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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

U.S. Junior Chess Championship: Armageddon playoffs to decide winner from three-way tie

IM Sam Shankland in a three-way
tie with Robson and Zhao.

Hello Everybody,

After nine rounds of fighting chess, the U.S. Junior Closed Championship would be decided through an Armageddon playoff!

The Armageddon playoff was brought on because FM Warren Harper beat GM Ray Robson, FM John Bryant drew with NM Parker Zhao and IM Sam Shankland beat FM Conrad Holt. That left Robson, Zhao and Shankland in a three-way tie for the top spot with 6.0/9 points each. If Yang had won his game against Rosen then there would have been a four-way tie for the first spot.

Defending champion Ray Robson has elected to take a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of the Zhao and Shankland Armageddon match would play Robson for the championship.

Zhao and Shankland will have to bid on how much time each is willing to start with in order to win the ability to play with Black and draw odds in the first round of the Armageddon playoff. Then, the winner will have to take on the tournament’s only grandmaster for the title.

Results of Round 9
1. FM Warren Harper-GM Ray Robson 1-0
2. FM John Bryant-NM Parker Zhao ½-½
3. IM Sam Shankland-FM Conrad Holt 1-0
4. NM Tyler Hughes-FM Steven Zierk 0-1
5. FM Darwin Yang-NM Eric Rosen ½-½

Standings after Round 9
1. GM Ray Robson 6.0
2. IM Sam Shankland 6.0
3. NM Parker Zhao 6.0
4. FM Darwin Yang 5.5
5. FM John Bryant 4.5
6. FM Steven Zierk 4.5
7. NM Eric Rosen 4.5
8. FM Warren Harper 4.0
9. FM Conrad Holt 3.0
10. NM Tyler Hughes 1.0

Here is the Harper-Robson game. You can play it in pgnplayer or watch in flash below. You can check the official website for videos and photos.

PGN: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. Nf3 Nbd7 7. O-O e5 8. e4 exd4 9. Nxd4 Re8 10. h3 a6 11. Be3 Rb8 12. a4 c5 13. Nde2 Ne5 14. b3 h5 15. Ra2 Qe7 16. Rd2 Bxh3 17. Bxh3 Nf3+ 18. Kh1 Nxd2 19. Qxd2 Nxe4 20. Nxe4 Qxe4+ 21. Bg2 Qg4 22. Bd5 h4 23. Kg2 b5 24. cxb5 axb5 25. a5 c4 26. a6 cxb3 27. a7 Rbd8 28. Rb1 b2 29. Rxb2 Bxb2 30. Qxb2 Qf5 31. Qxb5 g5 32. Nd4 Qf6 33. g4 Re5 34. Nf3 h3+ 35. Kg3 h2 36. Nxe5 Qxe5+ 37. Kg2 Kg7 38. Qb7 Rf8 39. a8=Q Rxa8 40. Qxa8 1-0

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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