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Field evens with Russian win and Azerbaijan loss

[imagefield_assist|fid=1763|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]BURSA, TURKEY -- After a strong start in the first two rounds, round three proved far more difficult for the American team.

This round saw the end of perfect scores, as The U.S. team was beaten soundly by Russia, and, in a mild upset, Azerbaijan lost to India. In another upset, Egypt topped Greece, a team that must have had high hopes after their Herculean defeat of Russia in round two. The loss by Azerbaijan helped keep the field even. By match points, the U.S. team stays tied for the top, with a score of 2-1.

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Ben's Blog: Russia Rebounds

[imagefield_assist|fid=1762|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]This round saw a setback for the U.S. team as Russia seemed out for blood after their painful loss to lowly Greece. The U.S. team had bad positions out of the opening on boards three and four, and could not recover. Hikaru Nakamura tried to get a murky position against Alexander Grischuk, but the Russian player kept things under control, and the game was relatively equal throughout.

Alexander Onischuk seemed to have a worse position against Alexander Morozevich, but ended up holding the draw in the end.

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U.S. wins, Russia loses in World Team Championship

[imagefield_assist|fid=1759|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]BURSA, TURKEY -- A strong showing by the American team coupled with a Russian loss has got the U.S. team off to a running start in the long race for medals at the World Team Championship. 

The United States team, sponsored by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, had another stellar performance in round two as they beat a powerful Indian team. Convincing wins from Hikaru Nakamura (2708) and Alexander Onischuk (2670) propelled the U.S. to an easy win against a powerhouse opponent.
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Ben's Blog: Round two analysis with GM Ben Finegold

[imagefield_assist|fid=1758|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Round two of the WTC was quite nice for the U.S. Team, as we managed to win on boards one and two, and draw easily on boards three and four, a surprisingly easy win over a tough Indian team.  Although Hikaru Nakamura's game was up and down, with both sides having the advantage throughout, our board two, Alexander Onischuk won quite easily with black against the usually very tough Pentala Harikrishna. Onischuk was better out of the opening and built up pressure relentlessly on the queenside, until his two extra passed pawns were simply too much for white to handle.  A dream start for the U.S. Team, two wins of 3-1.  Can we make it three in a row tomorrow?

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2010 U.S. Championship dates shift to May 13-25

[imagefield_assist|fid=1723|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]SAINT LOUIS -- The dates for the 2010 U.S. Championship have shifted. The tournament is now scheduled from May 13-25 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The U.S. Championship will have a larger prize fund than the 2009 tournament with more than $170,000 up for grabs.

The U.S. Championship was rescheduled to prevent overlapping with the World Championship match between Veselin Topalov and Viswanathan Anand in Bulgaria in order to ensure the highest quality of coverage.  

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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Irina Krush Prophylaxis Lecture: Segment 2

[imagefield_assist|fid=1757|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]In the first part of this video series, Irina Krush introduced the idea of prophylaxis, which simply means that you move in a way that hinders your opponents plans. Continuing the theme of prophylaxis, Krush presents another challenging puzzle. Taking audience suggestions, she explores several options before revealing the solution. This approach offers a deeper understanding of the puzzle and the thought process used in solving it.

Bringing prophylaxis out of openings and into more strategic situations, Krush gives us one more piece of her “Secret Principle."


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Strong start for U.S. at World Team Championship

[imagefield_assist|fid=1755|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]BURSA, TURKEY -- The U.S. made an impression in the first round of the World Team Championship with a convincing victory over Turkey.

When discussing round one with GM Ben Finegold just hours before it was to start, he predicted a 3-1 victory for the U.S. team; Finegold's clairvoyance proved to be accurate as GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Alexander Onischuk and Varuzhan Akobian each scored fine victories. In the Akobian game, Baris Esen walked into excellent team preparation from the U.S. and never really recovered.

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Ben's Blog: GM analysis from the World Team Championship

[imagefield_assist|fid=1714|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The U.S team in Turkey is being sponsored by our chess club and I'll be doing game analysis of my favorite game from the American team each day. Today Hikaru Nakamura won in scintillating fashion with black on board one.

Chess Club Executive Director Tony Rich is on the scene providing us updates and pictures from the event. We have great expectations for our youthful squad as the U.S. sends the youngest team in history to the World Team Championship.

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Ben's Blog: Musings of a Grandmaster

[imagefield_assist|fid=1753|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Welcome to my blog!  I moved to Saint Louis last week, and started working at the chess club immediately.  It took me quite a while to find a city that had a worse record than the Detroit Lions, but I was able to manage!  I had lived in Ann Arbor, MI since 2002, and look forward to all Saint Louis has to offer. 

My work at the chess club will consist of private lessons (call or email the Chess Club for details/pricing), a weekly lecture Thursday's from 7:00PM - 8:30PM, and hanging out at the club and playing blitz and casual chess with members.  I have already played over 100 blitz and casual games at the club in 2010 ... 

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Christmas Open presents fighting chess

[imagefield_assist|fid=1751|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The Christmas Open, held on December 26, was one of the most competitive events held at the club all year. 

Going into the final round, 32 of the 44 participants still had dreams of prize money. First place in each class paid a hefty $150 and, even after 10 of the 20 games concluded in round four, no one was assured a prize. William Tong (1911) changed all that when he checkmated Margaret Hua (1756) in a wide open queen and rook vs. queen and rook endgame. 

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