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GM Finegold lecture series scheduled for Thursdays at CCSCSL

[imagefield_assist|fid=1753|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Grandmaster Ben Finegold will begin his series of weekly lectures tonight, Thursday, January 14, at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The lecture will start at 7 p.m. each Thursday and is free to all club members.

Don't miss this fantastic opportunity to pick the brain of one of the country's top players as he offers masterful insight and analysis. GM Finegold will cover a new topic each week, so come on out and improve your game with one of the best!

If you can't make the lecture, never fear. The staff at the CCSCSL ...

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Your opinion matters: Free month membership and great prizes!

[imagefield_assist|fid=1740|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Thank you for taking the time to help us improve your club and your experience by filling out a brief survey! There are just three quick sections, and we really value your input. Sign up for an account on this site, complete the survey, and receive an extra month tacked on to your existing membership! Survey participants will also be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Bobby Fischer: My 60 Most Memorable Games, a vinyl board autographed by the 24 participants of the 2009 U.S. Championship, a vinyl board autographed by the participants of the 2009 U.S. Women's Championship or an autographed poster from the Women's Championship. The deadline for submission is January 15.

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Ben's Blog: U.S. wins silver in Bursa

[imagefield_assist|fid=1776|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The U.S. Team won the silver medals today at the World Team Championships in Bursa, Turkey, by drawing their match with Azerbaijan in the last round, as all four boards were drawn.

This is an amazing result for the U.S. team, especially with the absence of Gata Kamsky from the team.

Russia won the gold, and the surprising late entry India won the bronze after a devastating 3.5-0.5 victory over hapless Brazil. I will post the individual scores of our team below:

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Ben's Blog: Russia back in first as U.S. team slips

[imagefield_assist|fid=1775|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Russia, as expected, had an easy time against Egypt, so the USA needed to win against the tough Armenian team to maintain their slim lead.  It was not to be, as Armenia's #1, Levon Aronian, played an excellent game against Hikaru Nakamura and scored the only decisive game of the match. 

The U.S. team played well on all four boards, but a slip on move 41 by Hikaru allowed Levon the amazing 42.Rb6!! from which Hikaru could not recover.  

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U.S. stands alone atop leaderboard at WTC

[imagefield_assist|fid=1773|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]BURSA, TURKEY -- The United States stands in clear first after round seven of the World Team Championship.

On a crucial must-win day, the Americans demonstrated true grit in their path to victory over Greece. The Greek team, with surprise victories over Russia and Armenia, are dangerous rivals capable of upsetting any team. The victory was by the smallest margin at 2.5-1.5 and was not decided until the last moment. On board two, the game between Alexander Onischuk and Ioannis Papaioannou was the first to finish and resulted in a draw.


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Ben's Blog: U.S. wins again, seizes first place

[imagefield_assist|fid=1771|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The U.S. team seized first place today with another win against a tough Greek team. Russia drew Armenia, so the U.S. team is in clear first, with six match wins against one loss.

The hero today, once again, was Hikaru Nakamura, who took a worse position and managed to win due to his opponent's time pressure. Nakamura's opponent, Vasilios Kotronias, blundered terribly on move 40, and Naka easily converted his extra rook.

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Ben's Blog: USA shares lead with Russia

[imagefield_assist|fid=1770|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The U.S. team kept up its winning ways with a decisive 3-1 win over hapless Brazil. Once again, Hikaru Nakamura beat a strong GM, and, our board four, Varuzhan Akobian was able to win with black, in a style that reminded me of Alexander Onischuk's best wins.

Solid draws on boards two and three meant a nice victory for the U.S. team, and now we can look seriously at fighting for gold! Russia squeaked by India by the smallest of margins, 2.5-1.5, whilst Armenia got crushed by giant killers Greece 3-1!

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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 ...

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Ben's Blog: Good time had by all at Welcome Party

[imagefield_assist|fid=1768|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The Welcoming party at the CCSCSL was quite successful, with over 50 members in attendance. After we downed most of the food and drinks, it was time for the blitz tournament -- 44 players (!) entered the blitz tournament, which surprised the employees of the chess club. 

Luckily, our esteemed director, Ray Kurczynski, handled the directing job easily, and all rounds were started in a timely fashion.  I was fortunate to go 6-0, and a four way for second place, with 5-1, instigated a playoff, which was won by resident blitz phenom Joe Garnier.

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Ben's Blog: U.S. team back on track

[imagefield_assist|fid=1766|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Today, the U.S. team got back to its winning ways with a solid 3-1 victory over Egypt. Hikaru Nakamura and Yury Shulman took a rest today, so the reserves saw their first action, with Robert Hess and Ray Robson performing well. Hess won with white and Robson drew with black, and our first two boards, Alexander Onischuk and Varuzhan Akobian, followed suit. Onischuk is on fire with a blazing 3.5 points after four rounds.

The best game today was Hess' smooth victory over Mohamed Ezat on board three.

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