Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Off to San Diego

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Tomorrow morning I'm headed to San Diego for the US Championships. Apart from the official reports I'll keep blogging and also incorporate this blog into the official site. I'll grab players and others to guest-blog various entries during the tournament. It should be good fun. Who would you most like to hear from in their own words?

Here's another reason to leave Brooklyn for San Diego. I like crisp Fall days as much as anyone, but it's going to be cold and rainy around here and I'm not sure they know what rain is in San Diego. As long as the hotel internet holds up, all should be well.

Despite being only the fourth seed by rating, Jennifer Shahade leads the voting to predict a winner in the Women's event by a large margin. She won in this format in 2002 and won the women-only event this year. Or is the voting influenced by the fact that she just became a regular contributor to my Black Belt newsletter? Last week she annotated her recent win against one of her competitors in San Diego, Anna Zatonskih.

Hikaru Nakamura has 40% of the vote for the overall title. (No Ninja favoritism here, although I'll be interested to see if he'd like to contribute. Sign him before he wins the title and raises his prices!) He's had a tremendous 2004 and could well be the favorite for the next 10 years unless Kamsky really comes back to chess full-time. Kamsky is second in the voting but has got to be terribly rusty.


Richard J Vattuone

Oddly, Vattuone (Bobby Fischer's lawyer in Japan) is from La Jolla, where the Championships are being played. Is he planning to be there?

Is the US Championship going to get any love from Chessbase.com?

----Hey! There's chess in America!

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Americans get love from ChessBase...surely you jest?!

Chessbase looks down their noses on US chess it seems. I like Inkys Arnold joke. But, it is Kamsky I would like you to interview first Mig! And I hope they place new chess tables in Washington Square Park, as I played there from 4-1980 to 9-1980 when I was visiting NYC.

Hey Mig,

You're hopes are dashed-


Hope that weather clears up for you.

I'd love to hear what Anna Hahn has been up to since winning last year.

Yermo - because he's Yermo.
Yuri Lapshun - love the guy's effort at the board.
Michael Casella - seems like quite a character.

Hikaru Nakamura

Kamsky! Please, let it be Kamsky!

Arnold Schwarzenegger is not a joke. He is a chess player and governor of California. He will very likely be at the opening or closing ceremonies (or both). I would very much like to hear his views on the future of chess - in the US and in the World. He's also in a position to possibly have some effect over the former.

Hello from San Diego. Internet OK, oll korrect!

Serious enough:


Actually I think Arnie's office is delivering a letter or some such. Not sure about showing up in person. I'll definitely be on the spot if that happens.

Kamsky...with lots of photos!!

Spent some time in San Diego as a preteen o-so-many years ago - rained the day I left! Have fun!

I will go if they invite me.

"Oddly, Vattuone (Bobby Fischer's lawyer in Japan) is from La Jolla, where the Championships are being played. Is he planning to be there?
Posted by Mig at November 21, 2004 09:25 PM"

A radical thought:

In my mind, the true US Women's Champion is Airapetian. She qualified for an open position (open to either men or women), and she finished ahead of 2 men and 8 women, 5 of whom (including both men) were rated higher than she was. It was an honest performance, and one to be proud of.

Mig, if you can get her to blog her thoughts about being the first woman ever to qualify for a gender-neutral invitation at the US Championship, it would be nice. (Judit Polgar would have qualified the year she won the US Open, but is not a US resident.)

In the past two years we have seen three really interesting accomplishments by women that have received very little comment:

1. GM Susan Polgar won the US Blitz Championsihp in a field that included 5 other grandmasters.

2. Laura Ross became the highest rated US high school player of her age (male or female)

3. Airapetian became the first woman ever to qualify for a gender-neutral invitation to the US Championship.

The fact that Airapetian is a typical swiss player at 2100 makes it an even more significant accomplishment in some ways, as she's just a good player who happens to female, rather than a very top tier talent. The spot she qualified was open to anyone, male or female, and was expected to be won by someone of about her rating. No special privileges, no special pool.

So I was especially pleased to see her finish with a solid result in the event.



I see Susan Polgar's name on the list. I understood her to say that she is not playing. Am I mistaken? Following is taken verbatim from her blog:

"The AF4C has announced a while ago about the dates for the 2006 US Championship. The dates had to be changed to accommodate players who also want to play for big money in Mexico right before that. This decision is understandable. It is not too often that our professional players have a chance to play for that kind of money. Unfortunately, the 2006 FIDE Women's World Championship starts at the end of the US Championship. That means that those US Women Players who qualified for the US Championship and Women's World Championship cannot take part in both due to schedule conflict. This is tragic!

What to do? Now many women are speaking out about it and they are fighting to get the organizer of the US Championship to modify the schedule. What should the organizer do? The contracts have been signed and many players have already made their travel arrangements. It would be unfair for them to have to change. It is also costly and incredibly inconvenient for some of the players. On the other hand, it is also unfair for others to have to make a decision on which tournament they have to drop out. I hope everyone can work things out.

I have decided not to take part in either event. There is not enough time to properly prepare because no specific format has been determined. I don't think any player should have to make a choice. It is not fair to affect even a single player since everyone worked hard to earn a spot in the US Championship. Serious players need to have adequate time to train if they want to win.

One of my concerns is how can one effectively fight any issue when one has to make decisions based on personal finances. If one feels that a decision is unfairly made, stand up and fight against it. However, don't grab the money and protest at the same time. It reminds me of players who protest against Kirsan Ilyumzhinov but have no problem accepting his money at the same time.

What do you think is the fair resolution?"

I'm aware of it, as is the AF4C. There are a few other withdrawals as well. But there is little point in announcing them or removing people from the list until the replacements are known. Also, I'm not the one who receives the official withdrawal notices and am not going to edit the site based on blog postings.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 21, 2004 8:44 PM.

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