As announced previously on this blog, IM Vinay Bhat advanced to the semifinals of the 2008 US State Champion of Champions tournament on ICC's sister service World Chess Live. The winner earns a spot in the field of 24 for the 2008 Frank K. Berry US Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 13-21. Vinay squares off against IM Enrico Sevillano from the Southern California. The other semifinal pits experience versus youth in IM David Vigorito from Massachusetts against 13 year old IM-elect Ray Robson from Florida. The winners will play for the championship.
The USCF and CalChess websites both report that wisdom prevailed and the date for the semifinals has been changed to Saturday, April 19, with the final on Sunday, April 20. It seemed silly to play on Friday as originally planned, when both some participants and spectators are at work. Both the semifinal and final will begin at 12noon Pacific time--be there! The time control for each two game match will be 60 3.
To watch the matches, download the Dasher interface for World Chess Live (unfortunately, BlitzIn will not work). If you are a USCF member, you are eligible for six free months of WCL thanks to a promotion. To register, please visit the World Chess Live website and follow the instructions on the USCF page (you'll need your USCF ID and PIN code). Upon logging on, you may "observe" the World Chess Live handles of the final four, "Cofc-NorthCalif" for Bhat, "Cofc-SoCal" for Sevillano, "Cofc-MA" for Vigorito and "Cofc-Florida" for Robson.
Who do you think will win this internet qualifier? Vote for your favorite player at the right! There are several strong and exciting choices to make this poll very interesting. This poll closes on Friday at noon so that I can announce the results.