U.S. Women's and Junior Champs after three rounds

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Anna Zatonskih The streak has been broken.

After an amazing run of thirty(!) straight decisive games in U.S. Women’s Championship play, which began during round six of the 2009 Championship, spectators finally witnessed a draw in third round action between the two early favorites, IM Anna Zatonskih (pictured) and IM Irina Krush.

By Mike Wilmering and Katie Baldetti

The U.S. Women's Championship and U.S. Junior Closed Championship are being held concurrently, from July 9-20, at the spacious Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.

In round three, an aggressive yet calculated gamble by Krush was countered by Zatonskih’s solid defense, and the rivalry that has been stewing for years will be placed on the back burner pending a possible playoff to decide the championship.

With Black, Krush chose to play the Benoni, an uncharacteristic decision designed to surprise her opponent.

“I thought it was a good decision, a fighting opening,” Krush said.

Krush only has played the Benoni two other times five years ago, games even she had forgotten about, but she said she thought there was no way Zatonskih could have expected her prep.

Zatonskih, the defending Champion, fell into time trouble and said she is still not playing to her true form, which she put on display at last year’s U.S. Women’s Championship, in which she scored a blistering 8.5/9.

“I just didn’t calculate clearly,” Zatonskih said. “There were probably too many [missed] opportunities for me.”

Today, Krush was clearly going for the win.

“Of my own volition, I wound up in this sort of dubious line, and I went for not such a principled move [9...]Qc7,” she said, adding that Black has to be careful not to get dominated in this line without any counter play.

“I feel like I got away with a slightly provocative play in this game” Krush said. “I kind of got lucky to get out of this opening like this.”

After losses by WIM Alisa Melekhina and WIM Iryna Zenyuk, Krush and Zatonskih sit atop the leaderboard, each with scores of 2.5/3.

***



The U.S. Junior Closed Championship has an unlikely early leader after three rounds. FM Warren Harper won his game today with White against NM Tyler Hughes, which puts Harper at 3/3 atop the heap.

“[14...]f5 was I think the main point where [Hughes] went wrong,” Harper said.  Around move 8…c6 Harper said he liked his position much better, and also said he thought Hughes could have played defensively better later on in the game.

Hughes said he isn’t going to let Harper’s win upset him.  “You try your best to destroy each other on the board even though you’re friendly off,” Hughes said, “It’s what makes the tournament more enjoyable.”

Harper’s perfect score puts him above the highest-rated player and tournament favorite GM Ray Robson. Robson, who gave up a first round draw to 2209-rated qualifier Eric Rosen, shrugged of FM Steven Zierk 3.Bb5 anti-Sicilian in round three, and said he felt he had winning chances as early as the 14th move.

“After [14...]Qd4, I just thought I’d have a really comfortable game,” Robson said. “I didn’t think I played so well in the games leading up to this one, but I think I played decently this one, so I was happy about that.”

IM Sam Shankland, the number two seed by a wide margin, has struggled thus far and was 0-2 coming into today's round but was able to score a come-from-behind victory against FM John Bryant to earn his first point of the tournament.

For all of the scores and pairings, and to watch live coverage of round four, visit www.uschesschmps.com.

On-demand replays of the full live broadcast are available on www.uschesschamps.com/video.

"^Reports^"Abby Marshall, Alisa Melekhina, Anna Zatonskih, Beatriz Marinello, Camilla Baginskaite, Championship, Chess, Closed, Conrad Holt, Darwin Yang, Eric Rosen, Hikaru Nakamura, Irina Krush, Iryna Zenyuk, Jennifer Shahade, John Bryant, Junior, Katerina Rohonyan, Parker Zhao, Ray Robson, Sabina Foisor, saint louis, Sam Shankland, Steven Zierk, Tatev Abrahamyan, Tyler Hughes, U.S., Warren Harper, Women's"^^1279009693^1314784200^"Macauley Peterson" Facebook^"[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"23","attributes":{"alt":"","title":"","class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","wysiwyg":1}}]]You've probably noticed already that since last week there's a connection between Facebook and ChessVibes. From now on at every article you'll find a 'Like button', and in the right column you can see a section with the fans of our page on Facebook. We'll explain.

It cannot be denied that Facebook is having an increasing impact on global society. Currently there are more than 400 million active users worldwide and a few weeks ago founder Mark Zuckerberg claimed to be confident that Facebook will reach one billion users at some point. But still, for those few who don't know... what is it?

Facebook is a social networking website launched in February 2004. Users can add people as friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. Additionally, users can join networks, share content and join events. The website's name stems from the colloquial name of books given to students at the start of the academic year by university administrations in the US with the intention of helping students to get to know each other better.

Facebook's own statistics claim that 50% of the active users log on to Facebook in any given day. There are over 160 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups and events) on Facebook. An average user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events and creates 70 pieces of content each month himself. More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) are shared each month.

Besides being the number one place to meet friends online, Facebook has become a new channel for media and people to share their content. The New York Times is on Facebook, CNN is on Facebook, Google is on Facebook. Even Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is on Facebook.

Recently Lady Gaga became the first person to have 10 million fans on Facebook and averages approximately 140,000 new fans each day. Columbia Pictures will release a movie called The Social Network – a comedy-drama about the creation of Facebook - in October 2010 (trailer here). Facebook is the new Google.

As it goes with all major brands in the world, Facebook has met with some controversy as well. It has been blocked intermittently in several countries including Pakistan, Syria, China, Vietnam, and Iran. It has also been banned at many places of work to discourage employees from wasting time using the service. Privacy has also been an issue, and it has been compromised several times. Facebook settled a lawsuit regarding claims over source code and intellectual property. The site has also been involved in controversy over the sale of fans and friends. (For more info we refer to Wikipedia.)

Although we're still reluctant to try all features Facebook offers, especially relating the privacy issues mentioned above, we decided to do two things: create a page on Facebook and add a 'Like button' to our articles.

Our page on Facebook

At the moment the page offers all articles by ChessVibes via RSS, and there's some basic info about our site (with the possibility to leave a comment about ChessVibes) and our editors. If you're a fan of ChessVibes you can go to the page and click on the 'Like button' there. You'll be added to the group of fans, and shown in the far right column on ChessVibes.com when your Facebook friends visit ChessVibes.com.

Like button

Besides, we also added a Like button to our articles. The Like button enables users to make connections to ChessVibes articles and share them back to their friends on Facebook with one click. Since the content is hosted by Facebook, the button can display personalized content whether or not the user has logged into your site. For logged-in Facebook users, the button is personalized to highlight friends who have also liked the page. For ChessVibes this means that from now on you can find one at the top, which gives the number of people who clicked it, and one at the bottom, where sometimes a few small thumbnails will be shown - when friends of yours (on Facebook) clicked the Like button before you did.
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