Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

US Women's Championship Tournament

Irina Krush7.5/9(+6 -0 =3)[games]
Anna Zatonskih7.5/9(+7 -1 =1)[games]
Tatev Abrahamyan6/9(+6 -3 =0)[games]
Katerina Rohonyan6/9(+5 -2 =2)[games]
Tuvshintugs Batchimeg5.5/9(+5 -3 =1)[games]
Tsagaan Battsetseg4.5/9(+3 -3 =3)[games]
Iryna Zenyuk3.5/9(+2 -4 =3)[games]
Chouchanik Airapetian2/9(+2 -7 =0)[games]
Esther Epstein2/9(+1 -6 =2)[games]
Courtney Jamison0.5/9(+0 -8 =1)[games] Chess Event Description
US Women's Championship (2008)

Held in Tulsa, OK 13-21 May 2008.

Previous edition: US Women's Championship (2007). Next: US Women's Chess Championship (2009). See also US Championship (2008).

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. A Zatonskih vs I Zenyuk  1-0612008US Women's ChampionshipB41 Sicilian, Kan
2. C Airapetian vs C Jamison  1-0682008US Women's ChampionshipB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
3. E Epstein vs T Batchimeg 0-1372008US Women's ChampionshipC44 King's Pawn Game
4. K Rohonyan vs T Battsetseg  ½-½602008US Women's ChampionshipE75 King's Indian, Averbakh, Main line
5. T Abrahamyan vs I Krush  0-1352008US Women's ChampionshipB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
6. I Krush vs E Epstein  1-0302008US Women's ChampionshipE39 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Pirc Variation
7. T Battsetseg vs T Abrahamyan 0-1342008US Women's ChampionshipB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
8. I Zenyuk vs K Rohonyan  0-1542008US Women's ChampionshipE60 King's Indian Defense
9. C Airapetian vs A Zatonskih  0-1802008US Women's ChampionshipB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
10. C Jamison vs T Batchimeg  0-1412008US Women's ChampionshipC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
11. T Batchimeg vs I Krush  0-1432008US Women's ChampionshipB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
12. E Epstein vs T Battsetseg  ½-½802008US Women's ChampionshipB27 Sicilian
13. T Abrahamyan vs I Zenyuk  1-0342008US Women's ChampionshipB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
14. K Rohonyan vs C Airapetian  1-0492008US Women's ChampionshipE75 King's Indian, Averbakh, Main line
15. A Zatonskih vs C Jamison 1-0412008US Women's ChampionshipA07 King's Indian Attack
16. C Jamison vs I Krush  0-1482008US Women's ChampionshipD04 Queen's Pawn Game
17. T Battsetseg vs T Batchimeg  1-0852008US Women's ChampionshipC55 Two Knights Defense
18. I Zenyuk vs E Epstein  1-0282008US Women's ChampionshipE10 Queen's Pawn Game
19. C Airapetian vs T Abrahamyan 0-1402008US Women's ChampionshipC18 French, Winawer
20. A Zatonskih vs K Rohonyan  1-0742008US Women's ChampionshipD34 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
21. K Rohonyan vs C Jamison  1-0292008US Women's ChampionshipB42 Sicilian, Kan
22. I Krush vs T Battsetseg  1-0352008US Women's ChampionshipE77 King's Indian
23. T Batchimeg vs I Zenyuk ½-½872008US Women's ChampionshipE92 King's Indian
24. T Abrahamyan vs A Zatonskih 0-1412008US Women's ChampionshipC02 French, Advance
25. E Epstein vs C Airapetian  1-0612008US Women's ChampionshipC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-24-08  lisyaron: <ongyj: Sorry to seek clarifications on a few matters. 1. Isn't Armageddon always 6mins to 5, with draw odds in favour Black? [If Black draws, black wins] 6 VS 4.5 seems kind of too much of an advantage for White, IMHO.

2. In the above scenario, can White claim a victory if Black forfeits on time? [If it's legal for White to play on time in Armageddon, can't Irina Krush play waiting moves and make Black forfeit?]

3. As the end of the game, according to, Anna Zatonskih won on White's time forfeit with 1 second left on her clock. From my understanding of time forfeit, a player needs to stop his/her own clock and make the claim to the arbiter. I've personally witnessed a "double time forfeit" in which a player was about to claim his opponent's time forfeit, but his own time expired when he was reaching out to stop the clock. The arbiter was watching the game towards the end [it was the very last game of a round] and declared it a draw based on double time forfeit. I'm just wondering if that was a right call, and similarly, in such tight situations here, could Irina Krush have pressed her own clock (despite forfeiting already) and make/pray that Anna Zatonskih's clock run out as well to claim a double forfeit?

Sorry for asking many questions, but/and thanks in advance for clarifications.>

Hi Ongyj,

1. From what I understand, one player chose the colour, the other chose the time. So it is not always 6 min vs 5 min and draw odds.

2. A loss on time is an automatic win for the opponent, regardless of whether draw odds are present or not. Hence, with 6 seconds for Irina vs Anna's 2 seconds, she should've simply repeated waiting moves while avoiding 3 move repetition. Perhaps Krush didn't want to win that way and/or was confident with her time and position to think she'd win regardless.

3. Perhaps what you are saying may only apply to analogue clocks, but not on digital ones. This is because there is no accurate way of discerning who really lost on time for analogue clocks once both players' flags have fallen. On the other hand, the digital clocks I have encountered all show which player has run out of time first, as there is a 'bar' or '-' (minus sign) on the clock for that player's time. In this case, the buzzer was also set on for the timer - Anna claiming victory immediately after it went off.

Irina's outburst afterwards was perhaps not the best show of sportsmanship, but obviously an understandable, instantaneous demonstration of her emotion at that point. Who can blame someone for losing a national title which was already within grasp? [Shrug shoulders]

May-24-08  ongyj: <lisyaron> Thanks a lot for your detailed response. Now I know I'll always pick the side with more time, if I ever get to choose in an armageddon!
May-24-08  spasskey69: The fact that Anna could move a piece close to the clock back and forth to try to flag Irina (as she admitted she did) is why the rules of the Armageddon game are a joke. That's not to take anything away from Anna, who is a fine player. But it shows the drawback to having draw-odds. I do not blame Irina for swatting the king; obviously she was caught up in the excitement and emotions of the moment; hell, I've done that with my computer mouse after losing a meaningless game on the ICC! What is ridiculous are the ill-informed comments by ignoramuses who think that Irina wrote CHESSBITCH and that it was she, and not Rohanyan, who insisted on playing out the KRN vs. KR ending. Irina was on the material deficit side of that ending; and I am betting that in her judgement she would not have thought it right to be the one who should offer the draw. Whatever the case, and whether she had a right to play it out or not, Rohanyan played the role of Hillary to Irina's Obama: wearing down an opponent against whom one had little reasonable chances of winning, with the effect (unintended or not) being that she has less energy left for the playoffs. Legal? Yes. Was it possible to pull out a win like Kasparov did against Polgar? Well, Rohanyan is no Kasparov, so that's a tougher question. But the whole affair was ultimately an unsatisfactory way to conclude the tournament. Championship chess is more than roulette.
May-24-08  spasskey69: One last thing: the only amusing thing in that video of the Armageddon game is the look on Im Larry Kaufman's face after Irina launches her king into orbit. Larry is a kind of poker-faced guy; and he holds true to form in this.
May-24-08  Wone Jone: <dx9293> Whadda ya mean?! Anna's cute!
Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: On the general discussion of the way the women's U.S. Championship was ultimately decided and the related discussions on the R+N vs. R ending, I am reminded of something that Yasser Seirawan said about professional chess tournaments, i.e., that they are neither art exhibitions nor scientific experiments, but struggles to maximize results, and for many of the contestants this is in conjunction with trying to earn a living. I think Emanuel Lasker would have been in accord with such sentiments. Consequently, the only requirement of anything deemed sportsmanship is to be bound by the official rules of the contest. Trying to win a theoretically drawn ending where mistakes can be made and where time limits are also a factor is perfectly acceptable and legitimate. The final Armageddon method of breaking ties is not ideal, however, similar to using the less than ideal penalty kick shootout to decide the world cup football championship, at least it's settled by the participation of the players on the field, rather than say a coin flip or a tie breaking formula. Paul Albert
May-24-08  wanabe2000: <PaulAlbert> I agree that a "coin flip" would be the worst way to decide the Championship, however, when Bobby Fischer was asked why he almost never allowed himself to get into time pressure, he replied: "It is not chess any more." Shouldn't there be another way to decide a Champion than this farce that we all witnessed?
May-25-08  hitman84: I saw the Armageddon blitz video and was disappointed because it all came down to who was able to make a move and press the clock quickly. The pieces were flying around in all directions.

Personally I have nothing against Armageddon Blitz. As an improvement I suggest they play online, and the game be broadcast on a large screen. At least you won't have to worry with pieces flying around.

Anyways congratulations to Zatonskih for winning the title.

Premium Chessgames Member
  paulalbert: <wanabe2000> What do you propose? Don't forget the Armageddon game was only resorted to after Anna and Irina had played four other tiebreak games with more conventional time limits and still were tied, after each winning two decisive games. Purists might say that they should play,e.g., a 4,6, 8, or even 10 game match at classic time controls, but that's not practical ( who is going to pay for it and when would it be played? )and how do the tournament organizers plan the award ceremony? And even such a match could wind up tied and you'd still have to resort to some form of tie break. I don't know who came up with the Armageddon game idea or when it was first used; it's not ideal but still better than a coin flip, but admittedly tough on the loser.
May-25-08  SetNoEscapeOn: Nobody would criticize Irina for drawing a position where she was a piece down...
May-25-08  wanabe2000: <PaulAlbert>Thank you for the reply.What do the players want to see when points are tied at the end of a tournament? If they are happy with the 4 game plus 1 format then it is what it is. I've never liked seeing a player win on "tiebreaks", so what I propose is co-champions for 2008 if one can't score more points.
May-25-08  lisyaron: <SetNoEscapeOn: Nobody would criticize Irina for drawing a position where she was a piece down...>

Personally, I believe it's not a matter of worrying whether other people criticise her or not! To Irina, this is the game for the title - drawing means handing over the title, as would a loss. With draw odds on Anna's side - drawing is equivalent to a loss for Irina. If you think again, people would probably blame Irina MORE for drawing in this particular situation, given that her opponent was down on time initially (and at the end also) and that Irina full well knew that it was an all-or-nothing game!

The position was not a critical one where mate was imminent. She had no reason to give up gracefully. Why anybody in Irina's position would go for a draw is puzzling to me! Even were Anna to offer a draw to Irina being a piece up, could you ever dream of Irina (or anybody else, for that matter) accepting? A NATIONAL TITLE is at stake here!!! In a situation where you are only down a piece with seconds left, the material is a matter of little significance anyway!

It's the nature of blitz to end this way sometimes - reflexes and nerves play an important part. Anna's tactic of conserving time paid off - unfortunately Irina's neccessity to win (hence trying to play proper moves in the dying seconds) was what caused her to be flagged.

May-30-08  dx9293: Krush doesn't think she lost...


This is going to get ugly...

Jun-01-08  SetNoEscapeOn: I agree with much of what you said, but I think there is some confusion here. It seems as if you are talking about the Armageddon game, while my comment was an answer to speculation by <Fish55> surrounding the final (normal round) game with Rohonyan.

Needless to say, yes- if you are white in an Armageddon you should never accept a draw.

Also, you should take a look at the letter that Irina wrote. She doesn't think that Anna won from time conservation (actually Anna was down most of the game), but because Anna was moving on her (Krush's) time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  lostemperor: Irina Krush open letter:

The reply:

I think there is nothing wrong with Anna Zatonskih win. She won by one second so what? Even if she were two queens down. Like you win a soccer game by one penalty in the shootout. Or win a tennisset in the tie-break. There may be some discussion about wheter or not you may make a move before your opponent finishes her/his move. From my blitz experience there is no reasonable way to prevent this.


Lost Emperor:)

Jun-04-08  kackhander: someone should send her some sour grapes, i think she'd appreciate that.
Jun-04-08  kellmano: I think Krush has a point and i thought so when i first watched the video. Maybe she should have protested at the time i suppose.
Jun-04-08  RookFile: Actually, she doesn't. What she accuses her opponent of doing illegally is not illegal.
Jun-09-08  lisyaron: An extremely interesting article, discussing some relatively sticky matters was posted in reply to Irina's open protest. The response was made on behalf of the organizing committee and can be found here:

Jun-09-08  Petrosianic: <I think Krush has a point and i thought so when i first watched the video.>

Unfortunately, she doesn't. The behavior in question may have happened, but does not seem to be against the rules as currently written.

<Maybe she should have protested at the time i suppose.>

That would certainly have helped. The whole selling point of these Armageddon games is supposed to be their fast-paced decisive action. If we take that away, and say that games can be overturned days, weeks, or even months afterwards, after Instant Replay, what's the point of the whole thing?

Really there is no point. It's stupid to have a slow speed title decided by a war of reflexes. So kind of silly to complain that Zatonskih won the title by having better reflexes than Krush. That was the point of the whole thing in the first place.

Jun-09-08  ongyj: I think the complain has 0% chance to succeed, but it has some values for future discussions.

I seriously feel that "premoves" (making a move during your opponent's time and later registering it with an instantaneous punch) should be illegal. The logic is simple: pre-moves do NOT exist in standard games; standard games and/or Blitz/Lightning and Bullet chess are generally the same, except time controls. Premoves are not made(Are they actually allowed? I don't remember seeing it) in standard games, so there's no reason they should be specially allowed in fast time controls. Just because premoves is a popular bad habit -- both players break the same rules/code of conduct doesn't make the act legal/"acceptable".

My point is, that everyone has been playing blitz/bullet the "wrong" way. Maybe it's just me but I think it's not only rude but strange to play a "turn based game" in that manner. I mean during a player's turn it's his/her time(and entitlement) to make a move, not the waiting player. AND premoves can be distracting against the player with the move (whose clock is ticking away). Indeed, if that's specially allowed for bullet and/or blitz ect., then I have to agree with most of the more "traditional" chess enthusiasts -- Blitz and Bullets are no chess-- they are simply hand movements/actions, if not "anti-chess".

Or make a catch in which pre-moves become "forced moves" (like touch moves). And if the premove somehow becomes unavailable, disqualify the player who "pre-moved" immediately.

Also, they should've been more strict about knocking pieces over. It's damn distracting to the opponent while eating his/her time away (great gamesmanship though!) And yes, I know its SO common, but again, just because it's common doesn't make it legal [Think of piracy for instance!] Perhaps a clause like "Knocking the pieces over three times entitles a one minute increment to the opponent" or something will teach the Blitz players some manners, or at least to be careful not to knock down the pieces too often?

Finally, in no way am I supporting Irina's complains, but these are some of the useful issues I collected from her open letter.

All comments and criticisms welcomed. Thanks in advance.

Jun-09-08  ongyj: One more thing, regarding the interpretation of the "moving" rules (based on )

"...a move as[is] not being made (or "completed") until the clock is pressed... "

"You can't make a move before the opponent completes his(/her) move"

With due respect to Geurt Gijssen and Mike Atkins, the authority figures who spoke about the issue, I can't bring myself to agree with their interpretations.

Personally, my interpretation is that a move consist of moving the seeds on the board, followed by the pressing of the clock. No matter at which stage of a move you are in, "You can't make a move before the opponent completes his(/her) move"

Okay, I'm not so confident that my interpretation is right, but on similar grounds, what makes the authority interpretations more correct ? Again, just because it's hard to enforce what's correct and legal doesn't make wrong/illegal acts correct.

Perhaps clearer rules can be made in Black and White in the future...

Jun-09-08  Petrosianic: <The logic is simple: pre-moves do NOT exist in standard games;>

But they DO exist in Correspondence Games. There's no "logic" here, it's simply a matter of taste. Do we want to allow them or do we not? Can we prohibit them without delaying every game with Instant Replays, or can't we? But logic doesn't demand any specific answer here.

Even in standard OTB games, there are cases where someone makes an automatic recapture or something without waiting for the clock to be pressed. Nobody makes an issue of it there because a) the time is insignificant in a slower game, and b) Once a player's hand has released the piece, he's locked into making that move whether he's pushed the clock yet or not.

Jun-09-08  minasina: Irina Krush page has much more conversation about Krush-Zatoniskih US Championship armageddon game aftermath.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: That speed game was garbage.

Why can't they play a G30 or G60 game, maybe 2 or 3 in one day, if necessary, to determine a national champion?

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 3)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific tournament only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

Copyright 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC