Living The Good Life-Playing in the US Championship

Living The Good Life-Playing in the US Championship

GM KaydenTroff

IM Danny Rensch blogs about the US Championship-Great!

Being invited to the US Championship-Amazing!!

Watching the US Championship players get hair and makeup done-Priceless!!!

It has always been an exciting experience to watch the US Championship over the year!  Many great games between strong players, this year I have the great opportunity of participating myself in the US Championship as a wildcard!

Amazingly this year marks the fifth year the St. Louis has hosted the US Championship!  It is always a pleasure to be in the St. Louis Chess Club.  Over the past several years the Club has hosted the US Championships (US Championship, US Women's Championship, and US Junior Championship) making each event a great tournament.  Those at the Chess Club are doing some great things for Chess in the US and I am excited to see how they progress!

On May 1st the players had their pictures taken for the event and beforehand we were all taken down to Paul Mitchell to get hair done and makeup put on.  I thought this was quite enjoyable to watch!  A definite perk of being invited to the Championship which I just had to share! :) The main image for this blog is a picture of US Championship competitor GM Alejandro Ramirez and also additional competitors GM Sam Shankland and GM Melikset Khachiyan are featured at the end, all of them preparing for their pictures for the US Championship.

The US Championship Opening Ceremony concluded not too long ago which offically starts the US Championship and US Womens Championship.  The pairings are set for both tournaments and I am playing GM Alex Stripunsky as Black in the first round.  I have to admit I was hoping for White in the first round, but seeing as I have only beaten GMs with Black, probably a good pairing overall!  It will be an exciting event!  You can find many details and you can watch the live coverage at  There are many strong players in the event and, as many Chess Players know, it is anybody's game!


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


I am glad to be participating and hope to be back for years to come!  I wish all my competitors good luck!  I really am enjoying this experience!

GM Sam Shankland - Chesscom Video Author
GM Melik Khachiyan - Chesscom Video Author
GM Alejandro Ramirez - Death Match 10 Runner-Up