At the meeting, USCF President John McCrary said that, in making arrangements for the recently concluded US Championship, no provision had been announced for the breaking of ties. As it turned out, there was one clear winner but seven players had tied for second.
FIDE has agreed that five US players will be seeded into the next 128-player knock-out World Chess Championship (if another one is ever held, but that subject was not brought up).
As a result, it would be necessary to break the ties, because four of the seven would go directly to the world championship. The other three will go to a continental championship which, President McCrary hoped, might be held in the USA.
The problem was that no tie-breaking system had been announced in advance. However, Carol Jarecki had discovered that no matter which of the major tie breaking systems was used, the same four players would come out on top.
The only alternative would be a play-off. However, Executive Director Frank Niro pointed out that the players would expect to be paid for the play-off, and there was no money available to pay them.
All of the seven tied players came from the North East, the furthest away being Illinois and Kentucky, so geography would not be a major problem.
A vote was taken. By unanimous vote of 6-0, it was decided that a tie-breaking system would be used, with Arnold Denker not present at the meeting.
After the vote was taken, it was announced who the winners were on tie-breaks. This result had not been announced earlier, in order that there not be politics as a factor in this issue.
Tom Brownscombe then announced the winners: Kaidanov, Gulko, Stripunsky and Benjamin were the top four, leaving out Ivanov, Golden and Fedorowicz.
It seems a bit unfair that 19-year-old Akobian, who risked all by going all out to try to defeat Shabalov in the last round, thereby winning the US Championship, and achieved a winning position but then lost, will not be allowed to compete for the World Chess Championship, whereas players who took quick draws in the last round will get in.
PS Tired of listening to this music? I have changed from Blue Danube to Blue Moon.
[Event "United States Championship 2003"] [Site "SEATTLE USA"] [Date "2003.01.18"] [Round "09"] [White "Shabalov, Alexander"] [Black "Akobian, Varuzhan"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2613"] [BlackElo "2531"] 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.a3 Nh6 7.b4 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nf5 9.Bb2 Be7 10.h4 h5 11.Bd3 g6 12.Bxf5 gxf5 13.Nc3 Rg8 14.g3 Bd7 15.Bc1 Rc8 16.Ne2 a5 17.b5 Qxb5 18.Bg5 a4 19.Rb1 Qa5+ 20.Kf1 Bxa3 21.Ra1 Qb4 22.Nf4 Rh8 23.Kg2 b5 24.Bf6 Rh6 25.Re1 Qf8 26.Qe2 Be7 27.Bg5 Rh8 28.Rec1 Rb8 29.Rab1 Bxg5 30.hxg5 Qa3 31.g6 fxg6 32.Nxe6 Bxe6 33.Rxc6 Qe7 34.Rxb5 Kf7 35.Ng5+ Qxg5 36.Rc7+ Qe7 37.Rxe7+ Kxe7 38.Rc5 Rhc8 39.Qa6 Rxc5 40.Qa7+ Ke8 41.dxc5 Rc8 42.Qxa4+ Bd7 43.Qd4 Be6 44.f4 Ke7 45.Qb4 Rc6 46.Kh3 Bd7 47.Kh4 Kf7 48.Kg5 Ke7 49.Qb3 Re6 50.Qxd5 Bc6 51.Qa2 Bd7 52.Kh6 Be8 53.Kg7 Bd7 54.Qh2 Rc6 55.Qh4+ Ke8 56.Qf6 Rxf6 57.exf6 Be6 58.c6 g5 59.fxg5 f4 60.g6 fxg3 61.f7+ 1-0 [Event "United States Championship 2003"] [Site "SEATTLE USA"] [Date "2003.01.18"] [Round "09"] [White "Ivanov, Alexander"] [Black "Kaidanov, Gregory"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2520"] [BlackElo "2629"] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Nd4 5.Nxd4 exd4 6.e5 dxc3 7.exf6 Qxf6 8.dxc3 1/2-1/2 [Event "United States Championship 2003"] [Site "SEATTLE USA"] [Date "2003.01.18"] [Round "09"] [White "Fedorowicz, John"] [Black "Benjamin, Joel"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2505"] [BlackElo "2587"] 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Nxd7 5.O-O Ngf6 6.Re1 e6 7.c3 Be7 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4 d5 10.e5 Ne4 11.Nbd2 Nxd2 12.Bxd2 O-O 13.Re3 1/2-1/2 [Event "United States Championship 2003"] [Site "SEATTLE USA"] [Date "2003.01.18"] [Round "09"] [White "Stripunsky, Alexander"] [Black "Gulko, Boris"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2554"] [BlackElo "2584"] 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Bd3 Nf6 5.Nf3 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.Re1 1/2-1/2Reports on the US Championship: