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2010 U.S. Champs: Round One Pairings

[imagefield_assist|fid=3694|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The Opening Ceremony of the 2010 U.S. Championship went off without a hitch, and the most prestigious tournament in the country is about to begin. You can follow all of the action live here at, or visit to hit the 2010 U.S. Chess Championship home page directly.

We will be broadcasting all of the commentary live through the website. Visitors are welcome to attend all rounds of the championship here at the club, and commentary will be provided by GM Maurice Ashley and WGM Jennifer Shahade.

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Anand wins with black to secure title

[imagefield_assist|fid=3511|preset=frontpage_200x200|title=|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=200|height=200]Anand did the unthinkable in the 12th and deciding game of the World Championship --- he won with black in a QGD! This was the first QGD of the match, and Anand played the super solid Lasker Defense.

After getting an equal game, Topalov weakened his own kingside and tried too hard to make something out of the position, and was soon on the defensive. Topalov missed a key move and was losing by move 35.

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Chess Talk podcast features GM Maurice Ashley and Tony Rich

[imagefield_assist|fid=3666|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Since opening its doors in July 2008, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis has continually hit the headlines by being recognized as one of the world's most impressive and active chess clubs - and this week it gets set to host its second U.S. Championship.

Tony Rich is the executive director of the club and responsible for organizing the U.S. Championship.  Joining Tony for a preview of this year's Championship will be the official onsite commentator, GM Maurice Ashley.

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Come to watch, stay to play

[imagefield_assist|fid=3600|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Fans of the 2010 U.S. Chess Championship are invited to play with the best in a $10,000 Open Blitz tournament held on Monday, May 24, at the Khorassan Ballroom in the Chase Park Plaza. The $10,000 purse is guaranteed!

Register for the tourney here!

The U.S. Championship Blitz Open will feature a $7,000 prize fund in the open section and a $3,000 prize fund in the reserve, U2000 section. The nine-round Swiss will begin at 8 p.m. and will feature a game-in-five-minute (G/5) format. Pre-register at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis until 6:30 p.m the day of the tournament. On-site registration is available at the Khorassan Ballroom from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

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WGM Jen Shahade on ESPN

[imagefield_assist|fid=3649|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]WGM Jennifer Shahade will be featured on ESPN 2's First Take tomorrow, May 7, at 9 a.m. CST (10 a.m. EST). Jennifer will be featured trouncing the competition in the green room throughout the show, and will then be brought on to the set to plug the 2010 U.S. Chess Championship.

This is a big step for the U.S. Championship as we continue our push to get national recognition from the U.S. sports scene. Jennifer is an excellent ambassador for the sport, and she has worked hard to give this sport and its players the recognition they rightly deserve.

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Red Carpet Opening for 2010 U.S. Chess Championship


[imagefield_assist|fid=3662|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]SAINT LOUIS, May 5, 2010--The red-carpet opening ceremony of the 2010 U.S. Chess Championship on Thursday, May 13, will feature the theatrical premiere of Changing of the Guard: The 2009 U.S. Championship and a ribbon cutting to unveil 10 chess tables in the Old Post Office Plaza downtown.


Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis Founder and President Rex Sinquefield, Saint Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay and the 24 contenders to the 2010 U.S. Championship crown are among the honored guests. The evening will also feature the drawing of the colors, which dramatically determines round one face-offs.

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Topalov ties up the match

[imagefield_assist|fid=3654|preset=frontpage_200x200|title=|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=200|height=200]Just as everyone thought Anand had defended with great accuracy, the World Champion makes a huge blunder and resigns shortly thereafter. Many times in the past, Anand's endgame play, especially in the 80s and 90s, seemed suspect, but lately, and in this match in particular, Anand seems to have excellent endgame skills.  

Here, Anand was a pawn down in an opposite bishop endgame and seemed to be well on his way to a well-earned draw, when the terrible blunder 54...Bc6 allowed Topalov to penetrate with his king and advance his kingside pawns! Black was still in the drawing zone after 54...Ke8 or 54...Bf1.

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Topalov twice tested, holds steady with black

[imagefield_assist|fid=3650|preset=frontpage_200x200|title=|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=200|height=200]Anand had white twice (color scheme reversed after the first half, so Anand got white in games 6 and 7). I thought if Anand could score 1.5-0.5 in those two games and have a two game lead with five to go, the match would be virtually over, but it was not to be, as Topalov held tight in two close games, both Catalans.

The last five games of the match will be quite exciting, as both players have shown great fighting spirit, especially Topalov, who seems to be willing to sacrifice with either color for active play.

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In Memory of James Miller

[imagefield_assist|fid=3646|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]James "the James Game" Miller was more than just a regular to the club. His outgoing personality and friendly demeanor made him an easily approachable opponent and a joy to play against.

James had the ability to make you smile whether you were winning or losing, and his one-liners were a constant source of amusement for members and staff alike. On Saturday, the Chess Club lost not just one of our most loyal members, but also a part of our family.

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Tough going for Topalov

[imagefield_assist|fid=3642|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Once again, Anand was able to stifle Topalov's advantage of the white pieces, and the World Champion was able to draw, once again, relatively easily with black.  The players repeated the moves from game 3 until move 15 (always repeat) until Anand deviated with 15...h5 instead of his earlier 15...h6.  Black was never in any real danger, and Anand may have even been better when peace was negotiated.

Anand gets white the next two games, and Topalov really needs to draw both games if he is to stay in the match.  The match has seen a real turnaround since the crushing Topalov gave Anand in game 1.  Perhaps Anand's more extensive match experience is an immense help against such strong opposition.

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