Mig 
Greengard's ChessNinja.com

US Ch Player Groups

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The two 32-player groups are up now at the official US Championship site. February 2006 USCF lists used, I understand. Only six days to go!

42 Comments

Group A seems like the much tougher group.

Going by FIDE ratings, yes, that seems to be the case. Nakamura and Kamsky should each be considered the favorites in their respective groups, but Onischuk and Ibragimov both have good chances to upset Naka.

There are a few more former US Champions in Group B.

Group B is MUCH tougher. My friend IM Dave "Fluffy" Vigorito is in that one. :) Plus they have Mrs. Christiansen over Mrs. Finegold.

Good Luck Dave. :)

Who wants to take the time to figure out which group has the stronger top 15 by the FIDE list?

Man, its Naka against russian chess school. good tourney!

Oh my God. There`s a 1600 player in the US Championship. A SIXTEEN HUNDRED PLAYER?! Is that a mistake? If not, then it really has sunk to a pathetic new low.

Six out of the top eight finishers of the last championship are in group A.

Group A by FIDE Rating:

GROUP A
TITLE RTG LAST FIRST
1 GM 2650 ONISCHUK ALEXANDER†
2 GM 2644 NAKAMURA HIKARU
3 GM 2635 IBRAGIMOV ILDAR†
4 GM 2600 AKOBIAN VARUZHAN†
5 GM 2598 GOLDIN ALEXANDER†
6 GM 2576 BENJAMIN JOEL†
7 GM 2564 STRIPUNSKY ALEXANDER†
8 IM 2563 FINEGOLD BENJAMIN †
9 GM 2554 KUDRIN SERGEY
10 GM 2547 DE FIRMIAN NICK
11 GM 2531 DLUGY MAX
12 GM 2517 SERPER GREGORY†
13 GM 2503 GUREVICH DMITRY†
14 IM 2486 SCHNEIDER DMITRY
15 IM 2470 GONZALEZ RENIER†
16 IM 2455 FRIEDEL JOSHUA†
17 IM 2443 KRAAI JESSE
18 IM 2431 LENDERMAN ALEX
19 IM 2426 FLOREAN ANDREI†
20 IM 2423 FERNANDEZ DANIEL
21 IM 2415 STEIN ALAN
22 FM 2391 TATE, JR EMORY†
23 WGM 2378 GOLETIANI RUSUDAN†
24 FM 2376 SCHNEIDER IGOR
25 IM† 2358 BERCYS SALVIJUS
26 WGM 2299 BAGINSKAITE CAMILLA†
27 2293 KLEIMAN JAKE
28 2194 ZENYUK IRYNA†
29 WIM 2178 EPSTEIN ESTHER†
30 WFM 2141 ROSS LAURA
31 WFM 2107 VICARY ELIZABETH †
32 1887 COTTRELL KELLY†

Average Rating: 2426.031
Average of top 15: 2562.533

Uh, why are both Schneiders in the same group? Durrrr.

To drive the webmaster insane, clearly. Next they're going to tell me it's pronounced "EYE-gor".

TITLE RTG LAST FIRST
1 GM 2686 KAMSKY GATA†
2 GM 2606 IVANOV ALEXANDER
3 GM 2603 KAIDANOV GREGORY†
4 GM 2595 SHABALOV ALEXANDER†
5 GM 2585 GULKO BORIS†
6 GM 2581 SHULMAN YURY†
7 GM 2575 NOVIKOV IGOR†
8 GM 2556 BECERRA JULIO†
9 GM 2554 YERMOLINSKY ALEX†
10 GM 2554 WOJTKIEWICZ ALEKS†
11 GM 2546 CHRISTIANSEN LARRY
12 IM 2522 PERELSHTEYN EUGENE†
13 GM 2519 FISHBEIN ALEXANDER†
14 GM 2493 FEDOROWICZ JOHN
15 GM 2478 KREIMAN BORIS†
16 IM† 2478 MILMAN LEV
17 IM 2449 KRIVENTSOV STANISLAV
18 GM 2434 BROWNE WALTER
19 IM 2433 ZATONSKIH ANNA†
20 IM 2414 IPPOLITO DEAN
21 IM 2412 LUGO BLAS
22 FM 2377 MUHAMMAD STEPHEN
23 IM 2367 GINSBURG MARK
24 IM 2359 VIGORITO DAVID
25 IM 2323 SARKAR JUSTIN
26 WFM 2254 ABRAHAMYAN TATEV†
27 WIM 2208 TUVSHINTUGS BATCHIMEG
28 2139 LIU ELLIOTT
29 WFM 2130 AIRAPETIAN CHOUCHANIK†
30 WFM 2105 ITKIS HANA†
31 2083 WEST VANESSA
32 WCM 2003 CHRISTIANSEN NATASHA

Average Rating: 2419.406
Average of top 15: 2563.533

It's not Kelly Cottrell's fault that:

1) No other woman bothered to try to qualify at the event she qualified at, and

2) The AF4C didn't anticipate such a possibility, and didn't write in provisions against it.

At the end of the day, she qualified, and the 50% provision was put in so that this would be less likely to happen in the future.

When a kid graduates high school, and can't even read at a normal sixth-grade level or has difficulty with simple arithmetic, we blame the school system, not the kid. At the risk of sounding like I'm bashing Kelly (which I'm really not...), why should we blame Ms. Cottrell in this situation?

Abrahamyan really needs to play more invitational events. The fact that a player of her caliber is still a WFM (!?!?) is mind-boggling.

Both Christiansens are also in the same group, as well as both Finegolds, although it's less important due to the difference in ratings.

Group B has a lot of players at the top (Kaidanov, Gulko, Novikov, Christiansen, Fedorowicz, maybe also Yermo and Fishbein) who don't play in many tournaments anymore, so some of them may not be at their best.


In Round 1, do the odd-numbered players in the top half of each section have White?

Mig, So when are you flying out to San Diego? Man, I am so glad the AF4C had the presence of mind to hire you to be the Webmaster. During the last championship, you made players of all levels in the US feel like one big chess family through your tireless efforts on the web.

Don't take the lump sum of your paycheck and divide it by the number of hours you spend working...that could be [sub-minimum wage] discouraging! Rather, focus on your role as chess liason to the entire US and chess classic at large!

As most people here know, I would prefer to see the gender-segregated invitations eliminated, and there be a single event with a single standard.

That said, when you overlay two events with two different rating pools, as this has done, it's important to remember that Ms. Cotrell is the same distance from the top of her rating pool that IM Sarkar is from the top of his. Which is to say she is a top 200 female player.

(What that reflects, by the way, is not the strength of women players, but their interest in chess--about 4% of adult tournament players in the US are female. So of course the "top 200" goes to a much wider rating range.)

The very good news is that the top 1% of US women players are in the top 1% of US players overall. That is very cool. And when you remove foreign players, US women are represented in about the right percentage on the Overall top 100 list (there are normally 3 or 4 of them).

Ms. Cotrell was not invited to play for the overall US title. That would be silly. She received a gender-segregated invitation to play for the gender-segregated title. And she's just as qualified to be there as IM Sarkar (or any of the male players rated under 2400 USCF) is to play for the overall title.

Is it confusing to have both events played together? Yes, I think it is. Iím sure itís done with the best intentions, but it just shows how complex it is to try to achieve so many different goals at once.

I know Mig and others rightly point out that ďitís not her fault,Ē but I think we need to go further and acknowledge that hers IS a legitimate qualification as much as the 2300 rated men. Itís the nature of the pool, not a flaw in the selection process.

Respectfully,
Duif

p.s. I do think itís odd that Ms. Christiansen and Ms. Cottrell werenít swapped to put them in a separate section from their husbands, especially since each is the lowest rated player in her section anyway. Are all the other spouse pairs in different sections?

The two groups are done strictly on seeding. This is the US Championship - we don't pay any attention to the fact that players may be releated or indeed married.

The Schneiders are big boys - I'm sure they can handle a bit of sibling rivalry. It didn't do the Byrnes any harm all thos years ago when they played! No disrespect to the wives either, but the chances of the Christiansens or Finegolds playing each other is very remote. They can't play in the opening round and if they play after that, then either one is having the tournament of her life or the other is having a nightmare!

And for championship newbies such as Mark Ginsburg, who has probably already spent the best part of the morning preparing for Black against Larry Christiansen, please note that like all other US Championships we don't select colors until the evening before at the Opening Ceremony!

Based on the rating, does anyone know the first round pairings?

Don't know, but I can I just say how much I enjoyed Baretta?

I have been thinking all this time that Nakamura would have an easy time and just simply win the US Championship again. However, looking at the list of players, I have new thoughts. There is going to be one good fight for the top spot. this is going to be a very interesting tournament. There are many players who have a very good chance of winning. Nakamura needs to play very well to win a 2nd time.

Since I live in Boston, I have to be cheering for David "Fluffy" Vigorito formerly from the Boston area. Go Fluffy.

And to all the players, I wish everyone the best of play, the best of luck, and the best tournament you have ever played in. And I want to be the first to say Congratulations to the winners. You will have earned it and deserve to win. this is not going to be easy.

Tommy..I'm as thrilled as you are. I'm gonna get a new chair to follow the event in and I'll throw my wife or son out of the house if they get in the way. I'm one of those kooks who tries to follow too many games..it'll be intense. I enjoy events from overseas..but I've seen a lot of these folks in person which makes it more exciting. I'll be knocking back shots to whomever rises up out of the pack and stuns us with a great performance. I'm hoping for a lot of blogging..and maybe a few hours of shuteye now and then for poor Mig.

Duif

do you think the women really get a fair shake in a mixed tournament. the bottoms of both lists have women. and on average they are probably going to lose in the early rounds.

What do the women players think about a mixed tournament.

How do the experts, A's, B's, C's, D's, and U1200 players feel about the US Open, Tommy? Or a 2201 in a Masters section packed with titled players?

WhiskeyRebel

Come on over to my house. I already threw the wife and kids all out. I live alone now with my dog. and he has to stop wanting to be petted during tense moments in critical games. I think even my dog does not like chess. and bring some good Scotch. I have some ice cooling in the freezer right now.

I hope I get some sleep during this tournament. I want everyone to win. I dont know what to do. But like you I want to see someone do well and I will cheer for that person. It is great to see someone have the tournament of their life.

And later today. I will down a scotch in your honor. it is only 11 am right now. too early for celebrations.

and I need some more blog sites. let me know. I love blogging on chess.

and if you see MIG, tell him not to get water with the drink down in Mexico. the problem is the water not the drink.

Cynical,

I dont know how they feel. Goichberg is having his Eastern Class Championships while the US Championships are being played. I will have to go there and poll the players. Mar 3-5 or 4-5, 2006: Eastern Class Championships, Sturbridge MA

as for the 2201 player. I have never been that good a player. but after losing a few rounds he might be wishing he was 2199 instead of 2201. different players might feel exactly the opposite. this is what makes the world go around.

but you know this blog is not about my feelings. it is about you sharing your feelings. so please feel free to tell us what you think and feel.

and I will share my feelings. I think the US Championships is going to be a super great tournament. I am all excited about watching it. I am very grateful for AF4C sponsoring the US Championships. but, like my new found friend WhiskeyRebel, I love to blog and read what everyone has to say.

tommy

At 1640, I am rated just slightly lower than Ms. Cottrell's USCF rating. The thought of playing day after day someone who is rated significantly higher than I am (even if I am losing game after game) is incredibly daunting to me. Regardless of the qualifying procedures and all of that controversy, I give her credit for the courage to participate. I've heard it said that one cannot get better at chess unless one competes against better players. I hope she derives benefit from the experience.

The fact is that these days there are so many experts playing in the open section of most tournaments that a 2201 consistently plays down when he has 50%.

Tommy,

I have long agreed with GM Susan Polgar's comment that "a 2400 player is a 2400 player." So I don't look at the players as "the men" and "the women." I expect IM Zatonskih and IM Ippolito (one female, one male, both rated in the low 2400's) to have about the same tournament experience. Similarly with Ms. Goletiani and Mr. I. Schneider.

With regard to the mixed tournament, I know that several of the women who play in gender-restricted events prefer the old format, where there was a separate event. Not so much because of rating disparity, but simply because they want the title to be decided by play among the players eligible for that title.

On the other hand, there are getting to be more women who prefer to eliminate gender-restricted issues altogether.

So I don't think there's a single answer. Obviously everyone who is there chose to be, unless they are a junior player whose parents influenced the decision.

Sincerely,
Duif

Mig,

Just wanted to say again how much I enjoy the Championship site--you do a great job on it! I like all the little fan-friendly details, like including not only the average rating but the average of the top 10, and shading one column to make the page easier to read. Very nice work!

regards,
duif

What's the opinion of a 2201-rated player? Why, thanks for asking! I have played in a number of strong Swiss events where the prize structure didn't fill me with a lot of hope, to put it mildly. But the real goals for me were to play strong players and to get stronger by so doing. At least I achieved one of those goals....

In my last major event, the 2001 National Open, I did manage to scratch my way to a completely drawn ending against IM Melikset Khachiyan. (I should get 50 rating points just for correct spelling there. And I think he might be a GM-elect now.) At that point I proceeded to make a series of pointless moves and eventually lost. Had I held on, it might have given me the momentum to contend for a prize. But yeah, it is frustrating when your prize classification goes from 2200 to infinity, or at best they thrown in maybe one <2400 prize for all the 2550 sandbaggers to fight for. You just have to get better and get into contention, I guess.

Side note on women's chess: After the Khachiyan debacle, I completely lost the thread against expert Anne-Marie Rosas and was demolished in short order. That game made the tournament bulletin.

Melikset is still a GM-elect; the FIDE official reviewing his title application had certain reservations about his norms, despite the best attempts of the arbiters for the tournaments where he achieved the norms to assure the official that everything was on the up and up.

Side note on women's chess: Rosas stopped playing shortly after. Another scholastic player lost to college. [sigh]

Hey Tommy, You know this is not personal, but after reading your next to last post, I think your wife and kids threw you out.

I see a shack somewhere deep in the woods, a single light bulb hangs from the ceiling; in it is a small cot in the corner, a table and chair. On top of the table is a small wooden chess set, some chess and various forms of spirituality books line the far edge, and an old weary computer.

At that table, late into the night sits a solitary figure of a man with his trusty and faithful dog (who hates that small wooden chess set). The man has one thing on his mind, how can I bring chess and spirituality into the oneness of my being. Unable to answer this perplexing question, he reaches for what's left of his bad scotch, while his dog growls in disapproval.

Chesstraveler--

Magnificent!

why did Polgar drop out of the championship?

Susan has explained that the several changes/proposed changes in dates just made it too difficult to plan for her kids. (She's a single mom with two young kids, and no relatives nearby.)

Having been in the same situation (At one point I was a single mom with kids age 4, 6, and 8, and my relatives literally 3,000 miles away), I understand completely. It's not just a matter of getting someone in to stay overnight with the kids for a week or more--it's a matter of preparing the kids for it, AND arranging any of the other stuff they have going on. It could take me two or three weeks to set everything up, so if a trip shifted by even a day it could mean starting all over with the planning.

Once my kids were older and we lived closer to my parents, travel became much easier for me.

Anyway, it was just a matter of logistics. They were talking about changing the format specifically for the women right up to February.

As a fan, I would have loved to see Susan play in the event, and hope she'll be able to participate on a non gender-restricted basis next year (that is, qualifying for an open spot, or invited as a wildcard). But as a mom, I understand completely why she felt she had to withdraw this year.

duif

Duif, what do you mean Susan is a single mom? I think I read somewhere she was married to Mr.Shutzman (sp?)... Or was he just a boyfriend... I don't remember

Susan describes herself this way, in the sense of "single parent household." I believe she is divorced.

http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/2006/01/unfortunate-double-trouble-for-us.html

Mig,
You need to reset the day counter on the web site, it's a day or two off (I guess because of the date changes due to Morelia).

The new 64 field championship was designed, if I am not mistaken, to make it more interesting and not the same 10 players playing again and again. Thinking about who is playing this year, I would estimate that about 50 of the participants played last year, and most of these differences will have little to no effect on the standings of the top players. Is this format really doing its job?

The top player are the top players. The giant field allows for more stories and also serves as a nice carrot for aspiring players. Having 20-30 new players is amazing! It was never intended to get rid of anyone. Any format that made it unlikely for the rating favorites to win would be horrible, and hard to imagine. It's still chess, as it should be.

I was just looking at the player list. I'm naming my kid some version of Alexander. It's amazing - 9/64 named Alex or Alexander and then Wojo, 3 in the top 10 alone.

Sara

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 21, 2006 6:40 PM.

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