Friday, May 28, 2010


So the 2010 edition of the U.S. Chess Championship came down to the following tie break game! Kamsky had 25 minutes on his clock against Yuri Shulman who had 6o minutes - both with a five seconds delay. Talk about an exciting finish to this year's event!

Odd time control, eh? It certainly is - but this was a tie break game to determine who alone would claim the title of United States Chess Champion as both players were tied on 6.5 each. This format of tie break is known as an "Armegodden" game - where the player of the White pieces gets more time and MUST win the game to win the match while the player of the Black pieces will get the "draw odds" which is to say that if they should draw it is treated as a win.

This year both players had to place a secret bid - the amount of time that they would be willing to accept as black - in order to get the Black pieces. The draw odds is a significant advantage! So both players wanted the Black pieces for this game... but Kamsky's bid was far lower than Shulman's and so he won the Black pieces.

Please make note - this is not a "normal" tournament chess game but a tie break. Normal chess would never feature such rules and the only reason why anyone would use such a tie break format is to balance the need for the event to finish up in a timely manner while still allowing both players to battle it out for first - winning it upon their own merits.

Here now is this exciting game!

In the final position Gata Kamsky achieved a well known draw - that neither player felt the need to play out as it was too obvious for both of them. Gata managed to do this with only seconds remaining upon his chess clock! Next time - don't bid so low Gata!

This is the second time that Gata Kamsky has become US Champion - the last time was 19 years ago when he was still a teenager! Congratulations Gata Kamsky!

- Chess Coach Sean Tobin.

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