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2009 US Ch Round 6: Draws on Top

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Underway in St. Louis. Live here. Akobian-Shulman could give us a clear leader. Hmm, I thought these ..g6, ..a6 "Dragdorf" lines were supposed to be bad for black. Apparently Hess doesn't think so as he's played it against Kamsky.

Add: Well, good or bad, the Dragdorf was good enough to draw against America's #1, no small feat for young Robert Hess. He even made it look pretty easy, which is certainly was not. That was one of three draws on the top boards, leaving Akobian and Shulman still tied for first on +3 with three rounds to play. Those two played to a draw in another solid Semi-Slav. It looked for a while like Akobian might be able to make something of his passed d-pawn but nobody could make any progress in the final position. Onischuk-Nakamura had more life to it. White kept a small plus for a long time but in the end his buried bishop gave Black more than enough compensation and Onischuk forced a repetition. The same top seeds play musical chairs for tomorrows 7th round. Shulman-Onischuk, Nakamura-Akobian.

With all the draws at the top, a few new names have joined the chasing pack with four points. Friedel bounced back with a win over Brooks in an instructive endgame race. Three-time champ Joel Benjamin came into view of the leaders with a spicy win with black over Khachiyan. I always love it when the theory in a game takes you directly to Albin and Tartakower games. Love the quirky 10..Ne8 idea to meet the Bg5 threat instead of playing the routine ..h6. My ICC Chess.FM comrade grabbed the exchange with the cute 19..Nf3! and eventually ground Khachiyan down. I admit I know very little about Khachiyan, who is based near LA along with half of the world's Armenians, it seems. According to his charmingly hideous personal website he grew up in Baku and once trained Levon Aronian.

I think Larry Christiansen is the only player to have faced all three of the tournament's star teenagers already and has a 0.5/3 score to show for it. Today he got totally dumptrucked by Robson in a crazy game to go with his earlier loss to Hess and draw with Shankland. He narrowly missed being paired with the last teen in round 7, Hughes. Tell the rugrats to get off your lawn, Larry! Sevillano again played the longest game of the round, a real slugfest against Ehlvest that eventually boiled off into a draw. White missed several good knockout chances early on against the unusually unstable Ehlvest. 28.Qd3 and the black queen says goodbye.

US junior champ Hughes got knocked around like a beachball again today, this time with Ibragimov doing the knocking. Great experience or no, it's got to be a rough to face this brutal lineup giving up a few hundred points every day. Hughes played all the way to a knight mate, which the spectators always appreciate. Brooklyn was fully in the house as Irina Krush kicked Becerra around in the ultra-sharp Botvinnik Semi-Slav. As usual in this line the first move came on move 25, though you never know how much who knew when, if you know what I mean. Akobian lost to Robson in this line up to move 24 in Moscow this year. Lawton and Eckert were duly executed by Gulko and Shabalov. Like I said, rough.

It would be nice to see more comments from the players on their games on the official site. ICC Chess.FM has had plenty of talk with the players after their games live, but very little is getting out in press releases and reports from people on the scene. It would also be nice to see more linking going on. I'm sure there are other blogs and sites reporting on the Championship, but the official site and the semi-official CLO reports give no linking love. The web works best when it's, you know, a web. I haven't had time to see it all myself, but certainly part of the pro team in St. Louis could provide some aggregation and outreach. It would make the site much richer and build goodwill as well. Just glancing around, D-Mon has updates and occasional notes, Daaim is twittering, and there must be more. Whatcha got, people?


Actually, Hess is known for playing sidelines....he stated it himself in an interview on CLO. One should hardly deduce anything about the 'merit' of an opening from his choices...that said, many 'sidelines' are perfectly playable on the highest level especially as a surprise weapon.

This doesn't look good for Kamsky. He's been pondering his 14th move for 25 minutes in a straight-forward position where he only has two choices, both of them captures. Brain lock already.

Agreed. He lost 1 game to Topalov by doing the exact same thing. The resulting time trouble causes a loss in a decent position.

Robson is hammering LarryC

"Robson is hammering LarryC"

Hammered him into dust. Ouch!

Nice attention to detail: Mig changed his original "Dragnorf" to the more-accurate "Dragdorf". I wonder if he's good at copy-editing...

LarryC was the one fellow 1970s junior I was conspicuously never able to beat---or even hold to a draw? Watching what 14-year old Robson did to him makes me insanely envious! Well, LarryC is no longer a junior...but then again neither am I :-).

The top 5 seeds (by FIDE rating) are on top. No surprises so far.

Round report added above.

"Dragnorf" was a typo; I posted that from my phone while walking home from the library carrying a bag of groceries and books with the kiddo asleep in my sling. My preferred working environment. Not so good for copy-editing though.

LarryC is such an amazing tactician it's a little startling to see him battered around like this. Maintaining concentration gets harder and harder as the years go by.

Such a tough field this year, nobody breaking out. All four top seeds are undefeated as well.

Funny, not long after posting my report above saying the official site should aggregate web items on the Championship, I went back to the site and there's a feed aggregator page.


Ironically, the Dirt isn't on it! It's all CLO and Chessvibes, which from what I can see is using the press releases and videos that are already on the official site. But at least that have a few games to look at. I hope I don't have to publish their press releases to be included in the aggregator. Seems a bit redundant. Ah well, at least they're trying.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 13, 2009 3:29 PM.

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