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US Ch 2006 Awards

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I just posted the last content items to the US Championship website. I'll try to put up two more photo galleries later today, so get in any requests you might have. First was the review of the final day. I added quite a few photos. As I mentioned earlier, my pics of the stage weren't that great and they were complicated by the screen showing a loop of the final games. Nice idea, but the projector bathed everyone on the stage in blue light and chess pieces from the shoulders up and created weird shadows. Great. I've Photoshopped most of these to diminish the alien pallor.

There's also a separate page for Hikaru Nakamura's win of the $5,000 Larsen Prize for fighting chess, with a letter from its sponsor, Jim Roberts. Nakamura played with reckless abandon throughout and his games were always watched closely. The honorable mention list should include Fernandez, Shabalov, Tate, and Finegold. As someone pointed out in the comments, with the 30-move rule in effect this award becomes more subjective. But that's not a bad thing and there was no doubt many players fought on in many cases with the award in mind.

The blog awards I sponsored could have gone to a separate page just to include the many blog highlights, but it's more fun to read them all anyway. I was the first prize-giver at the trophy ceremony and I read a few selected items. (Several people have sent me pictures of myself at the podium and I see no good reason to publish them.) First was the mini-roast of poor Elliott Liu, who gained instant infamy for blogging (in caps, no less) that he wanted to be paired with a woman so he could win a game. He quickly apologized, but he was teased about it mercilessly, especially after being spanked by Vanessa West in the last round. Elliott turned nine shades of purple as I told the story. Vanessa got a round of applause.

Many of the email voters singled out specific posts. Joel Benjamin's line about wanting to win so he "could play an adult again" was a classic. Ibragimov only posted once but I had to give him a special prize for his poem. As one of the voters put it, much of the humor in it came from the fact that it came from the preternaturally quiet Ibragimov. Shabalov's was also great and yes, I actually did lure people in with "one blog, one beer" that day.

There were 270 votes, many with only one or two names. It became clear pretty quickly that I only had to count three names: Finegold, Serper, and Vicary. Liz came a strong third and I'm sorry I rushed through my notes and didn't give her the honorable mention shout-out she deserved. The teen team (Itkis, Ross, West) posted some entertaining insanity and garnered quite a few votes from their peers and other people who know that "anyway" ends with a z. Others with double-digit vote counts included de Firmian's account of being driven to his hotel by military police, Benjamin, Liu, Vigorito, Fernandez, I. Schneider, and Ginsburg (who probably came fourth). Doing the ChampBlog was again a highlight and I'm glad so many players and fans seem to agree.


Is this the only blog on the Net where more than one grandmasters almost regularly post their thoughts and commentary?
Noticed I did Polgar S. Nakamura H. Kamsky G.
If it is, well, congrats.

The US Champinship website is the best tournament-website I have seen. I do especially like the blog and the annotated games. Applause to the web-crew :)

Mig where is the information on who won Norms.

I am sure everyone is interested in the information on Norms.



Outstanding work all around, Mig, thank you.


Are we getting a clarification some day about the 3.5 grand difference between the A and B groups? Is the error in the numbers Mig received, or were these the actually dollar amounts paid out?

It is interesting that Mig paid $50 more in the blog prizes than he had announced ($450 instead of $400). He did it without being pompous about it. He just did it because he thought it would be a right thing to do. Meanwhile the organizers of the US Championship with all their drum roll shortchanged poor chessplayers for $20,000! The moral is Mig should organize the next US Championship!

How about making a rated chess tournament (US ch is okay, too) with all the prizes upside down, I mean the last one gets the largest prize? The winner gets the lowest, but the trophy and to qualify for the team, which is not bad. I think all would be happy in this case, except the middle(wo)men, for whom the prizes would be the same.

GM norm: Friedel
IM norm: Goletiani Stein
WGM norm: Tuvshintugs

This is based on information from IM John Donaldson


Those are the only norms I heard about too, but I wanted to hear from Tanner before I posted them in case there were any more. Although it's effective I get tired of the "put it online and find out if it's wrong" method!

What about Kreiman?

Kudos to you Mig. The ChampBlog was fantastic, made the event really entertaining to follow for the average fan. Hard to pick winners among the bloggers. I still like Benjamins.

As an aside, has anyone looked at that really odd Carlsen/Anand rapid game where Carlsen is two rooks and a queen down but Anand resigns??? Did he lose on time?


Thanks - John Anagnost

It is great to see the names on the Norms. they all deserve it. I did not realize that Friedel made a full GM norm. that is great. he is from my area. well I am in Boston and he is in New Hampshire but he plays in all the big tournaments around here. It seems like only yesterday I remember he was a young player breaking onto the scene and doing very well. Nice going Josh.

and glad to see that Chimi got her Norm. I was worried since she did not do as well toward the end.

And Goliatiani and Stein making the IM norm. cool. They both really deserve it.

And last but not least I will keep watching in case anyone else made it but was not mentioned.

I have also heard that Anna Zatonskih has her rating move up above 2500. that seems a milestone worth saying congratulations.



Josh Friedel actually has two GM norms. All he needs to do now is stop losing rating points to boneheads and he should be America's next GM.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 17, 2006 6:15 AM.

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