SAINT LOUIS, May 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) crowned Grandmaster Gata Kamsky of New York the 2010 U.S. Chess Champion. Kamsky, who became a Grandmaster at 16, beat Yury Shulman of Chicago in a two-hour, tie-breaker playoff match, hosted at the CCSCSL on Tuesday.
Prior to the playoff game, GM Yury Shulman upset defending champion GM Hikaru Nakamura on board one in the most dramatic and meaningful round of the tournament. On board two, GM Gata Kamsky dug out of a hole, and after his draw offer was refused, he delivered GM Alex Onischuk his first loss in nearly five years of U.S. Championship appearances.
"The U.S. Chess Champion is an important title," said Kamsky. "This year's tournament presented some of the world-renowned chess players, and could easily be one of the top 10 chess tournaments in the world for its elite level of play."
Kamsky, 35, is ranked 36th in the world and second in the country. He beat out 24 of the top-ranked chess players in the United States to win the Championship title and grand prize of $30,000. Second-place winner Shulman, 35, is ranked 167th in the world and sixth in the country. He receives $25,000 for second place. The tournament's total winnings for first through last place add up to more than $170,000, the largest per- person prize fund in the tournament's history for a field of 24 players.
"The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a world-class facility that is not only bringing elite Grandmasters to the tournament, but building a growing community of chess enthusiasts," said Kamsky.
The 2010 U.S. Chess Championship featured a new format, which included a 24-player, seven-round Swiss tournament followed by a four-player Championship final. The format was developed to ensure an exciting finale for chess fans, as people in more than 150 countries watched the live streaming video commentary from GM Maurice Ashley and WGM Jennifer Shahade. The top four players, named May 21, faced off in a round robin competition, including:
- GM Gata Kamsky of New York
- GM and 2009 Champion Hikaru Nakamura of St. Louis
- GM Alexander Onischuk of Virgina
- GM Yury Shulman of Chicago
"With 24 of the strongest players and a new competition format, this year's championship wasn't decided until the final day of the tournament, which is not always the case," said Tony Rich, CCSCSL executive director. "This made for an exciting series of games, and we hope that our Championship events open the door for more people of all ages to enjoy the many benefits of playing Chess."
In addition to the tournament, this year's national Chess Championship was headlined by several special events, including the unveiling of a chess park in downtown St. Louis, a human chess exhibition game with professional athletes and chess personalities, and a community day at the St. Louis Science Center to help educate local schoolchildren about the benefits of learning the game.
About The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.
Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit www.saintlouischessclub.org.
For More Information, contact:
SOURCE The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis