Friday, May 23, 2008

US Championship Winners

1. Shulman, Yuri GM 2606 - 7 - New US Champion
2. Onischuk, Alexander GM 2664 - 6½
3. Kudrin, Sergey GM 2549 - 6

Women's Tournament: Zatonskih, Anna IM over Krush, Irina IM on tiebreaks.
After two Game/15 games and two Game/5 games were split, a remarkable Armageddon game determined the result of this grueling finale. The rules called for one player to name the times (with black having draw odds) and the other to chose which color she wanted. Krush had white with 6 minutes, while Zatonskih had 4½ minutes and the draw odds. A tense game ensued and both players entered severe time trouble. But Anna’s draw odds were a big advantage here – she could blitz out moves hardly thinking (just moving the piece nearest to the clock), while Irina actually had to do something with her moves since she had to win. Krush lost on time with 0:01 left on Anna’s clock! It doesn’t get any closer than that.

ETA (6/1/08): Whining by Irina Krush at She claims that Anna Zatonskih cheated.

My opponent, seeing herself on the verge of losing on time, began playing moves before I had completed mine. She made her moves before I hit my clock, and as soon as I pressed the clock, it was punched back at me. [...] People have pointed out that I should have registered my protest during the game, or immediately after. Unfortunately, while I was certainly in disbelief as I watched my opponent complete 3 moves with her last remaining second and saw myself lose on time despite starting out with a large time lead, during the game and immediately after, I had no clear grasp of how she had accomplished this. [...] I’d also like to address my reaction at the end of this game, when I knocked a piece off to the side of the board before walking out of the room. This may seem like poor behavior to some, but I believe that my reaction was nothing compared to the aggression leveled at me by my opponent during the end of this game. Knocking off a piece and storming away had no power or intention to take away anything my opponent had been working for during this tournament. When my opponent moved on my time, however innocuous that may appear to be, I believe that she was committing one of the worst transgressions possible: depriving me, through unfair means, of the just rewards of my labor.

This last paragraph is idiotic nonsense. If she didn't think that her opponent was cheating until well after the game ended, why did she throw a piece then? And even if you are going to file a protest, there is still no need for a professional to throw a piece anyway. Leave that sort of behavior to the amateurs.

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