ST. LOUIS, Sept. 2, 2009 – The 10-player field for the 2009 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship was set on Wednesday, and it’s one of the strongest in championship history.

The tournament, which takes place Oct. 3-13 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis , has 10 of the top 12 ranked women players in the country, including the top 6. The group includes four previous winners. This is the second major chess championship held at the Chess Club in 2009, with a third scheduled for next year.

“We think we have assembled the finest collection of players ever for the U.S. Women’s Chess Championship,” said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club.

Topping the list at the U.S. Women’s Chess Championship are defending champion and No. 1 ranked Anna Zatonskih, of Long Island, N.Y., and her chief rival, No. 2 ranked Irina Krush, of Brooklyn, N.Y. Both are two-time champions.

The players will compete for the largest purse in championship history, $64,000, with $15,000 going to the winner.

Also in the tournament are Rusadan Goletiani, of Hartsdale, N.Y., the No. 3 ranked player in the United States, who won in 2005, and Camilla Baginskaite, of Sioux Falls, S.D., a co-champion in 2000, who is ranked fifth nationally.

Rounding out the field are Sabina-Francesca Foisor, of Baltimore, Md., the No. 4 player; Tatev Abrahamyan, of Glendale, Calif., No. 6; Alisa Melekhina, of Philadelphia, Pa., No. 8; Iryna Zenyuk, of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 9; Battsetseg Tsaagan, of Ellicott City, Md., No. 11; and Yun Fan, of Greencastle, Ind., No. 12.


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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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