Fighting Chess at SLCC as 2024 Summer Chess Classic Kicks Off

The 2024 Summer Chess Classic began Tuesday, May 28 at the Saint Louis Chess Center (SLCC). Featuring two ten-player Round Robins of classical chess (120-minute games with 30-second increment and no secondary time control), the Classic features a number of familiar names in the A group and includes some young talents (IM Brewington Hardaway) and top female players (GM Irina Krush, IM Alice Lee, WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova) in the B group. 



After three rounds of play, four players lead the A group with a "plus one" score. 




Of the leading quartet, three players have reached there with one decisive result apiece, while GM Andrew Hong has played three decisive games. Indeed, a pair of time-scramble victories saw Hong jut out to an early lead with consecutive wins:




But GM Christopher Yoo caught Hong in their third-round clash:



GM Ray Robson also joined the leaders with a nice endgame win in the third round:



Finally, GM Grigory Oparin also took advantage of a decisive third round:



In the B group, GM Andy Woodward is alone at the top with a 2½/3 score. 




The 14-year-old wunderkind has been in top form so far, following up a solid draw against IM Alice Lee in round one with consecutive wins:




While Krush and Tokhirjonova each sit on even scores, they have both played a pair of decisive games and each have a model victory to show for it. Here's Krush showing White's strategic path to victory against the Benko Gambit, while Tokhirjonova outplays her young opponent in a rook-and-pawn endgame:




Stay tuned next week for more coverage from this event. Games can be followed live on and on SLCC's Twitch channel.