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US Championship 2006 Tournament

Alexander Onischuk7/9(+5 -0 =4)[games]
Ildar Ibragimov6.5/9(+5 -1 =3)[games]
Yury Shulman6.5/9(+5 -1 =3)[games]
Larry Christiansen6.5/9(+4 -0 =5)[games]
Alexander Stripunsky6.5/9(+5 -1 =3)[games]
Gata Kamsky6.5/9(+4 -0 =5)[games]
Alexander Fishbein6/9(+5 -2 =2)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura6/9(+5 -2 =2)[games]
Sergey Kudrin5.5/9(+4 -2 =3)[games]
Daniel Fernandez5.5/9(+4 -2 =3)[games]
Varuzhan Akobian5.5/9(+4 -2 =3)[games]
Igor Novikov5.5/9(+3 -1 =5)[games]
Dmitry Gurevich5.5/9(+4 -2 =3)[games]
Benjamin Finegold5.5/9(+4 -2 =3)[games]
Grigory Serper5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Alan Stein5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Aleksander Wojtkiewicz5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Rusudan Goletiani5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Walter Browne5/9(+4 -3 =2)[games]
Alexander Goldin5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Eugene Perelshteyn5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Alex Yermolinsky5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Anna Zatonskih5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Gregory Kaidanov5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Boris Kreiman5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Alexander Ivanov5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Joshua E Friedel5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Jesse Kraai5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Alexander Shabalov5/9(+4 -3 =2)[games]
Igor Schneider4.5/9(+3 -3 =3)[games]
John Fedorowicz4.5/9(+1 -1 =7)[games]
Stephen Muhammad4.5/9(+2 -2 =5)[games]
(64 players total; 32 players not shown. Click here for longer list.) Chess Event Description
US Championship 2006

Previous edition: Chessmaster US Championship 2005 (2004). Next: US Championship (2007).

 page 1 of 12; games 1-25 of 288  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Yermolinsky vs E Liu ½-½632006US Championship 2006E91 King's Indian
2. Browne vs Kamsky 0-1522006US Championship 2006B42 Sicilian, Kan
3. Nakamura vs J Friedel 0-1482006US Championship 2006A09 Reti Opening
4. Benjamin vs R Goletiani 1-0302006US Championship 2006B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
5. B Finegold vs S Bercys ½-½1532006US Championship 2006E97 King's Indian
6. Lenderman vs Goldin  ½-½382006US Championship 2006B42 Sicilian, Kan
7. I Schneider vs Kudrin ½-½312006US Championship 2006B75 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
8. A Stein vs I Ibragimov 0-1552006US Championship 2006C18 French, Winawer
9. de Firmian vs J Kleiman 1-0282006US Championship 2006A07 King's Indian Attack
10. Onischuk vs A Florean 1-0402006US Championship 2006E92 King's Indian
11. L Ross vs Serper  0-1302006US Championship 2006B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
12. E Tate vs V Akobian 1-0412006US Championship 2006A06 Reti Opening
13. Stripunsky vs D Fernandez 1-0302006US Championship 2006C77 Ruy Lopez
14. D Gurevich vs E Epstein 1-0252006US Championship 2006E48 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5
15. C Baginskaite vs Dlugy 0-1552006US Championship 2006D31 Queen's Gambit Declined
16. J Kraai vs I Zenyuk 1-0442006US Championship 2006E92 King's Indian
17. E Vicary vs R Gonzalez  0-1422006US Championship 2006B01 Scandinavian
18. K Cottrell vs D Schneider 0-1372006US Championship 2006A57 Benko Gambit
19. I Novikov vs B Lugo 1-0302006US Championship 2006D44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
20. J Sarkar vs Shulman 0-1382006US Championship 2006E92 King's Indian
21. E Perelshteyn vs T Abrahamyan 1-0742006US Championship 2006C16 French, Winawer
22. Kaidanov vs S Kriventsov ½-½342006US Championship 2006D24 Queen's Gambit Accepted
23. T Batchimeg vs A Fishbein 1-0702006US Championship 2006B64 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack
24. A Zatonskih vs Gulko  ½-½382006US Championship 2006B22 Sicilian, Alapin
25. C Airapetian vs Fedorowicz  ½-½302006US Championship 2006B56 Sicilian
 page 1 of 12; games 1-25 of 288  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 20 OF 20 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-13-06  Jim Bartle: Hubner got no respect from Informant voters either. Among the games chosen as the Ten Best in each of the first 64 issues, Hubner has 9 losses and 0 wins. Not even a draw. (6 of the 9 losses were to Karpov, Kasparov, Kavalek, and Korchnoi--maybe he should just avoid Ks.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Jim Bartle> I've seen Huebner's annotations of his own wins in the Informant -- endless. About as much fun as reading the phone book. Probably put the judges off. :-)
Mar-13-06  Jim Bartle: There actually might be some truth to that. (I can hardly decipher the Informant no matter who does the annotation...)
Mar-13-06  AlexanderMorphy: US championship my a##...half od the players are either russian or from some other origin!
Mar-14-06  Jim Bartle: Accounting problems at the US Championships. From Mig's Daily Dirt:

"As the saying goes, to err is human but to really screw things up you need a computer. Due to an error in an Excel spreadsheet formula used to calculate the prize fund distribution, the itemized prizes add up to around $20,000 more than the prize fund of $253,600. (They didn't count the top two women's prizes.) This wasn't discovered until they were writing out the checks after the the tournament ended. (I could hear the groans and forehead smacking coming from the next table.) This meant there was no way to tell the players until the closing reception when the checks were being handed out."

Mar-14-06  MaxxLange: That sucks. It's BS to blame it on Excel, too: how hard would it have been to make another formula summing up the prizes and checking that the dollars balanced?
Mar-14-06  shr0pshire: I argued on the Daily Dirt Blog that I like democratic chess tournaments -- touranemnts where anyone has a chance to qualify -- which is what the US Championship is right now.

I also drew a comparison with golf. Let's take golf for example. The U.S. Open is one of the most coveted events in golf, but anyone has a chance to qualify for it by winning a regional and a sectional qualifier. That is what makes the U.S. Open so great, is that any scratch player has a chance to qualify and win the championship, and at least in the golf community isn't lessened or cheapened by the fact that anyone (even me if I got around to playing more) has a chance of qualifying.

I think the same should hold true for chess. I think anyone should be able to qualify to play in the U.S. Championship, that way it is a true portrayal of the best in the country at the time.

But many continue to criticize Kelly Cottrell based on her low rating and lackluster performance.

GM Larry Christiansen weighed in on the issue at the Daily Dirt a little bit ago, and I think his comments on improving the Championship are interesting.

Christiansen: "People forget how degraded the US Championship tournament had become before Erik Anderson and his team became the main organizers. The tournament had been held many times in obscure budget motels, deserted industrial parks and haunted hotels (I still had a good time at most of these events too).Ha The round-robin events produced very dull chess and the KO system also had its problems. The idea of "democratizing" the tournament is a good one, in my opinion--although some revisions should be made. Creating opportnunities for players in all regions to participate makes for a more interesting tournament,and I think should be good for keeping people interested in the game. The proposal of "superqualifiers" on the internet seems like a good way to increase interest in the event and expand regional participation.

Here are some ideas to improve the event:
They should dump the uscf pairing system in favor of the European (much fairer to all players in the long run) and announce the pairings 1 hour before the round. Perhaps the tournament could be extended to 11 rounds, with the first 4 rounds held at G/60 and include 2 free days.

Anyway, lets try to build on this great event and make it better next year. Had to get all this off my chest."

Read the whole debate at:

Mar-14-06  Jim Bartle: Many thanks for posting that.

Interesting that Christiansen isn't complaining, even though the rules worked against him reaching the finals.

Mar-14-06  Veselin Anderson: Just wondering about this Onischuk guy...first of all, he scored half a point above Kamsky - but he is rated less than Kamsky.

Kasmky 25 in world
Onischuk 56 in world

Mar-15-06  chesstoplay: The World Cup part of the World Championship Cycle that ended in December had a knock out system of play that isn't known as Alex Onischuk's strength. Gata Kamsky survived, by far, longer than Alex, hence the current ratings difference. In a straight -- say 7 game -- match of the two, my money would be on Alex Onischuk... though, Gata Kamsky is a fighting player and still making a remarkable comeback. It would be like Shulman playing Onischuk, any result would be a good result for chess.
Mar-15-06  pazzed paun: One of the things i noticed from attending the championship was that when a 2300 player did a postmortem with a player rated same or lower-one or both players was often unfamilar with the opening around move 6 to 12.

you could not always say this inexperience with the opening was the reason for the loss or failure to win in that game.

If players at this level flail about what value is it for the avearge tournament player to devote most of their time to opening study?

Mar-15-06  martinshortsays: <pazzed paun> Your post reminded me of a quote most commonly attributed to Capablanca.

"In order to improve your game, you must study the endgame before everything else, for whereas the the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middle game and the opening must be studied in relation to the endgame."

Mar-19-06  pazzed paun: does anybody know if a crosstable with TPR's has been posted somewhere?
Mar-22-06  offramp: Can someone help me with a question about the US AMATEUR TEAM CHAMP - EAST in 2003? If you go there and look at Player No 3... DAVAUGHN HAILEY. He was rated 418 (sic - not 2418, *418*) before the event but scored 6/6 to end it with a rating of 2341. Does anyone know any more about Mr Hailey?
Mar-22-06  Zoat: <offramp> I played Davaughn Hailey in he US amateur east 2003.He was extremely good for a 418 player!!! My rating was almost 2300, but he destroyed me.He was quite young, ( about 12 or 13 I think) so he might have just improved a lot from his tournament before... Kids often do things like that. Eitherthat or he was a cheating sandbagger, taking his rating low so as to get a low-rated team prize. He seemed a lot like a genius ( or a cheat) to me. His play was flawless, and very strong. It was amazing. Many people suspected him of cheating. The night when I lost to him ( and the rest of my team lost to his) we went to bed wishing we had never played that team, and me wondering how many [rating] points I would lose. The strange thing , however, is that I actually went up, despite losing to a 400 player!!!!! Upsets like this happen in the US amateurteam east (IMs losing to sandbagging, cheating, or underrated 1200s) and so on.I have often seen 1200 players or 1100 players draw or beat people much higher rated than themselves. For instance, I believe that this year Hikaru Nakamura was defeated by a 2200 player and held to a draw by a 2200 player, and that othe GMs like Kudrin and Fedorowicz were beaten or held to draws by 1900-200 players! However, in all my life, I have never seen anybody with so low a rating as Master Hailey score so wellwith such strong opposition... It makes you wonder, whether he is a genius, the next Kasparov, or a cheat...
Mar-22-06  RiceMiester: Well, well well well, I have lost to an 1100 player
Mar-22-06  Chersnick: Bradlum, are we showing off about losnig to weak players? because If we are, I win the contest... I have lost to a 314 player!!! So dont show offf about your loss too much Bread... No offence meant at the rong(also spelt wrong) spellings
Mar-22-06  doremi: well, well, well, if your chess rating equals your IQ rating then you should buy a lottery ticket with that lucky number
Mar-22-06  MaxxLange: A lot of people seem to think that a chess rating is kind of a graduated cylinder into which you pour someone's chess talent, then read the result. That's not what it is - it measures your performance relative to a pool of other rated players.

In the case of scholastic players, ratings are notoriously unreliable as a predictor of chess strength. This is for two reasons (at least): the kids tend to play in apool of other low-rated players, and they often improve their skills much faster than their results catch up. Their rating is going up...with your points! Of course, if they stick around and play a couple of hundred games in adult tournaments, their rating gets better as an indicator of their ability.

A few years ago, USCF introduced Class F, G, H ratings...down to 400 or so, I see. It's absurd to compare these ratings with "normal" ratings over, say, 1200. A 400 player is not 3 times worse than a 1200 player, he is just the victim of a bad idea introduced into the rating system.

There are a lot of pretty good players who do not play a lot of rated games, but may play correspondence or internet chess, and come out to the USATE. The amateurs probably have the fewest "sandbaggers" of any big tournament, since there are no cash prizes.

Anyone who thinks they were "supposed to win" an individual game because of a difference in rating points is a fool and does not understand anything about either chess tournaments or statistics.

Mar-22-06  pazzed paun: I read an editorial somewhere about scholaSTIC PLAYERS AND THERE ARTIFICIAL LOW RATINGS BEING BAD FOR chess. If they only play other non-rated or lowrated scholsatics they can be qiute good when they finally play adults. so it is an imperfect situation
Mar-22-06  MaxxLange: USCF has made rating changes based on problems that the large states had with rating inflation. I think the new super-low kids ratings were among these. The smaller states have the opposite problem: no one can stay over 2000 because all they play are 1400-1900 players.
Apr-02-06  letekro: <offramp> unless Zoat played Mr. Hailey in a parallel dimension his/her account is either fabricated or mis-remembered. The answer to your question is that "Davaughn Hailey" is really NM Dennis Rylander. Their USCF ID numbers are very similar and whoever entered Rylander's results into the crosstable transposed a couple of Rylander's numbers such that the number rated corresponded to Hailey. I know this mistake has been brought to the USCF's attention in the past, but supposedly only the TD can report a mistake and he hasn't done so after 3 years.
Jul-19-06  Knight13: Well well well... My turn to say something bad: When I was rated 1613 I lost to two 1200 rated players in one tournament and dropped a bunch of points. If you think I was happy, then maybe you're totally wrong.
Jul-27-06  letekro: <Knight13> Maybe you actually lost to Dennis Rylander. If so, make sure the TD lets the USCF know so they can give you your points back. ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: I know that in Canada over the past six or seven years players have lost about 200 ratings points on average. You see players who used to be 2300 who are now 2050 and so forth. Supposedly this is because we have so many little kids who are fast-improving and underrated and as they gain points everyone else is losing them.
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