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Friday Action Quads: The Return

The Friday Action Quads made its triumphant return following the Women's Championship.  Fourteen fierce competitors slugged it out in three sections.  In the top quad, Jialin Ding and Kevin Cao, two of Saint Louis' best scholastic players, finished with 2.5/3.0 (drawing each other) to split the $36 prize.  In quad 2, Namit Gaur dominated the field, going undefeated with a perfect 3.0/3.0 performance for clear first.  The bottom section featured a six-player Swiss in which unrated Filippo Massari's 2.5/3.0 was good enough for the clear $36 first place prize.

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A Game of Chance with Anna Zatonskih and Rex Sinquefield

The newly crowned U.S. Women's Champion took on CCSCSL founder Rex Sinquefield in a special game that blends chess and chance. Based on the musings of Marcel Duchamp, the Game of Chance used a roulette wheel to determine which piece each contestant would be able to move. This unique element gave Rex a fighting chance against a zoned-in Zatonskih, but the exciting variation ultimately ended in a draw.

Check out the images here!

Photos By: Betsy Dynako


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Round 9 Photos

[view:float_left_thumb==1197]The last and final round featured some exceptional fighting chess. Defending Champion Anna Zatonskih went out in style with another dominating performance. Read the article here!

Photo By: Betsy Dynako

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Intense Action Marks End of U.S. Women's Chess Championship

[view:float_right_thumb==1191]ST. LOUIS, Oct. 13, 2009 -- The 2009 U.S. Women's Chess Championship, held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, already had a clear winner going into the final round, but there was heavy drama in the battle for money, place and qualification for other tournaments.
Defending U.S. Champion Anna Zatonskih, of Long Island, N.Y., finished off the tournament in style with a positional crush of Yun Fan, of Greencastle, Ind. She won the record $15,000 first place prize fund. Zatonskih ended with eight wins and one draw in nine games, and her 8.5 points were tied for the best result in the championship in more than 20 years. She said the championship was the best performance of her career.

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Round 8 Photos

Congratulations to the 2009 U.S. Women's Chess Champion Anna Zatonskih! Zatonskih proved too much for her Round 8 opponent, Sabina Foisor, and clinched  a repeat performance with a hard-fought victory.

[view:float_left_thumb==1172]Irina Krush continued her late push with a win over Camilla Baginskaite to pull into a tie for second place. If Baginskaite and Krush each post the same result as one another tomorrow, we'll see a tie-break playoff to decide second place. Alisa Melekhina has an outside chance at a three-way tie for second if she posts a win and both Krush and Baginskaite lose.

Don't miss all the exciting action of the final round of the 2009 U.S. Women's Championship!

Photo By: Betsy Dynako

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Zatonskih Clinches 2nd Consecutive U.S. Women's Chess Championship Title

[view:float_right_thumb==1166]ST. LOUIS, Oct. 12, 2009 -- Anna Zatonskih clinched her second consecutive U.S. Women's Chess championship by defeating Sabina Foisor in round eight of the 2009 event at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

With one round remaining, she has acquired a near-perfect 7.5 out of 8 points and will win the record $15,000 first prize. No other woman has more than 5.5 points so Tuesday's final round will be for posterity, not place.

Zatonskih, of Long Island, N.Y., said she will still try hard. "It doesn't feel right to win the championship and lose the last round," she said.

Zatonskih also earned an automatic qualification to the 2010 U.S. Women's Chess Championship. She said she was nervous today for the first time all tournament, knowing that single bad move and "I could easily spoil everything."

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Round 7 Photos

[view:float_left_thumb==1143] Round 7 brought us more exciting action as tournament favorite Anna Zatonskih moved one step closer to a repeat. Check out some images from today's action, and read all about the battle for first place here!

Check out Round 8 pairings here.

Photo By: Betsy Dynako

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Top Seed Edges Closer To Title At U.S. Women's Chess Championship


ST. LOUIS, Oct. 11, 2009 -- Top-seeded Anna Zatonskih moved one step closer to winning the 2009 U.S. Women's Chess Championship by defeating third-seeded Rusudan Goletiani, of Hartsdale, N.Y., in round seven. The nine-round tournament is being held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

Zatonskih, of Long Island, N.Y., remains one point ahead of her nearest rival, Camilla Baginskaite of Sioux Falls, S.D., who kept pace by winning her game.
Zatonskih is trying to win the tournament by leading wire to wire. She has six wins and one draw and if she is able to win her final two games she will equal the lofty winning score of 8.5 out of 9, turned in by Irina Krush in 1998. Zatonskih has already beaten Krush, her closest rival, in round three. "I was expecting seven (wins) out of seven (games)!" Zatonskih joked after the game.

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Sci-Fest Photos


Almost 80 students joined seven of the 10 competitors and Evelyn Moncayo, a WIM from Ecuador, for a massive simul at the Saint Louis Science Center. The event, Queens' Chess Express, was just one of many events going on during Sci-Fest at the Saint Louis Science Center. Camilla Baginskaite and Battsetseg Tsagaan stayed behind at the CCSCSL to put on a simul with the chess club from Sperreng Middle School, and Alisa Melekhina could not attend Sci-Fest due to a test in Cognitive Psychology test she had scheduled through her university.

The event was informative and entertaining for tournament competitors, students and teachers alike. Check out the photos from this fun-filled community event!

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