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    Entries in 2012 US Championship (13)

    Sunday
    May202012

    Nakamura Wins the 2012 U.S. Championship; Women's Title Undetermined

    The 2012 U.S. Championship is over, and Hikaru Nakamura made sure that the title would be his without a playoff. He had White against Yasser Seirawan, and won convincingly in an offbeat French (1.e4 e6 2.f4). As a result it didn't matter how Gata Kamsky did - even if Kamsky beat Robert Hess with Black, Nakamura would still finish half a point ahead. As it turned out, Hess drew, and so the final margin was a full point. Both players gained rating points, too, and now Nakamura is #6 in the world with a live rating of 2782.6. (If Anand draws a few more games with Gelfand, or loses one without winning any, Nakamura hits #5.)

    In other results, Onischuk-Shulman was a battle for third. The game was drawn, and so the players finished third and (tied for) fourth, respectively. Alex Lenderman and Varuzhan Akobian both won with Black, against Alejandro Ramirez and Gregory Kaidanov, respectively. As a result, they joined Shulman in that tie for fourth. Ray Robson would have joined them with a win over Alex Stripunsky, but their game was drawn.

    Final Standings:

    1. Nakamura 8.5 (of 11)
    2. Kamsky 7.5
    3. Onischuk 6.5
    4-6. Akobian, Lenderman, Shulman 6
    7. Robson 5.5
    8. Hess 5
    9-10. Kaidanov, Ramirez 4
    11-12. Seirawan, Stripunsky 3.5

    In the women's event, Anna Zatonskih and Irina Krush both won, and finished the round robin tied for first with 7/9. As a result, they'll have a 2-game rapid (25' + 5") playoff on Sunday, and if that fails to determine a winner they'll have an Armageddon game with the players bidding on time.

    Friday
    May182012

    2012 U.S. Championship: Nakamura Defeats Kamsky, Leads With One Round To Go

    The penultimate round of the 2012 U.S. Championship was dramatic. Gata Kamsky had seized the lead with an impressive win in the previous round, while Hikaru Nakamura, who had a long and probably somewhat disappointing draw, was half a point behind. They were paired and Kamsky had White, which would seem to put him in the catbird seat for his third championship title in a row.

    So one would think, but Nakamura pulled out the win. Kamsky made some decisions that many spectators didn't grasp, but then spectators - even GMs - often find themselves confused by his play. By itself, that's not news, though it was interesting to hear Nakamura mention after the game that he generally failed to guess Kamsky's moves as well! Nakamura was better much of the way, but Kamsky's very active play kept things crazy, and he was in range of a draw despite a material deficit. What cost him was probably time trouble. Had Kamsky played 36.Nc5 the position would have remained equal; instead, he played 36.f3 and Nakamura took over again.

    In other games, Seirawan-Kaidanov, Lenderman-Hess and Akobian-Onischuk were all pretty easygoing draws. Shulman-Robson was also drawn but wasn't perfunctory. Theirs was a complicated and eventful struggle, and at the end when it seemed as if Shulman would win with an extra piece, Robson fought on and somehow managed to survive. Shulman was out of the running for first in any case, but this must have been very disappointing for him. Finally, Stripunsky's attack to build a kingside attack in a Closed Sicilian against Ramirez failed, but the counterattack succeeded and Ramirez won.

    Last Round Pairings:

    Nakamura (7.5) - Seirawan (3.5)
    Hess (4.5) - Kamsky (7)
    Ramirez (4) - Lenderman (5)
    Robson (5) - Stripunsky (3)
    Onischuk (6) - Shulman (5.5)
    Kaidanov (4) - Akobian (5)

    The women had the day off, so that everyone will finish together tomorrow (Saturday). Zatonskih and Krush are tied for first there, while it's still possible that the Championship proper could also finish in a tie. If either event finishes with a tie for first, tiebreaks will take place on Sunday.

    Friday
    May182012

    This Week's ChessVideos Show: Kamsky-Seirawan, 2012 US Championship

    His chances of winning a third straight U.S. Championship took a big hit tonight when he lost to Hikaru Nakamura, but overall it has been a pretty good event for Gata Kamsky. Coming into today's round he was in clear first, and his previous game was an impressive win over Yasser Seirawan on the white side of a Classical Caro-Kann. Kamsky had prepared a nasty surprise that had probably been intended some time earlier for Veselin Topalov, but it was Seirawan who wound up the victim.

    The winning combination was very attractive, and the game is also valuable for us to follow in White's theoretical footsteps, both in that precise position but also in a more general way. The g4 idea Kamsky used has become popular across a range of Classical Caro-Kann positions, and so it's important for players on both sides of the dispute to be familiar with them.

    So there's both an aesthetic and an educational component to this week's show, which as always can be viewed free of charge (free registration required) and will be available on demand for the next month or so.

    Friday
    May182012

    Other Events: Caruana Wins Sigeman & Co., Kamsky Leads the U.S. Championship

    First things first: Sigeman & Co. finished Wednesday, and Fabiano Caruana finished strongly with a second straight win to take clear first. He needed that win, as Peter Leko also won his last two, and scored 3.5 points in his final four games, to finish just half a point back. Caruana's final tally was 5.5/7, Leko's 5, and the next closest competitors had 4 points apiece.

    Still ongoing is the U.S. Championship, which is a two-horse race between Gata Kamsky and Hikaru Nakamura. Kamsky is in beautiful form, and with three wins in a row has taken the lead with two rounds to go. In round 8 he ground down Alex Lenderman with Black in a Chebanenko Slav of sorts. It always looks terribly passive when he plays it, but he almost invariably finds a way to break out, and so he did on this occasion as well. Interestingly, Lenderman confessed after the game that at a certain moment "[t]he position was just too complicated for me". There's a reason Kamsky has achieved as much as he has in his career! Moving to round 9, Kamsky uncorked some strong anti-Caro-Kann preparation against Yasser Seirawan and defeated him pretty convincingly.

    Nakamura, meanwhile, won a remarkable battle in round 8 with Alex Stripunsky. Most spectators, including GMs, thought that White - Stripunsky - stood better, but Kamsky opined otherwise, and was right. Rather than wait for Nakamura to keep improving his position until he would be defenseless, Stripunsky started sacrificing things: a piece, and exchange, and then later another exchange. There finally arose an ending where Stripunsky had five pawns - all passed, with two pairs of connected passers - against Nakamura's rook and two pawns. At first it seemed as if White was winning, but Nakamura had calculated everything perfectly and won. At that point he was still tied with Kamsky, but in round 8 he dropped half a point back. He tried and tried and tried to beat Lenderman, but while he made some progress late in the game he had to call it a day after 120(!) moves.

    Kamsky has 7/9, Nakamura 6.5. Onischuk has 5.5 points and could theoretically catch them, but it's pretty unlikely with just two rounds to go. In round 10, we get the big match: Kamsky will have White against Nakamura. In the last round the pairings favor Nakamura, who has White against Seirawan while Kamsky is due for Black against Hess. Here are the full round 10 pairings:

    Seirawan (3) - Kaidanov (3.5)
    Akobian (4.5) - Onischuk (5.5)
    Shulman (5) - Robson (4.5)
    Stripunsky (3) - Ramirez (3)
    Lenderman (4.5) - Hess (4)
    Kamsky (7) - Nakamura (6.5)

    In the women's championship, Anna Zatonskih and Irina Krush came into the 7th round tied for first, and they maintained the same placements over the next two rounds. They played in round 7 and drew, and in round 8 both defeated their opponents. They, but not the men, have tomorrow off, and then play the last round on Saturday. Zatonskih and Krush both have 6/8 and lead their closest pursuers by a point and a half. In the last round, Zatonskih will have White against Tatev Abrahamyan, who is doing well with 4.5, tied for third. Krush has Black, but against Camilla Baginskaite, who has had a terrible tournament - her score is just 2/8. (On the other hand, her one win in the event came in round 8, with Black over early co-leader Iryna Zenyuk.)

    Tuesday
    May152012

    The Rest of the Day: Caruana Reclaims Clear First in Sigeman & Co., Kamsky Catches Nakamura in the U.S. Champs

    At the Sigeman & Co. tournament in Malmo, Sweden, Nils Grandelius' slow, patient ascent to the summit met a setback. After a long chase he finally caught up with Fabiano Caruana heading into the penultimate round and was tied for first. The result: he played Caruana and lost. Caruana leads heading into the last round with 4.5/6; Peter Leko is in clear second with 4 points. Both Caruana and Leko will have the black pieces in the last round, but as they're playing Jonny Hector (second-lowest rated player, tied for last) and Li Chao (over 2700), respectively, Caruana's chances of finishing clear first look pretty good.

    At the U.S. Championship leader and top seed Hikaru Nakamura finally failed to win a game with White. He pushed long and hard against the ever-solid Yuri Shulman, but despite winning a pawn in the endgame couldn't break his resistance. Gata Kamsky did manage to grind out the full point against Alex Stripunsky, though, and as a result he has caught Nakamura in first place. Both have 5/7, good for a full-point lead over Shulman, Alex Lenderman (who drew Yasser Seirawan) and Alexander Onischuk (who drew Ray Robson). In other games, Varuzhan Akobian ground out a win with Black in a Caro-Kann(!) against Robert Hess, while Gregoy Kaidanov lost his third game in a row in a most painful fashion.

    His battle with Alejandro Ramirez was a wild tactical slugfest, but when the dust settled Kaidanov was the exchange ahead for a pawn in an unloseable position. (At least it in the normal course of things.) Kaidanov refused numerous repetitions - correctly - but it's possible to try too hard. His 51st move didn't lose the game yet, but was the prelude to the intended blunder next move. Kaidanov missed a little skewer trick that cost him his rook, and there were no further chances.

    Round 8 Pairings:

    Seirawan (2.5) - Onischuk (4)
    Kaidanov (3) - Robson (3)
    Akobian (3.5) - Ramirez (2.5)
    Shulman (4) - Hess (2.5)
    Stripunsky (3) - Nakamura (5)
    Lenderman (4) - Kamsky (5)

    In the women's championship, there are co-leaders after six rounds. Irina Krush had been in clear first, but could only draw against Rusudan Goletiani - with effort. Two-time defending Anna Zatonskih came into the round half a point behind, but her convincing win over Iryna Zenyuk let her catch Krush in first; both women have 4.5 points. Goletiani, Alisa Melekhina and Tatev Abrahamyan are a point behind with 3.5/6.

    Monday
    May142012

    The Speedy Sunday Summary: St. Louis, Sigeman & Co, and Senor Capablanca's Memorial

    (Always avoid alliteration!)

    The World Championship match had its first rest day, but the other three major ongoing events saw action.

    In the U.S. Championship saw the top seeds, Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky, both draw and maintain clear first and second, respectively. Nakamura drew with Varuzhan Akobian while Kamsky drew with Yuri Shulman (who is tied for third and, like Nakamura but not Kamsky*, is undefeated). The favorites both had Black and failed to put their opponents in any danger.

    In the first five rounds the proportion of decisive games was extremely high, but there were only two winners today. Robert Hess beat Gregory Kaidanov with Black in a middlegame with imbalanced material; his minor pieces wound up dominating Kaidanov's queen. Also winning was Yasser Seirawan, who has yet to draw a game in the tournament. His game with Ray Robson went from the opening to an endgame almost immediately, and Seirawan displayed his technical prowess on the way to a badly needed win.

    The other two games - Stripunsky-Lenderman and Onischuk-Ramirez - were drawn.

    Round 7 Pairings:

    Lenderman (3.5) - Seirawan (2)
    Kamsky (4) - Stripunsky (3)
    Nakamura (4.5) - Shulman (3.5)
    Hess (2.5) - Akobian (2.5)
    Ramirez (1.5) - Kaidanov (3)
    Robson (2.5) - Onischuk (3.5)

    In the Women's Championship, the three-way tie for first is over. Iryna Zenyuk lost to Rusudan Goletiani and Anna Zatonskih drew with Viktorija Ni, which allowed Irina Krush to take the sole lead by defeating Tatev Abrahamyan. She has 4/5, Zatonskih 3.5 and Zenyuk, Goletiani and Sabina-Francesca Foisor all have 3.

    Going down south a bit, the penultimate round of the 47th Capablanca Memorial in Havana, Cuba, saw the leaders square off. Vassily Ivanchuk led Ian Nepomniachtchi by half a point coming into the round, but with the latter having White in their game the tournament remained very much up for grabs. It still is, but Ivanchuk held very comfortably with the black pieces to maintain his lead. As he'll have White against tailender Viktor Laznicka while Nepomniachtchi will have Black against the third-placed Leinier Dominguez one must like Ivanchuk's chances for finishing in clear first.

    Finally, in Sigeman & Co. event in Malmo, Sweden Fabiano Caruana drew and continues to lead with 3/4, but Nils Grandelius (who also drew) and 2700s Li Chao and Peter Leko (who both won their games, with Black) are all nipping at his heels, just half a point behind. Three rounds remain there.

    * Correcting an earlier error (see five of the comments!).

    Saturday
    May122012

    The Best of the Rest: The U.S. Championship and the Capablanca Memorial

    The World Championship has already been discussed and Sigeman & Co. had the day off (but check out the first video on the latter website for a cute practical joke), so the remaining news focuses on the U.S. Championship and the Women's Championship, along with the Capablanca Memorial in Havana.

    In the U.S. Championship, the big game saw the leaders square off. Hikaru Nakamura had White against Gregory Kaidanov, and parlayed it into a never-ending ending promising Black nothing but misery. Maybe there was some way for Kaidanov to hold the draw (though I wouldn't bet on it), but as a practical matter it was hopeless. It looked like a model technical win, well worth studying.

    Gata Kamsky bounced back from yesterday's loss to Kaidanov to defeat Varuzhan Akobian, and as a result he's in clear second, half a point behind Nakamura. I can't recall seeing Akobian play anything against 1.e4 but the French and an occasional 1...d6, but maybe last year's loss to Kamsky in the French encouraged him to try something new. His choice of the Berlin made sure he wouldn't lose quickly, but Kamsky seemed far more comfortable in the "Wall" endgame and he won anyway. It takes time to properly "feel" the Berlin, and it was a tall order for Akobian against a player of Kamsky's stature.

    It was a "bloody" day in general, and it wasn't just the favorites who won. Third seed Alexander Onischuk won with Black against Robert Hess in one of his signature openings, the Archangelsk (White should have played 7.d3!); Alexander Stripunsky continued his comeback from an 0-2 start at the expense of the other slow starter, Yasser Seirawan. The end of that game was rather curious, as Seirawan's cluster of pieces on White's queenside first tied his opponent's forces down, but then wound up trapped and lost. Also committing chess suicide was Alejandro Ramirez, who rightly pushed in a better rook ending against Ray Robson before finally going too far and losing. The only draw of the day was between Alex Lenderman and Yuri Shulman, who both fell a full point behind Nakamura as a result.

    Round 6 Pairings:

    Seirawan (1) - Robson (2.5)
    Onischuk (3) - Ramirez (1)
    Kaidanov (3) - Hess (1.5)
    Akobian (2) - Nakamura (4)
    Shulman (3) - Kamsky (3.5)
    Stripunsky (2.5) - Lenderman (3)

    In round four of the women's championship, the three leaders all drew: Anna Zatonskih with Alisa Melekhina and Irina Krush and Iryna Zenyuk with each other. They continue to lead with 3/4, half a point ahead of Foisor and Abrahamyan.

    In Havana, having White against tailender Yuniesky Quesada wasn't enough to propel Vassily Ivanchuk to a win, but his draw kept him in clear first, half a point ahead of Ian Nepomniachtchi. "Nepo" beat Viktor Laznicka, and with White next against Ivanchuk the final standings are very much up in the air.

    Saturday
    May122012

    The Roundup From Everywhere Else

    Lest I stay up all night, here's a quick survey of the day's other chess results.

    1. U.S. Championship: Hikaru Nakamura continued the professional pattern of winning with White and drawing with Black. Today it was the draw's turn, as he split the point with third seed Alexander Onischuk. He had been tied for first with Gata Kamsky, but Kamsky lost with Black to Gregory Kaidanov, and now it's Kaidanov who is tied with Nakamura; both players have 3/4.

    In other results, Ray Robson defeated Robert Hess while Yasser Seirawan finally got on the scoreboard with a long win over Alejandro Ramirez. If either Alex Lenderman or Yuri Shulman had won their games, they would have joined the tie for first, but they drew with Varuzhan Akobian and Alexander Stripunsky, respectively.

    Round 5 Pairings:

    Stripunsky (1.5) - Seirawan (1)
    Lenderman (2.5) - Shulman (2.5)
    Kamsky (2.5) - Akobian (2)
    Nakamura (3) - Kaidanov (3)
    Hess (1.5) - Onischuk (2)
    Ramirez (1) - Robson (1.5)

    The women's event has only 10 players rather than 12, so they had the day off today.

    2. Sigeman & Co.:

    Three of the seven rounds are finished, and Fabiano Caruana could not make a "row" - his winning streak stopped at two games. Still, his draw with Peter Leko was enough to keep him in clear first, half a point ahead of Nils Grandelius. Five players have 1.5 points, which means, surprisingly, that the tournament's plus scores are all balanced on one man's shoulders: Hans Tikkanen has opened the tournament by castling queenside.

    3. Capablanca Memorial:

    Vassily Ivanchuk rolls on! By defeating Leinier Dominguez in round 7 - with the black pieces, no less - he pushed his lead to a full point with three rounds to go. His score of 5/7 has him a point ahead of Ian Nepomniachtchi, and has moved him up to #8 on the live rating list.

    Thursday
    May102012

    The 2012 U.S. Championship, Round 3

    It was another good day for the favorites, as top seeds Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky both won with White and share the lead in the 2012 U.S. Championship with 2.5/3.

    Nakamura used the trendy 9.g4 Yugoslav Attack against Ray Robson's Dragon Sicilian. Robson was the first to innovate with 16...Nb6 (16...Rad8 had been usual in the few games to reach that point). That more or less committed Black to an exchange sac three moves later, but although Robson had a bishop and two pawns for the rook, his tripled e-pawns negated some of that compensation. White was always better, and Nakamura finished things off with a well-calculated mating attack. He allowed Black to promote a pawn, with check, no less, but Black was helpless against the "blind pigs" (a pair of rooks on the 7th rank).

    Alexander Onischuk is the U.S.'s reliable third seed, so Kamsky's win was significant. Kamsky's usual anti-theory approach proved effective once again as he used the London System not in a bid for an advantage (at least not an overt bid) but to create a position where the best player (him) could fight for a win. Typical Kamsky, he made lots of prophylactic moves (6.h3, 9.a3, 12.Bh2) and still managed to have some pull after 16 moves. Once Kamsky played 20.Na5 several imbalances were about to favor him; in particular, the bishop pair and a superior pawn structure. It isn't always better to have the two bishops, but when the opponent has ragged pawns it can be a huge advantage.

    The crisis came after Onischuk's 30th move, 30...h5. Kamsky had been massaging his advantage, trying to make something of his bishops and Black's weak d-pawns, but 30...h5 was the proverbial red cape to a bull. Kamsky sacrificed a pawn for a kingside attack, and although it might not have been objectively best it put Black under a lot of pressure near the end of the time control. 38...Ne6 may have maintained equality, but Onischuk's 38...Qd5 was inaccurate and his next move a blunder. After 39.Rb8 g6? 40.Re8! Rc7 41.Bxg6! Black's position was collapsing, and 43...Rb7? was the final straw. Maybe Onischuk initially thought White was forced to go for a perpetual, but after 48.Qe8+! he resigned, seeing that after 48...Kg7 49.Qd7+ Qxd7 50.exd7 Black would be unable to prevent White from making (and keeping) a new queen.

    In other games...

    Lenderman-Kaidanov was an unusual Tarrasch Defense where Black was better most of the way but couldn't figure out how to convert it. One possibility is 26...d4, which isn't winning but gives Black an important trump. After missing or neglecting that chance, the game was balanced and soon finished in a draw.

    Hess seemed to have the advantage on the white side of a trendy Kan line against Ramirez, but with some neat tactics Ramirez reached a drawish, and eventually drawn, ending with rooks and opposite-colored bishops.

    Stripunsky got on the scoreboard, defeating Akobian with White in a Tarrasch French. Akobian's 7...Nfd7 was highly unusual, moving the knight before it was kicked with e5, and after 9...a4 they reached a position that had only been seen in five previous games. In four of those games White played the pedestrian 10.Nbd4, but Stripunsky followed the fifth with 10.h4!?, daring Black to take the piece on b3. The idea, of course, is that White has 11.Bxh7+, when accepting the Greek Gift would be fatal. 11...Kh8 might be playable, but Akobian nixed the whole thing with 10...f5. This reduced White's attacking options somewhat, but White enjoyed an edge thanks to his dark-squared control. Black sacrificed a pawn for some draw-compensation, but that left once he sac/blundered the e-pawn on moves 25-28. After 30.Nxa4 White was three pawns up, and that was more than enough for Stripunsky to win.

    Unfortunately for Seirawan, his miseries continued, and now he's 0-3. He played very quietly with Black against Shulman, looking for or at least not resisting a draw, and after 22 moves it seemed likely (though not guaranteed) that he would achieve it. The knight swap on move 35 was a bit of an error though; had Black played 35...Bd5 or 35...g6 (36.Nxd6 Kxd6 37.Ke4 Bd5+ pushes the king back) he'd have enjoyed equality and the draw would have been in sight. Still, it seemed that a draw was most likely, but after 37...Bg8 that ceased to be the case. Instead 37...hxg5 38.fxg5 g6 39.Kf4 Bf7 holds down the fort on the kingside, and now Black can push on the queenside to keep things balanced. (40.Kg4 Ke5 41.h5 gxh5+ 42.Kh4 c4 43.Bxh5 Bd5 44.Be8 Bf3 should hold.) Black's last two moves make a bizarre impression, but the problem is that he's in zugzwang. Most of his pawn moves are terrible (and he'll soon run out in any case), his bishop can't move and he can't afford to let White's king penetrate to the kingside. So he retreated to f8 in hopes of playing ...Bg8, but Shulman's 42.Kf6! stops that: 42...Bg8 43.Bxg8 Kxg8 44.Ke7 followed by f6-f7-f8Q. So Seirawan resigned.

    Round 4 Pairings:

    Seirawan (0) - Ramirez (1)
    Robson (.5) - Hess (1.5)
    Onischuk (1.5) - Nakamura (2.5)
    Kaidanov (2) - Kamsky (2.5)
    Akobian (1.5) - Lenderman (2)
    Shulman (2) - Stripunsky (1)

    Wednesday
    May092012

    2012 U.S. Championship, Round 2: Six Lead With 1.5/2

    To put it in a sentence, all five of yesterday's winners drew while one of yesterday's "drawers" won. Thus Nakamura, Kamsky, Akobian, Lenderman and Onischuk (the last two with each other) all drew while Kaidanov won, and so all six lead the 2012 U.S. Championship with 1.5 points. Hess and Shulman have a point apiece, Ramirez and Robson each have half a point, and Seirawan and Stripunsky have castled kingside (0-0).

    Ramirez - Nakamura was a Fianchetto Gruenfeld that wound up drawn. Nakamura outplayed Ramirez and won the exchange, but with a somewhat exposed king he had to be accurate to convert it into a win. The crucial moment came when he played 35...Kf7?; 35...Kh7! 36.Bxh6 Qf3 37.Be3 f4!! was the path to victory. In the final position Ramirez could have played for a win, but decided to call it a day.

    Robson - Kamsky saw the latter choose the unusual 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 b6. I don't know if Kamsky believes in this or felt it was good for a one-time try, but it worked. Indeed, he seems to have acquired an advantage, but 22...Qxb4 more or less allowed a forced draw. 22...Nxe4 is an attempt for more, when White must try either 23.Ba3 or 23.Qh6 to stay afloat.

    Onischuk - Lenderman was a "correct" draw in a Ragozin system. White had a very small pull for a long time, but Black gradually managed to neutralize the pressure and hold the game.

    Akobian - Kaidanov was another instance of the correct draw genre, a sort of Chebanenko Slav where Black temporarily sacrificed a pawn, only to win it back a few moves later and reach a dead drawn ending.

    Kaidanov - Stripunsky was a sort of Catalan/Semi-Slav hybrid. White gambitted a pawn for long-term pressure, and it paid off when Black played 24...Be6 rather than 24...Rb6. Black was soon forced to give up his queen, as 27...Nd7 28.Ne7+ Kh8 29.Rd4 (threatening the stock mating combination 30.Qxh7+ Kxh7 31.Rh4#) 29...h6 30.Bxd7 Bxd7 31.Qd2 wins a piece while maintaining an overwhelming position. In the game, Stripunsky's 27...Qxd1+ 28.Qxd1 Bxf5 29.Qd4 Rd8 30.Qxa7 gave White a queen for a rook and knight, which wasn't enough. He put up a lot of resistance, but Kaidanov never let him off the hook, and converted in 53 moves.

    Finally, Seirawan - Hess was a 4.Qc2 Nimzo-Indian where Seirawan pushed and pushed and finally overpressed. 27.Ng3, keeping Black's queen out, would have given him an edge, while Qd1 on move 28 or 30 would have kept approximate equality. Perhaps Seirawan missed Hess's 31...Rb3, after which White was down a pawn for nothing. Soon it was two pawns, and Hess converted it into a full point without difficulty.

    Round 3 Pairings:

    Shulman (1) - Seirawan (0)
    Stripunsky (0) - Akobian (1.5)
    Lenderman (1.5) - Kaidanov (1.5)
    Kamsky (1.5) - Onischuk (1.5)
    Nakamura (1.5) - Robson (.5)
    Hess (1) - Ramirez (.5)

    Ramirez - Nakamura, with some notes, can be replayed here.