US Chess Championships R7: Sevian, so join the leaders

In the seventh round of the 2021 US Chess Championship, two players joined GM Alexandr Lenderman at the top of the standings: GM Sam Sevian claimed another victory, this time with Black against GM Lazaro Bruzon Batista, while GM Wesley So beat GM John M. Burke, also with the black pieces. Now all three players have 4.5 / 7, while general managers Ray Robson and Leinier Dominguez Perez are half a point behind.

In the US Women’s Championship, IM Carissa Yip defeated IM Anna Zatonskih, making her the only leader with 5/7. WGM Katerina Nemcova and GM Irina Krush currently share second place with 4.5 / 7.

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In the seventh round, three decisive matches were played. Burke opted for 4.d3 Anti-Berlin against So, but the latter showed significantly better preparedness. On the ninth move, White was out of the book and immediately made a mistake. The position was still good, but Burke then accepted a very dangerous pawn sacrifice, which resulted in So winning a trade. White had a chance to come out but couldn’t find it and So perfectly converted his advantage, which allowed him to join the leaders with 4.5 / 7.

Sevian, who caused a stir yesterday by beating Caruana, continued a breathtaking run by beating Bruzon with the black pieces. He chose a very ambitious setup in the reverse Benoni and was under a bit of pressure, but the Whites made a significant imprecision on the 13th move that allowed Sevian to immediately take the initiative.

He handled the game with extreme confidence and on the 21st move Bruzon was less than ten minutes away and made a decisive blunder by trapping his tower. So after 22 moves, Sevian became one of the leaders of the tournament.

Sam Sevian bolstered yesterday’s success by beating solid Bruzon with Black in just 22 strokes. Photo: Lennart Ootes / Saint Louis Chess Club.

Seeded Caruana, who has had a terrible tournament so far, scored a full point today, which must have at least relieved his fans somewhat. In his match against Robson, he opted for the Englishman who ended up in a reverse Rossolimo type position. It was an interesting choice from a psychological point of view, for two reasons: on the one hand, Caruana played these positions a lot for the Whites in his world championship game against Carlsen, and probably has a better idea. for them than almost anyone. in the world. Second, he must have noticed that Robson struggled in Rossolimo with the Whites yesterday which might have made him think this type of position would be a good choice.

Caruana got a big advantage in the opening as White, but then let go of the advantage. He again dominated the opponent, using the bishop pair, but on move 60, he allowed Black to capture the bishop and build a fortress. However, Robson did not take the opportunity, and while it was still possible to escape with very precise play, ended up losing after 90 hits and many hours of fighting. That, of course, means he no longer shares the top spot, while Caruana is back at 50% with 3.5 / 7.

After losing two games in a row, the seed managed to come back by beating Ray Robson in the 7th round. Photo: Lennart Ootes / Saint Louis Chess Club.

In the interview, Caruana said: “Most of my matches in this tournament were bad, so I thought maybe just playing a normal match would be good. I don’t know if it was a good one. game, but at least it was a really big step up from previous rounds. “

… At least that was a really big step forward from the previous laps.
– GM Fabiano Caruana

Another leader, Lenderman, had the Whites against GM Jeffery Xiong. He took a lot of pressure in the Queen’s Gambit Declined trade variation, but Black defended well and the players eventually agreed to a draw with a triple repetition on the 38th move.

GM Daniel Naroditsky continues to give vent to his pot of opening surprises, having played Schliemann Gambit today in Ruy Lopez, which starts with 3 … f5. This is a very bold line, which was often used by GM Teimour Radjabov at the time, but which eventually fell into disuse. His opponent, Dominguez, did not get a real advantage in the opening but then dominated Black in the middle of the game. However, Naroditsky was defending a turn final on a pawn very well, which allowed him to save a half point.

Daniel Naroditsky has a lot of opening surprises. Today, he chose the daring Schliemann Gambit to design Dominguez. Photo: Lennart Ootes / Saint Louis Chess Club.

Finally, GM Sam Shankland chose the Berlin defense against GM Dariusz Swiercz. The game was relatively even until stroke 37 when Shankland decided not to trade turns, which got him into trouble. He almost lost but stubbornly defended himself and Swiercz failed to convert his advantage. On the 68th move, the players ran out of coins and agreed to a draw.

United States Championship All Games Round 7

7th round classification

2021 American Chess Championships

The seventh round of the US Women’s Chess Championship was very eventful and ended with four playoffs as well as a new tournament leader!

Carissa Yip continued her quest for the top spot, beating IM Anna Zatonskih in a very impressive attacking game in the French defense. Yip clearly likes this variant of gambit, where White sacrifices a pawn a lot because they won very similarly in the second round against WGM Tatev Abrahamyan.

The other player who led throughout the event, Nemcova, is now half a point behind, having drawn more: this time, with the black pieces against Abrahamyan. White was pressing the whole game, so Black should be pretty happy to have saved a draw.

Tatev Abrahamyan hasn’t had the best tournament so far, but today she forced frontman Nemcova to fight for a draw. Photo: Bryan Adams / Saint Louis Chess Club.

Another leader, WIM Ashritha Eswaran, didn’t have the best day, as she lost with the black pieces to Krush. Players had a long theoretical discussion in the trendy 5.Bf4 variant of the Queen’s Gambit Declined and the two had over an hour and twenty minutes after 21 moves. The position was rather dangerous for Black, which allowed Krush to continue an attack on the king’s wing. Eswaran had a chance to defend but failed to come up with a precise solution, after which his position quickly collapsed. It was a very important victory for Krush, who now shares second place with a score of 4.5 / 7.

IM Nazi Paikidze, who had a score of +1 after six rounds, clearly wanted to win today with Black against WIM Megan Lee. She played the hippo defense, which is an attempt to sidestep theory and gain a complex, albeit somewhat inferior, position. It paid off, and soon Black took the initiative. However, she then played the position badly and the Whites started to take over. Lee dominated his opponent, won completely, and then … allowed a stalemate. But the tragicomedy is not over: Paikidze does not spot the miraculous escape and must resign soon. Second consecutive victory for Lee, and a difficult day for Paikidze, now far from the leaders.

Megan Lee won her second consecutive victory – her time, in a very dramatic way against Nazi Paikidze. Photo: Bryan Adams / Saint Louis Chess Club.

In the final deciding match of the round, WGM Anna Sharevich defeated WGM Thalia Landeiro Cervantes with the black pieces. By move 25, the players reached a rather calm and balanced stance, typical of Queen’s Gambit Declined. In time, Cervantes cleared a decisive attack at the king’s wing, which Sharevich converted to victory quite easily. Now both players have a score of minus one, with 3/7.

Finally, WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova had a very murky match against WGM Sabina-Francesca Foisor. White got a big advantage at the start but missed out on their chances of winning. As it turns out, she was a pawn in a Madman Endgame, but Foisor managed to build a fortress and save a half point, a truly fantastic escape.

U.S. Women’s Championship Every Game, Round 7

7th round classification

2021 United States Women's Chess Championship

The 2021 US Chess Championships will be held October 5-19, 2021 in St. Louis to determine the next US Chess Champions. The 2021 United States Women’s Championship is running concurrently. Both events have the same format: 12 players, 11 round tournament with a prize fund of $ 194,000 for the US Championship and $ 100,000 for the US Women’s. Championship.

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