U.S. Women's Chess Championship Line Up Announced!

  • strani
  • on 9/3/09, 9:28 AM.

Very exciting stuff to come from Saint Louis as The Chess Club and Scholastic Center released the following press release regarding the upcoming US Women's Chess Championship!

I for one am really excited about the upcoming tournament. Being an OTB player for just under a year thanks to the CCSCSL chess is what I look forward to at the end of the day and this kind of event is really awesome to watch as it unfolds a couple blocks from my apartment. Anyhoo. Here's the press release.

And you can check out the field over at the CCSCSL site, http://www.saintlouischessclub.org/US-Womens-Championship-2009/Player-Bios

My money is on Irina Krush, who's your favorite?


ST. LOUIS, Sept. 2, 2009 - The 10-player field for the 2009 U.S. Women's Chess Championship was set on Wednesday, and it's one of the strongest in championship history.

The tournament, which takes place Oct. 3-13 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis , has 10 of the top 12 ranked women players in the country, including the top 6. The group includes four previous winners. This is the second major chess championship held at the Chess Club in 2009, with a third scheduled for next year.

"We think we have assembled the finest collection of players ever for the U.S. Women's Chess Championship," said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club. "I can't wait to get the championship started. I'm sure we're all going to witness some memorable, high-caliber chess matches."

Topping the list at the U.S. Women's Chess Championship are defending champion and No. 1 ranked Anna Zatonskih, of Long Island, N.Y., and her chief rival, No. 2 ranked Irina Krush, of Brooklyn, N.Y. Both are two-time champions.

The players will compete for the largest purse in championship history, $64,000, with $15,000 going to the winner.

Also in the tournament are Rusadan Goletiani, of Hartsdale, N.Y., the No. 3 ranked player in the United States, who won in 2005, and Camilla Baginskaite , of Sioux Falls, S.D., a co-champion in 2000, who is ranked fifth nationally.

Rounding out the field are Sabina-Francesca Foisor, of Baltimore, Md., the No. 4 player; Tatev Abrahamyan, of Glendale, Calif., No. 6; Alisa Melekhina, of Philadelphia, Pa., No. 8; Iryna Zenyuk, of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 9; Battsetseg Tsaagan, of Ellicott City, Md., No. 11; and Yun Fan, of Greencastle, Ind., No. 12.

The tournament is sanctioned by the U.S. Chess Federation . The field is not just strong, but young, with seven players under age 28. The youngest, Melekhina, is 18.

"This championship features the largest prize fund in the history of U.S. Women's chess," said Jennifer Shahade, chair of the 2009 U.S. Women's Chess Championship. "In the fight for the $15,000 grand prize, the players will prepare hard, and come with plenty of surprises. In fact, I expect the most exciting American women's chess tournament ever."

Last year's championship was won by Zatonskih in a thrilling and somewhat controversial tiebreaker with Krush.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis hosted the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship in May, which was won by Hikaru Nakamura. Zatonskih and Krush were among the 25 players in that field. The Chess Club also will host the 2010 U.S. Chess Championship from April 23 to May 6.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization that opened in July 2008. Founded by retired investment fund manager Rex Sinquefield, it has more than 500 members. The club offers free classes for beginners, discounted tournament entry fees and discounted merchandise for club members. For more information, please visit www.saintlouischessclub.org or call 314-361-CHESS."

3408 reads 22 comments
3 votes


  • 7 years ago



  • 7 years ago


    We don't need gangsta wannabes in chess...

  • 7 years ago


    @ shadowfalls - the third polgar sister is Sofia. She was also a great chess player, and is now an artist too.  Her wesbite is here.

  • 7 years ago


    To pick tournament winners, I use a technical analysis that also works equally well at handicapping racehorses or taking positions in wheat futures.

    Based strictly on the shape and amplitude of a chess player's current FIDE rating curve, my technique picks Sabina-Francesca Foisor as winner by half a point.

  • 7 years ago

    IM dpruess

    i'll avoid the tricky part of this debate and just note that a quick look in the database contradicts the ruy lopez comment.

  • 7 years ago


    Rainbowrising, i have respect for you, but if your gonna act so negative on this thread then please dont post.

    You dont have to post on every post you hate, just ignore it.

  • 7 years ago


    Here is the future of chess. Before this century ends. I can see a woman player defeating a man for that championship,that only men always had. Thus becoming world champion, a-number one. Chess is changing and I see it. Chess player should read ;"Chess Bitch". If players,would study game of female grand masters,international masters,etc. Study there middle games,you will see.

  • 7 years ago



  • 7 years ago


    LOL...chicks with unibrows flashing gangsta signs.  And since when do women acting hard smile????

  • 7 years ago


    First, RainbowRising, if you don't have an interest in something... then avoid it and don't pick fights.  What you have is arrogance, not disinterest.

    What I say next may not be my right to say as I guy, but just for debate's sake I will say.  I am a huge fan of women playing chess (that's my disclaimer), but I am not a huge fan of "segradation".  Maybe the extra tournaments for women are good for advertising...  Idk.  But when you start lowering the standard to get a title because of gender...  that seems like an insult.  I have huge respect for Judit Polgar because she was (Is she more parent or player right now?) more interested in the getting as high as she could and not being satisfied with being the best female player even though most guys felt as RainbowRising still does.  That covers my thoughts.  One random question though.  I think I have heard there were three Polgars who all became chess players.  I know Susan and Judit but who is the third sister?  Or do I just remember wrong?

  • 7 years ago


    I am quite excited about this: it's going to be such a huge opportunity to get young girls interested in chess - definitely one of my hopes is that chess heros are accessible for girls in STL.

  • 7 years ago


    You go girls!

  • 7 years ago


    "Who said they coudln't? Where does it say they couldn't? Are you stupid? I'VE NO INTEREST IN WOMANS CHESS. There is nothing wrong with that statement."


    You did, when you made the snide remark about "all they know is the Ruy."

    That's degrading, arrogant, and a whole bunch of other things. You may not be interested in "WOMANS CHESS" but you seem to be interested in perpetuating ignorance.

  • 7 years ago


    "But by playing women-only tournaments in chess, we're indicating women are inferior to men in chess, and can't compete with them."

    Women's chess tournaments are important for the continued promotion of chess and to encourage others to not give up. Chess is male dominated world and women are for many reasons marginalized and discouraged from playing. I recommend you read Shahade's book "Chess Bitch."

    A women's chess event serves to promote those that are playing at a professional level, it doesn't negate female chess players or promote some perspective that women's chess is inferior at all.

    As a fan of chess I believe it's worthy of promoting and we need to believe that every avenue of it's promotion is a worthy endevour.

    I believe chess is a life enriching tool with the power to help develop young peoples minds and social orientation. I believe it's a benefit to men and women alike and I can't really agree with anyone who would vocally marginalize it's promotion.

  • 7 years ago


    I think women-only tournaments hurt female chess players. As a (poorly playing) girl, I don't see a reason to segregate chess, it only makes sense in sports where muscles make a difference. In those sports, women obviously have a disadvantage.


    But by playing women-only tournaments in chess, we're indicating women are inferior to men in chess, and can't compete with them.


    Of course, that's just my personal opinion. I commend these women for reaching the top in a male-dominated feel, and will not stop respecting them based on their  choice to play women-only events.

  • 7 years ago


    Strani, I hope you'll be covering this event here on chess.com.

    And yeah, I barely recognized Irina in that photo.


  • 7 years ago


    Who said they coudln't? Where does it say they couldn't? Are you stupid? I'VE NO INTEREST IN WOMANS CHESS. There is nothing wrong with that statement.

  • 7 years ago


    "No interest in womans chess. The only opening they know is the Ruy." 

    These women and many other women who play chess could crush you. I don't think your sentiments are at all reflective of the chess community and those that celebrate the accomplishments of all chess players. 

  • 7 years ago


    none of them is born in the US ...

  • 7 years ago


    No interest in womans chess. The only opening they know is the Ruy.

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