Greengard's ChessNinja.com

2007 US Women's Ch Finale

| Permalink | 19 comments

It's here already, the final round of the US Women's championship in Oklahoma. The ninth round begins at noon EDT, 11am local time. The leaders with 6/9 are Irina Krush and the relatively unknown Katerina Rohonyan, originally of Ukraine and now living in Baltimore. I recognized her name only from a win she had with my dear Accelerated Dragon a few years ago against Jennifer Shahade in the US Chess League. The USCF site has more on the event and the players.

The two players with six points and defending champ Anna Zatonskih with 5.5 are the big favorites to stay in the top three that qualifies for the FIDE women's world championship. In fact, only Zatonskih can be caught and that would require a loss to Vicary today combined with a win by Tuvshintugs or Battsetseg. That gives Krush and Rohonyan the freedom to play for tournament victory and the title today without worrying about qualification.

Been watching the games? There have been many of the tactical blowouts you'd expect at this level, but any nominations (unofficial of course) for the Chess Goddess brilliancy prize?

Update: BROOKLYN WINS!! IRINA KRUSH 2007 US WOMEN'S CHAMPION! CONGRATS! She won with black to take the title a half point ahead of Zatonskih and Rohonyan. More at the official site. Score one for the Ninja squad. Black Belt readers have been enjoying Irina's detailed and insightful annotations regularly this year. Let's hope her rates don't go up now.


How about Rohonyan vs. Zatonskih (1 0) in Round 5?


Rohonyan has two games of note, her win against Baginskaite in round 3 (http://www.uswcc2007.com/rnd3report.htm) was very well played all the way through and included the early exchange sacrifice 17.Rxd6 and then her win against Zatonskih in round 5 had the spectacular 25.g5!! (http://www.uswcc2007.com/rnd5report.htm). The only problem with that game is that she did not find the correct follow up and Zatonskih could have ended up winning and should definitely have drawn.

Then there is the Vicary demolition of Baginskaite in round 7 (http://www.uswcc2007.com/rnd7report.htm) that was very impressive. An exchange sacrifice early on and then a neat combination at the end to put the game away.

Those are the three games that have grabbed my attention so far.

The problem with openly rooting for someone beforehand is that accusing me of bias for the brilliancy prize is probably undeniable. Nevertheless, the game that had me all a-tingle was Baginskaite vs Vicary in Round 7. It was a kitchen-sink attack that lead to mate. Thrilling to watch - I was on edge for the final 10 moves or more.

There have been many, many hard fought games though, so any are worthy.

Another vote for Vicary, round 7. Fun to watch for sure!

It all comes down to Rohonyan vs Melekhina. Melekhina has had a pretty good tournament, if she pulls off the win and earns her norm, it will be well deserved. She is so young too (her birth year is in the 90's (!) jeez), perhaps a future US Women's champion?

I wouldn't mind seeing some playoff action though. Hopefully they plan on broadcasting that too.

Congratulations to Irina Krush, 2007 US Women's Champion. A great ending to an electrifying tournament. This is the part of the play where the crowd stands up and claps for all the performers. It was a blast watching them all.

Now I need to get away from the computer and see some sunlight.

8 players going for 2 spots at the continental, Gulko included.

I am thrilled for Irina! She has been playing at a high level this year, and been working very hard. I especially liked the neat choice of opening that she presented as Black to her last round opponent: 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 a6!
And thanks to Monroi, I was able to follow the games, especially the last three rounds when I have been off of work due to illness.
The Berry Bros deserve the thanks of the whole chess community.

Congratulations Irina! You are an asset to the chess community, and well deserving of the victory!

Congratulations Irina! You are an asset to the chess community, and well deserving of the victory!

My late chess coach, Dick Verber, swore by the O'Kelly--it's nice to see it work in master play! Congrats to Irina!

Hey, I like an offbeat opening as much as the next guy - but giving 2...a6 an exclamation point is a bit much.

Someone please enlighten me: what turned the O'Kelly from mainstream to "offbeat"? (I was out of chess throughout the 80s and 90s).

I'm vaguely aware that 2...a6 is quite rare in high-level play for the past several years and probably longer; but in the '70s it was far from rare. And the only new theory I know of is actually a discovery in favor of BLACK: the straightforward 3.d4 which used to be one of the main lines against 2...a6, is now considered inferior. So, I'm assuming there was some development in the lines with either 3.c3 or 3.c4 that arose in the 80s or 90s, that put the O'Kelly out of business. Anyone care to share it?

By the way, Derek, an exclamation mark on move 1 or 2 is always awarded largely for psychological value; reflecting not so much the objective assessment of the move, as the astuteness of adopting it in a particular game against a particular opponent.

Jon Jacobs, I think 3.c4 is considered the strongest reply. After 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 a6 and white can't go into a Maroczy bind.

2. ... a6 is roundly condemned in my Pachman book on the Semi-Open Games, published c. 1966. He considers 3. d4 to be the only move to give Black what he wants.

Hi Jon, yes, I get that. In this thread of course it's being used not because of the astuteness of adopting it for a particular game, but rather simply because the poster likes it. Just as I might write about 1.d4 f5! You might argue that Krush's result proves it was an astute choice, but in that case I might argue for 1.e4 c5!!

All in good fun.

Last I saw, 3.c3 was in favor as (sorry I can't tell you where I saw this but some annotator said) "the move ...a6 is a wasted tempo in the main c3 lines". I can't vouch for that as I don't play the c3 Sicilian. Anyone?

It might be "Experts Against the Sicilian." Someone showed it to me after I faced the O'Kelly in a game in late 2005, and I recall it called 3.c3 the best reply.

Judit Polgar writes: "What I would like to see is to have this fee raise to $5,000. Then the USCF can use this $5,000 to reimburse the expenses of the elected board members for those 4 years. Candidates who do not get elected do not get a refund."

Another example of her dictator thinking. She wants the power to the richest. I think power should be given to the fittest.

Ellrond, that was Susan, not Judit. The suggestion (to make prospective USCF Executive Board candidates put up $5,000 in order to run for election) was published on Susan's blog within the past couple of days.

While Susan seems to be proposing the idea in order to further discredit the current board, it's hardly unusual for a non-profit organization to (whether formally or informally) reserve leadership positions for those members who contribute significant amounts of money.

I vaguely recall this coming up on one of the USCF Forums threads, where either statistics or specific examples were given of purportedly similar organizations (such as museums) that operate that way -- and manage to run their affairs with little or no public bickering among board members, in marked contrast to the USCF.

While I'm not necessarily endorsing the idea, it hardly amounts to "power to the richest." That might be more applicable to Kirsan's attempt to require anyone running for president of FIDE to contribute $1 million.

So, Ellrond, what system for choosing USCF board members are you advocating, to replace the present OMOV (one man, one vote) system? In other words, just what new system is it that you believe would embody rule by "the fittest"?

If it's safe to assume that at least one electron volt moved through your brain before your fingers typed those words, then you obviously didn't mean to equate "the fittest" with whichever candidates get the most votes from the 3% or so of eligible votes actually cast by USCF members in an EB election.

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 20, 2007 12:33 PM.

    Checkered Past was the previous entry in this blog.

    Short Circuit in Montreal is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.