First of all, I would like to thank Frank K. Berry for sponsoring the 2008 US and US Women’s Championships. Secondly, I would like to thank Tom Braunlich and Jim Berry for their help in organizing this event, and ZM of MonRoi for the splendid LIVE broadcast. Lastly, I would like to thank Goddesschess for the sponsoring the “Fighting Chess” award in the US Women’s Championship.

Some people raised the issue of the US Women’s Championship Playoff last night. IM Irina Krush and IM Anna Zatonskih both played very difficult last round games for the title. In the case of Irina, the game went beyond 100 moves!

At the end, they tied for 1st place and a playoff took place. The format is two 15 minute (plus small increment/delay) games then two 5 minute (plus small increment/delay) if there is a tie. If the tie continues then an Armageddon game would take place to decide the winner.

The whole thing ended more than 9 hours after the last round started and many horrendous blunders were committed. I believe it is partly due to the fatigue factor.

Two most common questions are:

1. Should rapid / blitz chess be used to decide the national title in regular time control chess?
2. Should the 5-game playoff be held right after the last round or should it be held the morning after?

What is your take? What would you do if you are organizer?

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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