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.
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– GM Susan Polgar