Chess runner-up will pay check for his mates

Barrington man finishes 2nd in U.S. tournament

By Brian Cox, Special to the Tribune
8:25 p.m. CDT, May 25, 2010

Yury Shulman has gone from checkmate to “check, please.”

The Barrington chess grandmaster failed to capture the U.S. title after his opponent Gata Kamsky battled to a draw in a special tiebreaker game. Under the rules at the U.S. Chess Championship in St. Louis, that was enough to give Kamsky the title.

“I feel happy about my overall performance but a little disappointment that I did not finish first,” Shulman said.

Still, Shulman takes home not only $25,000 for finishing second, but also the satisfaction of having upset defending champion Hikaru Nakamura in what observers said was a dramatic semifinal round of the tournament.

The Belarus-born Shulman, 35, started playing chess at age 6 and won the U.S. title in 2008.

“I’ll see how well I recover,” he said. “There will be other strong chess players there.”

But he is planning to enjoy this week’s earnings by taking friends and family to dinner.

“I’ll celebrate,” he said, “but I hope I’m not going to spend $25,000 on that dinner.”


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