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Ben's Blog: Hikaru leads U.S. to victory over Israel, Robson draw clutch

[imagefield_assist|fid=1769|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The USA maintained its lead in match points with a powerhouse performance by our two horses, Hikaru Nakamura and Alexander Onischuk. Hikaru won in amazing style, sacrificing his queen all over the board! The threats were too much for World Cup Champion Boris Gelfand, who capitulated in only 33 moves with the white pieces. Oni was also his usual self on board two, putting the squeeze on American Swiss killer Ilya Smirin.

Once again, the U.S. team put in its youngsters, but Robert Hess got a worse position against a cagey veteran, 2009 U.S. Champion commentator Emil Sutovsky, and was quickly routed. But, our youngest team member, Ray Robson, saved the day by holding a draw against Evgeny Postny to secure a great 2.5-1.5 win against tough Israel.

The U.S. Team is 4-1 after five rounds, and now medals for our boys may be only four rounds away! Onischuk has an amazing 4.5-0.5. The best result, thus far is Shakriyar Mamedyarov, who is 5-0 for Azerbaijan! I must say, however, that the best game of the event is from round four, when Russian Champion, Alexander Grischuk played an absolutely amazing game against fellow Super GM Vugar Gashimov. Grischuk's king walk is the stuff dreams are made of.

Gelfand (2761) vs. Nakamura (2708)