Monday, May 14

Nakamura Leads US Champ at Halftime

Hikaru Nakamura
Halfway through the 2012 US Championship in St. Louis, the top seed stands alone in the lead.  Hikaru Nakamura (2775) leads defending champion Gata Kamsky (2741) by half a point, with the rest of the field another 0.5 down.  Both the top Grandmasters have already faced veteran Gregory Kaidanov (2594), alas with opposite results: Nakamura won while Kamsky lost.  However, Kamsky mitigated his misfortune by beating third seeded Alexander Onischuk (2660).  The highly anticipated showdown between America's two 2700+ stars is scheduled for the penultimate round on Friday, and Kamsky gets the White pieces.  

Update: Both Nakamura and Kamsky won with black in round 8 to remain tied as their showdown draws nearer.  Defending champion Kamsky took the lead in round 9!  Nakamura outplayed Kamsky with black in round 10 to leapfrog him in the standings.  Congratulations to Hikaru Nakamura for winning his third US Championship (2005, 2009, 2012)!
Gata Kamsky
US Championship 
Final Standings
  • 8.5 Hikaru Nakamura
  • 7.5 Gata Kamsky
  • 6.5 Alexander Onischuk
  • 6.0 Varuzhan Akobian, Aleksandr Lenderman and Yury Shulman
  • 5.5 Ray Robson 
  • 5.0 Robert Hess
  • 4.0 Gregory Kaidanov and Alejandro Ramirez
  • 3.5 Yasser Seirawan and Alexander Stripunsky 
Please enjoy my list of favorite games at the bottom of this article!

Like in the men's tournament, the defending champion in the 2012 Women's Championship occupies second place, half a point down.  International Masters Irina Krush (2457) and Anna Zatonskih (2510) square off on Wednesday, with Krush currently holding the lead, but Zatonskih playing the White pieces.   

Update: The critical game between the two leaders was drawn without any excitement.  Zatonskih and Krush will determine the champion in a rapid playoff on May 20 starting at 11:00am PDT. 

US Women's Championship 
Final Standings
  • 7.0 Anna Zatonskih and Irina Krush
  • 5.5 Rusudan Goletiani
  • 5.0 Viktorija Ni
Daily rounds begin at 11:00am PDT through May 19.  The time control is 40/90, G/30 with a 30 second increment from move 1.  If necessary, a playoff for 1st place will take place on May 20.  For exciting live video coverage and daily reports, make sure to check out the official website or the Internet Chess Club.

Round-by-Round Games to Enjoy!

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