Saturday, May 19, 2012

2012 US Championships May 19

Today is the last regular round of the 2012 US Championships.

Nakamura is playing a little weird against Seirawan, but he is still playing quickly. I would guess he wants to avoid theory and Seirawan's preparation to just play chess. Nakamura's 18.b4 looks ugly, but solves the problem posed by Seirawan trying to post a knight on c5. Can Nakamura close the c-file by posting a knight on c6? Yes he can, and continue to cause more problems for Seirawan, who uses up way to much time finding his way. While playing on fumes, Seirawan is unable to answer all the questions that Nakamura posed.

Kamsky is a half point behind Nakamura and is facing Hess with black. Kamsky stifles Hess's queenside play and then expands on the kingside. After Nakamura-Seirawan is over, Kamsky looks to have an advantage in a rook and pawn endgame.

Shulman chooses the King's Indian Defense against Onischuk in their battle for third place. Shulman prizes open the center and lots of pieces trade off into a drawn rook endgame.

Stripunsky plays a Sicilian Kan against Robson, but he fianchettos his king's bishop? I don't know the Kan at all, but it seems strange to me. Robson manages to clog up the long diagonal with pawns and get pressure down the f-file.

Kaidanov faces Akobian's NimzoIndian. Akobian makes an aggressive but hard to see exchange sacrifice that gave him a strong initiative that pans out.

To me it seems Ramirez takes an unusual path versus Lenederman's Caro-Kann. Ramirez tries to use his king too early and has to give up a piece to save it.

Nakamura is 2012 US champion


Krush and Zatonskih are tied after their draw last round.

Zatonskih has white against Abrahamyan. Abrahamyan is a very agressive player, so it is likely to be a decisive game. Abrahamyan gets her queenside pawns scattered and allows Zatonskih to control the c-file the only open one.

Krush is black against Baginskaite, so winning will be a challenge. Krush delays Nf6 but otherwise is playing a King's Indian Defense and Baginskaite chooses the fianchetto variation, but takes advantage of the delayed Nf6 to play Nbd2. Baginskaite loses a pawn and does not seem to get enough compensation. Krush holds the pawn, and slowly improves her position.

Foisor pulls out the Tromponsky against Zenyuk. Opposite side castling and excitement ensues.

Goletiani chooses the Sicilian Kan versus Kats.

Ni plays a King's Indian Defense rather than her normal Benko against Malekhina who goes into the mainline with which she is familiar on the black side. Melekhina engineers a queen exchange, which should tilt this game in her favor.

Playoff tomorrow between Krush and Zatonskih starts 1pm EDT

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