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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

US Chess Championships 2013 Round 3: Krush, Kamsky Keep Perfect Scores

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2013

Hi everyone, 

SAINT LOUIS -- Two premium match-ups were the top layer on a chess cake that featured 13 winners in 17 games in round three of the 2013 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship. The only two men with perfect scores, GMs Gata Kamsky and Larry Christiansen, took center stage in the U.S. Championship. The ladies enacted their yearly fan-favorite ritual of numbers one versus two – IMs Anna Zatonskih and Irina Krush.

Both games went into the sixth hour before two winners emerged. Both Krush and Zatonskih drained their clocks down to less than one minute before Zatonskih’s king was caught in a mating net and she resigned. The final dozen moves of the game, she could do nothing but shuttle her pieces aimlessly, waiting for Krush to find a plan to break through. “You can’t blame her,” Krush said. “She didn’t have much to do in that position.” Prior to the passivity, Krush surprised Zatonskih out of the opening, playing the King’s Indian Defense as black for the first time since 2009.

Finishing just minutes before was Kamsky-Christiansen. The underdog Christiansen promised to bring the fight to top-rated Kamsky, but after 75 moves of creative play, Kamsky liquidated the last of black’s drawing chances. “I missed some of his strong moves and I was thinking, ‘Damn, this is going to be a really, really hard game,’” Kamsky said. Still just days after flying back from a super-tournament in Switzerland, Kamsky said he chose to rest more than study. “I was sleeping all day and not really preparing. Against Larry, I knew we were going to play a long game.”

The win makes Kamsky the only player on 3-0 and thus the last contender for the $64,000 Fischer Prize for an unblemished 9-0 score. Read a detailed report by FM Mike Klein on the Round at the official tournament website of the US Chess Championships 2013.

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