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With Few Rounds to Go, Two Californians Leading US Chess Championships

Posted: 1 year, 3 months ago

By IM Vignesh Panchanatham

For prior coverage, see days onetwothreefive, six, seven (with analysis of the win by BAC coach GM Zviad Izoria over GM Hikaru Nakamura), and four (with analysis of Zviad's win over world championship challenger, GM Fabiano Caruana.) 

 

As the US Championships begin drawing to a close, fighting chess continues to be played, with two more decisive results in the eighth round. 

GM Shankland drew with black against GM Nakamura, forming a strong attack against the white king, but remaining out of reach of the decisive result. With a roughly symmetrical pawn structure arising from the Petroff Defense, GM Caruana and GM So drew as well. Therefore, the top of the standings remains unchanged. GM Onischuk was also unable to make anything against GM Xiong’s Grunfeld Defense. Similarly, GM Zherebukh could only achieve equality against GM Izoria’s unorthodox opening. GM Lenderman made the most of GM Liang’s inaccuracies to convert the win. GM Robson won two pieces for the rook in a French Defense, utilized them effectively in the endgame to defeat GM Akobian.

 

However, the most outstanding results from today were probably from the US Women’s Championships. Every single one of the games in the eighth round were decisive! Moreover, the leader of this tournament is not one of the usual favorites, but rather 15-year-old WIM Annie Wang, another California native. Huge congratulations to Annie for such a dominant performance, leading the field by a full point after her victory over GM Irina Krush.