Saturday, March 11, 2006

Chess Club and US Champs all rolled into one

So the reason why I'm posting so late is because I had a bit to drink, went to chess club, had some more to drink, hung out with some friends for a while and just got home. I think when people think of "going to Caltech to play chess" they think of far more scholarly events than this pretends to be. Anyways, US Chess Championship updates.

The top boards in both sections drew. Nakamura won a strange game against Gurevich. Ibragimov beat Friedel very technically and Christiansen beat Perelshteyn. What does this mean as a whole? This means that going into the final rounds it is very likely that Onischuk and Shulman will be their respective group winners, I have no idea who is a better rapid chess player and am quite disappointed that I should care.

I'm too tired to round up the results completely, just look at them at the site, I've linked there, sorry, big one time slip.

So yesterday I had my very typical 3/6 although I should've been able to do much better. Oh well, solid mediocrity is worth something I think. Anyways, here's my predictions for tomorrow, my guess is that about 1/2 of them will be correct.

Group A:

GM Onischuk - GM Nakamura 1-0
I know this may sound like an absurd prediction being that Onischuk only needs a draw, but I could see Nakamura pushing WAAAAAAY to hard in a game like this. I know Nakamura is a great fighter, but sometimes discretion is the greater part of valor.

GM Akobian - GM Ibragimov 1/2
This is actually quite an important game, Ibragimov could potentially beat Onischuk on tiebreaks if he loses, but I think that this will be a very tough game for either side to win. Both players are doing well and I believe this will just peter out.

GM Stripunsky - GM Goldin 1-0
Stripunsky is pretty clutch if you can remember his last round victory in last year's US Championship. I may have doubted him at the beginning, but I really think this guy is incredibly tough to face in a practical game. He may play offbeat stuff, but it's all sound, just the not the most critical lines.

Group B:

GM Fishbein - GM Shulman 1/2-1/2
Since Shulman has played everyone remotely close in score to him he is now playing a point and a half down against a player who doesn't need to win as badly as he needs to not lose. I don't see any reason Shulman won't be able to draw this, he's clearly in great form.

GM Kamsky - GM Shabalov 1/2-1/2
I think this will be a very tense battle, but I think as both of these players sense that Board 1 is not going to be decisive they'll just take the GMs favorite results and enjoy a few drinks at the bar.

GM Yermolinsky - GM Christiansen 1/2-1/2
Okay, maybe it's absurd to predict 4 draws in the 6 most important games of the tournament, but I did so live with it. I think these two experienced players will both be playing fine chess, there might even be a good fight, but chess is probably a draw so this game might be too. Yea, I know these are lazy explanations, but I'm REALLY tired.

Good luck to all norm possible players in the last round, I don't know who is in contention, but that might show up tomorrow on the website hopefully. Goodnight.

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