23-27, 2007 in Lexington, Kentucky. This remarkable school provides a week of intensive instruction with GM Gregory Kaidanov, at no cost to the participants. It is designed to assist dedicated and promising students in their acquisition of deeper chess knowledge.

Watch for further information.


Friday, July 20, 2007

IM Irina Krush - 2007 U.S. Women's Champion!

It went down to the wire, but in the end, IM Irina Krush stood alone atop the ten-player field to claim the title of 2007 U.S. Women's Chess Champion. In the nine-round event, she won five games and drew her remaining four, for a total of 7 points. WGM Katerina Rohonyan was the only other undefeated player, finishing a half-point behind Irina, and tied with IM Anna Zatonskih, last year's Women's Champion.

The final standings are as follows:

1 Irina Krush 7
2-3 Anna Zatonskih 6½
2-3 Katerina Rohonyan 6½
4 Batchimeg Tuvshintugs 5½
5 Tsagaan Battsetseg 5
6-7 Alisa Melekhina 4
6-7 Camilla Baginskaite 4
7-8 Tatev Abrahamyan 3½
9 Elizabeth Vicary 2½
10 Chouchanik Airapetian ½

The tournament website contains a wealth of information. Round-by-round photos by Betsy Dynako can be viewed here and the games, in .pgn format, can be downloaded here.

Congratulations to all of the competitors in this hard-fought event. Players Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, Tatev Abrahamyan and Alisa Melekhina have appeared in my Scholastic Chess ChessCafe columns as scholastic players, and Elizabeth Vicary is a teacher and chess coach at I.S. 318 who has also appeared in recent columns. You can find her frequently within the pages of Chess Life and online at Chess Life Online.


2007 U.S. Women's Championship - Final Day!

As this is written, the 2007 U.S. Women's Chess Championship is in its final round. It has been an exciting tournament, with relatively few draws and several twists and turns on the "leaderboard."

Going into the final round, here are the standings:

1-2) Irina Krush, Katerina Rohonyan (6 points)
3) Anna Zatonskih (5.5 points)
4-5) Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, Tsagaan Battsetseg (4.5)
6-8) Camilla Baginskaite, Alisa Melekhina, Tatev Abrahamyan (3.5)
9) Elizabeth Vicary (2.5)
10) Chouchanik Airapetian (0.5)

For commentary, photos, games, and the tournament crosstable, go to the excellent tournament website.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Women Are Decisive

After five rounds of the 2007 U.S. Women's Championship, 25 games have been played. Only seven have been draws. Round two saw four of the five games drawn, but in rounds three through five, 13 of 15 games have been decisive.

Currently, Katerina Rohonyan holds the lead with 4 points, with Irina Krush and Tsagaan Battsetseg a half-point behind.

See the official website for games, photos and news.


2007 U.S. Women's Championship Update

Four rounds of the nine-round championship have been completed. Each game is at a time control of game/120, with 30-second increments added per move. Here are the current standings:

1) Tsagaan Battsetseg, 3.5 points/4
2-3) Anna Zatonskih and Katerina Rohonyan, 3 points
4-5) Irina Krush and Camilla Baginskaite, 2.5 points
6) Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, 2 points
7-8) Alisa Melekhina and Elizabeth Vicary, 1.5 points
9) Tatev Abrahamyan, 0.5 points
10) Chouchanik Airapetian, 0 points

Live games are available here.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Two Rounds Complete at 2007 U.S. Women's Championship

It's a round robin tournament for the ten players involved, and after the initial two rounds, the standings are as follows:

4 players have a score of 1.5/2:
Anna Zatonskih
Camilla Baginskaite
Katerina Rohonyan
Tsagaan Battsetseg

3 players are at 1.0/2:
Irina Krush
Batchimeg Tuvshintugs
Elizabeth Vicary

Tatev Abrahamyan and Alisa Melekhina have 0.5 points, and Chouchanik Airapetian is at 0/2, although I noticed in her second round game against Elizabeth Vicary, Chouchanik
set some dangerous traps.

Stay tuned for more updates. More info is available from


Monday, July 16, 2007

2007 U.S. Women's Championship Begins Today

The 2007 Frank Berry U.S. Women's Chess Championship opens today in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The players include:

  • IM Irina Krush (USCF 2497)
  • IM Anna Zatonskih (2491)
  • WGM Camilla Baginskaite (2361)
  • WGM Katerina Rohonyan (2304)
  • WIM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs (2275)
  • WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (2258)
  • WIM Tsagaan Battsetseg (2234)
  • WFM Alisa Melekhina (2168)
  • WFM Chouchanik Airapetian (2157)
  • WFM Elizabeth Vicary (2155)

The nine-round championship concludes Friday, July 20. Games are available at MonRoi.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Conversation With Josh Waitzkin

My latest Scholastic Chess column is now available at ChessCafe. The entire column is devoted to the topic of Josh Waitzkin. We talk about the film Searching for Bobby Fischer, about Josh’s new book The Art of Learning, what he’s doing now, and what the future may hold for him.

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Kasparov vs. Karpov

GM Yasser Seirawan annotates one of the many Kasparov-Karpov clashes in his July ChessCafe Inside Chess column. He looks at their 1992 Linares contest in which Karpov as Black defends with a Caro-Kann and Kasparov attacks (what else is new?) as White.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

2007 Canadian Youth Chess Championships

Photo: MonRoi

The 2007 Canadian Youth Chess Championships are underway in Ottawa, Ontario. The seven-round event is divided into separate boys and girls divisions, each with the following sections:

  • Under 8
  • Under 10
  • Under 12
  • Under 14
  • Under 16
  • Under 18

Additional information is available at the MonRoi page for this tournament. It concludes Friday, July 6, 2007.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Art of Learning - a Review

My review of Josh Waitzkin's phenomenal book The Art of Learning is now online at ChessCafe. This review will be at that page for about a week.

It is also, however, permanently archived here.


Monday, July 02, 2007

2007 World Open

I saw that 2006 U.S. Cadet (Under 16) champion and 2007 U.S. Junior Champion Marc Tyler Arnold (2335) stands in 48th place, out of 73 players after four rounds of the 2007 World Open, Open section.

Looks like he's having a so-so tournament? Not exactly.

Round 1: He faced GM Eugene Perelshteyn (2611) and drew.

Round 2: He faced U.S. Champion GM Alexander Shabalov (2671) and drew.

Round 3: He faced GM John P Fedorowicz (2526) and drew.

Round 4: He faced GM Bosko Abramovic (2609) and lost.

We should all do so poorly.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

2007 U.S. Women's Championship Field is Set

As reported at Chess Life Online, the 2007 U.S. Women's Championship lineup has been finalized and will consist of the following ten players:

  • IM Irina Krush (USCF 2497)
  • IM Anna Zatonskih (2491)
  • WGM Camilla Baginskaite (2361)
  • WGM Katerina Rohonyan (2304)
  • WIM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs (2275)
  • WFM Tatev Abrahamyan (2258)
  • WIM Tsagaan Battsetseg (2234)
  • WFM Alisa Melekhina (2168)
  • WFM Chouchanik Airapetian (2157)
  • WFM Elizabeth Vicary (2155)

Of note is the fact that none of these ten are U.S.-born players. Krush, Zatonskih, Rohonyan and Melekhina are from Ukraine, Abrahamyan and Airapetian are from Armenia, Tuvshintugs and Battsetseg hail from Mongolia, Baginskaite is from Lithuania and Vicary was born in England.

The nine-round single round-robin tournament will take place July 16-20, 2007 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, which was also the site of the recent U.S. Championship. Both tournaments have been primarily sponsored by Frank Berry. A nicely done website for this event is available at

At least some of the games will be available at MonRoi.


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