The center of professional chess in America is Saint Louis, Missouri. For the last six years the U.S. championship was held at the local Chess Club and Scholastic Center. With Nakamura absent this year, all eyes were on Gata Kamsky, the defending champion and the oldest participant. Could he still defend the title at the age of 39?
At 44, Vishy Anand continues to raise eyebrows. After he lost the world championship match to Magnus Carlsen last year, his critics were merciless: his play was too timid, he made too many draws, he was too old, he was done, he didn't have a chance, he shouldn't have even tried to play in the Candidates tournament. Anand proved them wrong.