Chaos in St. Louis!

Remember yesterday when I wrote that it was “steady on” after seven rounds at the 2021 Junior, Girls’ Junior, and Senior Championships?

Yeah. About that...

Saturday’s eighth round saw two leaders — GM Gregory Kaidanov in the Senior, and GM Hans Niemann in the Junior — fall back to earth after losses to GM Alex Yermolinsky and IM Christopher Yoo, respectively. While both Kaidanov and Niemann still lead their sections, their leads are down to a slim half-point with one round to play, meaning that everything is still to play for in today’s ninth and final round.

It will be a much calmer walk to the Saint Louis Chess Club for IM Annie Wang. After a draw yesterday against Alice Lee, Wang leads the Girls’ Junior by a full point at 6½/9 with one round to go. This gives her effective draw odds in today’s game against Ruiyang Yan, as a shared point guarantees her clear first place.


Senior

 

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Round 8 results
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courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios

 

Let’s begin with the Kaidanov – Yermolinsky game, where “Uncle Yermo,” who had drawn all his games in the tournament thus far, got the better of the leader in a very concrete position. FM Robert Shlyakhtenko has all the details in the first of his Games of the Day.

 

[pgn][Event "US Senior champs"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8"] [White "Kaidanov, Gregory"] [Black "Yermolinsky, Alex"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D94"] [Annotator "Shlyakhtenko,Robert"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2021.07.17"] {[%evp 0,66,20,18,18,-4,33,27,33,36,36,36,37,37,37,36,34,29,50,32,33,22,19,9,9, 13,17,23,23,12,21,29,54,0,8,-3,51,-24,-20,-28,-53,-67,-51,-62,-50,-129,-151, -151,-38,-72,-72,-146,-53,-217,-217,-242,-234,-291,-293,-295,-277,-361,-361, -364,-351,-385,-399,-29979,-29980]} 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 g6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O b6 8. b3 e6 {An extremely solid, but slightly passive setup for black.} 9. a4 {Going for queenside expansion.} ({In 2014, Kaidanov had played} 9. Ba3 Re8 10. Rc1 Bb7 11. Ne5 Nbd7 12. f4 $14 {1/2-1/2 (39) Kaidanov,G (2569)-Bu,X (2710) Las Vegas 2014}) 9... Bb7 10. Ba3 Re8 11. b4 Nbd7 12. Qb3 Rb8 ({A very interesting option was} 12... a5 $5 {, and white has to choose how to modify the pawn structure.} 13. cxd5 (13. b5 c5 $1) (13. c5 axb4 14. Qxb4 Ba6 $1) (13. bxa5 dxc4 14. Bxc4 Rxa5 15. Bb4 Rf5 $5 {seems quite promising for black. He is intending ...c5 after basically any move.}) 13... Nxd5 14. Nxd5 exd5 15. bxa5 Rxa5 16. Bb4 Ra7 {and after the trade of bishops with ...Ba6, black is fine.}) 13. Rac1 Ne4 14. Rfd1 Nxc3 15. Rxc3 c5 16. Qc2 ( 16. bxc5 $5 bxc5 17. cxd5 Bxd5 18. Qc2 Bxf3 19. Bxf3 cxd4 20. exd4 $14) 16... cxd4 ({After} 16... cxb4 $1 17. Bxb4 Nf6 {and ...Ne4, black seems to be just in time with his counterplay.}) 17. Nxd4 dxc4 ({Again, black should have played } 17... Nf6 {, since} 18. c5 Ne4 19. Rb3 e5 $1 20. Nb5 a6 {does not seem to be very dangerous for him.}) 18. b5 ({Stronger was} 18. Rxc4 {, based on the following line:} Ne5 (18... Qg5 19. g3 Ne5 20. Rc7) 19. Nxe6 Qe7 20. Nxg7 Nxc4 21. Nxe8 Nxa3 22. Nf6+ $1 {This is the difficult idea to see.} Qxf6 (22... Kg7 23. Nh5+ $1 gxh5 24. Qc3+) 23. Qc7 $16) 18... Qg5 {All of a sudden the position becomes extremely concrete.} 19. Nc6 $6 {This is very tempting, but objectively the complications do not work out favourably for white.} ({It seems that black is getting counterplay after} 19. g3 $1 Nc5 20. Rxc4 Be4 21. Qc1 Bd5 {, but now white can sacrifice an exchange:} 22. h4 Qf6 23. Bxc5 $1 Bxc4 24. Qxc4 bxc5 25. Nc6 $16) 19... Bxc3 20. Rxd7 Bxc6 21. bxc6 Qa5 $1 { This is a very easy move to miss. All of a sudden things are not clear at all, as white's queen cannot capture on c4 and the c7-pawn becomes very weak. After this point, it's incredible how quickly black's position became winning.} ({ After the placid} 21... Bf6 22. c7 Rbc8 23. Qxc4 {white easily keeps the c7-pawn with Bd6 next and has a winning position.}) 22. c7 Rbc8 23. Bxc4 $6 ({ White's best try might have been} 23. Bd6 {, leading to wild complications after} b5 $1 24. Qe4 $1 {(all of a sudden creating an attack!)} Qxa4 (24... Bg7 25. Qf3 f6 26. Be5 Rf8 27. Bd6 {likely leads to a draw by repetition.}) 25. Qf3 f5 26. Qc6 $13 {with the threat of Be7.} ({also possible is} 26. Qh3 Qa1+ 27. Bf1 Bg7 28. Bf4 $5 {with the idea of Bh6.})) 23... b5 ({It turns out that it's better to play the safer} 23... Be5 $1 24. Qd1 (24. Bf1 b5 $1) 24... Bxc7 25. Qf3 Qf5 26. Qxf5 gxf5 27. Ba6 {, and even though white wins back an exchange he remains a pawn down.}) 24. Bxb5 a6 25. Bc6 $2 ({White had a fantastic save in} 25. Qe4 $3 {, again searching for kingside counterplay.} axb5 (25... Rxc7 26. Rxc7 axb5 27. Rb7 {is similar.}) 26. Qf4 Bf6 $1 27. Bb4 Rxc7 $1 28. Rxc7 Qxa4 29. g3 $1 {with some counterplay.}) 25... Bb2 $2 {It's very difficult to give this move a question mark, since it is the one that won the game!} ({ Black wins after the simple} 25... Be5 26. Qd1 Bxc7 $19) 26. Rd1 $2 ({At this point Kaidanov was very low on time, and in such a situation finding the correct defense mostly comes down to random chance. Amazingly, after} 26. g3 $3 Bxa3 27. Bb7 Bc5 28. Bxc8 Rxc8 29. Qb2 $1 {white has enough counterplay for the piece -- both Qb8 and Qf6 are threatened.}) 26... Qxc7 $1 {Now black is easily winning.} 27. Qxb2 Qxc6 28. h4 Qxa4 29. Rd4 Rc4 30. Rd2 Rxh4 31. Bd6 e5 32. g3 Rh5 33. Bc7 Qc6 0-1 [/pgn]

Kaidanov’s loss puts him at 6/9, a half-point ahead of GM Larry Christansen, who drew in Round Eight against GM Igor Novikov. Today Kaidanov takes Black against Novikov, while, in a battle of the oldest competitors in the field, the 65-year-old Christiansen also has Black against 69-year-old GM Jim Tarjan. The affable Tarjan is at 4½/8 after two wins in a row against GMs Melik Khachiyan and Alex Shabalov.

[pgn][Event "U.S. Senior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.1"] [White "Sokolin, Leonid"] [Black "Fishbein, Alexander"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B44"] [WhiteElo "2497"] [BlackElo "2417"] [PlyCount "196"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nb5 d6 6. c4 Nf6 7. N1c3 a6 8. Nd4 Be7 9. Be2 O-O 10. O-O Nxd4 11. Qxd4 Bd7 12. Rd1 Bc6 13. Be3 Qb8 14. a4 a5 15. f3 Rd8 16. Kh1 d5 17. cxd5 exd5 18. e5 Nd7 19. Nxd5 Bc5 20. Qc3 Bxe3 21. Nxe3 Qxe5 22. Rxd7 Qxc3 23. Rxd8+ Rxd8 24. bxc3 Re8 25. Nc4 Rxe2 26. Nxa5 Bxa4 27. Nxb7 Kf8 28. Kg1 Bc6 29. Nd6 Bd7 30. Ra7 Be6 31. Rc7 g6 32. Nb5 Rb2 33. Nd4 Ba2 34. h4 Kg7 35. Rc5 h5 36. Kf1 Kf6 37. Kg1 Ke7 38. Rc6 Kd7 39. Ra6 Rd2 40. Ra4 Kd6 41. Ra8 Kd7 42. Ra6 Rb2 43. Nc6 Be6 44. Ne5+ Ke7 45. Ra7+ Kf6 46. Nd3 Rd2 47. Nb4 Rb2 48. Rc7 Rd2 49. Kh2 Ke5 50. Kg3 Kd6 51. Rc6+ Kd7 52. Kh2 Ke7 53. Kg1 Rd1+ 54. Kf2 Rd2+ 55. Kf1 Kd7 56. Rc5 Kd6 57. Ra5 Bc4+ 58. Kg1 Rd1+ 59. Kh2 Rd2 60. Ra1 Kc5 61. Re1 Be6 62. Kg3 Kc4 63. Re3 Bd7 64. Kh2 Bb5 65. Kh3 Bd7+ 66. Kg3 Bb5 67. Re5 f6 68. Re3 Kb3 69. Re6 Kxc3 70. Nc6 Bf1 71. Rxf6 Rxg2+ 72. Kf4 Bd3 73. Ne5 Bb1 74. Rc6+ Kd4 75. Rd6+ Kc5 76. Rd1 Bf5 77. Rd8 Rg1 78. Rd2 Bb1 79. Nd7+ Kc6 80. Nf6 Rh1 81. Kg5 Rg1+ 82. Kf4 Rh1 83. Kg3 Bf5 84. Rd4 Kc5 85. Rd5+ Kc4 86. Ra5 Kb4 87. Rxf5 gxf5 88. Nxh5 Kc5 89. Kf4 Rxh4+ 90. Kg5 Rh3 91. f4 Kd5 92. Nf6+ Ke6 93. Ne8 Rg3+ 94. Kh6 Kd5 95. Nf6+ Kd4 96. Kh5 Ke3 97. Kh4 Rg1 98. Nh5 Kd4 0-1 [Event "U.S. Senior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.2"] [White "Khachiyan, Melikset"] [Black "Benjamin, Joel"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B23"] [WhiteElo "2474"] [BlackElo "2506"] [PlyCount "54"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nd4 4. Nf3 e6 5. O-O a6 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. Re1 g5 8. Rf1 g4 9. Ne1 h5 10. f4 b5 11. b3 Bg7 12. Bb2 Bd4+ 13. Kh1 Bb7 14. Qc1 h4 15. Ne2 h3 16. Nxd4 hxg2+ 17. Nxg2 Nxd4 18. Bxd4 cxd4 19. Qe1 Rh3 20. Kg1 Qb6 21. a4 b4 22. Qe2 Nf6 23. a5 Qc5 24. Kf2 Bxe4 25. Ke1 Bf3 26. Qe5 Qxe5+ 27. fxe5 Nd5 0-1 [Event "U.S. Senior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.3"] [White "Kaidanov, Gregory"] [Black "Yermolinsky, Alex"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D10"] [WhiteElo "2547"] [BlackElo "2478"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 g6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O b6 8. b3 e6 9. a4 Bb7 10. Ba3 Re8 11. b4 Nbd7 12. Qb3 Rb8 13. Rac1 Ne4 14. Rfd1 Nxc3 15. Rxc3 c5 16. Qc2 cxd4 17. Nxd4 dxc4 18. b5 Qg5 19. Nc6 Bxc3 20. Rxd7 Bxc6 21. bxc6 Qa5 22. c7 Rbc8 23. Bxc4 b5 24. Bxb5 a6 25. Bc6 Bb2 26. Rd1 Qxc7 27. Qxb2 Qxc6 28. h4 Qxa4 29. Rd4 Rc4 30. Rd2 Rxh4 31. Bd6 e5 32. g3 Rh5 33. Bc7 Qc6 0-1 [Event "U.S. Senior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.4"] [White "Christiansen, Larry"] [Black "Novikov, Igor"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D02"] [BlackElo "2554"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bf4 c5 4. e3 Qb6 5. Nc3 a6 6. dxc5 Qxc5 7. Ne5 e6 8. Bd3 Bd6 9. Nf3 Nbd7 10. O-O O-O 11. Re1 e5 12. Bg3 b5 13. e4 d4 14. Nd5 Nxd5 15. exd5 Bb7 16. Bf5 Rfd8 17. Qd3 g6 18. Bxd7 Rxd7 19. Nxe5 Qxd5 20. f3 Bxe5 21. Rxe5 Qc4 22. Rae1 Qxd3 23. cxd3 Bd5 24. Re8+ Rxe8 25. Rxe8+ Kg7 26. a3 f6 27. Kf2 Kf7 28. Rc8 Bb7 29. Rc7 Rxc7 30. Bxc7 1/2-1/2 [Event "U.S. Senior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.5"] [White "Shabalov, Alexander"] [Black "Tarjan, James"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C84"] [WhiteElo "2521"] [BlackElo "2381"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. Bd2 O-O 9. h3 h6 10. Re1 Re8 11. a3 Be6 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. c3 d5 14. exd5 Qxd5 15. Qe2 Rad8 16. Nxe5 Nxe5 17. Qxe5 Qxd3 18. a4 Bd6 19. Qe2 Qxe2 20. Rxe2 Nd5 21. Na3 Rb8 22. axb5 axb5 23. Nc2 Ra8 24. Rae1 Ra2 25. Bc1 Bc5 26. Kf1 Kf7 27. Rd1 c6 28. Ke1 Re7 29. Rd3 e5 30. Rf3+ Ke8 31. Rf5 e4 32. Rh5 Bd6 33. Rh4 e3 34. Bxe3 Rxb2 35. Kd2 Be5 36. c4 Bf6 37. Rh5 Nxe3 38. fxe3 b4 0-1 [/pgn]

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Round 8 standings
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courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios

Junior

 

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Round 8 results
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courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios

 

Niemann leads a trio of competitors — GM Brandon Jacobson, and IMs Praveen Balakrishnan and David Brodsky — by a half-point at 5½/9 heading into today’s final round after a crushing loss to IM Christopher Yoo in Round Nine.

Niemann pressed for a win in a position that may not have warranted such optimism, and as happens so often, Caïssa’s punishment for hubris was swift. FM Shlyakhtenko has all the details in his second Game of the Day offering.

 

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Christopher Yoo
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Christopher Yoo (courtesy SLCC / Crystal Fuller)

 

[pgn][Event "US Junior champs"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8"] [White "Yoo, Christopher"] [Black "Niemann, Hans"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D90"] [Annotator "Shlyakhtenko,Robert"] [PlyCount "107"] [EventDate "2021.07.17"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. h4 c6 6. cxd5 {This is white's most solid approach. He is hoping to get a better version of an Exchange Slav position, because black's bishop on g7 is slightly bad.} cxd5 7. Bf4 O-O 8. e3 Nc6 9. Be2 $5 (9. Ne5) ({and} 9. Qb3 {are white's main attempts for an advanage.}) 9... Bf5 (9... Bg4 {is more common and seems more natural.}) 10. Qb3 Qd7 11. Rd1 {This looks like the best plan for white. He is preparing Ne5 and then to recapture with the d-pawn.} Na5 $6 {A very ambitious but risky move. After the knight is exchanged off on c4, white will have an extra central pawn and the c4-pawn will become weak.} ({In one correspondence game, black played} 11... Rfc8 {with the point that} 12. Ne5 Qd8 13. Qxb7 Rab8 14. Nxc6 Rxb7 15. Nxd8 Rxb2 $1 {works out for black.}) 12. Qa3 Nc4 13. Bxc4 dxc4 14. Ne5 Qd8 ({After} 14... Qc8 15. Qxe7 {black's compensation is insufficient.} ) 15. Qb4 $6 {Yoo wants to simplify the position.} ({The critical move is of course} 15. Nxc4 {and I do not see how black can get full compensation. After most moves white will play Ne5 and castle.} Nd5 ({For instance,} 15... b5 16. Ne5 $16 (16. Nxb5 $2 Qd5 $1)) 16. O-O Nxf4 17. exf4 e6 18. g3 $16 {Neither of black's bishops is especially strong.}) 15... Nd5 $1 16. Qxb7 ({If white was playing for a win, he could have gone for} 16. Nxd5 Qxd5 17. f3) 16... Nxf4 ( 16... Nxc3 $5 {was the alternative, and after} 17. bxc3 Bxe5 18. Bxe5 Bd3 { the play becomes very concrete. For instance,} 19. h5 f6 20. Bg3 Qa5 21. Rxd3 $1 cxd3 22. Qb3+ Rf7 23. hxg6 hxg6 24. Kd2 {with compensation.}) 17. exf4 Rb8 18. Qxa7 Rxb2 {White has an extra pawn, but in view of his poor structure and black's activity he cannot really hope for an advantage.} 19. O-O ({or} 19. Nc6 Qd6 20. Nxe7+ Kh8 21. Nxf5 Qxf4 $1 22. O-O Qxf5) 19... e6 20. g3 Qa8 21. Qxa8 Rxa8 22. Nxc4 Rc2 23. Rc1 Bxd4 24. Rxc2 Bxc2 25. Rc1 Bd3 26. Rd1 {Simplifying the position even further. Black can take on c4 and a2 and make a draw if he wants to, but Niemann makes the unjustified decision to play on and gives white a passed pawn for free.} Bxf2+ $6 {The a2-pawn is obviously much more important than the f2-pawn. This is nothing more than a winning attempt in a position where no winning attempt should exist.} ({After} 26... Bxc4 27. Rxd4 Bxa2 28. Nxa2 Rxa2 {the game would have been agreed drawn and Niemann would have had a full-point lead heading into the last round.}) 27. Kxf2 Bxc4 28. a4 Bb3 ({Another setup was} 28... Ra5 29. Ke3 Bd5 30. Kd4 Kg7 31. Ra1 Kf6 32. Nxd5+ $5 exd5 $1 {and white cannot make progress.}) 29. Ra1 Rc8 30. Ne4 Kg7 31. Ra3 Bd5 32. Nd2 Kf6 33. a5 Rc2 34. Ke3 Kf5 35. a6 Kg4 36. Ne4 Ba8 37. Kd4 Re2 ( {The best defense was} 37... h6 38. Nf6+ Kf5 39. Ne8 Rc6 40. a7 h5 {and white cannot make progress as the knight is limited.}) 38. Nf6+ Kf5 39. Ne8 ({ There is probably nothing wrong with} 39. Nxh7 {, simply taking a pawn.}) 39... Rc2 $2 {allowing white to complete the knight regrouping.} ({Black's best chance by now was to give up the bishop for the a-pawn and try to win the kingside pawns in the meantime.} 39... e5+ $1 40. fxe5 Re4+ $1 41. Kd3 Rxe5 42. Nc7 Bg2 43. a7 Kg4 44. Kd4 Rf5 45. a8=Q Bxa8 46. Nxa8 Rf3 $11) 40. Nd6+ Kf6 41. Nc4 {Now Black's position is very dangerous. White's knight is perfectly placed, preparing Kc5 in some variations and also threatening Nb6.} h5 ({ Maybe a better try was} 41... Rc1 42. a7 Rd1+ 43. Kc5 h5 {, with the idea of} 44. Nb6 Bb7 45. a8=Q Bxa8 46. Nxa8 e5 $1 {and black trades an important pair of pawns.}) 42. a7 Rg2 43. Nb6 Bb7 44. Rb3 {Good technique -- white wants to improve his position as much as he can before capturing the bishop.} Rd2+ 45. Ke3 Rd8 ({The position can no longer be saved, since after} 45... Rd1 46. Rb5 $1 {black no longer has the ...e5 resource and white can queen next move.} ({ But not} 46. Nd7+ $2 Rxd7 47. Rxb7 Rxb7 48. a8=Q Rb5 {with chances to create a fortress.}) 46... Ra1 {loses to} (46... Rd8 {is similar to the game.}) 47. Nd7+ ) 46. Nc4 Bh1 47. Rb8 Ke7 48. Rxd8 Kxd8 {After rooks are traded, the game is essentially over.} 49. Nb6 Kc7 50. a8=Q Bxa8 51. Nxa8+ Kc6 ({or} 51... Kb7 52. Kd4 Kxa8 53. Ke5 {and the king comes to f6.}) 52. Ke4 f6 53. Kd4 Kb7 54. Kc5 { I think the psychology of the tournament situation played a big part in this game. Chris had just suffered three losses in a row. In this case it takes immense mental fortitude to come, play, and not only stabilize the situation but to even win the game. On the other hand, Hans lead the tournament and clearly wanted a full point here as well, taking an unjustified risk which lead not even to a draw, but to a loss.} 1-0 [/pgn]

As fate has would have it, the top two score groups are paired against one another in today’s final round. Niemann has White against Jacobson, while Brodsky takes White against Balakrishnan. Expect fireworks in these games as the players go all-out for tournament glory!

[pgn][Event "U.S. Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.1"] [White "Li, Ben"] [Black "Hong, Andrew"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D24"] [WhiteElo "2376"] [BlackElo "2474"] [PlyCount "176"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 dxc4 4. Nc3 a6 5. e4 b5 6. e5 Nd5 7. a4 e6 8. axb5 Bb4 9. Qc2 Nb6 10. Qe4 Qd5 11. Qg4 axb5 12. Rxa8 Qxa8 13. Be2 Kf8 14. O-O Bxc3 15. bxc3 h6 16. Qh4 Nc6 17. Ng5 Ne7 18. Bf3 Nbd5 19. Ne4 Bb7 20. Qg4 Kg8 21. h4 Nf5 22. h5 Bc6 23. Re1 Kh7 24. Nc5 Nde7 25. Bd1 Qa1 26. Bd2 Qb2 27. Qe2 b4 28. cxb4 Nxd4 29. Qe3 Nd5 30. Qe4+ Nf5 31. Bg4 Nde3 32. Bxf5+ Nxf5 33. Qxc6 Qxd2 34. Ra1 Qc3 35. Rd1 Qxe5 36. Na6 c3 37. Qc4 Nd6 38. Qd3+ Qf5 39. Qxc3 Qxh5 40. Qd3+ Nf5 41. Nxc7 Rc8 42. Nb5 Qg4 43. Rb1 Rc4 44. Qb3 Nh4 45. Qd3+ f5 46. Qg3 Rxb4 47. Rxb4 Qxb4 48. Nc7 Qe1+ 49. Kh2 Ng6 50. Qd6 Qxf2 51. Nxe6 Qh4+ 52. Kg1 Qe1+ 53. Kh2 Qe5+ 54. Qxe5 Nxe5 55. Kg3 g5 56. Kf2 Kg6 57. g3 Kf6 58. Nc5 Ke7 59. Nb3 Nc6 60. Nd2 Ke6 61. Nc4 Ne5 62. Nb6 h5 63. Kg2 Ng6 64. Kf3 h4 65. gxh4 Nxh4+ 66. Kg3 Ng6 67. Kf3 Ne5+ 68. Ke3 Nd7 69. Nc4 Kd5 70. Nd2 f4+ 71. Kf2 g4 72. Nf1 Ne5 73. Nd2 Nc4 74. Nb3 Nd6 75. Ke2 Ne4 76. Nc1 Nc5 77. Kf2 Ke4 78. Ne2 Nd3+ 79. Kf1 g3 80. Nc3+ Kf5 81. Kg2 Kg4 82. Nd1 f3+ 83. Kg1 Kf4 84. Kf1 Ne5 85. Kg1 Ng4 86. Kh1 Nf2+ 87. Nxf2 gxf2 88. Kh2 f1=R 0-1 [Event "U.S. Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.2"] [White "Wang, Justin"] [Black "Checa, Nicolas"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D11"] [WhiteElo "2467"] [BlackElo "2552"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bg4 5. Qb3 Qb6 6. Ne5 Bf5 7. cxd5 Qxb3 8. axb3 Nxd5 9. Bd2 Nd7 10. Bd3 e6 11. Bxf5 exf5 12. Nd3 Bd6 13. Na3 O-O 14. Nc4 Be7 15. Na5 Rab8 16. b4 Rfe8 17. g3 N7f6 18. Ke2 Ne4 19. Be1 Nd6 20. Kf3 Bd8 21. Bc3 Bxa5 22. bxa5 Ne4 23. Ra3 b6 24. Rc1 c5 25. axb6 axb6 26. dxc5 Ndxc3 27. bxc3 bxc5 28. c4 Ra8 29. Rxa8 Rxa8 30. Rc2 Ra3 31. Ke2 Nc3+ 32. Kd2 Ne4+ 33. Ke2 g6 34. f3 Nc3+ 35. Kd2 Nb1+ 36. Ke2 Nc3+ 37. Kd2 Na4 38. Nc1 Kg7 39. Ra2 Nb6 40. Rxa3 Nxc4+ 41. Kc3 Nxa3 42. Kb3 Nb1 43. Kc2 Na3+ 44. Kb3 Nb5 45. Kc4 Nc7 46. Nd3 Ne6 47. f4 1/2-1/2 [Event "U.S. Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.3"] [White "Balakrishnan, Praveen"] [Black "Burke, John M"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E04"] [WhiteElo "2507"] [BlackElo "2538"] [PlyCount "205"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 dxc4 5. Bg2 a6 6. O-O Nc6 7. e3 Bd7 8. Qe2 b5 9. b3 cxb3 10. axb3 Bd6 11. Bb2 O-O 12. Rc1 Nb4 13. Ne5 Ra7 14. Ba3 Be8 15. Bxb4 Bxb4 16. Nc6 Bxc6 17. Rxc6 e5 18. dxe5 Nd7 19. Rcxa6 Rxa6 20. Rxa6 Nxe5 21. Na3 Bxa3 22. Rxa3 Qd6 23. Ra5 c6 24. Ra1 Rd8 25. Rc1 Qb4 26. Rd1 Rc8 27. Qc2 g6 28. Bh3 f5 29. Bg2 Qe7 30. h3 c5 31. Bd5+ Kg7 32. Qc3 Qf6 33. Kg2 c4 34. bxc4 Nxc4 35. Qb4 Nd6 36. Bf3 Rd8 37. Rd5 Rd7 38. Be2 Rd8 39. Bxb5 Nxb5 40. Qxb5 Rxd5 41. Qxd5 Kh6 42. Qc4 Qf8 43. Qh4+ Kg7 44. Qd4+ Kh6 45. Qf4+ Kg7 46. g4 Qa8+ 47. Kg3 fxg4 48. hxg4 Qh1 49. Qd4+ Kg8 50. Qd8+ Kf7 51. Qh4 Qg1+ 52. Kf3 h6 53. Qd8 h5 54. Qd5+ Kf6 55. Qd6+ Kf7 56. Qf4+ Ke6 57. Qe4+ Kf6 58. Qd4+ Ke6 59. Qb6+ Kf7 60. Qc7+ Ke6 61. Qc6+ Kf7 62. Qd5+ Kf6 63. g5+ Ke7 64. Qe4+ Kf7 65. Qf4+ Ke8 66. Ke2 Qb1 67. e4 Qc2+ 68. Kf3 Qd1+ 69. Kg2 Ke7 70. Qf3 Qd4 71. Qa3+ Kf7 72. Qb3+ Ke7 73. Qb7+ Ke6 74. Qc6+ Kf7 75. Qc7+ Ke6 76. Qc6+ Kf7 77. Qc7+ Ke6 78. Qf4 Ke7 79. Qf3 Ke6 80. Kh3 Qa1 81. Kh4 Qg1 82. Qg3 Qb1 83. Qe3 Qg1 84. Qg3 Qb1 85. f3 Kd7 86. Qf2 Qa1 87. Kh3 Qc1 88. Qd4+ Ke8 89. Qe5+ Kd7 90. Qg7+ Kd8 91. Qxg6 Qh1+ 92. Kg3 Qg1+ 93. Kf4 Qh2+ 94. Kf5 Qh3+ 95. Ke5 h4 96. Qf6+ Ke8 97. g6 Qh2+ 98. Kf5 Qg3 99. f4 Qh3+ 100. Kg5 Qg3+ 101. Kh6 h3 102. g7 h2 103. Qe6+ 1-0 [Event "U.S. Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.4"] [White "Yoo, Christopher Woojin"] [Black "Niemann, Hans Moke"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D90"] [WhiteElo "2474"] [BlackElo "2571"] [PlyCount "107"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. h4 c6 6. cxd5 cxd5 7. Bf4 O-O 8. e3 Nc6 9. Be2 Bf5 10. Qb3 Qd7 11. Rd1 Na5 12. Qa3 Nc4 13. Bxc4 dxc4 14. Ne5 Qd8 15. Qb4 Nd5 16. Qxb7 Nxf4 17. exf4 Rb8 18. Qxa7 Rxb2 19. O-O e6 20. g3 Qa8 21. Qxa8 Rxa8 22. Nxc4 Rc2 23. Rc1 Bxd4 24. Rxc2 Bxc2 25. Rc1 Bd3 26. Rd1 Bxf2+ 27. Kxf2 Bxc4 28. a4 Bb3 29. Ra1 Rc8 30. Ne4 Kg7 31. Ra3 Bd5 32. Nd2 Kf6 33. a5 Rc2 34. Ke3 Kf5 35. a6 Kg4 36. Ne4 Ba8 37. Kd4 Re2 38. Nf6+ Kf5 39. Ne8 Rc2 40. Nd6+ Kf6 41. Nc4 h5 42. a7 Rg2 43. Nb6 Bb7 44. Rb3 Rd2+ 45. Ke3 Rd8 46. Nc4 Bh1 47. Rb8 Ke7 48. Rxd8 Kxd8 49. Nb6 Kc7 50. a8=Q Bxa8 51. Nxa8+ Kc6 52. Ke4 f6 53. Kd4 Kb7 54. Kc5 1-0 [Event "U.S. Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.5"] [White "Jacobson, Brandon"] [Black "Brodsky, David"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D30"] [WhiteElo "2504"] [BlackElo "2455"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 a6 4. Nbd2 dxc4 5. Nxc4 b5 6. Nce5 Nf6 7. g3 Bb7 8. Bg2 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Qxd2 O-O 11. O-O Nbd7 12. Nxd7 Nxd7 13. Rfc1 Rc8 14. Qb4 Re8 15. a4 e5 16. axb5 axb5 17. Ra7 Bxf3 18. Bxf3 e4 19. Bg2 e3 20. f4 Nf6 21. Bf3 Qd7 22. Qc5 Ne4 23. Qc6 Qxc6 24. Rxc6 f5 25. Rcxc7 Rxc7 26. Rxc7 Rd8 27. Rb7 Rd5 28. Kg2 g6 29. g4 Rxd4 30. Rxb5 Nd2 31. gxf5 Rxf4 32. fxg6 hxg6 33. Kg3 Rf6 34. Bd5+ Kf8 35. Rb8+ Ke7 36. Rb7+ Kd6 37. Bf3 Kc5 38. Rc7+ Kd4 39. Rd7+ Kc4 40. Rc7+ Kd4 41. Rd7+ Kc4 42. Rc7+ 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

Image
Round 8 standings
Image Caption
courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios

 


Girls’ Junior

 

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Round 8 results
Image Caption
courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios

 

Wang enters today’s play with the luxury of a full-point lead over Ruiyang Yan, whom she is also paired with in the ninth and final round. With the advantage of the White pieces, the real question becomes whether Wang will play for the win, or will be content to quietly draw her way to a second consecutive Girls’ Junior Championship.

 

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IM Annie Wang
Image Caption
Annie Wang (courtesy SLCC / Austin Fuller)

[pgn][Event "U.S. Girls Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.1"] [White "Morris-Suzuki, Sophie"] [Black "Cervantes Landeiro, Thalia"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B96"] [WhiteElo "2043"] [BlackElo "2226"] [PlyCount "143"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 h6 8. Bh4 Qb6 9. a3 Be7 10. Bf2 Qc7 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O-O b5 13. g4 Bb7 14. h4 Nc5 15. Bd3 d5 16. e5 Nfe4 17. Be1 Rc8 18. g5 Nxd3+ 19. Rxd3 Bc5 20. Nce2 a5 21. f5 Bxd4 22. Nxd4 hxg5 23. hxg5 Rxh1 24. Qxh1 Qxe5 25. fxe6 fxe6 26. Qh5+ Ke7 27. Kb1 Rc4 28. Nb3 Nc5 29. Bg3 Qf5 30. Nd4 Qf1+ 31. Rd1 Qf8 32. b3 Rc3 33. Bd6+ Kxd6 34. Nxb5+ Kd7 35. Nxc3 Qf5 36. Qe2 Ba6 37. Qe3 Kc6 38. b4 axb4 39. axb4 Nd7 40. Qa7 Bc4 41. b5+ Kd6 42. Qd4 Qf3 43. Kb2 Kc7 44. Qxg7 e5 45. b6+ Kd6 46. Qg6+ Kc5 47. Ra1 Kd4 48. Rd1+ Kc5 49. Ne4+ dxe4 50. Rxd7 Qf8 51. b7 Bd5 52. Rc7+ Kb5 53. c4+ Ka5 54. cxd5 Qb4+ 55. Kc2 Qa4+ 56. Kc1 Qa3+ 57. Kd2 Qd3+ 58. Kc1 Qa3+ 59. Kc2 Qa4+ 60. Kd2 Qd4+ 61. Ke1 Qe3+ 62. Kd1 Qd3+ 63. Ke1 Qe3+ 64. Kf1 Qf3+ 65. Kg1 Qg3+ 66. Kh1 Qh3+ 67. Kg1 Qg3+ 68. Kf1 Qf3+ 69. Ke1 Qe3+ 70. Kd1 Qd3+ 71. Kc1 Qa3+ 72. Kc2 1/2-1/2 [Event "U.S. Girls Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.2"] [White "Yan, Ruiyang"] [Black "Samadashvili, Martha"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B47"] [WhiteElo "2111"] [BlackElo "2215"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. g3 a6 7. Bg2 d6 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. O-O Bb7 10. Re1 Nf6 11. Na4 Be7 12. c4 Nd7 13. b3 Bf6 14. Bf4 e5 15. Be3 Rd8 16. Qe2 Be7 17. Rad1 O-O 18. c5 Nxc5 19. Nxc5 dxc5 20. Qc4 Qa5 21. Rc1 Bc8 22. Qc3 Qc7 23. Rc2 Be6 24. Bxc5 Bxc5 25. Qxc5 h6 26. Bf1 a5 27. Bb5 Qd7 28. Bxc6 Qd3 29. Bb5 Qd4 30. Qxd4 Rxd4 31. f3 Rfd8 32. Kf2 f6 33. Bc4 Bxc4 34. Rxc4 Rxc4 35. bxc4 Rd3 36. Rc1 Kf7 37. Ke2 Ra3 38. Rc2 Ke7 39. c5 Kd7 40. h4 h5 41. Kf2 1/2-1/2 [Event "U.S. Girls Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.3"] [White "Lee, Alice"] [Black "Wang, Annie"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "1972"] [BlackElo "2384"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 Nh5 8. Bd3 Nxf4 9. exf4 b6 10. b4 a5 11. a3 c6 12. O-O Qc7 13. g3 Ba6 14. Bxa6 Rxa6 15. Qe2 Raa8 16. Na4 b5 17. Nb2 Bf6 18. Nd3 Rfb8 19. Nfe5 Ra7 20. Ra2 Rba8 21. Rfa1 a4 22. h4 Nf8 23. Kg2 Re8 24. Re1 Bd8 25. Qh5 Re7 26. Qd1 f6 27. Nf3 Re8 28. f5 Qf7 29. Rae2 Rae7 30. fxe6 Nxe6 31. Re3 Bc7 32. R1e2 Qg6 33. Kf1 Qf5 34. Ke1 Bd8 35. Kd2 Nf8 36. Rxe7 Rxe7 37. Rxe7 Bxe7 38. Qe2 Qd7 39. Qe3 Bd8 40. Nf4 Bc7 41. Ne1 1/2-1/2 [Event "U.S. Girls Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.4"] [White "Zeng, Sheena"] [Black "Wu, Rochelle"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D86"] [WhiteElo "2013"] [BlackElo "2138"] [PlyCount "118"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 c5 8. Ne2 Nc6 9. Be3 O-O 10. O-O Bg4 11. f3 Bd7 12. Qd2 Qa5 13. Rfd1 cxd4 14. cxd4 b5 15. Bd5 Qxd2 16. Rxd2 Rac8 17. Bxc6 Rxc6 18. Rc1 Rxc1+ 19. Nxc1 Rc8 20. Nb3 Rc3 21. Kf2 b4 22. d5 Rc7 23. Bf4 Rc8 24. e5 h5 25. d6 exd6 26. exd6 Rc6 27. Be3 Bc3 28. Rd1 Kf8 29. Nc5 Ke8 30. Ne4 Ra6 31. Bd4 Ba4 32. Rd3 Bc2 33. Rxc3 bxc3 34. d7+ Kd8 35. Bf6+ Rxf6 36. Nxf6 Bb1 37. Ke2 Bxa2 38. Kd3 Be6 39. Kxc3 Bxd7 40. Ne4 Ke7 41. g3 Bc6 42. Nd2 Bd5 43. g4 h4 44. f4 Kd6 45. Kd4 a5 46. f5 g5 47. Nb1 f6 48. Na3 Kc6 49. Nc2 Bb3 50. Ne3 a4 51. Kc3 Kc5 52. Nf1 Bd5 53. Ne3 Bf7 54. Nc2 Bd5 55. Kb2 Bb3 56. Ne1 Kd4 57. Nf3+ Ke3 58. Ne1 Ke2 59. Ng2 h3 0-1 [Event "U.S. Girls Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.24"] [Round "8.5"] [White "Vittal, Sanjana"] [Black "Ulrich, Susanna"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B11"] [WhiteElo "1938"] [BlackElo "1974"] [PlyCount "134"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 Bg4 4. h3 Bxf3 5. Qxf3 e6 6. Be2 Nf6 7. O-O dxe4 8. Nxe4 Nxe4 9. Qxe4 Nd7 10. d4 Nf6 11. Qd3 Be7 12. Rd1 O-O 13. c3 Qc7 14. Qf3 Rfd8 15. a4 a5 16. Bf4 Qb6 17. Bd3 Nd5 18. Bd2 Rd7 19. Qe4 Nf6 20. Qe2 Rad8 21. Be1 Nd5 22. g3 Nf6 23. Kg2 h5 24. h4 Ng4 25. Bd2 c5 26. Bb5 Rd5 27. f3 Nf6 28. dxc5 Bxc5 29. Bg5 Rxd1 30. Rxd1 Rxd1 31. Qxd1 Nd5 32. Qe2 Qd6 33. Bc4 Bb6 34. Bxd5 Qxd5 35. Qb5 Qxb5 36. axb5 Kf8 37. Kf1 f6 38. Bc1 a4 39. Ke2 Ke7 40. Bd2 Kd6 41. c4 Bd4 42. Bb4+ Kc7 43. Ba3 Kb6 44. g4 g6 45. gxh5 gxh5 46. f4 e5 47. fxe5 Bxe5 48. Kf3 f5 49. Kg2 Bd4 50. Kf3 Be5 51. Kg2 Bf6 52. Kg3 f4+ 53. Kxf4 Bxh4 54. Kf3 Bf6 55. Kg3 Bd4 56. Kh4 Bc5 57. b4 axb3 58. Bb2 Bf2+ 59. Kxh5 Kc5 60. Kg4 Bd4 61. Ba3+ Kxc4 62. Kf5 b2 63. Bxb2 Bxb2 64. b6 Kc5 65. Ke6 Kxb6 66. Kd5 Ka5 67. Kc4 Ka4 0-1 [/pgn]

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Round 8 standings
Image Caption
courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios

 


Tune in to the live coverage at 3pm Central with live commentary from GMs Yasser Seirawan and Cristian Chirila, and host Sharon Carpenter on www.uschesschamps.com or the Saint Louis Chess Club’s YouTube and Twitch channels. 

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