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Thursday, May 14, 2009

2009 U.S. Chess Championship - Thursday, May 14

I arrived last night, near the end of round 6, at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis to see Robert Hess reviewing his draw with Gata Kamsky in the media room with Jennifer Shahade and Emil Sutovsky. He was quite happy with his performance, as well he should. After holding a draw against the top-rated player in the U.S. Championship, Robert finds himself in a logjam with five other players just half a point behind tournament leaders Yury Shulman and Varuzhan Akobian.

Jennifer Shahade and Emil Sutovsky listen to Robert Hess

Next Hikaru Nakamura popped in and spent a good amount of time analyzing his draw with Alexander Onischuk. He said he wasn't really happy with his choice of opening but the game did lead to some interesting developments.

Then a smiling and energetic Irina Krush sat down and spent a solid twenty minutes reviewing her victory over Julio Becerra. At one point Irina noted that someone had previously sent her a file reviewing the opening that this game used, and her review of that file had helped her at least with some ideas for the positions reached. Emil Sutovsky then remarked that it must be nice to be an attractive female so that people send such game files. It drew laughter from the live audience, but Irina noted that it wasn't her femininity that allowed her to acquire the opening file; it was cold, hard cash.

Next it was Ray Robson's turn. He had a wild game with Larry Christensen which he was able to convert to a win, giving Ray 3.5 points after 6 rounds. He said he wanted to finish with at least an even score in the tournament, perhaps 4.5 or 5 points. So far, Ray has three wins, one draw and one loss, all against 2600+ rated grandmasters.

Ray with his father, Gary

Doug Eckert watches the proceedings

Here is the round 6 wrap-up by Jennifer Shahade and Macauley Peterson:



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