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Thursday, May 9, 2013

US Chess Championships 2013 Round 5: Krush Pulls Away, Kamsky Draws

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

Hi everyone,

The push and pull of the 2013 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship continued yesterday in round five, but this time the men pulled closer to the leader, while the leading lady began to push away from the field.

GM Gata Kamsky again did not get any advantage in the beginning moves. This time it was GM Joel Benjamin who equalized and even had the slightly better chances. After simplifying into a bishop endgame, an impasse was reached and the game was agreed drawn. Afterward, Kamsky chastised himself for forgetting that Benjamin played a solid variation against the London System. “That’s kind of amazing to me,” Benjamin said about the memory lapse. “It’s the only game I ever won against him! Maybe it was a more important game to me.” The game in reference was played at the 1991 U.S. Championship. Despite the loss, Kamsky went on to win the first of his three U.S. Championships.

The last perfect score in Saint Louis is now IM Irina Krush, who won her fifth straight game and increased her lead in the women’s tournament to a full point over WGM Tatev Abrahamyan, who drew IM Anna Zatonskih today. There is no Fischer Prize for the ladies, but the manner in which she won was reminiscent of a game Fischer won during his famed 20-game winning streak leading up to his world championship match. In their 1971 Candidates Match, GM Mark Taimanov could have ended the streak but inexplicably hung a rook in an equal position; today WFM Sarah Chiang, still winless, hung a piece to a similar two-move fork. Krush said the position was still “unpleasant” for white, even without the blunder. “I’m clearly playing for a win. The b-pawn doesn’t play,” she said. (A full report on the round by FM Mike Klein is available on the official website.)

Standings after 5 rounds – Men’s tournament:
1 GM Kamsky, Gata 2741 4.5
2 GM Onischuk, Alexander 2666 4
3 GM Ramirez, Alejandro 2551 3.5
4 GM Benjamin, Joel 2534 3.5
5 GM Gareev, Timur 2674 3
6 GM Christiansen, Larry M 2579 3
7 GM Holt, Conrad 2513 3
8 FM Bryant, John Daniel 2442 3
9 GM Robson, Ray 2620 2.5
10 GM Akobian, Varuzhan 2616 2.5
11 GM Shankland, Samuel L 2612 2.5
12 GM Kaidanov, Gregory S 2593 2.5
13 GM Shulman, Yury 2570 2.5
14 GM Stripunsky, Alexander 2570 2.5
15 Norowitz, Yaacov 2451 2.5
16 IM Troff, Kayden W 2421 2.5
17 GM Hess, Robert L 2595 2
18 GM Shabalov, Alexander 2544 2
19 GM Khachiyan, Melikset 2518 2
20 GM Ivanov, Alexander 2529 1.5
21 GM Finegold, Benjamin 2505 1.5
22 FM Sammour-Hasbun, Jorge E. 2463 1.5
23 FM Sevian, Samuel 2371 1.5
24 GM Arnold, Marc T 2538 0.5

Standings after 5 rounds – Women’s tournament:
1 IM Krush, Irina 2470 5
2 WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev 2280 4
3 IM Zatonskih, Anna 2466 3.5
4 WGM Baginskaite, Camilla 2278 2.5
5 WIM Zenyuk, Iryna 2243 2.5
6 WGM Foisor, Sabina 2300 2
7 WGM Belakovskaia, Anjelina 2263 2
8 WIM Ni, Viktorija 2262 2
9 WFM Kats, Alena 2144 1.5
10 WFM Chiang, Sarah 2098 0

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