28 April 2013

U.S. Chess Championships 2013 -- Fantasy Chess

This year the internet home of the 2013 U.S. Chess Championships is once again hosting a Fantasy Chess site.  The selection method is much improved over last year, which forced users to choose from certain pre-ordered player groups when assembling their teams, which was not completely intuitive and also not very fun.  This year it's a more flexible format, with each user given a budget of Fantasy Bucks to spend on selecting players onto your team, with the object simply being to score the most points over the 9 rounds of the championships.  Naturally, the higher-rated players cost a good deal more than the lower-rated ones.

I went with a more or less balanced approach for my team, going with proven champions currently playing very well internationally (Gata Kamsky and Irina Krush) and then a few players who have done well in the past and that I'm pulling for to do well in the upcoming tournament.  I am for example glad to see GM Ben Finegold back in form and enjoying the game, after previously declaring he would retire from competitive play due to poor tournament results.

The championships begin on May 3rd (opening ceremony is May 2nd), so it should be a good month for chess.

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