In chess: US senior and junior champions crowned in St. Louis
Three national chess titles were awarded last week as the 2021 US Senior, US Junior and US Girls Junior Championships were held July 16-26 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Each event featured ten of the nation’s top junior and senior players to compete for approximately $ 100,000 in prizes and scholarships available to attendees.
Grandmasters Gregory Kaidanov (US Senior), Hans Niemann (US Junior) and international master Annie Wang (US Girls’ Junior) won their individual tournaments. With their victories, Niemann and Wang qualified for the 2022 US Championship and the US Women’s Championship.
2021 United States Senior Championship
Gregory Kaidanov won the 2021 Senior American Championship. He is a 61-year-old Grandmaster and a member of the American Chess Hall of Fame from Lexington, Ky. This is Kaidanov’s first domestic title and he took first place by winning a decisive two-game quick playoff game against Larry Christiansen, after both players finished with 6.5 / 9 in the tournament. main. Kaidanov dominated the first six laps of the event, scoring 5.5 / 6, but stumbled in the last three laps scoring just one point, allowing Christiansen to catch up. In the quick playoffs, Kaidanov drew in the first game and then won the second with flying colors, winning the overall title.
2021 United States Junior Championship
In the United States Junior, first place was won by 18-year-old Hans Niemann, who scored 6.0 / 9 in the event, finishing half a point ahead of his closest rivals. Earlier this year, Niemann traveled to Europe to play a series of tournaments, achieving his latest Grandmaster standards and earning over 100 ranking points. Niemann entered the event with extreme confidence, and despite losing his penultimate set to Christopher Yoo, he still managed to score enough points to finish in first place in the end.
2021 United States Junior Girls Championship
The number one seed in the United States’ junior girls, Annie Wang, started strong with three straight wins, but suffered a serious misstep in the fourth round, when she blundered and lost to Rochelle Wu. This allowed several players to catch up with Wang, who then had to win several more games to regain the advantage. Going into the final round, Wang held a one point lead over his opponent, Ruiyang Yan, and just needed to draw to win the title. She succeeded and obtained the first place with a final score of 7.0 / 9 points.
The next elite chess tournament will be the St. Louis Rapid and Blitz, which is part of the Grand Chess Tour, which runs August 11-15. Fans can connect to grandchesstour.org for live coverage, standings and event results.
IM Kostya Kavutskiy is a professional chess player, writer and streamer currently residing in Mountain View, California. You can follow Kostya on twitter.com/hellokostya.