Six white wins shake the rankings


GMs Fabiano Caruana, Christopher Yoo, and Awonder Liang all won their third-round matches at the 2022 US Championships on Friday, with the former two teaming with GMs Sam Sevian and Hans Niemann on Nov. 2-3.

White players had a good day in the women’s game with three crucial results for FM Ruiyang Yan, WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova and WGM Tatev Abrahamyan. 12-year-old FM Alice Lee and WIM Megan Lee still lead after tying their respective games.

The fourth round of the event begins on October 8 at 11:00 am PT/8:00 pm Central European.

The Yoo train rolled on in round three, with the 15-year-old claiming another win, this time over GM Elshan Moradiabadi. Our Friday Game of the Day was analyzed by GM Rafael Leitao.

The two players are the only ones yet to draw at the event and while Yoo claimed he “didn’t know what was going on” on Friday, his play was clearly good enough to scrap his second straight win .

Yoo is one of the best players in the USA Photo: Austin Fuller/Saint Louis Chess Club.

Caruana also won his first game, propelling himself to pole position in the tournament. Against GM Dariusz Swiercz, Caruana looked shaky at times as the rating bar bobbed back and forth, but eventually took advantage of a blunder in a rook-and-pawn ending and won in 60 moves.

One of the tournament’s youngest entrants, Liang managed his first win over GM Alex Lenderman, solidly outplaying his opponent after causing irreparable structural damage before converting the advantage.

The remaining games on Friday ended in ties but were not without incident. Wesley So’s words about Niemann quickly became the news of the round, as the 2021 US champion noted, “He was disrespecting pretty much everyone in the chess world at that point, calling other players idiots and stuff. And beating the great Magnus too, everyone knows that Hans is probably the most irreverent teenager in chess.”

So didn’t mince words when it came to Niemann. Photo: Saint Louis Chess Club.

After starting the tournament with a resounding triumph and attracting a lot of attention, Niemann remained relatively calm on and off the board. In round three he separated from fifth place in the US Olympiad, GM Sam Shankland. As a white man, Shankland consistently had small chances, but never enough to put serious pressure on Niemann.

In round three, the US players faced off in sixth and seventh place. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Saint Louis Chess Club.

GM Levon Aronian had a slim lead with Black against Sevian, who built up a one-pawn advantage going into the endgame, but missed his opportunity with 67.d6! to press. Aronian is yet to claim a win in the Open but has been solid throughout.

Sevian knew he was close to beating Aronian on Friday. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Saint Louis Chess Club.

US Championship | All games round 3

Round 3 Open Scoring

At the women’s event fortissimo iThis is a more accurate way of describing Abrahamyan’s statement playing in round three, as opposed to the Giuco Pianissimo opening she opted for. Abrahamyan threw blow after blow as she derailed FM Jennifer Yu’s winning streak and knocked her off the top of the standings.

Like Abrahamyan, Tokhirjonova won her second game of the Grand Prix Variation against FM Rochelle Wu’s Sicilian defence. Wu was in big trouble after 12 moves, and her problems only got worse as inaccuracies crept in. On the brink of victory, Tokhirjonova misplayed and gave Wu a glimmer of hope for a draw. Complications proved too difficult to overcome under time pressure and Uzbekistan-born WGM soon found themselves in a winning endgame.

Yan was the third winner in the women’s on Friday, toppling bottom WFM Sophie Morris-Suzuki in a slow burner.

Yan’s win has put them in sixth through ninth tie breaks. Photo: Austin Fuller/Saint Louis Chess Club.

Although the other four games ended in a draw in round three, there were many instructive moments. Co-leader (Megan) Lee had to play a perfect endgame to hold his own against top seed GM Irina Krush by carefully rejecting a poisoned pawn on move 30, a decision that saved the game.

Rising star (Alice) Lee also scored an important draw against WGM Thalia Cervantes with the black pieces to move up to 2.5/3. Lee will likely try to push for a win with White in her match against Yan in round four to potentially take the sole lead.

US Women’s Championship | All games round 3

Round 3 women’s ranking

The 2022 US Chess Championships will be held in St. Louis from October 4-20, 2022 to determine the next chess champions of the United States. The US Women’s Championship 2022 will take place at the same time. Both events have the same format: 14 players, 13-round tournament with prize money of $250,500 for the US Championship and $154,000 for the US Women’s Championship.

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