SEATTLE — A Massachusetts man won the U.S. chess title Sunday in the first coed championship in the tournament's 157-year history.
Larry Christiansen, 45, of Cambridge, won the overall title and the $15,000 top prize after a playoff match and winner-take-all "shootout." He also won the championship 19 years ago.
Jennifer Shahade, a 21-year-old New York University student from Philadelphia, had the best finish among the 12 women in the tournament and won $9,500 in prize money. She also earned a draw against the top-rated player in the country, Seattle's Yasser Seirawan.
Christiansen and Nick de Firmian, a California native who now lives in Denmark, were tied with 6.5 points each at the end of regulation matches on Sunday, the last day of the nine-day tournament.
They remained even after a four-game playoff of speed chess, setting up the shootout.
"He put up a really stiff fight, and I never was certain until the last move," said Christiansen.
Eight other competitors finished ahead of Shahade in the 56-player field. She tied 12 other players with 5 points. Lithuanian-born Camilla Baginskaite finished with 4.5 points, good for second place among the women.