US Champs: Round 5 Results And Games

US Champs: Round 5 Results And Games

SonofPearl
SonofPearl
May 19, 2010, 9:03 AM |
17 | Chess Event Coverage

Round 5 at the US Championships in St.Louis was again full of excitement, with plenty of decisive results.

Kamsky and Onischuk now share the lead with 4 points, just half a point ahead of Nakamura, Shulman, Stripunsky and Kraai. 

In round five Kraai has black against Nakamura! Good luck Jesse! Cool

Jesse Kraai celebrates another win (all pictures by Betsy Dynako at the official site)

24_Jesse-interview-Round-5-US-CHAMPS-2010-18.jpg

Report by FM Mike Klein 

 With a field of seven players jumbled at the top of the tables, only two players managed to continue their winning ways at round five of the 2010 U.S. Championship, held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. GM Gata Kamsky and GM Alexander Onischuk, the second and third seeds, both won as White and are all alone at 4/5.

Kamsky had one of the shorter games of the day as he dispatched three-time champion GM Larry Christiansen on the White side of an offbeat Ruy Lopez. Building a huge center with the one-two punch 10. d4 and 11. f4., he preceded the advances with a queen sortie that he called a gorgeous idea. Together, the moves gave Kamsky the initiative. Kamskys goal was to turn the tables on Christiansen. I had to do something, Kamsky said. My experience with Larry is that hes a very aggressive player. 

The crunching shot 26. g4 opening the b1-h7 diagonal and Kamskys pieces flooded the Black kingside. Though Kamsky argued that instead of attacking that this game should be called positionally-based, with aggressive intentions, Christiansen's position collapsed faster than Mt. St. Helens.

Joining Kamsky at the top was Onischuk, who extended his U.S. Championship unbeaten streak to a record 46 games by narrowly winning against GM Varuzhan Akobian. [Akobian] started making mistakes at the very end, Onischuk said. In the post-mortem, Onischuk praised his opponents 27Qe5, controlling the long diagonal. His position is fine because its really dangerous for me to take on a6, Onischuk said. But after the mistake a5 on the very next move, Onischuk's queen took up a dominating post. The final chance for Akobian to save the game may have been 31e3, as 32. fxe3 Qxe3+ 33. Qxe3 Nxe3 34. Kf2 Nxf1 35. Kxf1 is drawn according to Onischuk.

Onischuk explained his success simply. I know how to prepare for important tournaments, he said. He suggested that his studying has equipped him with several opening surprises, but so far his opponents have done all the steering into uncharted waters. Of course Im not going to play Nc3 and f4 I would say crazy lines, he said, referring to GM Hikaru Nakamura's preparation against him in round four.

No other player could keep pace with a win, but not for a lack of trying. GM Yury Shulman and top-seeded GM Nakamura battled to a chaotic draw on board one. At one point, Nakamura promoted to a second queen and Shulman refused to take it, instead pursuing his own initiative.

I didn't think his advantage was serious, until I blundered severely with Qc5, Nakamura said, explaining he simply missed the Shulmans knight centralization. Playing quickly, Nakamura blitzed out another opening surprise, the Blumenfeld Gambit. But Shulman coolly accepted the pawn and after a long forcing sequence, acquired a small army in return for Nakamuras extra queen. Shulman said he could not recall any game he had played like this one, but he was reminded of Kasparov-Lautier, Linares, 1994, when the Frenchman also promoted a second queen on b1 (but used it to beat the World Champion). After all three queens came off, the game was agreed drawn on the 54th move.

You cant win every game with Black, Nakamura said. He will now leave board one for the first time in the event.

GM Jesse Kraai, one of the lower seeds, won his third game in a row to vault into a tie for third. Sensing that GM Jaan Ehlvest would push for a win with White, Kraai bided his time and then released his pieces. Ehlvest feels obliged to beat me, and that gives me chances that I wouldn't get if I was 2600, Kraai explained. After getting his pawn to e5 and knight to f4, Kraai liked his position. Asked about his newfound possibility of making the quad final after round seven, Kraai downplayed the line of thinking, quoting some advice he received from GM Victor Mikhalevski. Sometimes its better not to dream, he said.

Neither GM Alex Stripunsky or GM Alex Yermolinsky managed to get to four points. They agreed to a draw on board four in a complicated position. Stripunsky had won three in a row prior to round five, but both players still control their own fate to qualify for the finals.

Rebounding from two consecutive missed opportunities, IM Irina Krush pounced on the luckless GM Robert Hess, who lost for the second straight day. Krush said she was embarrassed by the win, as she made some imprecise moves in building for her g-file attack. After making a random pawn move in the midst of the attack, she said, That's how I confuse my opponents with moves that don't make sense. I realized my strategy of playing well wasn't working. After seeing two winning positions only earn ½ point in round three and four, she said, There is a lot of justice in chess. Her performance rating is back over 2600, and though the topic is taboo in the press room, everyone is aware that she is on pace for her second grandmaster norm.

GM Joel Benjamin won his second game of the event with a series of sacrifices on GM Aleksandr Lenderman's king. He eventually opened up a discovered attack on Lendermans queen to earn the full point.

GM Alex Shabalov ended a streak of losses, winning as Black in a long Sicilian game over GM Melikset Khachiyan. GM Gregory Kaidanov and GM Ben Finegold got their first wins of the championship. For the third time in five rounds, eight of the twelve games were once again decisive.

The crowds swelled for Tuesdays games, and at one point the commentary room was full of spectators. Only two rounds remain before the quad qualification.


 

 The round 5 results in full:

White  Score  Rating  Result Black  Score  Rating 
GM Shulman, Yuri  3.0 2613 ½-½ GM Nakamura, Hikaru  3.0 2733
GM Kamsky, Gata  3.0 2702 1-0 GM Christiansen, Larry  3.0 2578
GM Onischuk, Alexander  3.0 2699 1-0 GM Akobian, Varuzhan  3.0 2599
GM Stripunsky, Alexander  3.0 2570 ½-½ GM Yermolinsky, Alex  2.5 2528
GM Ehlvest, Jaan  2.0 2591 0-1 GM Kraai, Jesse  2.5 2492
IM Krush, Irina  2.0 2455 1-0 GM Hess, Robert L  2.0 2590
GM Benjamin, Joel  1.5 2565 1-0 GM Lenderman, Alex  1.5 2598
GM Khachiyan, Melikset  1.5 2539 0-1 GM Shabalov, Alexander  1.5 2585
GM Kudrin, Sergey  1.5 2571 0-1 GM Kaidanov, Gregory  1.5 2577
GM Finegold, Benjamin  1.5 2539 1-0 IM Altounian, Levon  1.5 2454
IM Shankland, Samuel  1.0 2507 ½-½ GM Robson, Ray  1.5 2569
GM Bhat, Vinay S  1.0 2547 ½-½ GM Gurevich, Dmitry  0.5 2488

 

Sam Shankland and Joel Benjamin chatting with Josh Friedel

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The standings after round 5:


Name  Score  Rating  1 2 3 4 5
1 GM Kamsky, Gata  4.0 2702 1 1 ½  ½  1
2 GM Onischuk, Alexander  4.0 2699 1 ½  1 ½  1
3 GM Nakamura, Hikaru  3.5 2733 1 1 ½  ½  ½
4 GM Shulman, Yuri  3.5 2613 ½  ½  1 1 ½
5 GM Stripunsky, Alexander  3.5 2570 0 1 1 1 ½
6 GM Kraai, Jesse  3.5 2492 ½  0 1 1 1
7 GM Akobian, Varuzhan  3.0 2599 ½  1 1 ½  0
8 GM Christiansen, Larry  3.0 2578 1 ½  ½  1 0
9 GM Yermolinsky, Alex  3.0 2528 0 1 ½  1 ½
10 IM Krush, Irina  3.0 2455 1 ½  0 ½  1
11 GM Shabalov, Alexander  2.5 2585 ½  1 0 0 1
12 GM Kaidanov, Gregory  2.5 2577 0 ½  ½  ½  1
13 GM Benjamin, Joel  2.5 2565 0 ½  1 0 1
14 GM Finegold, Benjamin  2.5 2539 ½  0 ½  ½  1
15 GM Ehlvest, Jaan  2.0 2591 1 ½  ½  0 0
16 GM Hess, Robert L  2.0 2590 1 0 1 0 0
17 GM Robson, Ray  2.0 2569 0 0 1 ½  ½
18 GM Lenderman, Alex  1.5 2598 0 ½  ½  ½  0
19 GM Kudrin, Sergey  1.5 2571 ½  1 0 0 0
20 GM Bhat, Vinay S  1.5 2547 ½  0 0 ½  ½
21 GM Khachiyan, Melikset  1.5 2539 1 0 0 ½  0
22 IM Shankland, Samuel  1.5 2507 0 ½  0 ½  ½
23 IM Altounian, Levon  1.5 2454 ½  ½  0 ½  0
24 GM Gurevich, Dmitry  1.0 2488 0 0 0 ½  ½

 

The 2008 champion (Shulman) and the 2009 champion (Nakamura) fight out a draw

10_Shluman-vs-Nakamura-Round-5-US-CHAMPS-2010-11.jpg

 

The pairings for round 6:

White  Score  Rating  Black  Score  Rating 
GM Onischuk, Alexander  4.0 2699 GM Kamsky, Gata  4.0 2702
GM Nakamura, Hikaru  3.5 2733 GM Kraai, Jesse  3.5 2492
GM Stripunsky, Alexander  3.5 2570 GM Shulman, Yuri  3.5 2613
GM Akobian, Varuzhan  3.0 2599 GM Yermolinsky, Alex  3.0 2528
GM Christiansen, Larry  3.0 2578 IM Krush, Irina  3.0 2455
GM Shabalov, Alexander  2.5 2585 GM Kaidanov, Gregory  2.5 2577
GM Finegold, Benjamin  2.5 2539 GM Benjamin, Joel  2.5 2565
GM Robson, Ray  2.0 2569 GM Ehlvest, Jaan  2.0 2591
IM Altounian, Levon  1.5 2454 GM Hess, Robert L  2.0 2590
GM Lenderman, Alex  1.5 2598 GM Kudrin, Sergey  1.5 2571
GM Bhat, Vinay S  1.5 2547 IM Shankland, Samuel  1.5 2507
GM Gurevich, Dmitry  1.0 2488 GM Khachiyan, Melikset  1.5 2539

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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