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Sunday, May 17, 2009

2009 U.S. Chess Championship - Sunday, May 17 (Part 2)

2009 U.S. Champion Hikaru Nakamura
Photo: Betsy Dynako, Official Event Photographer


After nine grueling rounds, Hikaru Nakamura stands atop the leaderboard at the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship. With a score of 7/9, he pockets the $40,000 first prize. Half a point behind were sensation Robert Hess and Alexander Onischuk. The full standings and prize list is here.

Congratulations to all the competitors, to the organizers, to Jennifer Shahade, Emil Sutovsky, Macauley Peterson, and to all the other staff and personnel who made this an absolutely tremendous championship! After the fireworks were all over, I saw players milling around and walking to and from nearby shops, surely exhausted but smiling. They competed tenaciously, but were gracious with one another and with the live audience present at the club. For some, their performance was less than what they would have hoped for, but I think they all enjoyed their surroundings and I'm sure they will have gained valuable lessons from the past week and a half.

I haven't yet heard what's on tap for the championship next year, but in the meantime, the U.S. Women's Championship comes to town this coming October. Can't wait!

To download all the games of the 2009 U.S. Championship, click here.

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