Everybody In: Over 500 Play in New Jersey for 2021 U.S. Open

Over 500 players have officially pushed pieces in the 121st U.S. Open. 

With the National Invitational Tournaments now crowned and complete, and many more arriving for the four-day schedule, another 150+ players threw their hat into the featured nine-round Swiss on Thursday to compete for over $50,000 in prizes.  

Another ten Grandmaster titles began their first game at noon, including Wisconsin GM Awonder Liang who hops in as the freshly crowned 2021 Denker High School Champion. Also carrying a new crown is 2021 U.S. Junior Champion GM Hans Nieman, who joins the U.S. Open field alongside veteran GMs Varuzhan Akobian and Timur Gareyev, returned from their trip to Sochi, Russia for the 2021 FIDE World Cup. 

 

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All 500 players will merge into one schedule by Friday evening’s seventh round, but for the moment the future is seen on the tournament’s halfway point: New York GM Aleksandr Lenderman has taken lead of the 2021 U.S. Open, the only player on the nine-day schedule still perfect at 5/5. 

 

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GM Aleksandr Lenderman
Image Caption
New York GM Aleksandr Lenderman is perfect through five rounds of the traditional schedule in the 2021 U.S. Open. // photo Iredia Ekhato

 

The section plays one game each evening and began Saturday, July 31 with 171 players and five GMs, who all but Lenderman have slowed by a half-point. Masters began to clash in Wednesday’s fifth round, including GMs John Burke and Benjamin Gledura, who couldn’t settle the score in this Petroff.

[pgn][Event "US Open 2021"] [Site "Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill, Uni"] [Date "2021.08.04"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Burke, John Michael"] [Black "Gledura, Benjamin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2640"] [BlackElo "2721"] [Annotator "Tactical Analysis 4.1 (5s)"] [PlyCount "106"] {[%evp 21,106,46,46,46,46,16,34,33,33,33,35,33,40,9,34,-49,-49,-56,-55,-50,-60, -49,-63,-52,-18,-18,-19,-19,-17,-19,-6,-56,-37,-45,-5,-24,-19,-21,0,-20,-19, -19,-15,-19,-17,-21,-20,-18,-19,-30,-28,-28,-21,-21,-21,-21,-21,-21,-14,-15, -15,-14,-11,-14,-13,-13,-14,-14,-6,-6,-6,-10,-6,-10,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0] } 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4 c6 9. Nc3 Nxc3 10. bxc3 dxc4 11. Bxc4 Bf5 12. Bg5 {C42: Petroff Defence: 3 Nxe5 and unusual White 3rd moves.} Qa5 13. Qd2 {Recently 13.d5 got a lot of attention.} Na6 {[%cal Bb8a6,Ba6c7,Bc7d5][%mdl 32]} 14. Rfe1 {Black must now prevent Be7.White is slightly better.} Nc7 $146 ({Predecessor:} 14... Rfe8 15. Bf4 Rxe1+ 16. Rxe1 Bxf4 17. Qxf4 {1/2-1/2 (17) Henn,H-Rack,M (2165) Frankfurt 2001}) 15. Bf4 Bxf4 16. Qxf4 Be6 17. Bd3 Qxc3 {[#]} 18. Rad1 (18. Bxh7+ $1 $14 Kxh7 19. Qxc7) 18... Nd5 $15 19. Qh4 {[%csl Gd3][%cal Rh4h7]} h6 20. Rxe6 fxe6 21. Qe4 {[#] Strongly threatening Qh7+.} Rxf3 $1 22. gxf3 Rd8 23. Qxe6+ Kh8 24. Qe4 {[%csl Gd3][%cal Re4h7]} Nf6 25. Qe7 Qa5 26. Re1 (26. Qxb7 $11 Qa4 27. Rc1) 26... Qd5 27. Bc2 b5 28. Bb3 Qd6 ({Don't play} 28... Qxd4 $6 29. Rd1 $14) 29. Qxa7 Qf4 (29... Qxd4 {feels hotter.} 30. Qxd4 Rxd4 31. Re6 c5 32. Rb6 c4) 30. Re3 (30. Qf7 {keeps more tension.} Qd2 31. Re7 Qc1+ 32. Kg2 Qg5+ 33. Kf1) 30... Nd5 31. Bxd5 Qg5+ 32. Kf1 Qxd5 33. Qc5 Qxc5 ({Don't blunder} 33... Qxd4 $2 {[#] } 34. Re8+ $3 {[%mdl 512]} Rxe8 35. Qxd4 $18) 34. dxc5 $11 {[%mdl 4096] Endgame KR-KR} Rd5 35. Rc3 Kh7 36. Ke2 Kg6 37. a4 {The position is equal.} bxa4 38. Rc4 a3 39. Ra4 Re5+ 40. Kd3 Rxc5 41. Rxa3 Re5 42. Ra6 Re6 43. Ra5 Kf6 44. f4 Re7 45. Rc5 Rc7 46. f5 Kg5 47. Ke4 Kg4 48. f6 gxf6 49. f3+ Kh3 50. Rh5+ Kg2 51. Rxh6 c5 {Threatening ...c4.} 52. Rxf6 c4 {Hoping for ...c3.} 53. Ra6 Kxh2 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

Lenderman, however, already having punched his ticket to the 2021 US Chess Championship as the first-ever online qualifier, is seeking a second invitation by staying perfect through five, notching this win over Pennsylvania IM Thomas Bartell on Wednesday evening. The New York GM was better out of a Queen's Indian, exacerbated by Black's retreat during development at 11. ... Nfd7. Lenderman continues a natural shoved up the center, pushing a passer at 29. d5! that eventually decides the game.

[pgn][Event "US Open 2021"] [Site "Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill, Uni"] [Date "2021.08.04"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Lenderman, Aleksandre"] [Black "Bartell, Thomas"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2703"] [BlackElo "2511"] [Annotator "Tactical Analysis 4.1 (5s)"] [PlyCount "71"] {[%evp 9,71,2,58,38,86,50,45,50,45,45,38,42,126,117,138,108,121,110,140,142, 150,146,224,224,220,224,225,223,228,172,176,172,201,173,208,186,186,135,138, 134,145,113,151,107,163,150,196,156,200,187,198,196,193,193,204,204,306,305, 520,498,586,583,584,586]} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. Qc2 d5 ({ Black should play} 5... Nc6 $11) 6. cxd5 $14 {E15: Queen's Indian: 4 g3 sidelines, 4 g3 Ba6 and 4 g3 Bb7 early deviations.} exd5 (6... Qxd5 $14 7. Nc3 Qa5) 7. Bg2 Bb4+ {7...Be7 is setting a new trend.} 8. Nc3 {Qa4+ is the strong threat.White is slightly better.} O-O 9. O-O Bxc3 10. bxc3 c6 $146 (10... Re8 $14) ({Predecessor:} 10... Nbd7 11. Ne5 Re8 12. c4 Nxe5 13. dxe5 Rxe5 14. Bf4 Re7 15. cxd5 Qe8 16. d6 Rxe2 17. Qxc7 {1/2-1/2 (33) Iotov,V (2560) -Panchanathan,M (2557) Richardson 2012}) 11. Ne5 $16 Nfd7 12. Nd3 Re8 13. Re1 Nf8 14. e4 dxe4 15. Rxe4 Bb7 {[#]} (15... Rxe4 $16 16. Bxe4 Bxd3 17. Qxd3 Nbd7) 16. Bg5 $1 $18 {[%mdl 512]} f6 17. Qb3+ Kh8 18. Rxe8 Qxe8 19. Bd2 Na6 {[%cal Bb8a6,Ba6c7,Bc7e6][%mdl 32]} 20. Nf4 Qd7 21. Bh3 f5 22. Qc2 g6 23. c4 (23. Bg2 $18) 23... Nc7 24. Bc3 Kg8 25. Nd3 Nce6 26. Ne5 (26. Qb2 $142) 26... Qc7 (26... Qd6 $16 {is a better defense.}) 27. Bg2 Rd8 (27... Nd7 $16) 28. Rd1 c5 {[#]} ( 28... Nd7 $16) 29. d5 $1 {[%cal Rd5e6]} Nd4 30. Bxd4 cxd4 {[#]} 31. Nc6 { [%cal Rc6d8]} Bxc6 32. dxc6 Ne6 (32... Qe5 $142 33. Bd5+ Kh8) 33. Bd5 Rd6 $2 ( 33... Kh8 {was called for.} 34. Bxe6 Qxc6) 34. Qe2 {White is clearly winning.} Qc8 35. Re1 Kf7 36. c7  1-0 [/pgn]

Also chasing Lenderman in the pack at 4.5/5 is Ohio’s Rowan Kowalysko, 2095, who drew a Class B player in the second round, but has now put together three straight wins, including this big win as Black over FM Macon Shibut in Wednesday’s fifth round. 

[pgn][Event "US Open 2021"] [Site "Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill, Uni"] [Date "2021.08.04"] [Round "5.5"] [White "Shibut, Macon"] [Black "Kowalysko, Roman"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2321"] [BlackElo "2095"] [PlyCount "64"] [TimeControl "40/100+30:0"] [WhiteClock "0:04:13"] [BlackClock "0:10:12"] 1. b3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 2. Bb2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nc6 { [%emt 0:00:00]} 3. e3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 4. c4 {[%emt 0:00: 00]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 5. cxd5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nxd5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 6. a3 { [%emt 0:00:00]} Bd6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 7. d3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:00] } 8. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Qe7 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 9. Be2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Bd7 { [%emt 0:00:00]} 10. Nbd2 {[%emt 0:00:00]} f5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 11. Nc4 {[%emt 0: 00:00]} Rae8 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 12. O-O {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 13. d4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 14. Nfe5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Rh6 {[%emt 0: 00:00]} 15. g3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Be6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 16. b4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Bxe5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 17. Nxe5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} f4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 18. exf4 { [%emt 0:00:00]} Nxf4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 19. Nxc6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} bxc6 {[%emt 0: 00:00]} 20. Bc1 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nh3+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} 21. Kh1 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 22. fxe3 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Bd5+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} 23. Bf3 { [%emt 0:00:26]} Ng5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 24. Bxd5+ {[%emt 0:06:10]} cxd5 {[%emt 0: 00:00]} 25. Ra2 {[%emt 0:04:06]} Qe4+ {[%emt 0:00:00]} 26. Rg2 {[%emt 0:00:08]} Ree6 {[%emt 0:04:23]} 27. Qc2 {[%emt 0:02:03]} Rxh2+ {[%emt 0:02:15]} 28. Kxh2 {[%emt 0:00:01]} Rh6+ {[%emt 0:00:11]} 29. Kg1 {[%emt 0:00:03]} Nh3+ {[%emt 0: 00:06]} 30. Kh2 {[%emt 0:00:04]} Nf2+ {[%emt 0:00:12]} 31. Kg1 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Rh1+ {[%emt 0:00:15]} 32. Kxf2 {[%emt 0:00:16]} Qxc2+ {[%emt 0:00:06]} 0-1 [/pgn]

Four other Grandmasters – 18 total in the 2021 field – began the U.S. Open Tuesday on the six-day schedule, and have played three rounds. The top titles will begin to clash Thursday, including the defending 2019 U.S. Open Champion GM Illia Nyzhnyk, on top with 3/3, as well as New Jersey GMs Mackenzie Molner and Joel Benjamin, who will lead a lecture in the Crowne Plaza Gallery on Saturday morning. 

 

Image
Defending 2019 U.S. Open Champion GM Illia Nyzhnyk
Image Caption
The defending 2019 U.S. Open Champion GM Illia Nyzhnyk has a 3/3 start in the 121st U.S. Open in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. // photo Iredia Ekhato

 

If you weren’t able to make it to Cherry Hill, you can still follow the action on the US Chess Twitch channel, where IM Kostya Kavutskiy and WGM Katerina Nemcova headline the coverage.

TWITCH SCHEDULE

US Open – Final 3 Rounds

August 6, 7pm: IM Kostya Kavutskiy and WGM Katerina Nemcova
August 7, 7pm: IM Kostya Kavutskiy and WGM Katerina Nemcova
August 8, 7pm: IM Kostya Kavutskiy and WGM Katerina Nemcova

Live games will also be broadcast on uschess.live.

Keep up with all the action here on Chess Life Online, where we will have daily coverage, and subscribe to our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram pages, where we will post updates from the playing site. Be sure to use the Twitter hashtag #usopenchess to share your photos and thoughts!


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