Christopher Yoo in Clear Lead of US Championship Online Qualifier Final

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Christopher Yoo (courtesy SLCC)
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Christopher Yoo at the 2019 Fall Classic (photo courtesy SLCC)

 

California 13-year-old IM Christopher Yoo has sole possession of first place midway through the finals of the US Chess Championship Online Qualifier.  

The reigning US Cadet U16 Champion has advanced through a series of nationwide, online qualifiers over the past several weekends, designed to offer a path to next year’s national championship. Last Friday, Yoo began one final round-robin event as the only non-GM in the 8-player field, but now remains undefeated in front at the tournament’s halfway point. The winner will earn a seat in the 2021 US Chess Championship. 

Entering the rest day Tuesday, Yoo has tallied two wins and leads with 3.0/4, a half-point ahead of both GMs Aleksander Lenderman and Daniel Naroditsky in second. The tournament resumes Wednesday and will play one G/90+30 game per day for the last three rounds, with a tiebreaker scheduled for Saturday – Yoo’s 14th birthday – if necessary. Games begin every day at 2:00 p.m. Pacific time and will be broadcast in full on Chess.com

 

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USCOQ Round Robin Standings After 4 Rounds
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* Chess.com rating

 

Yoo has led the standings since the round-robin final began, when he won this game over GM Andrew Tang as the only decisive result of the first round. Along with Yoo, Tang was the other finalist to qualify for the round robin after advancing through a series of swiss and bracket events over the past few weeks. The other six players were preselected by US Chess and as organizer wildcards by Chess.com. Here, Yoo defends through a considerable amount of middlegame pressure by Tang before opening up an attack that finishes with the black queen on a skewer. 

 

[pgn][Event "Live Chess"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.12.11"] [Round "?"] [White "ChristopherYoo"] [Black "AndrewTang"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D31"] [WhiteElo "2803"] [BlackElo "2849"] [PlyCount "101"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. d4 {[%timestamp 8]} d5 {[%timestamp 114]} 2. c4 {[%timestamp 23]} e6 { [%timestamp 20]} 3. Nc3 {[%timestamp 21]} Be7 {[%timestamp 731]} 4. Nf3 { [%timestamp 21]} Nf6 {[%timestamp 21]} 5. Bf4 {[%timestamp 23]} O-O { [%timestamp 250]} 6. e3 {[%timestamp 27]} b6 {[%timestamp 138]} 7. cxd5 { [%timestamp 31]} Nxd5 {[%timestamp 68]} 8. Nxd5 {[%timestamp 24]} Qxd5 { [%timestamp 152]} 9. Bxc7 {[%timestamp 32]} Qa5+ {[%timestamp 7106]} 10. Nd2 { [%timestamp 51]} Ba6 {[%timestamp 739]} 11. Bxb8 {[%timestamp 3803]} Bxf1 { [%timestamp 2427]} 12. Kxf1 {[%timestamp 112]} Raxb8 {[%timestamp 1448]} 13. Nf3 {[%timestamp 1434]} Rbc8 {[%timestamp 3679]} 14. Qd3 {[%timestamp 2881]} Rc7 {[%timestamp 5893]} 15. Ke2 {[%timestamp 2384]} Qb4 {[%timestamp 16317]} 16. Rab1 {[%timestamp 4976]} Qa4 {[%timestamp 961]} 17. a3 {[%timestamp 1565]} Rc2+ {[%timestamp 1015]} 18. Kf1 {[%timestamp 2468]} Qc6 {[%timestamp 2036]} 19. Ne1 {[%timestamp 5456]} Rc4 {[%timestamp 1849]} 20. Rd1 {[%timestamp 7430]} Rc8 {[%timestamp 441]} 21. Qe2 {[%timestamp 1738]} e5 {[%timestamp 4862]} 22. dxe5 {[%timestamp 2566]} Qe4 {[%timestamp 2956]} 23. Rd4 {[%timestamp 4570]} Rxd4 {[%timestamp 65]} 24. exd4 {[%timestamp 16]} Qxd4 {[%timestamp 27]} 25. g3 {[%timestamp 1626]} Qd5 {[%timestamp 646]} 26. Nf3 {[%timestamp 1361]} g5 { [%timestamp 132]} 27. h3 {[%timestamp 1054]} h5 {[%timestamp 801]} 28. g4 { [%timestamp 1010]} hxg4 {[%timestamp 1705]} 29. hxg4 {[%timestamp 20]} Rc1+ { [%timestamp 1188]} 30. Kg2 {[%timestamp 716]} Rc4 {[%timestamp 50]} 31. Kg3 { [%timestamp 791]} Qe6 {[%timestamp 452]} 32. Nd2 {[%timestamp 2604]} Rc5 { [%timestamp 610]} 33. Nf3 {[%timestamp 1280]} Rc4 {[%timestamp 666]} 34. Ne1 { [%timestamp 1027]} Qd5 {[%timestamp 1276]} 35. f3 {[%timestamp 1038]} Rd4 { [%timestamp 541]} 36. Rh2 {[%timestamp 1077]} Rd1 {[%timestamp 1657]} 37. Qe3 { [%timestamp 1328]} Qc4 {[%timestamp 1505]} 38. Re2 {[%timestamp 669]} Bc5 { [%timestamp 487]} 39. Qxg5+ {[%timestamp 354]} Kf8 {[%timestamp 101]} 40. Rh2 { [%timestamp 617]} Ke8 {[%timestamp 84]} 41. Ng2 {[%timestamp 2181]} Rf1 { [%timestamp 307]} 42. Rh8+ {[%timestamp 869]} Bf8 {[%timestamp 19]} 43. e6 { [%timestamp 1235]} Qxe6 {[%timestamp 1043]} 44. Qb5+ {[%timestamp 66]} Ke7 { [%timestamp 9]} 45. Qb4+ {[%timestamp 79]} Kd7 {[%timestamp 54]} 46. Qxf8 { [%timestamp 342]} Qe5+ {[%timestamp 206]} 47. f4 {[%timestamp 19]} Qxb2 { [%timestamp 117]} 48. Qc8+ {[%timestamp 342]} Kd6 {[%timestamp 70]} 49. Rd8+ { [%timestamp 23]} Ke7 {[%timestamp 14]} 50. Rd7+ {[%timestamp 10]} Kf6 { [%timestamp 40]} 51. Qh8+ {ChristopherYoo won by resignation [%timestamp 19]} 1-0 [/pgn]

 

Considering the current standings, perhaps even more pivotal was Yoo’s second win of the tournament, over Naroditsky in the third round. The game began as an early marquee, with both players tied for first after two games played. Here, Yoo's b-pawn makes it all the way to d7 in Naroditsky’s Sicilian and becomes a thorn in the side of the Grandmaster in a drawn-out endgame.  

 

[pgn][Event "Live Chess"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.12.13"] [Round "?"] [White "ChristopherYoo"] [Black "DanielNaroditsky"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B23"] [WhiteElo "2803"] [BlackElo "2626"] [PlyCount "129"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 {[%timestamp 2]} c5 {[%timestamp 127]} 2. Nc3 {[%timestamp 21]} e6 { [%timestamp 288]} 3. Nge2 {[%timestamp 64]} Nc6 {[%timestamp 416]} 4. g3 { [%timestamp 22]} d5 {[%timestamp 1751]} 5. exd5 {[%timestamp 24]} exd5 { [%timestamp 8]} 6. d4 {[%timestamp 15]} Bg4 {[%timestamp 3844]} 7. Bg2 { [%timestamp 31]} Nxd4 {[%timestamp 2111]} 8. h3 {[%timestamp 28]} Bf3 { [%timestamp 3121]} 9. Kf1 {[%timestamp 28]} Nxe2 {[%timestamp 8686]} 10. Bxf3 { [%timestamp 176]} Nxc3 {[%timestamp 9]} 11. bxc3 {[%timestamp 24]} Nf6 { [%timestamp 4]} 12. Rb1 {[%timestamp 4140]} Qd7 {[%timestamp 3539]} 13. c4 { [%timestamp 3924]} Rd8 {[%timestamp 1901]} 14. cxd5 {[%timestamp 2321]} Bd6 { [%timestamp 2169]} 15. Qe2+ {[%timestamp 3359]} Kf8 {[%timestamp 22]} 16. Kg2 { [%timestamp 1643]} b6 {[%timestamp 807]} 17. Qc4 {[%timestamp 2798]} h5 { [%timestamp 2616]} 18. a4 {[%timestamp 1894]} Qf5 {[%timestamp 970]} 19. a5 { [%timestamp 2789]} Nd7 {[%timestamp 1598]} 20. Be4 {[%timestamp 2245]} Qf6 { [%timestamp 91]} 21. h4 {[%timestamp 2404]} Qd4 {[%timestamp 2390]} 22. Qxd4 { [%timestamp 2152]} cxd4 {[%timestamp 1]} 23. axb6 {[%timestamp 579]} axb6 { [%timestamp 87]} 24. Rd1 {[%timestamp 1458]} Bc5 {[%timestamp 2760]} 25. Bf4 { [%timestamp 2093]} Re8 {[%timestamp 10959]} 26. Re1 {[%timestamp 3721]} g6 { [%timestamp 5400]} 27. d6 {[%timestamp 1721]} Ne5 {[%timestamp 1059]} 28. Bxe5 {[%timestamp 1674]} Rxe5 {[%timestamp 11]} 29. d7 {[%timestamp 30]} Kg7 { [%timestamp 1628]} 30. Bc6 {[%timestamp 1048]} Re6 {[%timestamp 1654]} 31. Rxe6 {[%timestamp 696]} fxe6 {[%timestamp 1]} 32. Ra1 {[%timestamp 372]} Kf6 { [%timestamp 832]} 33. Ra7 {[%timestamp 647]} Ke5 {[%timestamp 1335]} 34. f4+ { [%timestamp 1503]} Kf6 {[%timestamp 40]} 35. Kf3 {[%timestamp 605]} e5 { [%timestamp 353]} 36. Rc7 {[%timestamp 1210]} Rd8 {[%timestamp 362]} 37. Rc8 { [%timestamp 830]} Be7 {[%timestamp 26]} 38. fxe5+ {[%timestamp 1585]} Kxe5 { [%timestamp 27]} 39. Bb5 {[%timestamp 161]} g5 {[%timestamp 612]} 40. hxg5 { [%timestamp 419]} Bxg5 {[%timestamp 1]} 41. Ke2 {[%timestamp 285]} h4 { [%timestamp 508]} 42. gxh4 {[%timestamp 227]} Bxh4 {[%timestamp 26]} 43. Kd3 { [%timestamp 392]} Be7 {[%timestamp 2214]} 44. Rc7 {[%timestamp 1105]} Kd5 { [%timestamp 321]} 45. Ba4 {[%timestamp 1027]} Kd6 {[%timestamp 448]} 46. Rb7 { [%timestamp 2195]} Kc5 {[%timestamp 121]} 47. Ke4 {[%timestamp 503]} Kb4 { [%timestamp 415]} 48. Bb3 {[%timestamp 555]} Kc5 {[%timestamp 377]} 49. Ke5 { [%timestamp 1118]} Bd6+ {[%timestamp 213]} 50. Ke6 {[%timestamp 42]} b5 { [%timestamp 403]} 51. Bd5 {[%timestamp 762]} Bg3 {[%timestamp 157]} 52. Be4 { [%timestamp 390]} Bf4 {[%timestamp 374]} 53. Ra7 {[%timestamp 1941]} Kb6 { [%timestamp 313]} 54. Ra1 {[%timestamp 21]} Kc7 {[%timestamp 364]} 55. Ra6 { [%timestamp 665]} Be3 {[%timestamp 307]} 56. Rc6+ {[%timestamp 154]} Kb8 { [%timestamp 6]} 57. Rb6+ {[%timestamp 376]} Ka7 {[%timestamp 7]} 58. Rxb5 { [%timestamp 41]} Bf2 {[%timestamp 91]} 59. Rh5 {[%timestamp 252]} Bg3 { [%timestamp 575]} 60. Ke7 {[%timestamp 1070]} Bc7 {[%timestamp 232]} 61. Rc5 { [%timestamp 46]} Kb6 {[%timestamp 492]} 62. Rc6+ {[%timestamp 24]} Kb7 { [%timestamp 8]} 63. Bd5 {[%timestamp 43]} d3 {[%timestamp 827]} 64. cxd3 { [%timestamp 64]} Kb8 {[%timestamp 473]} 65. Ra6 {ChristopherYoo won by resignation [%timestamp 47]} 1-0 [/pgn]

Despite the third-round loss, Naroditsky bounced back quickly on Monday with a win over Timur Gareyev and made some ground back thanks to Yoo drawing GM Robert Hess. Here, Naroditsky launches a vicious mating attack by first sacrificing a rook with 28. Rxg7+ and following with a second sac at 30. Ne6. The checkmate was Naroditsky’s second of the tournament, after a pretty finish over Hess in the second round. 

[pgn][Event "Live Chess"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2020.12.14"] [Round "?"] [White "DanielNaroditsky"] [Black "TimurGareyev"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C28"] [WhiteElo "2626"] [BlackElo "2452"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2020.??.??"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 {[%timestamp 1]} e5 {[%timestamp 206]} 2. Bc4 {[%timestamp 223]} Nf6 { [%timestamp 2158]} 3. d3 {[%timestamp 210]} Nc6 {[%timestamp 304]} 4. Nc3 { [%timestamp 102]} Na5 {[%timestamp 168]} 5. Nge2 {[%timestamp 249]} c6 { [%timestamp 1156]} 6. Bb3 {[%timestamp 602]} Bc5 {[%timestamp 3433]} 7. O-O { [%timestamp 221]} O-O {[%timestamp 3019]} 8. Bg5 {[%timestamp 190]} h6 { [%timestamp 2180]} 9. Bh4 {[%timestamp 16]} Be7 {[%timestamp 8893]} 10. d4 { [%timestamp 4670]} d6 {[%timestamp 1202]} 11. Qd3 {[%timestamp 4828]} b5 { [%timestamp 5753]} 12. f4 {[%timestamp 13303]} exd4 {[%timestamp 5767]} 13. Nxd4 {[%timestamp 57]} b4 {[%timestamp 779]} 14. Na4 {[%timestamp 2006]} c5 { [%timestamp 2790]} 15. Nf3 {[%timestamp 1259]} c4 {[%timestamp 10835]} 16. Bxc4 {[%timestamp 234]} Nxc4 {[%timestamp 648]} 17. Qxc4 {[%timestamp 1597]} Qa5 { [%timestamp 868]} 18. e5 {[%timestamp 2094]} Ba6 {[%timestamp 483]} 19. Qb3 { [%timestamp 13]} Bxf1 {[%timestamp 2574]} 20. exf6 {[%timestamp 86]} Bb5 { [%timestamp 241]} 21. fxe7 {[%timestamp 802]} Rfc8 {[%timestamp 97]} 22. Qd5 { [%timestamp 3968]} Qxa4 {[%timestamp 87]} 23. Nd4 {[%timestamp 3008]} Be8 { [%timestamp 499]} 24. Re1 {[%timestamp 2230]} Rab8 {[%timestamp 1517]} 25. Re3 {[%timestamp 10203]} Rc5 {[%timestamp 1360]} 26. Qxd6 {[%timestamp 808]} Rbc8 { [%timestamp 1229]} 27. Rg3 {[%timestamp 1772]} Kh7 {[%timestamp 1598]} 28. Rxg7+ {[%timestamp 1622]} Kxg7 {[%timestamp 34]} 29. Qf6+ {[%timestamp 38]} Kg8 {[%timestamp 9]} 30. Ne6 {[%timestamp 43]} fxe6 {[%timestamp 734]} 31. Qf8+ { [%timestamp 1]} Kh7 {[%timestamp 16]} 32. Bf6 {[%timestamp 44]} Rg5 { [%timestamp 325]} 33. fxg5 {[%timestamp 92]} Kg6 {[%timestamp 27]} 34. g4 { [%timestamp 8]} b3 {[%timestamp 193]} 35. Qg7# {DanielNaroditsky won by checkmate [%timestamp 30]} 1-0 [/pgn]

Round 5 begins Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. Pacific time and a full broadcast may be viewed on Chess.com, as well as its Twitch and YouTube channels. Below are the pairings for the remaining three rounds, and you may click through for more information on the entire US Championship Online Qualifier event. 

 

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USCOQ Round Robin Pairings Rounds 5-7

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