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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

US Chess Championships 2013 Round 4: Kamsky, Krush Continue to Lead

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

Hi everyone, 

SAINT LOUIS -- A pair of runaway trains kept up their furious pace in round four of the 2013 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship, held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. Both tournament leaders, GM Gata Kamsky and IM Irina Krush, won their fourth consecutive games to maintain their respective leads.

Kamsky took black against the fearless upstart GM Conrad Holt, who kept up his usual stoicism despite his first-ever game against the three-time champion. Kamsky said after some opening troubles in his first three matches, he wanted to get back to his comfort zone. “I decided to play something I know,” Kamsky said. “In the opening white posed me no problems.”

The win puts Kamsky at 4-0, and still eligible for the $64,000 “Fischer Prize” for a perfect score. He is the only player to remain unblemished for this many rounds since the prize was first introduced in 2009. For his part, Kamsky insisted the award is so far-fetched, he did not even read the amount. “I heard something about if you go 9-0, you get something super-duper? But I don’t think it’s possible this day in age. Back in Fischer’s time it was possible.”

In the women’s tournament, pre-round leader Krush kept up her own streak. She dispatched three-time champion WGM Anjelina Belakovskaia in what Krush called an “interesting, strategic game.” The finish was worthy of an endgame study – Krush transitioned her favorable rook-and-pawn ending into a pawn race. While both pawns reach the finish line, Krush gets the move, and plays the simple tactic …Qh8+ and …Qg8+, skewering black’s final two pieces. Her veteran opponent saw the idea and resigned.

Tune in for Live Grandmaster commentary at at 1:00 p.m. Central, 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Also read a detailed report by FM Mike Klein at the official website.

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