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CCSCSL Expert Factory Recap

[imagefield_assist|fid=8798|preset=frontpage_200x200|title=|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=200|height=200]By Tony Rich

When I first heard of the Expert Factory, it sounded like a great opportunity to play against opponents who were around my strength and have a grandmaster analyze my games. When I woke up Sunday morning, it felt more like an opportunity to lose three games against my peers and be chastised for my bad play. Luckily neither were true, and the experience made this one of my favorite tournaments ever.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Expert Factory, it is a tournament in which up to 10 Class A players (people rated between 1800 and 2000) can square off in a USCF-rated, three-round Swiss tournament. Between the rounds, all games are analyzed by GM Ben Finegold.

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Giving Thanks That It's Over

[imagefield_assist|fid=8579|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The Thanksgiving Open was quite a strong event, with 9 GMs (including powerhouses Nigel Short, Alex Onischuk, and Yury Shulman) and a few IMs to boot.  Unfortunately, we only had about 140 participants, but what we lacked in attendance, we made up for in strength.

I had a bad tournament (what else is new) losing to Ron Luther in round 1, then getting crushed by Bob Holliman in round 2! Oh wait, that was a nightmare I had once, 'never-mind' (say that with the Rosanne Rosana Dana voice). In reality, I scored 4-2 winning 4 and losing 2 (unusual for me in an open tournament, to have 2 losses and no draws!).

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Better late than never

[imagefield_assist|fid=8576|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]I guess I should wrap up my Spice Cup report, or Dave Chappelle might send me a "Wrap It Up" button for the holidays.

I lost in the last round to IM Irina Krush. It was an up and down affair (don't tell Lynne!), and I made many mistakes in critical positions. I started out well, playing 1.b3! This is a good choice against Irina, who has quite extensive "book" knowledge in a lot of lines, but is not as experienced (aka old) as I in different positions. I have played 1.b3 often in blitz, and, I am starting to play 1.e4 a lot, so I figured she would have good prep for that.

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Kasparov visits Saint Louis, Short puts on lecture and simul

[imagefield_assist|fid=8568|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis was abuzz on Monday, November 29, as a group of 150-plus eagerly awaited the arrival of the legendary GM Garry Kasparov. The crowd, which had already been treated to a weekend with GM Nigel Short at the Thanksgiving Open, mingled around the casual play area on the main floor of the chess club. Some played chess and some casually chatted, but all were devoting at least some of their attention to the front door of the club.

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Dates set for 2011 U.S. Chess Championships

[imagefield_assist|fid=8111|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]SAINT LOUIS, November 30, 2010 – The 2011 U.S. Championship and 2011 U.S. Women’s Championship have been set to take place April 13-28 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL).

These two prestigious events will be held concurrently, and each will feature the largest per capita prize fund in history. More than $230,000 will be at stake in both events.

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Thanksgiving Open: Final Results

[imagefield_assist|fid=8560|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The Thanksgiving Open is complete in Saint Louis. After six rounds, a four-way tie emerged at the top of the leaderboard to send four grandmasters home with $900 each. After tiebreaks, GM Alexander Onischuk emerged as the overall tourney winner.

Onischuk emerged from the two-day schedule unscathed to take on GM Dmitry Gurevich in round four. Onischuk's rook sacrifice gave him two advanced, connected center pawns, which gave him enough pressure to convert the victory.

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Thanksgiving Open: Pairings for Round 3

[imagefield_assist|fid=8526|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Round two of the Thanksgiving Open is complete at the Khorassan Ballroom in the Chase Park Plaza, located just one block from the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. Round one witnessed no major upsets as all titled players advanced with 1/1.

The big surprise of round two was CCSCSL standout Kevin Cao's draw against GM Gregory Kaidanov. 

The three-day option started today and brought out more than 100 participants. The two-day option begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. and should add an additional 20+ participants to the field. The fileds will merge during round four, which begins tomorrow at 6 p.m.

Stay tuned for a more complete recap of the first two rounds tomorrow.


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Kasparov and Short in Saint Louis after Thanksgiving Open

[imagefield_assist|fid=8555|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]SAINT LOUIS, November 23, 2010 – Grandmaster Garry Kasparov, widely recognized as the world’s greatest chess player, has announced he will be making an appearance at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis on Monday, November 29, just one day after the conclusion of the Thanksgiving Open tourney featuring renowned GM Nigel Short and an $11,000 prize fund. 

Kasparov, who is coming to Saint Louis to deliver a political lecture, will make an appearance at the CCSCSL from 4-5 p.m. The club has arranged a special setting in which club members and the general public can meet and greet the living legend.

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Meet and Greet a Legend

[imagefield_assist|fid=8521|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Legendary GM Nigel Short will put on a special lecture following the Thanksgiving Open tournament on Monday, November 29, at 6 p.m. The event will be free for club members but will cost $10 for non-members.

The lecture will be followed by a simul exhibition, in which Short will take on all comers. The simul will also be free for members of the CCSCSL, but will cost non-members $10.

Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take on one of the greatest chess players of all time. There will be players from all over the world attending the event.

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U.S. Championships return to Saint Louis in 2011

[imagefield_assist|fid=8390|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]SAINT LOUIS, October 13, 2010 – The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) has been selected to host the U.S. Championship and the U.S. Women’s Championship for the third year in a row. These two prestigious events will be held concurrently in Spring 2011 and will feature the largest per capita prize funds in history.

A prize fund of at least $170,000 is guaranteed for the 2011 U.S. Championship, and $60,000 for the 2011 U.S. Women’s Championship.

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