Can You Play Like a U.S. Championship Contender?

As the U.S. Championships pass the midway point, test your own abilities with the critical moments and key tactics in the event so far.

After her victory against Irina Krush today, defending U.S. Women’s Champion Nazi Paikidze is the clear leader by half a point. Photo: U.S. Championship Official Website

Tactic #1

Irina Krush vs. Nazi Paikidze

Position after 37. Nge4

Black to move.

Level: Warm-Up


Although World Junior Champion Jeffery Xiong went undefeated as Black against two Top 10 players, Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana, five-time U.S. Champion Gata Kamsky finally broke his defense. Photo: US Championship Official Website

Tactic #2

Jeffery Xiong vs. Gata Kamsky

Position after 65. Ne3

Black to move.

Level: Intermediate

Tatev Abrahamyan, one of the tournament favorites, has had a slow start with an even score after 6 rounds. Will she make a fight for the lead in the second half of the tournament? Photo: US Championship Official Website

Tactic #3

Tatev Abrahamyan vs. Apurva Virkud

In a sharp Sicilian Defense, Virkud played inaccurately against the more experienced Abrahamyan. How can White take advantage of Black’s misplaced pieces?

Position after 20…Bd6

White to move.

Level: Advanced

Wesley So is the current sole leader of the U.S. Championship and reached 62 games without a loss today. Photo: U.S. Championship Official Website

Endgame #1

Wesley So vs. Fabiano Caruana

One of the most important games of the entire event between Top Seed Wesley So vs. Defending U.S. Champion Fabiano Caruana featured a critical endgame battle. Caruana has been pressing a small edge throughout the game, how did So fight for equality?

Position after 40…Kh6

White to move.

Level: Intermediate


Defending Champion Fabiano Caruana won his first game of the event today against Gata Kamsky. He trails So by half a point along with Hikaru Nakamura, Varuzhan Akobian, Daniel Naroditsky, and Yaroslav Zherebukh. Photo: U.S. Championship Official Website


U.S. Championship

U.S. Women’s Championship

Round 7 Pairings

U.S. Championship

U.S. Women’s Championship

Live games and commentary by GM Yasser Seirawan, WGM Jennifer Shahade, and GM Maurice Ashley are featured at the U.S. Championship Official Website.

Rounds are everyday at 1 p.m. CST from March 29th-April 10th. For live updates during rounds, follow our Twitter account: @USChess


  1. Nifty way to keep up with events all over the globe in real time with The Vanessa West ! My goodness… Jam that news in there as well. Make it snap, crack, cackle and pop.Try things, have guts, never be afraid..some of your best ideas for the column presentation may occur while you are shopping for groceries. You are creating your own world for the readers. Good winds always, Jude Acers/ New Orleans

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