Archive for the ‘U.S. Chess Championship’ Category

New Chess King

May 24, 2007

 Alexander Shabalov (courtesy of

Riga-born Alexander Shabalov, the anchor of my fantasy chess team and a wild tactician at the chessboard, won the 2007 U.S. Championship yesterday with a score of seven wins and nine draws.  Overall, though, my fantasy team had a rather mediocre performance, tying for 117th through 159th, out of 387 places. 

I will take this as a warning that I should stick to my day job as a writer and stay away from handicaping chess players on sports betting sites. 


Krushing Victory

May 21, 2007

Pascal Charbonneau and Irina Krush 

In the sixth round of the 2007 U.S. Chess Championship, Irina Krush of Brooklyn defeated Bay Area resident and rising star Joshua Friedel.  Krush, one of the players on my fantasy chess team, is profiled in my forthcoming book, King’s Gambit: a Son, a Father, and the World’s Most Dangerous Game.   

An excerpt from King’s Gambit:

Irina’s life revolves around the game.  “I am very chessy,” she told me.  Irina is uncomfortable giving interviews—she’d rather be playing chess than talking about the game.   But one morning at 3:00 A.M., when I was driving home from a tournament with her and Pascal, she was unusually philosophical.  Of all the top players I know, she is the most idealistic about the power of chess to give meaning to life.  “Chess is a gift that civilization handed us,” she told me.   “I believe chess can bring me closer to the spiritual part of this world in a way that simple material stuff can’t.” 

Fantasy Update

May 20, 2007

We are just past the halfway mark of the fantasy chess season.  Despite the fact that my No. 2 player, Alexander Shabalov, is leading the 2007 U.S. Championship 5-0, my fantasy team is tied only for 43rd to 74th out of 387 places.  My team has 18.5 points, and the leader has 20 points.  There are four rounds left.

Hikaru Nakamura  3.5
Alexander Shabalov  5
Eugene Perelshteyn  2.5
Irina Krush  2.5
David Pruess  1.5
Jay Bonin  1.5
Irina Zenyuk  2

Go Girl, Go!

May 19, 2007

 “Women could be just as good at chess,” said anthropologist Margaret Mead, “but why would they want to be?”

How about to get the same endorphin rush and incomparable feeling of competence that men get when they shine on the chessboard?  That’s what twenty-year-old Irina Zenyuk, a key member of my fantasy chess team, did yesterday: she shined like a supernova.   

Zenyuk, who was seeded in the cellar of the 2007 U.S. Chess Championship (No. 35 out of 36 players), scored a huge upset by defeating international master and rising star Josh Friedel, the No. 19 seed. 


Fantasy Chess

May 15, 2007

The deadline for selecting your seven-person fantasy chess team is 3 PM today.  (I’ll post my team after the deadline because, if you drafted the very same players and we end up winning, we’d have to split the 80 GB iPod that is the first prize, and I don’t want to give up 40 gigs).  The contest is based on the total points scored by the members of your team in the 2007 U.S. Chess Championship that begins today in Oklahoma and runs through May 23.  The first U.S. championship was held in 1845.