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US Champs - Chess.com for the Win!

Hey everyone! It's been a while since I put on my "Blog Hat", grabbed a cup of Ryan Gosling, and got to work on making some ridiculous *cough* I mean completely serious and very well thought through predictions regarding an upcoming / major chess event!

Please remember this is all in good fun Embarassed -- AND *by reading this blog you accept Daniel Rensch's terms and conditions* of his own terms and conditions, that are both termed and conditional, etc, etc, etc... OH YEAH! Let's go!!

I usually hold back from applying any form of critical thinking in my efforts to preview an upcoming chess event -- from Death Matches, to Magnus vs the World events, etc -- So why do it any differently for the 2013 US Chess Championships? It's one of my favorite events of the year and The St Louis Scholastic Center and blah, blah, blah (just kidding guys, it's just that it's a long name Yell) --

What I meant to say was The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St Louis (I did it!!) always does a fantastic job with this event, and I can only hope they renew their contract with the U.S.C.F. for another 75,000 years so that no other city or organization in the U.S. has a chance to start screwing the U.S. Championship up again!

Seriously, after making fun of their name I will try to suck up a little bit Innocent by saying that Executive Director / Organizer Tony Rich and his staff, with the generous support of Rex Sinquefield, have literally saved this event from what it was turning into not more than 5 years ago... For those of you who don't know, I'll just say that the future of the US Championship looked about as good as this dude:

before they showed up! Congrats to the city of St Louis on becoming the Nation's chess capital and for all their continued successes! They have brought back the grandeur of this event, turned the U.S. Championship into one of the world's (yes, I said it) most prestigious and "modeled after" chess tournaments (so much so that players like Timur Gareev and Alejandro Ramirez couldn't wait to change thier FIDE Federations to the U.S. and rumors suggest even "Fab-Fab" might want in on the action):

and taken the level and quality of professional chess in this country to an entirely new level! OK, did I make up for the making fun of their long name Undecided... Either way, moving on!

Before going any further, I have to say how excited I am to see so many regular "Chess.com Faces" competing in this year's event. Knowing that we have either provided work, sponsorship, or just a place to blog for so many of these players -- it just makes the event that much more exciting to follow!

The 2013 US Chess Championship line-up

# Name USCF
1 Gata Kamsky 2815
2 Timur Gareev 2766
3 Alexander Onischuk  2732
4 Ray Robson 2698
5 Sam Shankland 2698
6 Varuzhan Akobian 2690
7 Alex Stripunsky 2680
8 Gregory Kaidanov  2673
9 Alexander Ivanov  2664
10 Robert Hess 2661
11 Larry Christiansen  2657
12 Yury Shulman  2639
13 Alex Shabalov  2633
14 Marc Arnold  2626
15 Melikset Khachiyan 2625
16 Jorge Sammour-Hasbun 2621
17 Joel Benjamin 2618
18 Yaacov Norowitz 2612
19 Alejandro Ramirez 2606
20 Conrad Holt 2591
21 Ben Finegold 2570
22 John Bryant 2542
23 Kayden Troff 2505
24 Sam Sevian  2467

In taking a look at that list a couple weeks ago, I realized - through deep statistical analysis and evaluations of the trends regarding each player's career at this point in time - that only Contributors and / or Ambassdors to Chess.com could possibly win this event Wink! I'm completely serial about this guys!

It's a nice list for this year's event if we pretend that the hands down favorite, and native of St Louis (he-who-must-not-be-named Tongue Out) isn't playing! For the record, I only joke about "not naming" Lord Nakamura (oops) because we wish he was playing! Also because I really hope, for the sake of the tournament, that one of the leading storylines doesn't hold up to be that Naka's not playing Frown.

AND who knows, maybe we'll see both Naka and Caruana (who by the way, woud have a celebrity-baby-name of "Nakaruana" or "Caramura" - you decide!!!) joining the ranks of these guys in the coming years? Is that enough to start a rumor that hopefully becomes a reality? I hope so! Wink

In any case, without going into the specifics of any of our contracts with the list of players below, I will say that they all either contribute content regularly for us, receive an undisclosed amount of sponsorship to be "Ambassadors" for our site.

  • Timur Gareev;
  • Sam Shankland;
  • Gregory Kaidanov;
  • Robert Hess;
  • Melikset Khachiyan;
  • Alejandro Ramirez;
  • Conrad Holt;
  • Ben Finegold;
  • Kayden Troff;
  • and Sam Sevian;

And the Ladies:

  • Tatev Abrahamyan;
  • Camilla Baginskaite;
  • Iryna Zenyuk;
  • and maybe some things to come from Anna Zatonskih Wink

Many others not on this list have competed in Death Matches but wouldn't be player's we'd list as recognizable faces in the Chess.com Community (so no hard feelings Tongue Out):

Instead of listing each one of those player's chances to win the event, I will just go on record as saying I honestly believe GM Sam Shankland -- perhaps the most recognizable face to the Chess.com Cumminty, given that he practically grew up on our site (tears of joy Cry) -- has a great chance to become the 2013 U.S. Champion. That may or may not be my feigned attempt to defend my Fantasy Team pick (go ACEChessCom) that you can't take back after hitting submit... just kidding, Sam Tongue Out! BUT either way, I do I believe I would get good Vegas odds to predict that someone from team Chess.com:

Avengers, Assemble!

will win this year's U.S. Championship! So like I said, I am taking Shanky but Timur, Hess and maybe even Thunder-Holt (with a little nickname magic on his side) could realistically win it all!

Here's my elimination process of other candidates?

  • GM Gata Kamsky -- Too tired from the recent Zug Grand Prix! Has never made a video for us Tongue Out, consistently wears ugly hats!
  • GM Alex Onischuk -- Possibly the only non-Chess.com'er who could put a damper on my predictions. In all seriousness, you could say he's "due" considering that he hasn't won a US Championship since the return of Kamsky to the world of professional chess. SO with Naka out, Kamsky tired, and a host of inexperienced and younger players fighting along with him, you might see Alex "win one for the gipper" this time around and make my predictions look worse than they already do;
  • GM Ray Robson -- Too young, and doesn't have a good nickname yet amongst his fans;
  • GM Var Akobian -- Takes too many draws, spends too much time in the weight room... Love you though Var! Sealed
  • GM Alex Stripunsky -- I still haven't forgiven him for losing the worst game of the event last year;

 

  • GM Alexander Ivanov -- Time pressure killed the cat. Or was that curiousity? #curious Undecided
  • GM Larry Christiansen -- Won't be able to "Rook Lift" his way out of not being an active enough player anymore...
  • GM Yuri Shulman -- Like Onischuk, could prove me wrong. He's the most under-rated of all the competitors... Look for him to have a good result;
  • GM Alex Shabalov -- Another wild card who *could* pull it off, but usually loses to a random lower rated junior if he's not "on his A-Game";
  • GM Marc Arnold -- Like Rayski (good enough nickname???), too young;
  • IM - Should be GM or something - Jorge Sammour-Hasbun -- I will never forget the show he put on against GM Jon Ludvig Hammer in last year's Death Match! Seriously, that was awesome... That said, this isn't online blitz or rapid chess, and we aren't in Kansas anymore... We are in Missouri!!!
  • GM Joel Benjamin -- Well, he's from Jersey... so you do the math Tongue Out!
  • IM Yaacov Norowitz -- Amazing online, but same goes for him that I said to Jorge;
  • IM John Daniel Bryant -- Young talent, if he's playing well could make a real spash and pull off some upsets, but not happening this year;

Woo, glad that's over... I know, that's a random picture... but I couldn't find anything else to use Tongue Out!

For the ladies section I took Krush in my fantasy team over both Zatonskih and Abrahamyan (who could both win it). For the sake of "Team Chess.com" I hope I'm wrong and one of the women from Death Match 10 will pull it off!

All things being equal, most fans feel that it's really a three-horse race between those women. Maybe Foisor could jump in there with a great event, but I don't see it happening. Sorry, but someone else other than Zatonskih or Krush would have to win a U.S. Women's Championship in order for me to feel bad Frown.

And just like that, it's all over! What, nothing else for me to write (if you even call it writing, Danny) about here? So sad...

I hope everyone will check out the live coverage by Seirawan, Ashley and Shahade! We have once again chosen not to provide any live coverage of this year's U.S. Championship on Chess.com/TV because we don't want to compete or take anything away from their efforts...

"Aaahh, that's so sweet of you guys at Chess.com to sit on the sidelines when we know Danny can't shutup for 5 minutes!"

I know, I know...

Peace!

Comments


  • 15 months ago

    xbg

    Why ISN'T Nakamura playing?

  • 15 months ago

    IM Spinaltap

    Mullets are people too.

  • 15 months ago

    boristhecat

    Nice blog.  Now don't forget to take your ritalin.Laughing

  • 15 months ago

    IM DanielRensch

    That's funny Todd... I was ALSO going to follow it if I was commentating, but I guess it's not meant to be this year Tongue Out...

  • 15 months ago

    Zernix

    Funny and informative blog Smile

    I've also joined the Fantasy chess competition for this contest.

    Team Zernix: Shankland, Hess, Holt, Troff, Krush and Baginskaite

     

  • 15 months ago

    qixel

    I'm rooting for Ben Finegold, cuz he's the only dude on the list who follows my Twitter page.

  • 15 months ago

    FM MusicCityMaster

    I was going to follow the US Championship if Danny Rensch was commenting... Oh well. Guess I will start growing a mullet instead.

  • 15 months ago

    trlns

    The online presentation of the US Champs the last 2 years has been brilliant. I very much look forward to this years event. Particulary since (if it's like previous years) if you're in a different time zone like me you can download the daily video feed and watch it at your leisure.

  • 15 months ago

    pdela

    I would also like Ryan Gosling to serve me the coffee Undecided

    PS: you could have avoid to choose a John Bart photo as a teenager to make your demotivotional poster

  • 15 months ago

    pdela

    Then, it is not the drink...

    you are just that way ...

    Tournament looks interesting, it will be a blast!

  • 15 months ago

    IM DanielRensch

    Well, considering that my blog was posted yesterday at around 11am Pacific Time (my time) -- I would have to have a serious problem pdela Tongue Out...

    Thanks everyone! Can't wait to see what happens!

    Danny

  • 15 months ago

    pdela

    I'm sure Danny is drunk every time he posts a blog Tongue Out

  • 15 months ago

    melvinbluestone

    I realize there is a logical flaw in making the claim that a prediction is all wrong before the predicted event has actually happened. However, in this case, I'll ignore that and simply state that Danny's picks are all wrong. Except that part about Kamsky's hats....... There is something inherently gauche about a top-level chess player wearing a baseball cap backwards, especially while he's playing.

        BTW, contrary to popular belief, the mullet is not actually extinct. It has recently been sighted south of the Mason-Dixon line and in remote regions of the former Soviet Union........

  • 15 months ago

    SometimesReasonable

    Great blog post. Just done my fantasy team on the St Louis club website. Come on Finegold!

  • 15 months ago

    Lawdoginator

    Robson!  Shankland!  Hess!  Holt!  Come on, you young guns!  Giddyup!  

  • 15 months ago

    Lawdoginator

    That would be great if Caruana came back home to the USA! 

  • 15 months ago

    MariahRigsby

    The better question: why would Nigel Short pick a name like honestgirl? Sweet blog but Kamsky will win

  • 15 months ago

    NM Petrosianic

    Great rambling preview Dannnnny!!! :-)

    I played LarryC at USATE so I can attest that he can still move the pieces very well.  It was fun and I got a free post-game lesson b/c I blundered at the first time control (less likely had we played 6 hours).

    Major props (whatever that means) to St. Louis for running a very classy event. :-)

  • 15 months ago

    IM DanielRensch

    LOL! Thanks John... I know, it takes a lot of effort to totally take away what little filter I have and just let it all hang out Tongue Out

    honestgirl is a very strong GM who wishes to remain anonymous at this point... So we will not be revealing his identity...

    Danny

  • 15 months ago

    IM Fins0905

    You gotta blog more often, Danny. Also, Timur or Shanky for the win!

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