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March 13, 2006--The 2006 U.S. Chess Championship raced to an exciting
finish as the best players in two fields faced off and the final champions
were crowned. In the two-game rapid-chess final match, Alexander Onischuk,
of Baltimore, Md., defeated Yury Shulman, of Barrington, Ill., to claim the
title of 2006 U.S. Chess Champion and the $25,000 first prize. Both players
are 30 years old and originally from the Ukraine.
In the women's title match, Anna Zatonskih, of Holtsville, N.Y., bested defending champion Rusudan Goletiani, of Hartsdale, N.Y., to claim the $12,500 Women's Championship prize. Nearly five thousand chess fans watched the matches in person over the nine-day tournament, and more than 50,000 viewed the games live over the internet.
The prestigious Championship, presented by America's Foundation for Chess and the NTC Foundation, was the first signature event to inaugurate The Corky McMillin Companies Event Center at NTC Promenade, its new permanent home.
Defending champion Hikaru Nakamura, the 18-year-old chess phenomenon who claimed the 2004 title in San Diego, was unable to repeat his victory due to two early losses, but he came back strong to finish among the leaders and was awarded the Bent Larsen prize for his fighting spirit. In 2004, Hikaru, at 16, became the youngest player to capture the U.S. Championship title since the legendary Bobby Fischer claimed it as a 14-year-old in 1957.
Bobby Fischer Games