Nakamura Seeks 3rd U.S. Championship

Nakamura Seeks 3rd U.S. Championship

| 35 | Chess Event Coverage

PRESS RELEASE: Fields set for 2012 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women's Championship

ST. LOUIS, February 22, 2012 -- The fields are set for both the 2012 U.S. Championship and 2012 U.S. Women's Championship, scheduled to be held simultaneously May 7 through May 20 in St. Louis. Grandmaster Gata Kamsky and International Master Anna Zatonskih each look to defend their respective titles against strong and determined fields.

For the fourth consecutive year, these prestigious events will be held at Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL).

The 2012 U.S. Championship will feature an elite field of 12 grandmasters and a guaranteed prize fund of more than $160,000. With an average USCF rating of 2714 according to the USCF's January rating supplement, this marks the strongest field in the history of the event.

After sitting out of the 2011 U.S Championship, GM Hikaru Nakamura, ranked No. 6 in the world, has accepted an invitation to participate this year. Nakamura, 24, is seeking his third U.S. Championship title. GM Yasser Seirawan, who came out of retirement to play in last year's U.S. Championship, has accepted the final invitation for the U.S. Championship. Seirawan had a stellar performance at the 2011 World Team Championship in Ningbo, China, where he defeated three top-30 players on his way to a silver medal performance.

The field for the 2012 U.S. Championship is as follows:

 Name USCF
 GM Hikaru Namamura 2848
 GM Gata Kamsky 2804
 GM Alexander Onischuk 2736
 GM Yasser Seirawan 2723
 GM Robert Hess 2717
 GM Varuzhan Akobian 2709
 GM Alexander Stripunsky 2700
 GM Ray Robson 2674
 GM Alejandro Ramirez 2668
 GM Yury Shulman 2666
 GM Aleksandr Lenderman 2665
 GM Gregory Kaidanov 2658


The CCSCSL also will sponsor the $64K Fischer Bonus, to be awarded to anyone that scores a perfect 11-0 in the U.S. Championship, in honor of Bobby Fischer's 11-0 result at the 1963-64 U.S. Championship.

Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Camilla Baginskaite, the 2000 U.S. Women's Champion, and 17-year-old Alena Kats, who was the youngest female to become a master in 2010 at age 15, have accepted the final two invitations for the Women's event. The 2012 U.S. Women's Championship will feature a guaranteed prize fund of $64,000 and 10 players, including:

 IM Anna Zatonskih 2563
 IM Irina Krush 2500
 WGM Camilla Baginskaite 2419
 WGM Sabina Foisor 2413
 WGM Tatev Abrahamyan 2350
 WIM Viktorija Ni 2349
 IM Rusudan Goletiani 2337
 FM Alisa Melekhina 2321
 WIM Iryna Zenyuk 2298
 NM Alena Kats 2233


Tickets for the opening ceremony, which will take place on May 7, and the closing ceremony, scheduled for May 20, will be available soon. Round one for each event begins on May 8.

The U.S. Championship and the U.S. Women's Championship will both be classic round-robin tournaments, in which each participant will play every other participant exactly once.

For more information, visit, or call (314) 361-CHESS (2437).

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