Field, Commentators Set for 2014 U.S. Championships

WGM Jennifer Shahade and GM Yasser Seirawan will join GM Maurice Ashley (not pictured) to provide live commentary for the 2014 U.S. Championships.

SAINT LOUIS, April 14, 2014 -- Next month, the top chess players in the country will meet in Saint Louis to compete for the tile of U.S. Champion and U.S. Women’s Champion.

The fields are set for both the 2014 U.S. Championship and 2014 U.S. Women’s Championship, scheduled to be held simultaneously May 7 through May 20 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL).

Ashritha Eswaran, 13, received the final wildcard invitation to the U.S. Women’s Championship to round out the fields.

This marks the sixth consecutive year that each of these prestigious events will be held in Saint Louis. The opening ceremony takes place on May 7, and the first round for both events will kick off at 1 p.m. Central on May 8.

The 2014 U.S. Championship will feature a 12-player round robin and a guaranteed prize fund of $172,000. In addition, the CCSCSL again will sponsor the “$64K Fischer Prize,” to be awarded to anyone that scores a perfect 11-0 in the U.S. Championship, in honor of Bobby Fischer’s result at the 1963-64 U.S. Championship.

GM Hikaru Nakamura declined his invitation to play in this year’s event, citing his desire to prepare for and compete against the world’s elite as he prepares for a run at the next Candidate’s cycle.

Tony Rich, executive director of the CCSCSL, said the competition will be fierce.

“Any one of these players has a shot at the title this year,” Rich said.

The complete list of players, and their current USCF ratings, for the 2014 U.S. Championship is as follows:

  • GM Gata Kamsky (2778)
  • GM Timur Gareev (2751)
  • GM Alex Onischuk (2751)
  • GM Varuzhan Akobian (2732)
  • GM Sergey Erenburg (2717)
  • GM Ray Robson (2714)
  • GM Sam Shankland (2698)
  • GM Alex Lenderman (2693)
  • GM Alejandro Ramirez (2679)
  • GM Mac Molner (2634)
  • GM Daniel Naroditsky (2632)
  • GM Josh Friedel (2599)

The 2014 U.S. Women’s Championship will feature 10 players and a guaranteed prize fund of $72,000. GM Irina Krush looks to defend her U.S. Women’s Championship crown. The field for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Championship is as follows:

  • GM Irina Krush (2548)
  • IM Anna Zatonskih (2526)
  • WGM Tatev Abrahamyan (2475)
  • WGM Camilla Baginskaite (2358)
  • WIM Iryna Zenyuk (2352)
  • WGM Sabina Foisor (2303)
  • WIM Viktorija Ni (2302)
  • WGM Katerina Nemcova (2297)
  • FM Alisa Melekhina (2251)
  • NM Ashritha Eswaran (2231)

“The U.S. Women’s Championship features seasoned veterans along with some exciting new faces as well,” Rich said. “I’m excited the Chess Club gets to showcase so many inspiring role models for Saint Louis area students.”

The well-established commentary team of GM Maurice Ashley, GM Yasser Seirawan and WGM Jennifer Shahade will once again offer Internet viewers live play-by-play and analysis for each round of the event.  GM Robert Hess will join GM Ben Finegold to provide commentary for the live audience in Saint Louis.

Carol Jarecki will serve as the chief arbiter for both events.

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