Yale-Bound Robert Hess Loses in U.S. Chess Championship Semifinals Playoff

By Eben Novy-Williams Apr 25, 2011 9:01 PM PT

Robert Hess, a chess grandmaster who interned at a hedge fund in 2008 and will attend Yale University in August, lost in a semifinal playoff at the 2011 U.S. Championship in St. Louis.

Hess, 19, drew the first semifinal playoff game yesterday and lost the second to 2008 champion Yuri Shulman, who will play Gata Kamsky in the final. The best-of-two-games playoff was forced when Hess and Shulman drew a pair of games on April 23 and April 24.

Hess’s loss came in a time-shortened, or rapid, game, and was his first defeat in 11 games during the tournament. A Manhattan native, Hess will play fellow 19-year-old grandmaster Samuel Shankland in the third-place match.

“They say losing in the last round is heartbreaking, but not even losing in a classical game, but losing in a rapid game, it doesn’t feel so good,” Hess said in an interview on the tournament’s website.

Hess, who deferred a year from Yale after winning the $42,000 Samford Chess Scholarship, had a 2008 summer internship at Fortress Investment Group LLC, a New York hedge fund. While at Fortress, Hess developed an interest in finance, which he intends to pursue in college.

More here.

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