Greengard's ChessNinja.com

2006 US Ch r2

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And the ChampBlog is back at last. Round two was the first day I had a chance to go out and grab players to blog and I'm sure it will pick up from now on. I won't run pictures with every entry, especially not after they've already blogged once. It slows the pages down too much. I'm putting up regular photo galleries to compensate. Let me know if you want specific pics. Keep it clean, guys, this ain't ChessBase.

I'm putting up $400 in prizes for a Best Blogger award. A $300 first prize and a $100 runner-up. Both quantity and quality will be taken into consideration. Your votes will be important of course, but I reserve the right to ignore you if you lose your minds. We want to encourage frequent and entertaining blogging, perhaps with game comments. From what I hear, most of the players waste spend considerable time reading The Daily Dirt, so let them know what will garner your vote for Best Blogger. Also let me know who you'd like to hear from in particular.

The free day/festival was fun, although I was a late arrival since I was trying to catch up on sleep. We'll have a full photo report on it tomorrow and NTC organizer Toni Robin has already blogged it. It's always nice to meet readers in person as well as just hang out with chessplayers and chess kids in general. The Ninja t-shirts I'm handing out are a hit. (Not as much as Shabalov's first-round "Nakamura" jersey, perhaps.) Speaking of, today a woman handed me a two-dimensional wooden chess piece (like something you'd hang on a giant wall board, but nicer) and practically begged me to have Nakamura sign it. I felt like a roadie for the Stones.

If you can believe this, here are the two top seeds spending their free time after the simul and other activities at the Chess Festival. Yes, that's Gata Kamsky and Hikaru Nakamura playing blitz on the ICC at the venue Saturday. At least they weren't playing each other this way... Okay, I can see light under the door, time for my nap.


Gret work, Mig! Love the blog. I enjoy the way you tie the photo captions into the blog entries, too.

warm regards,

p.s. Thanks to all the players for taking the time to do the blog entries! It's great for fans to have a little "backstage pass" coverage for the event.

Thats alot mig its great! Btw....I guess Kelly Finegold didn't know that Rick James died last year.......hope she wasn't dissapointed.

I want to hear from big Dave Vigorito. Not just because I love cheering for the underdog with the fighting spirit, but because he's the only player in San Diego that I've actually played before. He was nice enough to take some extra time for a game a few years back when I was just a humble 16 year-old from out of town... Haha, it's always amusing to go down in flames to a guy who's casually eating a sandwich on his lunch break.

It looked like Dave had really good chances in his first round game against GM Bercerra... I guess he just lost the thread a little. I thought his position after move 23. was great. I want to know if he considered the move 23. ... Ne4, and if 24. Nxd5 only then ...Qf5.

p.s. go DAVE!!!

Well Dave "fluffy" Vigorito seems to have the biggest fan club at the US Championships.

Go Dave. I am watching your game right now. Dave just played 25 h3 against the Fed. A very interesting game.

Boris Gulko just won a beautiful game in, dare I say, typical enigmatic style. I hope this gives us a foretaste of what's to come. At his best, he's still formidable. Lasker, Smyslov, Korchnoi - why not Gulko?


Great blogs so far, it's going to be tough to vote for a winner. I sure hope you can con Yermo into the blogging contest as well. His games are always entertaining and his commentary is also fun to read. Sort of the Charles Barkley of chess??

-John Anagnost

What the heck is going on in terms of simple access to the games? A group of friends and I hunted and pecked in search of live coverage to no avail. It is a MAJOR step backwards if you can't watch the games live from the official site. I love you Mig, but the difficulty of viewing live games is extremely lamentable, to say the least...

I haven't had any problems with the 'watch live games' on the homepage of the us championships page. Where have you been looking Bill?

Dave is my best friend, but another local boy who now has a huge following is Josh Friedel. Beating Naka can really do a lot for your rep I guess. (Oh I had an good off-color joke there, but after all that recent crap about women's chess, I will leave it to you to insert your own joke here.)

P.S. Naka down in flames again. .5/3 - not good.

My congratulations to Ms. Baginskaite. She converted her advantage with ruthless efficiency. And it seems that the search for the new 'American Idol' of chess is back on.

hello to all of my fans. hehe.

vs Becerra I played a nice novelty (14...Rhe8) vs him. I was definiteley better when I played 23...Qf5?? 23...Ne6 and 23...Ne4 were both good. I had missed 23...Qf5? 24.fg5 Bd4 (my intention) 25.Rf1 Qd7 26.c6! ands wins the house. A total waste. I was trying to avoid future time pressure. I succeeded at that at least.

Game with Fed was crazy. I turned down a draw on move 30, down an exchange and a pawn. Silly me.


Haha..hilarious. I tried to see if the third round pictures are up and here is what I got:

"404 - Very sorry, page not found. We looked everywhere. You might try checking under the table or behind the sofa. Or you can go back to the page you came from with your browser's BACK button.

If you're sure it's supposed to be here, contact the webmaster at mig/@/chessninja.com."

Nakamura is tied for 27th in Group A. Let me repeat that: Nakamura is tied for 27th in Group A. The devil just bought ice skates.

I'm not sure how to make the live games link any clearer. Are people not used to clicking on images? The giant TV icon with WATCH LIVE GAMES! would seem pretty clear. Is it necessary to say "USE YOUR MOUSE TO CLICK HERE WITH THE LEFT BUTTON. RIGHT HERE! HERE HERE HERE!" The customer is always right, I suppose. I just didn't want to spend the space to add instructions. There is also a "live games" link in the middle of the homepage.

Yah, when I get my hands on a new server I usually customize the 404. I wouldn't have bothered here except I was tweaking it anyway because the server error logs were filling up (as usual) with stupid favicon 404.

Updating analysis, then review, then the blog. Got Yermo and de Firmian, good stuff.

My vote for the greatest ( = most disappointing) flameout in chess history: Tal at the 1973 Leningrad Interzonals (people were seriously dreaming of Fischer-Tal 1975). Nakamura's problems (or Topalov's in Mexico) are nothing in comparison.

Let the teenager lose a couple games in peace. His recent results have been impressive enough - he's learning that one can only press so far.

My vote for the greatest ( = most disappointing) flameout in chess history: Tal at the 1973 Leningrad Interzonals (people were seriously dreaming of Fischer-Tal 1975). Nakamura's problems (or Topalov's in Mexico) are nothing in comparison.

Let the teenager lose a couple games in peace. His recent results have been impressive enough - he's learning that one can only press so far.

It looks like Liu wears some earplugs during his game with Kaidanov. (see champblog picture)
Is that allowed?

Didn't I read somewhere that Nakamura guaranteed a repeat victory in the US Championships? I'm anxious to see what he blogs on that one. LOL.

Looks like an upfloat to play Camilla put Nakamura out of his league.

Too bad for Nakamura. Only .5/3! He got spanked, slaughtered, and stuffed in round 3. He should withdraw and go drown his sorrows in Whoppers and Diet Coke.

What a joke he is! One day people will wake up and smell the coffee that while he'll never amount to a world championship contender. Time to find someone else to be the American hopeful.

Advice to Nakamura - find a new line of work.

Zinger, you are right Hell has frozen over....Naka .5/3, and the gangsta rap song "Itís Hard Out Here for a PimpĒ won best song at the Academy Awards. Frankly, I am more surprised about the latter.

There is still some good news for Naka: He is still ahead of Kelly...fon NOW! :)

I won't write Naka off yet. He should now get 2 or 3 games in a row against low-rated players, with a good chance to get back to a plus score.

But if he doesn't win with White against Esther Epstein, it's all (and I mean *all*) over. ;-)

One last note: I can't help but notice how well WIM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs is doing. She has played 3 GMs, beating 2 of them. Congratulations to her on her outstanding start. I hope she keeps it up.

Her game yesterday was somewhat reminiscent of the famous game Adams-Torre where the back rank was weak and the Q was repeatedly offered.

The games I referenced can be found here:
http://www.uschesschampionship.com/2006/games/03replaygames.htm (6th from the bottom)

All those European round robins have destroyed Naka's swiss game! He has forgot how to beat or hold his own against sub 2600s ;-)
Chess will humble you.

Yeah, she really spanked the muscle man with a couple of really sweet shots. I am so glad.

Ditto to what DP said.

For some personal participation, how about fans listing their personal lifetime records against the US Ch. field? Just for fun, of course (awarding even a virtual prize based on it would require verification, which obviously wouldn't be worth anyone's time to do).

I think mine is sucky enough to be comical, it covers a wide variety of rating ranges and my recent results have been a bit better, but it is so bad that it deserves to be shared.

1/2 Friedel, (1/2)/1 Feingold, 0/1 Ibragimov, (1/2)/1 Bercys, 0/1 I.Scheider, 1/2 Lenderman, 0/1 Tate, 0/3 Wojt, (1/2)/1 Milman, (1/2)/1 Ippolito, 0/2 Vigorito, 1.5/2 Sarkar, 1/1 Itkis.

That makes for a grand total of +2 = 9 - 8. It is interesting that this information gives away my scores against each individual player, which in general would not be true, of course.

No one's noted how well the sole 3.0/3 man Onishuk is doing. All of his games so far have been pretty spectacular.

On an embarassing note, I did not locate the Live Games TV until about 2 hours into the first round. D'oh! Feels like missing a knight fork.

Naka, stop playing blitz man!

My claim to chess fame: 0/1 Kamsky, 0/1 Fedorowicz, 1/2 Stein.

A meltdown now and then is to be expected, especially when you're a rising teenager who's still in the process adjusting his playing style.

Seriously, folks -- given Nakamura's long record of kicking ass, isn't it a bit premature to proclaim his irreversible downfall based on the results of two games?

Well DP since you took up my invitation I guess I better follow suit.

To me your personal record against the top guys is nothing to be embarrassed about at all.

My own lifetime record vs the Championship field is less impressive than yours: 4-12 (+3 =2 -11).

I'll skip listing my player-by-player breakdown, unless anyone is interested.

In my defense I can say I have a (slight) positive lifetime record against this year's "All-America Team" (published in the February Chess Life).

So it can be said I'm willing to beat up on kids (the All-America Team comprises age groups from age 8 through 17) but can't handle grown-ups. Except that, even against the US Ch. field, all or almost all my wins and draws were against kids below the age of 17.

I'm 0/2 against Florean, the only participant that I've played.

Actually, all it says is that I am just much more drawish than you Jon.

Two losses out of three games doesn't suddenly make Nakamura a bad player. Also, let's give some credit to Josh Friedel and Camilla Baginskaite for playing well enough to take advantage of Naka's mistakes.

Naka lost to a 2200 player at the US Amateur team East tournament in NJ a couple of weeks ago. He played a "garbage opening", but still...

Nakamura gets another upfloat, he'll be way out of his league again .. the organizers must hate him.

Nakamura already crushed Epstein. First game to finish in the 4th round.

'Anon', I notice you have been perpetually seeking attention in these forums taking extremely juvenile shots at someone you deep down envy, so before you'll explode I'll give you some. But perhaps you would be better appreciated somewhere else, the internet is full of forums where ten year olds can freely spam insults, but this isn't one.

I agree and personally I am surprised that Mig did not delete the Anon comments. I find Anon rude and offensive and totally out of place here.

Now we are witnessing why so many top level players will never play in Swiss tournaments. they say it kill their elo rating.

these loses are going to have a big effect on Naka's ratings. he has to go out and beat up some very very high level chess players to gain some elo points and can seemingly blow them all away so easily in a swiss.

I personally have total faith in Nakamura. He is a great player. He is experimenting around to learn how to develop his own approach to chess. this requires experimentation.

For example when a top gm changes his openings. he pays the price in those first few games.

Now is the time for Nakamura to experiment and lose games. he is still young. he has accomplished a lot more than you or I have in such a short life. so please do not criticize him.

First, I am not Anon. I have a pretty clear history of showing that I really don't care if someone doesn't like my opinions, so I have no reason to be anonymous. OK, now for the point.

I actually like Anon's irreverent sense of humor, which is similar to mine. I sense that he is just trying to be humorous more than really just rag on Nakamura.

It should also be said that the #2 seed going .05/3 in a swiss with an ELO standard deviation that has to be expressed in scientific notation is pretty worthy of ragging.

Nakamura needs to play openings. You know. Openings with names.

You guys really must learn to read internet speak better. Given that we lose out on all of the intonations and expressions the tendency is to read everything literally. Yet, Anon's suggestion that Naka consider Burger King suggests a different type of reading. In a way, blogs are like literary analysis, or something along those lines.

The problem is that there are also a lot of idiots on the Net, which makes it hard to tell when someone is being facetious, and when they are simply being stupid.

Anyway, it seems to me that Naka is being compared to the specter of Bobby Fischer or something -- which gives him very little leeway for error. Whenever he fails to reproduce Fischer's feat at the equivalent age -- by losing a few games to weaker players -- people take the opportunity to gloat.

Re: Liu wearing earplugs

The tournament distributes the earplugs. The playing site is directly under the takeoff path for the San Diego airport. Big jets fly over about 5-10 times per hour.



The photo gallery is great, but seems a little hard to find. (I went through about 9 pages of the site before I found a link below the fold in the news index.) How about adding a more prominent link, maybe on the ChampBlog and Player Profile pages?

Also a link from the groups listing to the player profiles would be nice.

Of course if this is all there and I just missed it, forgive me!

Anyway, great site as usual!


How about some tournament performance ratings on the web site. TPR are always so interesting to watch. I want to see TPR for Friedel and Chimi ( Batchimeg Tuvshintugs ) two 19 yr old rising stars.

Where is the Photo Gallery. I did not know. Have not seen it.

and dont worry. the internet web site will be the best ever. I know. Because Mig sand blasted the web site for places like Aeroflot. where he complained about their web site and bragged about how well he can set up a web site.

HaHa that should get Mig fixing all these problems.

Hard to find the Players profile page also. but I know how to find that one now.

Yes those airplanes are ruining the audio on the video of the games. You really need a quiet room for the video. also the video never seems to be in focus. that might be because of low resolution. not sure.

Overall a super great tournament. better than linares right now. great action all over the playing hall.

Poor Mig no matter how much work you do on a web site someone complains. well I want to say that the web site is 1000 times better than Aeroflot and all the other web sites I have seen for chess.

But no matter how well I did. My mother used to always say I can do better. haha.

But isn't that LAST YEAR'S Photo Gallery---somewhat confusing.


It's definitely this year's photo gallery--Max Dlugy is in the second photo.

Maybe those aren't earplugs...maybe they are earphones and advice/moves are secretly being transmitted! (just kidding)

My score vs. the US Champs Field (counting only slow chess - if you count rapid/blitz tournaments it's way too many):

Becerra 0/1, Benjamin 0/2, de Firmian 0/1, Fedorowicz 0/1, D. Fernandez 0.5/1, Friedel 0.5/2, Ibragimov 0.5/1, Ippolito 0/1, Itkis 2/2, Lenderman 0.5/1, Nakamura 1/4, Ross 1/1, Sarkar 0/2, I. Schneider 0.5/1, D. Schneider 0/1, Stein 0/1, Stripunsky 0/1, Vigorito 0/1, Vicary 2.5/3

So that's a total of 9/28 (+5 =8 -15). But the score is pretty bad when you compare my score vs. the women in the event (5.5/6 +5 =1 -0) to vs. the men (3.5/22 +0 =7 -15).

If every player was able to speak as frankly about his results as John has, the chess world would be a happier place.

A bit hard for me to lie, as most of this stuff is in databases.

And also, my 2 draws vs. Nakamura came when he was an 1800 (I was 1400) and 2200 (I was 1800). So those aren't a bit real. I had all draws with him until he destroyed me in 17 moves (plus a repetition!) in Bermuda 2002. Now he's like, good and stuff.

Hey Mig, Get to work and put some new stuff up here on your blog...ya lazy bum.

Why on the Chessbase Servers do they not group Broadcasts by ID?

Like when you Enter a new Broadcast why not have an ID associated with it so they they make Children from the Paraent (ID)

All they would have to do is add a extra Value and then it would not be such a pain to find the games you want to watch

My biggest regret by far of not playing in the US Championship is that Im missing out on what would have been an inevitable victory in the ChessNinja blogging competition (especially since Michael Casella isn't playing this year).

Funniest blog-entries of the day,

"I have been enjoying too many Topalov games perhaps, and have lost track of the relative value of the pieces" - Dave Vigorito

"..really important issues like whether Sharpova or Kournikova is better looking, and what the chances that their shirts will fall off.." - Elizabeth Vicary

"If I had a perfect score, three out of three then I would play some crazy GM and then surely lose.." - Laura Ross

"I think he was moving too fast, maybe because I'm a girl?..." - Chimi Tuvshintugs

And some serious ones:

"If winning this way is what it takes, I guess I don't mind!" - Alex Shabalov

"There are just no bad opponents; you have to fight hard in every game." - Stan Kriventsov

Mig, are you going to let me blog this weekend?

My hat is off to John Fernandez and the others who followed up on my suggestion early in this thread to list their own personal results against the USCh. field. Honestly I hadn't thought anyone would.

My own history (4/16 vs current field; 6/23 vs combined current + 2004/5 US Ch. lineup) was made almost entirely against males (the only exceptions being a game with Zenyuk and one with Vayserburg from last year's field).

Like JF, my record also includes a few against guys who got real good only later on ... I'm not talking Nakamura or Lenderman, but Christiansen, Rohde and Fedorowicz. Hard to believe they were struggling kids once, huh? Now I'm really dating myself!

When he was 14 (1971) and rated in the low 2000's I think, Christiansen beat me en route to winning the National H.S. Championship (the field combined all grades, in those days).

A year later, I faced Larry in the final round of the US Junior Closed. There was plenty of last-round drama: I needed to beat him to avoid finishing in sole possession of last place. I did it, and thus thankfully managed to only TIE for last (with Danny Kopec, who is my friend to this day).

I also played Fedorowicz when he was a 2000-rated teenager. I recall losing in something like 17 moves...one of my quickest losses ever.

Haven't played either of them in the 35 years since (though I did lose to Fedorowicz in a simul he gave in Washington Square Park about a year ago).

The most interesting thing about my history with these guys, though, may be the following: Out of those 23 games, there were only TWO DRAWS! It's probably because a high proportion of the games were G-30 ... at that time control, things always end up all-or-nothing (for me at least).

Clint Ballard and other proponents of fighting chess, take note. (Though, in all honesty, I doubt I'd want to play in an event where White was explicitly penalized for a drawn result without regard to what actually went down on the board. FischerRandom might be fun to try, Shogi certainly would -- but if you're gonna invent a new and different game by tweaking the definition of a win/loss, please don't call it chess.)

Superior article about school! Without any doubts each of us faced some problems with dissertation writing. It is particularly problematical when you get other favor in life. I have had the same problems until I have launch a company bring polished writing services.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 5, 2006 9:22 AM.

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