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Friday, July 3, 2009

Kosteniuk will play in the US Open 2009

Here is a press-release that came out today on the United States Chess Federation web-site.

Women’s World Champion to Play in 110th U.S. Open
By Jerry Hanken
June 19, 2009

Reigning Women’s World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk has graciously agreed to compete for the title of “U.S. Open Champion” in Indianapolis, Indiana this August. Alexandra, a first-rate journalist as well as a holder of the grandmaster (GM) title, has recently become a resident of Florida and has settled there with her husband and beautiful 2-year-old daughter. She will be giving a simultaneous exhibition on August 5th and reservations are now being accepted online. This is the first time in history that a reigning woman’s world champion has ever played in the most prestigious of the U.S. Chess Federation’s open events. This is only one reason to come to this great tournament. If you have never been to a U.S. Open, you have missed a great experience. The tournament will begin on Saturday August 1st and run through Sunday August 9th, and if you want to take a leisurely chess vacation with the family, you can play every evening for eight days (and Sunday afternoon) and have your days available for sightseeing or anything else you may wish to do. (For instance, how about a visit to the famous “Brickyard” where the Indianapolis 500 is run every year.) On the other hand, you can play in one of the faster schedules, starting on August 4th, 5th, or 6th. All the schedules merge for the last three rounds and compete for the same prizes. The U.S. Open is the last adult tournament of its size where all play in one big section. There are attractive class prizes for every 200 point class down to “E” and unrated. The guaranteed $40,000 will become $50,000 if a total of at least 500 play! (For full details see Tournament Life under “National Tournaments.”) The $8,000 first prize will draw some GMs, but the fact that there will be 300 World Chess Live (WCL) grand prix (GP) points will certainly draw some others. (There will also be WCL junior GP points available.) Five qualification spots will be awarded for the 2010 U.S. Championship, which will once again be at the St. Louis Chess and Scholastic Center and will have enhanced cash prizes. As there are only 24 spots available in that mega-event, we will see some more GMs and other strong players competing in this U.S. Open. With the exception of the online qualifier, there are no other open qualifying events planned for the next championship. The tournament will be held in the ballroom of the beautiful Indianapolis East Marriott, a superior venue with excellent lighting and luxurious sleeping rooms. The hotel rate is a very reasonable $99 for up to four in a room. (If you play the fastest schedule, you need to stay at the hotel for only four nights). The full press-release can be read here.

So I'm flying to Indianapolis on August 5th and will give a simul there the same afternoon. I have been very busy the last six months, writing my biographic chess book so the US open will be my first official tournament this year. I'm really looking forward to it!

Posted by: Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion



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