Krush Catches Nemcova, Robson-Nakamura Tomorrow

Krush Catches Nemcova, Robson-Nakamura Tomorrow

After the confusion of GM Wesley So's forfeiture died down today at the U.S. Championships, the women's field came together while the men stayed mostly unchanged at the top.

So's six-move game against GM Varuzhan Akobian went down as the second-shortest in U.S. Championship history (IM Kamran Shirazi's failed Wing Gambit in 1984 still takes the record at five moves). For the latest developments on that situation and any pending appeals, check the breaking news article.

The final position in So-Akobian (kings are on starting squares). For more on this, see the report.

Back to the ladies, WGM Katerina Nemcova (7.0/9) had been nursing a small lead on the field since round four. It finally evaporated today as six-time champ GM Irina Krush (7.0/9) caught up fully.

Nemcova drew WIM Viktorija Ni despite holding a noticeable edge most of the game. She was flummoxed to explain where she went wrong.

"Maybe ...f5 was too early," she said. "I thought I was better but I don't know...I had a really good position but I just misplayed it. Maybe c5 was very good for her."

Nemcova said that the event's length is an issue. "It's tiring. I'll admit that. It would be better if it was over."

She said she played in 11-round events before (the European Championship and World Juniors) but nothing in the last several years. 

The sign is up at the "Kingside Diner" next to the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The club will use the restaurant for large events like the U.S. Championship. On Fridays you can order "Fischer's Fish and Chips."

Despite drawing two games in a row and Krush winning two games, Nemcova said she doesn't believe in momentum, but she does believe in pairings! Tomorrow she plays IM Nazi Paikidze, while Krush plays WFM Jennifer Yu. No matter the outcome in round 10, all will be decided in Sunday's Nemcova-Krush finale.

Here's how Krush caught up today. She took out second-seeded WGM Tatev Abrahamyan after the queen and knight combo invaded:

Still in the hunt is Paikidze (6.0/9), although she doesn't control her own fate. She'll likely need to win tomorrow against Nemcova, then hope for some help from that same player in round 11.

IM Nazi Paikidze, still with a puncher's chance.

Today she beat Yu convincingly:


The open championship didn't see any drama that came close to rivalling the forfeit. GM Hikaru Nakamura drew with the unpredictable GM Timur Gareev in yet another offbeat opening. Well, it wasn't that offbeat to Nakamura, who estimated that "I've played this ...b6, ...e6 system about 500 times" in online blitz.

GM Hikaru Nakamura waiting on his opponent, who opened with 1...b6.

Meanwhile GM Ray Robson played the longest game of the day (not unusual for him!) against GM Sam Sevian.


Their draw ensured that Nakamura had the same half-game lead that he began the day with. Robson (6.0/9) takes White against Nakamura (6.5/9) tomorrow.

We close with the hard-luck GM Daniel Naroditsky, who broke through with his first win today, against GM Conrad Holt. The win was the only decisive game other than So-Akobian.

Chess.com article writer GM Daniel Naroditsky finally found some form today. His articles are published Friday's too!

Tomorrow's pivotal round 10 begins at 1 p.m. Central time (GMT -6) and can be followed live at www.chess.com/tv.

2015 U.S. Championship | Pairings for Round 10

Table White Score Rating Black Score Rating
1 GM Troff, Kayden W 4.5 2532 GM Gareev, Timur 3.5 2604
2 GM Robson, Ray 6 2656 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 6.5 2798
3 GM Onischuk, Alexander 5 2665 GM Sevian, Samuel 4.5 2531
4 GM Holt, Conrad 3.5 2530 GM Shankland, Samuel L 4.5 2661
5 GM Akobian, Varuzhan 4 2622 GM Naroditsky, Daniel 2.5 2633
6 GM Kamsky, Gata 5 2683 GM So, Wesley 4.5 2788

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2015 U.S. Women's Championship | Pairings for Round 10

Table White Score Rating Black Score Rating
1 WCM Virkud, Apurva 3 2132 WIM Wang, Annie 2 1901
2 FM Melekhina, Alisa 2.5 2235 WGM Sharevich, Anna 4.5 2267
3 WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev 4.5 2322 IM Goletiani, Rusudan 5.5 2311
4 WFM Yu, Jennifer R 2 2180 GM Krush, Irina 7 2477
5 WGM Nemcova, Katerina 7 2279 IM Paikidze, Nazi 6 2333
6 WGM Foisor, Sabina-Francesca 5 2235 WIM Ni, Viktorija 5 2188

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2015 U.S. Championship | Standings After Round 9

Rank Name Score Rating TPR
1 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 6.5 2798 2786
2 GM Robson, Ray 6 2656 2752
3 GM Kamsky, Gata 5 2683 2665
4 GM Onischuk, Alexander 5 2665 2677
5 GM So, Wesley 4.5 2788 2633
6 GM Shankland, Samuel L 4.5 2661 2654
7 GM Troff, Kayden W 4.5 2532 2642
8 GM Sevian, Samuel 4.5 2531 2664
9 GM Akobian, Varuzhan 4 2622 2600
10 GM Gareev, Timur 3.5 2604 2577
11 GM Holt, Conrad 3.5 2530 2585
12 GM Naroditsky, Daniel 2.5 2633 2475

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2015 U.S. Women's Championship | Standings After Round 9

Rank Name Score Rating TPR
1 GM Krush, Irina 7 2477 2453
2 WGM Nemcova, Katerina 7 2279 2417
3 IM Paikidze, Nazi 6 2333 2352
4 IM Goletiani, Rusudan 5.5 2311 2309
5 WGM Foisor, Sabina-Francesca 5 2235 2277
6 WIM Ni, Viktorija 5 2188 2299
7 WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev 4.5 2322 2220
8 WGM Sharevich, Anna 4.5 2267 2226
9 WCM Virkud, Apurva 3 2132 2168
10 FM Melekhina, Alisa 2.5 2235 2107
11 WFM Yu, Jennifer R 2 2180 1990
12 WIM Wang, Annie 2 1901 2041

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