The Agony of Chess: Round 3 at the Senior and Juniors

The 2022 Girls Junior Championship was where the most dramatic action was on Saturday, including some spectacular games that came down to the wire.

 

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2022 Girls Jr Rd3 Standings
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courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios

 

In the end, WFM Sophie Morris-Suzuki remained in first place, a half-point ahead of FM Thalia Cervantes Landeiro and a point ahead of FMs Jennifer Yu and Ruiyang Yan.

 

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Sophie Morris-Suzuki
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Sophie Morris-Suzuki (courtesy SLCC / Bryan Adams)

 

We start with a great fight that features the most exciting finish of the tournament thus far:

 

 

Another consequential game with a last-minute twist was the battle between WIM Ellen Wang and Yu.

 

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Wang versus Jennifer Yu
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Wang versus Yu (courtesy SLCC / C. Fuller)

 

White stood better most of the game, but at one point gave Black the chance to sacrifice the exchange and force a draw. Yu made the risky decision to play on, which paid off handsomely: she survived a very bad middlegame and got to an ending with a tiny edge. At the last minute, Wang missed a tactical point and her fine play went entirely to waste.

 


GM Max Dlugy had the only win of the day in the Senior Championship when IM Igor Khmelnitsky played into an awful queenless middlegame and was arguably lost by move 6 (Dlugy said move 9).

 

 

The craziest game was between GMs Igor Novikov and Alex Shabalov, a King’s Indian in which White gained a huge space advantage and had what seemed a very promising game, but somehow Shabalov as Black was able to close the position in a way that made White’s various potential breaks harmless. The other three games were well played and generally stayed within drawing range.

 

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2022 Senior Rd3 Standings

 

At the end of the day, GMs Larry Christiansen, Novikov, and Dlugy were tied for first with two points, with four others a half-point behind and no one out of contention. This promises to be a closely-contested tournament throughout.


The Junior Championship featured a number of hard-fought games on Saturday.

 

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2022 Jr Rd3 standings
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courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios

 

GM Andrew Hong drew IM Justin Wang and finished the day tied for first place at 2½ points with GM Christopher Yoo, who beat Pedro Espinosa (see below).

Scenes from the epic Mishra-Liang battle

 

Just behind them tied at two points are Wang and GM Abhimanyu Mishru, who was massively fortunate against top-ranked GM Awonder Liang:

 

 

Yoo was fortunate to dodge another miraculous resource in his win over Espinosa:

 

 

Play continues Sunday at 1pm Central, with live coverage direct from the Saint Louis Chess Club via uschesschamps.com along with the SLCC YouTube and Twitch channels.


Quick Links:

Complete, round-by-round event coverage on uschess.org

Event info (pairings, standings, and scholarship information) at uschesschamps.com
St. Louis Chess Club YouTube – daily stream at 1 p.m. Central
St. Louis Chess Club Twitch – daily stream at 1 p.m. Central

Live games at lichess.org:

Annotated games from US Chess (lichess study)

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