Ray Robson and Maurice Ashley

Top-ranked players — Nakamura and Krush — prevail at U.S. chess championships

The Webster University challengers provided excitement in this year’s U.S. chess championships, but in the end the top ranking players — GM Hikaru Nakamura and GM Irina Krush walked away with the titles.

Webster’s GM Ray Robson came in second in the men’s tournament. According to an account from GM Ronen Har-Zvi,  Robson’s victory over Timur Gareev Sunday almost forced a playoff, as Nakamura looked as though he was heading for a draw. But the highest ranking American in the world pulled out a win and the championship.

Katerina Nemcova with Maurice Ashley

Krush was challenged by WGM Katerina Nemcova a Webster University graduate student, who was leading at the half-way point. Nemcova, however, took third (on tiebreaks) and Nazi Paikidze came in second.

A twist in the men’s tournament happened Friday when former Webster University standout Wesley So, who now lives in Minnetonka, Minn., was forced to forfeit a game. He wrote a note to himself on his scorecard, which violates chess rules.

More here.

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