Tuesday’s playoff to decide the next American chess champion



GMs Wesley So, Fabiano Caruana and Sam Sevian will face off for the 2021 U.S. Chess Championship title in a Tuesday afternoon playoff in St. Louis. // photos Lennart Ootes, Saint Louis Chess Club

The next American King will be crowned Tuesday afternoon in St. Louis, as the 2021 American Chess Championship ends with a quick playoff starting at 1:00 p.m.

This year’s race for the national championship has only seen an undisputed leader once in the past two weeks, and a three-way tie for first place has remained tied from the seventh round, unable to cope for a long time. its 11 regulatory rounds which ended on Monday afternoon.

On Tuesday, the next American King will be decided after a round robin tournament between three Grandmasters: defending champion Wesley So, frontrunner Fabiano Caruana and 20-year-old general manager Sam Sevian, who are set for a series of quick matches. with a 10 minute time control and a two second delay.

If no clear winner is produced, the playoffs will move on to blitz matches with a three-minute time check and a two-second delay. If three GMs remain tied, they will play a round robin; while two remaining GMs will play a two-game match, alternating colors. If the playoffs are still undecided after the Blitz, the next American chess champion will be determined by a series of Armageddon games, which is defined as follows: White will start with 5 minutes and Black will start with 4 minutes. Black will be declared the winner if the game ends in a draw.

Tuesday’s playoffs begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Saint Louis Chess Club center, with a live broadcast starting 10 minutes earlier alongside comments from Maurice Ashley general manager Cristian Chirila and quadruple US chess champion Yasser Seirawan on YouTube. and the official website of the event.


photo Bryan Adams, Saint Louis Chess Club

Since winning in the 7th round last Wednesday, So and Sevian have both slowed their way to extra time, each producing four straight draws, including relatively quick half-points in Monday’s final round. Sevian was the first to finish, forced to repeat after 13 hits as Black against GM Daniel Naroditsky, while So was not far behind in an uneventful Nimzo with GM Ray Robson.

Caruana, however, was the only player on the move in the second half of the national championship, going 4.0 / 5 in the final rounds and rising from the dead tournament to join the leading field entering Monday. As So and Sevian quickly prepared for Tuesday’s playoffs, Caruana had the best chance of winning the crown in regulation, leading her 11th round game to the limit with general manager Sam Shankland.

Alex King, two-time champion of the State of Tennessee, shows us how the world number 2 has managed to do in this Catalan, and CLO Round 11 Game of the Day.


General Managers Fabiano Caruana and Sam Shankland compete in the 2021 American Chess Championship Finals at the Saint Louis Chess Club. // photo Lennart Ootes

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.

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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