The 2008 Frank K. Berry U.S. and U.S. Women’s Championships were held May 13-21 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They were once again sponsored by Mr. Frank K. Berry of Stillwater, Oklahoma. A number of top players such as Kamsky, Nakamura, Ehlvest, Christiansen, Benjamin, Ibragimov, Goletiani, Baginskaite, and Melekhina, etc. did not take part in this year’s event. Nevertheless, there were many exciting moments and controversies.
On the men’s side, once GM Yury Shulman took a commanding lead around the mid-point, he never relinquished it. He defeated grandmasters Gulko, Kaidanov, Kudrin, and Becerra as well as IM Pruess. He finished clear first with 7 points. Former U.S. #1 and Champion GM Alex Onischuk took second with 6½ points and GM Sergey Kudrin finished in third place with 6 points. IM Josh Friedel earned his third and final GM Norm by tying for fourth with GMs Akobian and Perelshteyn, winner of the 2007 SPICE Cup.
On the women’s side, it was a two-way race from the start with both Anna Zatonskih and Irina Krush going 5-0. In round six, Anna took a half-point lead when Irina drew Iryna Zenyuk. However, Irina took over the lead in round seven and held on to it until the final round when Anna unexpectedly lost to a very dangerous Chimi Tuvshintugs.
The biggest drama ocurred on the last evening when three players technically could win the championship. Irina had 7 points, Anna had 6½, and Tatev Abrahamyan had 6 points. Irina had white against WGM Katerine Rohonyan. Anna had black against WIM Tsagaan Battsetseg, and Tatev had black against WIM Chimi Tuvshintugs.
Here is my full article on ChessCafe.com this month.
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– GM Susan Polgar