20 May 2012, Kuala Lumpur – GM Hikaru Nakamura (pix above) takes first place after scoring 8.5 points from 11 rounds of play in the US Chess Championships 2012 in Saint Louis, Missouri.
GM Hikaru Nakamura took 30 moves to beat GM Yasser Seirawan today to become the 2012 U.S. Champion. It is his third title and his first since 2009. Here is the 11th round game between GM Nakamura and GM Seirawan which was won by white.
In the 2012 U.S. Women's Championship, nothing was gained today by the two leaders. Krush and Zatonskih both won, necessitating a playoff tomorrow (Sunday, 20 May 2012) for the title. They will play two 25-minute rapid games, one with each color. If the score is tied 1-1, a final Armageddon with clock bidding will ensue.
Going into Sunday's playoff, Zatonskih was melancholy of her games. “I'm critical of my own play,” she said. “Maybe it's age. You cannot play that good every time.”
Both women are undefeated this year, with five wins and four draws, including an uneventful draw against each other in round seven. Since then, both have won two in a row to earn a spot in the playoff. In the past, both women had achieved scores of 8.5/9 at the event. Krush did it in winning the 1998 championship, while Zatonskih did it in 2009.
(Story and Photo by FM Mike Klein, official website)