Monday, March 06, 2006

U.S. Chess Championship


White to play and win after 34...Nxd7.

The story so far of the U.S. Chess Championship is that Nakamura is on a bad slide after losing his first round game to IM Josh Friedel (in what was actually a rather wild but generally better game for the U.S. Champ, until he made the wrong move in the diagram above).

Mig Greengard's excellent official website has everything you'd expect and more, including daily PGNs, annotated games, player profiles, daily pictures, and even a blog (which is already better than last year's effort since he has offered monetary inducements to encourage players to post). Bloggers following the event or providing some annotated games include The Daily Dirt, The Chess Mind, Chess News and Events, Shakmaty Bereolos, Susan Polgar, and IM Ben Finegold.


The Closet Grandmaster said...

The format of the US Champs is attracting some comment in Oz. This section is especially controversial: "After nine rounds the top player from each section will move into a two-game rapid-chess final match to be played on the afternoon of Sunday, March 12. The top woman in each section will likewise progress to a two-game rapid chess finals match played earlier on the same day. In the event that two or more players are tied for first place in a section (overall or women’s category), qualification will be determined by tie-breaks."

A compulsory rapid play-off? Why in the world would a major nation decide the champ this way?

Michael Goeller said...

Great question! I don't know the answer. I'm sure there is some history there. I vaguely recall some drawn out playoff in the past. The one advantage of the speed game is that it will be interesting for spectators. And, personally, it does seem better than tie-breaks alone, which always struck me as practically the same as a coin flip.

Thanks for the comment.

Robert Pearson said...

I chose the same move as Nakamura! Normally, I'd think that was great...but this time I lose.

My thoughts on the U.S. Championship are that it's at least good to have one, undisputed champ. I always disliked the shared ones (wasn't there a 4-way tie one year?. I wish it could be decided by a real match, like 6 games or more, not a quickplay. But everyone's got to rush off to another event or some paying work, so I don't blame them for doing the best they can. And it will be an exciting finish, no doubt.