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Kamsky Wins US Title for Brooklyn!

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Gata Kamsky won his second US title, and his first since 1991, by outlasting Yury Shulman in a tiebreak game after they finished the final quad tied yesterday. Congratulations to my fellow Brooklynite!

If a tie is like kissing your sister, winning the title after drawing a draw-odds game is like necking with your cousin. But with a $30,000 prize it's a really HOT cousin. In an innovative tiebreak system, Shulman and Kamsky bid for how much clock time they would settle for in order to get their choice of color. And since just about everyone in these situations takes black and the draw odds, it was basically an estimation of how much the players thought that was worth on the clock. Shulman bid a crafty 39' 55", just in case Kamsky went with 40". It wasn't even close, however, and Kamsky bid 25' and chose black. (This single silent bid is more dignified, but it would be interesting to have an actual auction-style process where they can go back and forth to find the "fair" price between them. I bet the average would end up being lower than in the single bid system.)

So with the clocks set at 60'+5" for white and 25'+5" for black, they were off. Shulman played his usual steady game and had Kamsky under considerable pressure out of a hybrid Grunfeld from a Slav move order (Grun-Slav?!) that Kamsky knows well. (7..Qb6 is the offbeat move he's played before; he usually plays 7..Bg4. Anand, Kramnik, and other luminaries have played that, or 7..a6, ..e6, dxc4, etc.) When Shulman won a pawn and kept the bishop pair, it looked like we might have an upset in the making. But following the old "the more time you have the more you use" truism (a chess version of Parkinson's Law), the clock difference steadily narrowed and Shulman started to make second-best moves. Kamsky, a time-trouble addict of the highest order anyway, got his pawn back and even took the advantage as the material was whittled off the board. Kamsky eventually took the draw, and the title, in a superior position that should be drawn with best play. An impressive defense from Kamsky, who occasionally reminds everyone that he has as much raw talent as anyone in the world and can play technical positions with dazzling precision for long stretches despite (or perhaps because of) little time on his clock.

A rough end for Shulman, who confirmed he shouldn't be counted too far behind Nakamura, Kamsky, and Onischuk, who are much more visible. It seems to be an American tradition to have veterans who age well and refuse to cede the spotlight to the young stars. Kamsky, Shulman, and Onischuk were all born in 74-75. The thought a year or two ago was that the US team would soon be made up of peppy twenty-somethings with Nakamura and Akobian leading some arrangement of Lenderman, Hess, Shankland, Robson, and Naroditsky (not in St. Louis). Not yet, kiddos! Hess was the only one of the youngsters to reach a plus score, although it should be repeated this was the strongest US championship ever.

Meanwhile, veterans winners like Shabalov, Stripunsky, Christiansen, and Yermolinsky reeled in plus scores and played some excellent chess. They are all over 40 (or 50) and don't look eager to step aside for the short-pants crowd. This isn't the same as the remarkable achievements of the US veteran teams in the 90s, when there was no new generation to take their place. So those who generate the criteria and establish the teams have some tough choices. Strongest performers now or building for the future? A 2600 performance now or gambling that the young players will soon be able to reach that and surpass it if they are given enough work at that level? E.g. Shulman or Hess? Shabalov or Robson?

It's a tough call, but despite my own advancing decrepitude I'm in favor of promoting the kids as soon as they can get out there without wetting their nappies. Plus, we don't have to shove the old guys out on an ice floe just yet. I was impressed to see both Hess and Robson at the World Team event last January, in which they amazed everyone by winning silver. They only played two games each, both scoring 50%, but such experience is invaluable. Working with pros like Nakamura, Kamsky, and Onischuk, plus seeing the world's best players around every day, is a major dose of inspiration.

We know now that Kramnik would have been a superstar no matter what; he is just that good. But if the 16-year-old hadn't been allowed to jump the seniority and rating queue to make the mighty Russian Olympiad team in 1992 -- where he famously scored 8.5/9 and a 3000 performance -- we might not have heard of him for another year or two. (He turned 17 on the final day of the Olympiad.) This isn't to say the kids should get a free ride. The rules for making the team should be known well in advance and qualification by rating and/or championship performance should be paramount. But keeping a spot or two open for junior hopes puts an emphasis on building for the future and, critical in the US, keeping young talents in the game.


Congratualations to Gata. The guy has incredible chess knowledge and talent that his results don't always reflect.

Interesting that, in interviews during the event, both Carlsen and Anand expressed sentiments to the effect that, if Nakamura intends to vye for a spot among the world elite, be best win this year's US Championship. It is hard to imagine that his result outside the top two will not be a setback at a time when his career otherwise was poised for greater attention on the international circuit.

where did carlsen and anand say that ? i would like to read those interviews...

Wang Yue didn't win the last Chinese national championship, yet he's still a legit top 10 player that gets invited to the top chess tournaments. So although while it's not good that Nakamura did not win the U.S. championship this year, it's not all that harsh of a setback.

Magnus and Vishy said this (Magnus somewhat more pointedly but not inappropriately so) in interviews on the ICC/ChessFM live broadcast of the championship. These interviews, in addition to one of Kasparov, made the overall high quality live coverage (Maurice Ashley was better than most sportscasters) even more interesting.

Speaking of quality, kudos and a big thanks to Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield and the crew in St. Louis for an even classier event than last year.

Congratulations GM Kamsky!!

Congratulations Gata Kamsky! It was a well deserved victory. And to Yuri Shulman, a US Champion who played couragous and tasty chess.

Thank you Mr & Mrs. Sinquefield for your investment in chess. Without all that you do none of this would have been possible.

ICC's presentation was super. The commentary by Jennifer Shahade and Maurice Ashley was top notch, and the webcam allowed us to see the players thereby adding to the excitment.

Best of all was the "time bid" for the tie break game. This made for an interesting and exciting finish. I really hope this format will be used again.

This kind of tournament will go a long way towards our goal of attracting new fans and players of ages.

There is a fairly well developed theory of auction design. If we make the assumption that each player places a certain value on the draw odds, a good auction design would force each player to disclose that value. A simple sealed bid auction doesn't do that. Did Shulman bid 39:55 because he thought that was the fair value of the draw odds or did he think the fair value was 20' but bid 39:55 because he thought Kamsky would bid even higher and so took a gamble that he'd get the draw odds "cheaply"? Would Kamsky have been happy to play with 10 minutes? We'll never know.

I believe the most efficient method here would to give the winner not the number of minutes he bid but the average of the two bids. This gives each player the incentive to bid what he thinks the draw odds are really worth (i.e. the point at which he becomes indifferent whether he plays white or black). If Kamsky bids 25' but gets to play black with 32:30, he's got 7.5 more minutes than he thinks is fair. If Shulman thinks the draw odds are only worth 40 minutes, and seems Kamsky playing black with 32:30, he starts off ahead by 7.5 more minutes too. So both "win" the auction by the same amount.

Not to take anything away from Gata accomplishment, but I don't see how one can say he "won" the title. He "drew" the title...

Not a satisfying format at all, IMHO.

I second PaulG's suggestion which I came up with independently earlier today.

In traditional auctions (in which by the way the highest money bid is analogous to the lowest time bid here) there is a choice between "first price" (where the winner gets it for his own sealed bid) and "second price" (where the winner gets it at the price offered by the runner-up, or, as on eBay, that price plus an increment). At first it seemed to me that the second-price system was better, but on consideration I realized that this is different because there is no seller and no reason to bias things toward a low sales price (high time bid).

If both players bid what they think is a fair time break, then:

- if the low bidder gets it at his/her own bid, the low bidder is 'satisfied' and the high bidder is 'super-satisfied' (because he/she gets white at much better time odds than he/she thought was fair

- if the low bidder gets it at the high bid, then for the same reasons the high bidder is 'satisfied' and the low bidder is 'super-satisfied'.

But since we have no reason to pick one of the two to be 'super-satisfied', by taking the average we make them both 'semi-super-satisfied' which seems optimal.

Anyway, I think this was an excellent format, and a smashing triumph for the organizers and for Greg Shahade who has championed this idea. It was certainly far superior to breaking ties with any combination of blitz games - of course it came down to a blitz finish but that's the fault of the players' poor time management :-)

And nobody has EVER heard chess commentary sound so much like excited sports commentary as Maurice Ashley's commentary on the finish, where they were taking the moves off the webcam and the pawns were "running down the board!" If it were like this every time, people would actually watch chess on TV. Really!

exactly my feelings as well.

Damn you guys want to confuse people even more! While I agree that in theory this idea suggested may be even more accurate (although it's definitely less exciting), I suspect that since the idea used in the game is inherently fair (and much simpler to explain to the layperson) that the original concept should be seen in practice quite a few more times before we try to immediately add complications to it :)

Interesting idea for the tie-breaks... It avoids the problem of color balance but the organizer's nightmare of not knowing how many games will be required to break the tie. Also, with G/60 they can play real chess rather than "who can move their hands the fastest" (like in US women's champs a couple years ago).

But, yes, a live auction for draw odds with back-and-forth bidding (rather than single bid) would be great fun.

Might be too much fun uff da. I'm not inherently opposed but Id prefer not to glorify the bidding procedure so much and let the players just make one simple bid and then focus on the chess from there.

Also note that I would have voted for a starting time of more than 60 (2 hours would be perfect IMO). I'd prefer the time control be as close as possible to that played in the tournament. It was nice to see the players to pour all of thier heart and energy into one game though (in multiple game tiebreak formats fatigue is much more likely to occur IMO), which I thought was quite well played.

The videos of interviews with Carlsen, Anand and Kasparov can still be viewed at the tournament website (and at Chessvibes) - they were done by telephone, so you don't see their faces. Anand and Carlsen have a certain point, but one shouldn't exaggerate: Nakamura lost one game against Shulman, so what? Kasparov lost a game against Radjabov, Topalov against Vallejo Pons, Anand against Canadian Charbonneau (at the 2006 Olympiad).

As to the tiebreak format, I _partly_ agree with noyb and #caleague: Kamsky won according to the rules, just like a WCh wins a drawn match if he has draw odds. But the format certainly wasn't satisfying. Should organizer's interests to have a quick decision and some sort of a spectacular show prevail over having a convincing winner? Methinks Greg Shahade saying that the game was "quite well played" is, well, a PR statement.

"It was just the US Championship", I certainly wouldn't want a world championship to be decided in such a way unless ALL other options have been tried ... .

I don't think there is much discussion to it. They performed the auction the wrong way. If you want to hold an auction with _one_ sealed bid and get the correct price, you hold a Vickrey auction:

This means that the highest bidder gets to "pay" what the second highest bidder offered.

Thus, they did it right, but for one completely backwards thing - Kamsky should have gotten to play with 39:55. This way people bid what they think it is worth, instead of trying to be just below your opponent(s).

I think that having an auction is a very good way of deciding the time limits, but really, they should have asked an economist or game theorist before inventing their own silly version.

Both the Vickrey auction and the idea about averages (almost same principle really), is based on the assumption that the worth of the black pieces is objective.

But as players are different and will have different "optimal times", this is not really the case. Then the best solution is an open auction.


"Inventing their own silly version" is a bit strong, no? since a first-price auction is the most easily understood and most common kind of sealed-bid auction.

Anyway, it's not clear to me that a second-price auction for a chess tie-break time split, when there are only two bidders for a single indivisible and irreplaceable item, really is objectively the best just because it is by certain criteria the best way to sell a stamp. For one thing, in the stamp auction case, the chief way in which the second-price auction is optimal is that the players have an incentive to bid their true valuation, so the hammer price is not biased downward or upward and the sellers get a fair market price. But why do the organizers of a chess tournament who are "selling" the time split care what the "price" of draw odds is? They don't get any more money either way. I suspect that a good economist or game theorist, if hypothetically brought in to consult, would not uncritically apply the "second price good, first price bad" approach here.

Thomas: saying that the format "certainly wasn't satisfying" is a matter of opinion, no? It satisfied me pretty much. I would have been more satisfied with a longer time control, as Greg would, but still I was a lot more satisfied then with pairs of 15-minute games, five minute games, blitz Armageddon, or just giving up and splitting the championship, which are some of the actual ways that have been tried before.

Frankly I think that giving black draw odds and auctioning the time split is a real "game-changer", and not only in the punning sense. The whole problem with chess has been the draw. Because of the draw, contests among GMs have to go on for days in order to get a decisive result. You can't just have two players meet for a "big game" and drum up excitement for it, because probably you just get a draw. The "big match" is not unlikely to lead to a string of draws. Auction Armageddon cuts this Gordian knot in pieces. You can have two big-name players come into town to play a single game that one of them will win, like with (other) sports. I really think this is likely to catch on, and not just for tie-breaks.

Just for symmetry, I'd like to see the possibility of white playing with draw odds, which would of course bring a more uneven time split.


Yes, it was a bit strong, but the mathematician in me finds first-price auctions... icky :)

My notion of "fair" assumes that what they really wanted was an open auction, but that for simplicity, dignity (as Mig wrote) and general speed, they settled on just one bid, just so that the auction process would not steal attention away from the chess.

If that is so, then the Vickrey auction (which is exactly as simple and speedy, just bid what you think it is worth) should produce the same result as the lengthier open auction.

However, since what is fair is all subjective, an argument could be made for any value between the first and second bid. But to make such an argument, you will first have to dismiss an open auction as unfair, which I think few will.

It should be possible to estimate the "curve" of reduction in playing strength (for 2600+ players) as time is shortened, via computer analysis of games at standard/FIDE/Rapid/blitz time controls. Is anyone doing this? One can also express Black's draw odds as an Elo advantage, and thus find the balancing point t on the curve.

IMHO that would be a close enough guide for bidding to moot the effect of differences in auction style. It would still make sense to have the auction, because a player's own balancing point could veer from the average. E.g. if t is found to be 30 min., a player like Kamsky might still bid 25 since he "feels solid as Black", while a Nakamura might bid 35 out of discomfort that the format removes his pet 1. d4 f5! from the repertoire :-).

Abstractly, I would prefer to give the players one chance to resolve the tie under symmetrical conditions, namely two standard (G25+5") rapid games. Then the present tiebreaker. However, with a 30-min. interval between games, this does creates a session over 4 hours. I did find the Armageddon tiebreaker intriguing, and it was "well poised' in that Shulman built a winning (yet not crushing) advantage, but just lacked the time to convert it.

"the original concept should be seen in practice quite a few more times before we try to immediately add complications to it :)"

no, it really shouldn't. HORRIBLE to win on a draw, or to lose because you didn't guess your bid correctly.

plan your schedule better. save enough time for proper alternating color, standard games, of reducing game time, till someone wins legitimately.

worst case, after many draws and time reductions, once you pass a certain threshold of time, have the games moved to computers so that the moves are recorded properly and the players don't have to worry about hitting clocks.

Disagree with 'Kamsky has as much raw talent as anyone in the world.' He's a player who has maximized his ability through intensive training since early childhood, and while that ability is obviously not inconsiderable, he's not among those gifted with the greatest native ability.

It is not that easy to find the optimal auctions style because there is a crucial difference to standard auctions with a third seller:
The bidders are interested in the price even if they do not win the auction.

I think that means that there is no way to elicit the true valuation of the two bidders. Three examples:

1) First-price sealed-bid
Bidders have a strategic incentive to bid less (more minutes) to get draw odds with more time.

2) Second-price sealed-bid (Vickrey)
Bidders have a strategic incentive to bid more (less minutes) so that the other players has less time if he gets draw odds with an even higher bid.

3) Open
Bidders have a strategic incentive to bid more (less minutes) so that the other players has less time if he gets draw odds with an even higher bid.

I think this is a fascinating way to break a tie and I way prefer it over blitz.
"Winning by drawing" happens quite regularly in the most popular sport on the planet, association football, due to the 'away goal' rule in two-match KO competitions.
Single-game KOs are decided by a pair of rapid games (extra time) followed by penalty shootouts which have even less to do with football than blitz has with chess. More like "mating with K+B+N v K in least numer of moves" or something.

Would be fascinating to see a similar playoff in AF, with teams bidding to play with less players but holding draw odds over say, 20 minutes extra time.

Re the auction, I don't think it needs to be so complicated, especially because, as was pointed out, there is no 'objective' value of playing Black/with less time/with draw odds.
It differs per player - see how Topalov avoided the rapid playoffs against Anand - and probably even depends on how a player has slept the night before.

Given that, players will tend to simply bid what they are comfortable with playing and let the opponent sort it out for him/herself. Or can someone give a probable example of how players can cheat this system, instead of just referring to theoretically 'more fair' systems?

Meanwhile congrats to Kamsky, who in this form will be a worthy Candidate some time next year. If that tournament happens.

During the game the spectators following online should be allowed to bet on what move will be played ("guess the move contest").

Such a system could be easily set up over the internet (using credit card and interactive websites) and it will reward those with good understanding of high level human chess and knowledge of the personality of the players
(it will make pointless using computers while watching since this is not about playing the objectively best move).

"saying that the format "certainly wasn't satisfying" is a matter of opinion, no?"
Of course it is, I gave mine ... .

"The whole problem with chess has been the draw."
The main problem, IMO, is that people consider "the draw" a problem - failing to distinguish between short draws and those full of fight: an attack leading to nothing more than perpetual check, a favorable endgame which cannot be won in the end, ... .

What could be the consequences of your suggestion to make every game an Armaggedon?
- Black is rewarded even more for playing Petroff, Berlin Wall or solid but passive lines of the Slav defense. Or at least, it doesn't make sense to take risks in order to play for a win with the black pieces.
- On the other hand, white may (have to) take more risks, because drawing or losing comes down to the same thing. Revival of the King's Gambit to avoid Petroff or Berlin?

I think this is the past, rather than the future of chess. One could try "Armaggedon every day" or a milder version (every draw followed by a rapid or blitz game with colors reversed) in some events, but not more than that ... .

>> and much simpler to explain to the layperson

So instead of the lowest bid winning you take the average. Or use the Vickrey auction system. Both seem like a good idea. And I don't think they add such a degree of complexity that nobody will understand it anymore.

The problem with a traditional auction might be that it takes too much time:
First bid: 59 minutes.
Second bid: 58 minutes.
Etc... till they arrive at a bid that's satisfactory for both.

(You can't start off too low because your opponent might call it quits right there and you're stuck with a time that might have been much higher.)

We don't know about any of the chess players who were pushed as hard as Kamsky yet didn't make it. It's possible that even with such intense training, you need lots of talent to play at Kamsky's level.

You're probably right though. And certainly it's hard to claim Kamsky's innate talent is any greater than the other top GMs whose training was more casual.

Btw congratulations on your very respectable 19th place in the Blitz. :) (Considering you are "just" an IM ;))

I liked the tie-break and think it's the proper way to handle an armageddon situation. One hour is a bit short anyway, so it would have been better to base it on the original time control. All the other suggestions, I don't know... it's not about who is the better mathematician.
I can remember a time when nobody considered rapid games, let alone blitz games, to be a fair tie-break for a serious match. I'd like to see the time auction idea to catch on. One decently long game is much easier to follow for a serious get-into-it watcher like me.

"During the game the spectators following online should be allowed to bet on what move will be played ("guess the move contest")."

-It's allready invented by Danailov (surpise!!!) and done during the M-Tel in Sofia. PLAY LIKE TOPALOV: http://www.mtelmasters09.com/en/play_like_topalov.html

I think ICC had the GuessTheMove bot up and running long before Danilov "invented" such an idea.

Great job Kamsky, and no format is perfect, no matter what people will always complain. For example, the commentators were horrible in my and most icc kibitzers opinion, Jens voice is like listening to Fran Dreshler for 5 hours (though her limited comments on the games were better than Maurice's) and Maurice's analysis was abysmal and his yelling like Dick Vitale does not make chess any more entertaining but laughable. One thing was noticed, everyone loved when Naka played the patzer move Rh2, we were laughing on icc for hours as everyone wanted him to lose.

"... if Nakamura intends to vye for a spot among the world elite, be best win this year's US Championship. It is hard to imagine that his result outside the top two will not be a setback at a time when his career otherwise was poised for greater attention on the international circuit."

He is obviously very talented, and it is likely that he has not fully tapped his talent. However, Nakamura has been a Chess Professional (in the sense of making it his singular focus) for most of his life. He is getting close to his mid-20s, when most players begin to plateau in strength. There are some players who have Second winds (players such as Aronian, and most dramatically, Topalov), but they are an exception. Nakamura still has a lot of upside potential, but let's face it: he will be fortunate to ever crack the Top 5.

The assessment was probably correct: this was a crucial tournament to win, and Nakamura's failure to do so exposed some weaknesses in his game.

1) He is not good at managing his clock: he plays too rapidly.
2) He understimates his opponents' chances. This led to his having blinders on in his game vs. Shulman. Shulman may have be slower at calculating tactics, but he showed greater creativity, and was able to more fully engage with the problems on the chessboard. Twice Shulman managed to outcalculate Nakamura.

Nakamura will get invitations to fairly elite events, but he will probably finish in the middle of the crosstable for a while, as he still can't overwhelm the stronger players, and will get nicked for careless losses.

He reminds me a bit of Topalov, who is also a quick player who uses the clock to place additional pressure on an opponent, and who settles for good enough moves perhaps a bit too frequently.

Frankly, it would be a help to both Nakamura and Kamsky if they were to play a 10-12 game match against each other.

It could be a throwback to the famously unfinished Fischer--Reshevsky match of 1960 (50 years ago!). Kamsky would benefit from having a sparring partner who has an opportunistic, trappy style similar to Topa's. Nakamura would gain experience and knowledge about what it takes to defeat an extremely solid player. (Yes, I know, he beat Gelfand...)

I think the live broadcast of the US Championship was outstanding. Probably the best I have seen. Dedicated web cams from each board, entertaining commentators, interviews with Kasparov, Carlsen, Anand and several others. The tournament in St Louis really made an impact on the chess world.

Interesting that no one has commented on Mig digression of the Olympic team composition.

USA has some chance to get medals, so the "best possible team" approach has its merit. It could be tweaked to "Almost best team, if the difference is small and invests for the future", but not much more than that.

In the other hand, I would like to know how most middle of the table countries approach the Olympic team. Sending the best team may net a 40th place, sending the kids may get a 70th place. Is it worth it? I really do not know. But most of those decisions are seldom taken with a long term vision.

Lol, countries that might be expected to finish around 40th place - based on average rating of the top10 players include Philippines (#35), Vietnam (#36) and Italy (#38). All of them will have a kid on board 1 (Wesley So, Le Quang Liem, Fabiano Caruana).

For the USA, the Elo difference between Akobian (2599), Lenderman (2598) and Hess (2590) is small indeed, basically a choice between experience and upward potential. Neither of them would play as many games against strong opponents as Kramnik did in his first Olympiad; neither of them seems as talented as Kramnik or the above-mentioned names - frankly, as a European I know of Hess and Lenderman only because I also follow American websites. Wesley So eliminated Ivanchuk and Kamsky at the World Cup, Le Quang Liem won Aeroflot, Caruana qualified for Corus A - what is the best career achievement of Lenderman and Hess?

Robson may be more promising, he is still very young, the (near) future will tell.

The U.S. has done very well with the core team of Naka, Kamsky, Onishuk, Shulman, and Akobian. And Akobian is still young. So why change? The only youngster that impressed at the U.S. championships was Hess, while Lenderman and Robson were less than impressive.


Yes, Hess has more upside than Lenderman, in my opinion. Robson's growth curve has slowed, but is still young enough to get some career momentum back. In my opinion, as long as a team based on Nakamura, Kamsky, Onishuk, and Shulman has a chance to medal, you have to go with them. As the adage goes, one in the hand beats two in the bush. The US Chess team can field a strong chess team now; why sacrifice its best chance. It is a pretty big sacrifice to make, just for the hope (rather unlikely, to be candid) that Hess, Robson, and Lenderman will surpass the likes of Naka, Kamsmky, and Onishuk.

The US Juniors certainly need more training in International level chess competitions, but there are other ways to go about it.

Lenderman won Gibraltar 2010.

"Nakamura will get invitations to fairly elite events, but he will probably finish in the middle of the crosstable for a while, as he still can't overwhelm the stronger players, and will get nicked for careless losses."

Have a look at the World Open 2009 San Sebastion 2009 London Chess Classic 2009 and Corus A 2010... then shut your trap.

Naka will be back, stronger.

Although, loosing the US Champ title might cost him an invitation or two from top Europe tournaments. -Unfortunate timing, considering the good results he has shown against other elite players lately.


I guess talent can take you to a certain level. After that there is more and more looong hours with opening studies, end game theory and so on. If you wanna make it to the top 10, you probably have to devote all your life to it.

Aronian admitted that his lackluster play in first half of 2010 was because of not enough preparations.

Look at Karjakin. He moved to Moscow only to train more chess. I guess he studies all day long, when he is not playing tournaments.

(I don't know where Nakamura fits in this picture, but he said something like he was not prepared enough in the French in the game against Shulman).

I agree some felt the way you did but most during the coverage, that I was fortunate to watch every second on icc at work, seemed to be displeased with the announcers but overall the presentation was great and enjoyed watching it. The commentary by the kibitzers was better and turned off the sound half the time.
As far as the Olympics goes, agree that Akobian has bottomed out and we need some fresh talent to spark the team, imho. Akobian at Corus B was atrocious and the Us Championship showed that is about where his talent is. How about a match between Hess and Lenderman (who would be my choice as I like his analysis and enthusiasm for the game) to test both?

Congratulations to Gata Kamsky for winning his second US title. I agree that he truly deserved to win in the game. With his talent, he can go far in the chess game. Many could be trying their hands at playing with wooden chess sets to become winners.

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