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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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Anand keeps things peaceful

Anand was able to keep the balance in game three of the World Championship match, an excellent result with black.  He chose to play the Slav Defense, and seemed to be equal or very slightly worse throughout, and drew without difficulty.  Vishy seems to have taken a page out of Kramnik's book, playing the Catalan successfully with white and then the Slav with black, and trade, trade, trade. 

Topalov must be upset about what has happened since he waffle stomped Anand in game one.  Anand was able to win game four in another successful Catalan.  That game is annotated on our website by the newest GM to move to Saint Louis, Hikaru Nakamura!

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Nakamura to relocate to Saint Louis

[imagefield_assist|fid=3633|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, the reigning U.S. Champion and the highest-rated American player, announced today he will be moving to Saint Louis following the U.S. Championship, which is scheduled for May 13-25.

The two-time U.S. Champion is relocating to Saint Louis from Seattle because of the support the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis has provided for American chess, particularly at the top level. The Chess Club's creation of a burgeoning chess scene in Saint Louis also factored into Nakamura's decision.

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Anand Equalizes

[imagefield_assist|fid=3629|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Anand equalized the match score today with a nice positional win in a complicated Catalan.  One could easily have mistaken this game for a typical Kramnik win on the white side of his favorite opening.

The players followed theory for quite a while, when Anand deviated from a Gulko-Shulman game with 15.Qa3!? This reminds me of the Kramnik method of beating Kasparov, which is to make the game dull/equalish in a boring endgame, and force your opponent to play positions they do not like.

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