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United States Championship Tournament

Gata Kamsky8/12(+4 -0 =8)[games]
Yury Shulman7.5/11(+4 -0 =7)[games]
Alexander Shabalov6/9(+5 -2 =2)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura6/10(+3 -1 =6)[games]
Alexander Onischuk5.5/9(+3 -1 =5)[games]
Alexander Stripunsky5.5/9(+5 -3 =1)[games]
Robert Hess5/9(+4 -3 =2)[games]
Larry Christiansen5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Benjamin Finegold5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Alex Yermolinsky5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Varuzhan Akobian5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Jesse Kraai4.5/9(+3 -3 =3)[games]
Joel Benjamin4.5/9(+4 -4 =1)[games]
Irina Krush4.5/9(+3 -3 =3)[games]
Gregory Kaidanov4.5/9(+2 -2 =5)[games]
Ray Robson4/9(+2 -3 =4)[games]
Jaan Ehlvest4/9(+2 -3 =4)[games]
Levon Altounian3.5/9(+2 -4 =3)[games]
Melikset Khachiyan3.5/9(+2 -4 =3)[games]
Aleksandr Lenderman3.5/9(+1 -3 =5)[games]
Vinay Bhat3.5/9(+1 -3 =5)[games]
Sam Shankland2.5/9(+0 -4 =5)[games]
Dmitry Gurevich2.5/9(+0 -4 =5)[games]
Sergey Kudrin2.5/9(+1 -5 =3)[games] Chess Event Description
United States Championship (2010)

Previous edition: US Championship (2009). Next: US Championship (Knock-out) (2011). See also USA Women Championship (2010).

"Holding true to form, the top four players in the U.S. Championship, based on their pre-tournament ratings, qualified for the final on Thursday. They will play a mini-tournament amongst themselves, with each player facing each of the other competitors once, to determine a champion.

The other 20 players in the championship will continue in their Swiss system tournament for another two rounds. They will essentially be playing for places fifth through twenty-fourth.

The four finalists — Hikaru Nakamura, Gata Kamsky, Alexander Onischuk and Yuri Shulman — each scored five points in their first seven games."

The New York Times, May 20, 2010.

Kamsky and Shulman finished equal first in the quads. Kamsky won the title after drawing Shulman in the playoff game (Shulman vs Kamsky, 2010) because he had draw odds.

 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 111  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. B Finegold vs V Akobian ½-½302010United States ChampionshipE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
2. Yermolinsky vs Ehlvest 0-1392010United States ChampionshipA59 Benko Gambit
3. R Hess vs Shankland 1-0302010United States ChampionshipB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
4. J Kraai vs Shabalov ½-½302010United States ChampionshipE99 King's Indian, Orthodox, Taimanov
5. L Christiansen vs D Gurevich 1-0382010United States ChampionshipB60 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
6. I Krush vs Kaidanov 1-0412010United States ChampionshipD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. Kudrin vs L Altounian ½-½302010United States ChampionshipC24 Bishop's Opening
8. Stripunsky vs Nakamura 0-1452010United States ChampionshipC00 French Defense
9. Kamsky vs Robson 1-0622010United States ChampionshipA06 Reti Opening
10. Benjamin vs Onischuk 0-1642010United States ChampionshipC85 Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation Doubly Deferred (DERLD)
11. Shulman vs V Bhat ½-½512010United States ChampionshipD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. Lenderman vs Khachiyan 0-1722010United States ChampionshipB39 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation
13. Nakamura vs R Hess 1-0412010United States ChampionshipA17 English
14. Khachiyan vs Kamsky 0-1382010United States ChampionshipE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
15. Ehlvest vs I Krush ½-½302010United States ChampionshipA22 English
16. L Altounian vs Shulman ½-½302010United States ChampionshipC01 French, Exchange
17. V Akobian vs J Kraai 1-0322010United States ChampionshipA64 Benoni, Fianchetto, 11...Re8
18. Kaidanov vs Benjamin ½-½462010United States ChampionshipA62 Benoni, Fianchetto Variation
19. D Gurevich vs Stripunsky  0-1412010United States ChampionshipD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
20. Robson vs Yermolinsky 0-1292010United States ChampionshipB32 Sicilian
21. Onischuk vs L Christiansen ½-½722010United States ChampionshipE92 King's Indian
22. Shabalov vs B Finegold 1-0452010United States ChampionshipD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
23. V Bhat vs Kudrin  0-1662010United States ChampionshipD87 Grunfeld, Exchange
24. Shankland vs Lenderman  ½-½692010United States ChampionshipD56 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. Kamsky vs Nakamura ½-½372010United States ChampionshipE97 King's Indian
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 111  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 55 OF 55 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-26-10  MrMelad: <Was it reason that discovered electricity?> Actually it was.. No need to be a brainiac to rub some fur with amber, but you do have use reason to notice carefully what happens.
May-26-10  Ragh: So, Gata Kamsky won the US Championship back after 19 years. Impressive!
May-26-10  Appaz: <Was it reason that discovered democracy?> Actually, the Greeks have a copyright on that one. Time to pay the licensing fees, it seems.
May-26-10  turbo231: <onur87: How can I find U. S. Championship Blitz open games? Thanks...>

I've been looking for the same thing! I was looking forward to May 24 @8pm CDT for over a week, I love to watch Naka play blitz using my fics GUI.

My fics gui has different sounds, sound for a regular, check, capture, and stalemate moves. It also flashes when you are running low on time. But the best feature is it shows the moves one move at a time.

Years ago I was a member at icc, but I don't remember too much about them. I'm almost sure that icc and fics played the blitz games live.

I remember one thing about icc they also showed the moves one move at a time. And that makes a tremendous difference in your viewing pleasure.

I remember fics talking about putting games that were played in archive. So far I can't figure how to access their archives. should be putting these games in archive later on.

But watching the games live is infinitely better that playing them back after the fact.

The U S Blitz was on my mind "almost" constantly. Here you have Naka, maybe the greatest blitz player that the world has ever known.

So what happened on May 24 @8pm CDT...... old age happened.... I forgot.

May-26-10  mcguigan97: <slomarko: is there a reason why US can't organize its championship as a normal RR tournament like every other civilized chess nation? what's the point of making this weird time odds game!?>

The US is expert on what is popular. That contrasts with Europe, which is more expert on elite matters. So no surprise, the US plan (playoff finals, sudden death) is designed for broader appeal, while the chess elites prefer the European approach.

May-26-10  Blunderdome: <HeMateMe>

Well, that's where we keep getting stuck: someone <should> win vs. someone <will> win.

May-28-10  onur87: @turbo231> Thanks for interested. Blitz games are different taste,different excitement. Especially when you see the time flowing.
May-28-10  turbo231: <onur87>

I enjoy chess games in general weather it's standard or blitz. Each format has it's own excitement. I especially like to watch Naka play blitz he's a artistic genius at it.

May-29-10  znsprdx: <turbo231:....Naka, maybe the greatest blitz player that the world has ever known.> Rather far from likely considering: TAL world Blitz Champion 1988 - more than a quarter century after being World Champion....There is just no comparison.

Also note Blitz without increments is the most irrational concept...which too many chessplayers seem to still not grasp....I hope you understand why:)

Fischer was far from crazy: he promoted the incremental clock and "Transcendental(transformational) Chess.

May-29-10  turbo231: <znsprdx: Tal was better at blitz than Naka is now.... Blitz without increments is the most irrational concept>

Thank you for your well written kibitz.
Comparing athletes, chess players etc. from different eras is very difficult. That's why I said maybe.

Blitz is different, and you have blitz with and without increments. I don't see anything wrong with testing the quickest minds in chess.

And for me watching it live with the proper GUI that shows the moves one move at a time, and with different move sounds is very entertaining.

Maybe the reason I enjoy it so much is because I'm not good at it. It amazes me to see them play that fast.

Don't get me wrong I love to watch standard chess also! What's wrong with me?

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: <Blitz without increments is the most irrational concept>

Don't think so. Blitz with a fixed time, preferably, 5 minutes, is chess without a net. It is the most pure test of your chess agility. Increments help a weaker player close the gap.

Take an informal poll on ICC, yahoo, ChessDom, or wherever you play blitz--the stronger players will tell you they prefer no increments, it is the truer test of chess skill.

May-30-10  Illogic: Of course. Blitz with increment is a wussified version. And if you don't want to take a poll, just look at what the top players are playing online. Quick games with NO increment, almost without exception.

Fischer did promote the use of increment, but wasn't that more in regards to tournament play?

May-30-10  onur87: In chess, Good is good. Rational or irrational.Increment or no increment. It dosnt matter. I think, Naka is the best now, all kind of blitz games. And this isnt to result from luck. Only and simply he plays better other human beings.( At one time, like Fischer and Capa...)
May-31-10  znsprdx: <HeMateMe: Blitz with a fixed time, preferably, 5 minutes, is chess without a net. It is the most pure test of your chess agility.> "agility" ??: it is not a circus - we are talking about "ability" the absolute mental concept of checkmate versus the limitation of delivering it physically.

It is absurd to penalize the player who has a forced sequence of 'n' moves with a time forfeit simply because the physical movements use time, that is technically independent of 'chess time'. It becomes a kind of variation of Zeno's Paradox.

However the purpose of increments should be to allow for the moves to be made at a point when an opponent fails to understand that it is time to resign. However they should be added by request with only one minute left to the time control and should be no longer than 2 seconds per move.

Here is a little composition to illustrate my point:


click for larger view

> Black just played ....Re8

Let us presume this is zeitnot: the pieces are flying as White (having the worst of it on the clock) unleashes the shocker 1.Rd8 !? which leads Black to blunder with ...1. Qx[R]d8 2.Qa2+ Kh8 3.Nf7+ Kg8
4.Nx[Q]d8+ Kh8

Now the classic Philidor (smothered) mate continues
5.Nf7+ Kg8 6.Nh6+ Kh8
7.Qg8+ Rx[Q]g8

It is just simply nonsense for White to lose on time- the worst penalty perhaps would be a draw - roughly equivalent to the principle of insufficient [chess] material - in this case: insufficient [chess] time. On the other hand if instead Black tries ...1. Rx[R]d8 the request for increments may perhaps not be as justifiable because the checkmate although inevitable is not a forced sequence.

BTW I think Black had to find ...1.c2! 2.Rx[Q]c8 Rx[R]c8 3.Nd3 c1=Q+ 4.Nx[Q]c1 Rx[N]c1+ 5.Kf2 with better odds of White losing on time. Here a request for increments would not at all be justifiable.

It is unlikely the Chessworld is bright enough to grasp this nuance given that they haven't even figured out how to assure round robin tournaments at the upper echelons; nor how to resolve the issue of the no-play agreed draw which continues to plague elite Chess, nor how to find a clear winner without resorting to the Armageddon concept which is pure idiocy: may as well just flip a coin. Clearly a Random 360 would be preferable for this purpose: but with 2 games from the same position with simultaneous White side and Black side play:)

Jun-02-10  turbo231: <znsprdx: It's coin flipping time.>

Very good points. Flipping a coin is a little extreme, that would be 50, 50. They need skill to win or draw. If they played against me their chance in winning would be 100%, better than flipping a coin.

As I said before it takes some skill to win or draw. On the other hand their talent is more or less equal, so for them it would the same as flipping a coin.

So because they are equal flipping a coin is not extreme, and makes perfect sense. I was wrong, in my final analysis all your points are very good.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Not exactly. Having draw odds with black lowers white's elo (in terms of expected result) by 110 points. So, the players <objectively> decide how much time are 110 elo points worth to them. Nothing with randomness.
Jun-02-10  MKalafatas: I was thinking that draws are so much more common at the top levels that this makes perfect sense --- but for regular tournament players (master strength and below), draws are much less common and I would probably bid for White!
Jun-16-10  kingfu: Appaz,

You had the best post! It was funny and sarcastic and true all at the same time.

Brevity is the soul of wit. And no one noticed but me!

Yes, European Union, you will have to re-purchase democracy in Greece for the incredibly low price of a billion dollars. What is that in Euros? Get out the HP Scientific calculator for that problem.

Is there a licensing fee for democracy? For freedom?

We are either free or we are not free, Mister Anderson.

Legalize freedom. And listen to Appaz when he makes a post!

"Time to pay the licensing fees, IT SEEMS."

Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream.

Jun-23-10  kingfu: The Hour is Late:

I work second shift. I have worked that shift for decades. I do not know why.

There was once an NHL Playoff Hockey game that started in Prime Time so everyone could watch it but me.

They have good rules in the NHL for Playoff Games. You play until someone WINS. Not, you play with blue socks, standing in the corner during a Lunar Eclipse while eating brie cheese.

After work, I got home at about midnight. I turned on the telly and saw what I thought was the replay of the NHL playoff game.


The teams were in the 7th!!!!!! overtime, playing until someone wins, until someone scores, until (in chess) we have the big 1-0.

I love the US Open in Chess. I love that it has been in St. Louis for two years.

However, it is time to man up. It is time to have a winner. No tie breaks. No solstice. No blue socks. No brie cheese. We need a winner.

Jun-23-10  SetNoEscapeOn: <znsprdx>
<It is absurd to penalize the player who has a forced sequence of 'n' moves with a time forfeit simply because the physical movements use time, that is technically independent of 'chess time'.>

The problem is, the game did not begin with this position where this forced sequence is possible. If the player had used less time, maybe they would have had time to finish off the game, but then again, perhaps they would not have gotten into a winning position in the first place. All you are really saying is "It is absurd to penalize the player... for using up all of their time."

Jun-23-10  Blunderdome: I agree with SetNoEscapeOn. You do not get x time to achieve a winning position, but to deliver mate. Know what your time control is and play it wisely.
Nov-15-22  Ninas Husband: I don't understand why there was a tiebreak in this tournament. Shulman was up 1/2 game in the final standings, so there would seem to be no tie to break.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: If I remember right, the format was: 6-round Swiss, then a 3-round Quad among the top 4 finishers. The latter ended in a tie, hence the tiebreak.
Nov-21-22  Ninas Husband: <beatgiant> Thank you. Perhaps their should have been some explanation of the format on this page?
Nov-23-22  Olavi: The tiebreak had an interesting, if somewhat gambling like format: whoever bid the lowest of a total of 80 minutes (I believe) to play Black with draw odds got his way. Kamsky bid 20 minutes.
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