The national chess championships will be decided during the final phase of the pivot weekend



photo Lennart Ootes, Saint Louis Chess Club

America’s new chess king and queen will be crowned by Tuesday in St. Louis, the nation’s chess capital, but not until a weekend playoff end that demands decisive action from its next champions.

There are many pieces left on the board for the 2021 United States Chess Championship and the National Women’s Championship, two 12-player invitational round robin tournaments with three rounds remaining at the Saint Louis Chess Club, and many players are left with chances of becoming holders of the American title. A legitimate shot as the next United States champion still exists for six grandmasters – that’s half the field – including a tie three for first place and three more chasing in a point.

Starting in Saturday’s 9th round at 1 p.m. PT, the six GMs are set to face off in a dangerously close three-round final, each still remaining with crucial pairs that will directly affect their position for 200. $ 000 in prize money and the coveted title of 2021 United States Chess Champion.

Reigning US chess champion GM Wesley So is undefeated in St. Louis, as is US Open GM winner Alex Lenderman, who currently leads the national championship with GM Sam Sevian at 5.0 / 8 entering Saturday. So play as White in two of his remaining three games, but take Black against Sevian, 20, in the penultimate round 10 on Sunday.

GMs Alex Lenderman, Sam Sevian and reigning US champion Wesley So are tied three for the lead after 8 rounds of the 2021 US Chess Championship.

GM Ray Robson and undefeated Leinier Dominguez are ready to fight in the 9th round for the right to oust the leaders. Robson will face the Whites against the world No.14 on Saturday and, if he still lingers at the end, has a chance against So in the final round on Monday.

GM Ray Robson and Leinier Dominguez are both half a point ahead of the US Chess Championship and will face each other in Round 9 on Saturday at the Saint Louis Chess Club. // photos Lennart Ootes, Bryan Adams

Chasing them all is a super-GM that no player on the planet wants to see in the rearview mirror: World No. 2 GM Fabiano Caruana, in sixth place after consecutive losses, but hiding just one point behind the leaders – and still face Lenderman in Sunday’s penultimate round.


GM Fabiano Caruana // photo Bryan Adams, Saint Louis Chess Club

2021 United States Women’s Championship

It is no less clear which queen will emerge from the 2021 United States National Women’s Championship, who dares a bet against one of the top three American women still in the race for the ninth round on Saturday.

Leading the way is IM Carissa Yip, 18, of Massachusetts, a three-time US Girls’ Champion who moves closer and closer to being the National Women’s Champion over the years she competes. As the second seed in the 2021 field, Yip hosted an offensive chess clinic in St. Louis, currently on a three-game winning streak that has taken her away from the field.

WGM Katerina Nemcova is behind by half a point, a strong contender every year in search of her first women’s championship title and the only undefeated player after eight rounds. Nemcova holds her fate in her hands throughout this weekend endgame, set up on a collision course with Yip in Monday’s final round – but first a twinning Saturday with the reigning GM , 8-time United States champion Irina Krush.

WGM Katerina Nemcova is set to fight with the 8-time defending US champion Irina Krush and IM leader Carissa Yip during the closing weekend of the 2021 US National Women’s Chess Championship. // photos Lennart Ootes, Saint Louis Chess Club

Krush has exclusive possession of third place, one point ahead of the lead after handing over his game with Yip with a superb blunder in the fourth round last week. In October in St. Louis, Yip has now scalped nearly every US champion holding the title over the past 15 years, including Krush (8 times), IM Anna Zatonskih (4 times) and a convincing victory as a Black on Thursday. on the 2017 WGM champion Sabina Foisor.

Yip can add another title to her list on Sunday against 2016 and 2018 female champion IM Nazi Paikidze …

And the only female title holder remaining in the past 15 years would be 2019 American WGM Champion Jennifer Yu – who brings us CLO 8th Round Game of the Day, Yip’s third in a row in a row on Foisor starting Thursday.

The 2021 U.S. Chess Championships will take place October 5-19 at the Saint Louis Chess Club, with rounds starting daily at 1:00 p.m. Central time. Each round will be broadcast live alongside GM commentary by Maurice Ashley, Cristian Chirila and quadruple US chess champion Yasser Seirawan, viewable on the Saint Louis Chess Club YouTube channel or on the event’s official website.

If necessary, a play-off is scheduled for Tuesday, October 19 at 1 a.m. central.

Check out CLO daily for round recaps and main analysis from the 2021 U.S. Chess Championships.

Quick links:

2021 US Championships Main Page

2021 USA Championships Live Games

Live commentary from the 2021 US Championships

2021 U.S. Championship matches and results

2021 U.S. Women’s Championship matches and results


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