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Topalov on Top

[imagefield_assist|fid=3627|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Topalov gave Anand the beatdown and the smackdown, as game one of the World Championship match was no contest.  Anand played the Gruenfeld Defense, and the position was about equal through the first 20 moves. 

Then, Anand weakened his kingside with f6, g5, and h6, and Topalov struck with great vengeance and furious anger, as Anand's king went on a journey to d8, where Topalov's brilliant play easily crushed Anand's weak defense.

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Field finalized for 2010 U.S. Championship

[imagefield_assist|fid=3617|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]SAINT LOUIS, April 20, 2010--The final four spots have been filled for the 2010 U.S. Championship, which is set for May 13-25 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL).

The 24-player field was finalized today with the four, official wildcard selections: GM Alexander Stripunsky (NJ), GM Vinay Bhat (CA) and IMs Irina Krush (NY) and Sam Shankland (CA). This year's championship will feature a purse of more than $170,000, the largest per-capita prize fund in the tournament's history.

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Podcast with Samford Fellowship recipient GM Robert Hess

[imagefield_assist|fid=3496|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Grandmaster Robert Hess took a four-way split of the first-place prize last weekend at the Bill Wright Saint louis Open. The event, which brought out seven grandmasters, was the largest ever held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

After his round five game, Hess tok the time to sit down for a brief interview to discuss his accomplishments over the past year and his preparation for the future, both the 2010 U.S. Championship and beyond.

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Ben's Blog: Ale-Ale-Jandro!

[imagefield_assist|fid=3574|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=Tatev Abrahamyan|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]"Don't call my name, Alejandro".....And thus ends the greatest
tournament of all time.

Oops, I guess I should start at the
beginning....2 score and 7 months ago a young whippersnapper, named Ben Finegold was
born in Detroit, MI.... oh wait, that is too far back.  As Rosanne
Rosana Dana would say, "Nevermind!"

The Bill Wright Saint Louis
Open was the shizzle, as the CCSCSL was proud to entertain the locals
with seven (!!!) GMs and five women coming back to Saint Louis from the
2009 U.S. Women's Championship!

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Altounian wins U.S. Championship spot on ICC

[imagefield_assist|fid=3572|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Congratulations to IM Levon Altounian (Arizona), who beat Damir Studen (Georgia), 1.5-0.5, to win the 2010 U.S. State Champion of Champions title hosted live on the Internet Chess Club.

Altounian now goes forward to claim a spot in next month's U.S. Championship sponsored by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

In his youth, Altounian was an incredibly strong Armenian junior player in the early 1990s. He was the U.S.S.R Junior Team Champion in 1991 and the Armenian Junior Champion from 1992-1993 and, as his country's representative, ...

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The Bill Wright Saint Louis Open: Final recap, games and standings

[imagefield_assist|fid=3571|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The Bill Wright Saint Louis Open, the strongest open tournament in the history of Missouri, has finally wrapped up here at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. After a quick, round five draw between co-leaders GM Robert Hess and GM Alejandro Ramirez, the opportunity opened up for four others with 3.5. 

GM Hikaru Nakamura defeated WIM Alisa Melekhina to make it a three-way tie, and the final match between GMs Josh Friedel and Mesgen Amanov proved pivotal as the winner would make it a four-way split. Friedel's solid play wore Amanov down, and once he got into time trouble, Friedel was able to secure the victory.

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Saint Louis Open: round four recap and round five preview


Round four brought more excitement as GM Robert Hess managed to outlast GM Dmitry Gurevich to hang on to first place. GM Alejandro Ramirez defeated IM Irina Krush, which created a two-way tie atop the leaderboard between Hess and Ramirez.

A quick draw between the two early on in round one opened the door for a multiple-way tie to take place. GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Josh Friedel and Mesgen Amanov all have 3.5/4 heading into the final round as does WIM Alisa Melekhina. Melekhina, who upset GM Ben Finegold in round four, takes on Nakamura.

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Day One Recap at the Saint Louis Open

[imagefield_assist|fid=3565|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]SAINT LOUIS, APRIL 10, 2010 -- Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura has been playing an exceptional brand of chess over the past year. Since winning the 2009 U.S. Championship, his stellar performance tournament after tournament has vaulted him into the international spotlight and cemented his place as the player to beat in the United States.

But the heavy favorite coming into this year’s Bill Wright Saint Louis Open ran into a round-three roadblock. WIM Iryna Zenyuk provided stiff opposition against Nakamura’s Leningrad Dutch to hold on to a draw in a hectic finish.

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Saint Louis Open: Round Three Recap


After three rounds, four titled players share the first place lead at the Bill Wright Saint Louis Open, but the heavy favorite coming into the tournament ran into a tough round-three opponent.

Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, the 2009 U.S. Champion, drew WIM Iryna Zenyuk in round three. IM Irina Krush and GMs Dmitry Gurevich, Robert Hess and Alejandro Ramirez all share the first-place lead with scores of 3/3. GMs Ben Finegold, Josh Friedel, Mesgen Amanov and WIM Alisa Melekhina all took a round-three bye, which left them tied with Nakamura for second.

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Saint Louis Open: Round 2 results and recap

[imagefield_assist|fid=3563|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]After round two, the usual suspects are still leading the pack. In round two, GM Hikaru Nakamura defeated USCF Executive Director Bill Hall and GM Robert Hess took the victory on board two against 2009 U.S. Women's Championship competitor Yun Fan. Thirteen others join Nakamura and Hess atop the pack with scores of 2/2.

A couple of youngsters have put on a good showing early on in the tournament. Sean Vibbert of Indiana, Daniel Gurevich of Atlanta and the CCSCSL's own Kevin Cao are all vying for a top spot and a chance to play top competition in the later rounds.

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