ZATONSKIH STAYS ON TOP AT U.S. WOMEN'S CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP WITH KEY WIN OVER CLOSE RIVAL
Anna Zatonskih dispatched one of her two closest rivals in round six of the U.S. Women's Chess Championship at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. In the longest match of the day, Zatonskih, of Long Island, N.Y., used an impending pawn storm and slowly overwhelmed Melekhina's defenses.
Melekhina, of Philadelphia, Pa., was tied for second with Camilla Baginskaite going into the round, but she is still overperforming for someone of her rating. She was ranked ninth going into the tournament and at 18 is the youngest player. "Even in a very bad position, (Melekhina) came up with some very interesting ideas," Zatonskih said.
The entire field of 10 women all came perilously close to overstepping the time limit. Forced to make their first 40 moves in two hours, many women were reduced to fewer than 30 seconds before crossing the threshold. In the end, all five games were decisive for the first time in the tournament.