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Old March 13th 06, 12:26 AM posted to alt.chess,soc.culture.mongolian
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Default U.S. Chess Championship a Great Success

U.S. Chess Championship a Great Success

I was skeptical but I have to admit that the US Chess Championship,
which concludes today in San Diego, was a great success.

Throughout the tournament I checked in several times every day to keep
up with the games and the results, and I rarely do that any more.

Under the old system of a 16-player round robin with nearly all the
players grandmasters, I rarely looked at the results and in most years
I did not even know who the US Chess Champion was.

However, under the new system with a dual 64-player Swiss, there is
always something interesting going on.

This year, the great sensation of the tournament was completely
unexpected. A previously unknown 19 year old Mongolian girl with
unpronounceable name and low rating ran away with the early rounds of
the tournament, defeating three top grandmasters and drawing another
grandmaster, so that by round five she had scored 3.5 - 1.5 against
opposition averaging 2612, so she had a performance rating of 2782, or
a world championship performance.

Batchimeg Tuvshintugs (nice name, eh!) rated 2271 started the
tournament with a bang, defeating Grandmaster Alexander Fishbein
(rated 2593) who ultimately finished fourth. Batchimeg Tuvshintugs
then lost to Grandmaster Yury Shulman (2623) who won the trournament,
defeated Grandmaster Boris Kreiman (2535), drew Grandmaster Boris
Gulko (2678) and then defeated Grandmaster Julio Becerra (2629).

Sadly, she then lost all the rest of her games. However, this was
nothing to be ashamed of since all of her opponents were strong
players, including Kamsky, rated 2729.

So, the result was that poor Batchimeg Tuvshintugs did not even win
the womans prize. However, this is a well known consequents. Anytime a
low rated player goes to an early lead, they get bombed out by having
to face the strongest players in the tournament, whereas high rated
players who start badly usually get easy opponents enabling them to
catch up.

In this tournament, defending champion Hikura Nakamura had a
disastrous start losing his first round game and scoring only one draw
in his first three games against low rated opposition.

However, Nakamura them came back, winning five games in a row.

Thus, in the last round, Nakamura could have tied for first by beating
Grandmaster Alexander Onischuk, who had led the tournament throughout.
However, Nakamura had black and Onischuk only needed a draw to clench
clear first place.

Namakura played a Benoni Defense and the result was a wild game. I
thought that Nakamura was winning. I am not really sure what happened.
Too complicated. The end result was a draw by perpetual check.

Probably every observer had their own favorite player to watch. I
followed the results of Boris Kreiman. The reason: There was a
controversy before the tournament involving Kreiman. Kreiman got in to
the tournament by defeating De Guzman in the last round of the
American Open. Some said that the game had been fixed; that Kreiman (a
professional poker player) had paid De Guzman to dump the game.
However, I studied and analyzed the game and concluded that De Guzman
had simply gotten crushed. According to my analysis, De Guzman was
dead lost by move 13. His sacrifice of a pawn with 13. h3 was the only
way to keep the game going. Otherwise, Kreiman was going to open his
position like a can of sardines.

The USCF Executive Board debated this issue and decided after a vote
to let Kreiman play, so it would be interesting to see how he would
do.

The dress code prevented Kreiman from wearing his signature attire,
which is a skimpy body-hugging shirt showing off his bulging
steroid-enhanced muscles.

Kreiman scored 5-4 and finished in 13th place. He finished the
tournament by defeating Grandmaster Becerra and drawing grandmasters
Kaidanov (2722), Shabalov (2665), Ivanov (2657) and Gulko (2678).
Clearly he belonged in the tournament.

There were two players who did not belong in the tournament. In an
effort to make the tournament more attractive to sponsors, slots had
been set aside for women. However, one woman qualified by being the
ONLY WOMAN to pay the $75 qualification fee. As a result, she got in
even though her rating was only 1663, which ranks her below about
100,000 male chess players. Predictably, she lost ALL nine of her
games.

Another low rated woman also got in, rated 1872. She lost eight games
and got one draw against one of the other female players. The rules
will have to be changed to prevent such weak players from getting into
the US Championship. Indeed, the rules have already been changed.

There were a few more flaws in this tournament. For one, the lack of
publicity. At a very minimum, the photo of Batchimeg Tuvshintugs
should have appeared on the cover of PEOPLE magazine. These
opportunities only happen once in a lifetime. The USCF blew it.

I remember a similar case. In the 1996 US Open, Jennie Frenklakh, aged
15, scored a fantastic, sensational result by leading the tournament
after five rounds with 5-0, after defeating three masters.

Nobody bothered to inform the newspapers of this incredible
achievement.

Three rounds later, somebody finally got the bright idea to call the
newspapers and, as a result, the San Francisco Chronicle did publish a
large photo of Jennie Frenklakh on the front page, but without
mentioning her chess result, because by then Jennie had lost all the
rest of her games.

We had this chance with Batchimeg Tuvshintugs, but now you can forget
about it.

One good thing: The two most beautiful women in the tournament won
first prize in their respective sections, so whomever wins the playoff
today, we will have a beautiful woman as our champion. This is
important, because if we want to interest girls in playing chess, we
need to have a suitable role model for them to look up to.

Sam Sloan
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