Georgia is Top Dawg on Day Four of U.S. Open

Day four of the U.S. Open saw the end of the invitational tournaments, the first master-on-master match-ups of the traditional open schedule, and the first round of the six-day Open as well. Let's get caught up!


With IM Arthur Guo’s comeback victory over IM Maximillian Lu in round five, all he needed was a draw to clinch clear first and become a Denker Champion two years in a row. However, FM Gus Huston wasn’t going to make it easy with the white pieces, looking to repeat his victory at the 2023 High School Nationals. But this time, Guo continued his amazing form through this tournament to play accurately and aggressively to emerge victorious and claim clear first with a perfect 6/6.


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Last year's co-champ was this year's only 6/6 player in any of the five invitationals (photo Daniel Day)


This game took on extra significance, as Guo’s home state of Georgia was very much in contention to win the team championship, and every half-point mattered.



On the other side of the table, IM Maximillian Lu (CT) and FM Vishnu Vanapalli (NC) were battling for a shot at second place. Lu was coming off a heartbreaking loss to Guo in the last round, but he played an almost perfect game to dispatch Vanapalli and take clear second.



Thus, our deserving winners were IM Arthur Guo, IM Max Lu, and a huge tie for third place including Huston, FM Sharvesh Deviprasath (TX), and FM Terry Luo (DE).

For prizes, Guo won $800 in cash, Lu won $500 for clear second, and the three players tied for third each took home $300. Additionally, Guo and Lu won scholarships of $5,000 and $3,000 respectively. The third-place finisher would win a scholarship of $2,000, but, unlike cash prizes, the scholarship would be determined by tiebreaks rather than split. Huston came out on top of the tiebreaks, having played three of the other five players to finish in the top six. Luo also won the $500 Arnold Denker prize for being the top player under the age of 15 after the first day of the event. All scholarships can be used at an institution of the players’ choice.



The Irwin winners (photos Laird Davis)


Going into the final round, we had GM Jesse Kraai (MD) in clear first with a chasing pack of three players looking to overtake (or at least catch up to) him in the final round.


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Never in doubt! A solid draw guaranteed a share of first for Jesse Kraai (photo Daniel Day)


As Kraai played solidly to easily hold a draw as White against GM Enrico Sevillano (CA-S), IM Nikoloz Managadze (NJ) and IM Mark Ginsburg (AZ) were engaged in a fight to join Kraai in first place.



After gaining a huge center, Managadze emerged victorious, and we had co-champions in Kraai and Managadze. Each player took home $2,000 for their efforts.



Sevillano ended up in a three-way tie for third with GM John Fedorowicz (NY) and IM Ronald Burnett (TN), and each player earned $633.33. 70-year-old FM Javier Torres (FL) won the $500 Irwin prize for being the top finisher age 70 or over as of the first day of the event.



Our two leaders going into the final round were FM Ruiyang Yan (CA-N) and Esther Jou (CA-S), both of whom had given up early draw but then came back to score 4½/5. So, we had a strong matchup on board one, with the winner going home with clear first.


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Yan also repeated her 2022 Haring victory (photo Daniel Day)


Yan played a great game to beat Jou and take a deserved clear first with 5½/6.




On board two, we saw Georgia’s Jwalanthi Ram come back from down a piece to eke out a win over Elizabeth Braddy (OK) to join Megan Paragua (NY) in a tie for second place.



Yan won $800 for her tournament victory, with Ram and Paragua each pocketing $450. Jou and WCM Chance Nguyen (VA) tied for fourth, each winning $250. Yan’s victory also netted her the $5,000 scholarship, and Ram finished ahead of Paragua on tiebreaks, meaning Ram won the $3,000 scholarship with Paragua taking home the $2,000 scholarship.


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A great event for Jwalanthi Ram (photo Daniel Day)


Ram also won the Ursula Foster prize of $500 for being the top finisher age 12 or under as of the first day of the tournament.



Also in the Barber, we had two leaders on 4½/5 with a large chasing pack behind them. The difference was that these leaders had already played, so they couldn’t control their opponent’s result. FM Erick Zhao (PA) had black against Henry Deng (CA-N), and despite the circumstances, both players opted for a quick draw, not an ideal or terrible result for either.


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Erick Zhou took first place in the Barber on tiebreaks (photo Daniel Day)


Our other leader, Eric Feng (MA) had a shot at clear first, but he would have had to beat FM Brewington Hardaway (NY), a task that eventually proved to be too difficult. Thus, we had a three-way tie at the top, including the top two seeds: Zhao and Hardaway. Also joining the pair of pre-tournament favorites was 12-year-old Jasmine Su (CT).



Zhao won the $5,000 scholarship on tiebreaks, with Hardaway winning the $3,000 scholarship, Su earning the $2,000 scholarship and each player taking home $566.67 in cash. Su also won the $500 Barber award for the top player age 12 or under as of the first day of the tournament. This award was supposed to go to the top player age 11 or under, but with only one player under the age of 12 in the event, the 12-year-olds also became eligible.



It was déjà vu all over again, and we had the same scenario in the Rockefeller with Andrew Jing (DE) and John Abraham (KY) tied for first with 4½/5. As in the Barber, they had already played, too. Jing only needed to hold a draw against top-rated Aiden Liu (CA-N) to claim a share of first, and in the end managed to do just that.



Abraham also managed no more than a draw to join Jing, but claimed first place on tiebreaks.


Kentucky's John Abraham took first on tiebreaks in the Rockefeller (photo Daniel Day)


Harshin Jagirapu (NM) was the only player from the chasing pack who managed to win, joining Jing and Liu to claim a share of first. Each player won $566.67 cash, and Abraham’s tiebreaks earned him the $5,000 scholarship ahead of Jing ($3,000) and Jagirapu ($2,000). A five-way tie for fourth saw each player take home $100 for their efforts. Congratulations also to Nebraska’s Siva Kolli, who was the top finisher of all players of age eight or under. Kolli earned $500 for his efforts.



Finishing with a combined 23/30, Georgia and New York tied for first atop the team standings, with Georgia finishing slightly ahead on tiebreaks. While New York’s average rating was 2284.8, Georgia came in averaging just 2139.6. But behind Guo’s 6/6 Denker win, Ram’s share of second in the Haring, and the fact that every player finished with a “plus score,” the victory was well deserved. Florida won top honors for states averaging a rating under 2100, and Oregon was the best state averaging under 1900.


U.S. Open Day Four

Only four players remain with an unblemished 4/4 after four days of the traditional U.S. Open schedule. Top-seeded IM Jason Liang won a nice game over Michigan's FM Seth Homa and is still the player to beat in this section.



Michigan IM Joshua Posthuma joins GM Dmitry Gurevich and GM Rahul Srivatshav atop the standings. IM Kostya Kavutskiy was held to a draw by Steven Szpisjak and leads the pack with 3½/4. 



The six-day schedule, where all nine rounds are played at the "traditional" time control but with some double-round days thrown in at the beginning, kicked off last night. GM Andrew Tang leads the charge, and several players from the invitationals joined in for the fun, including FMs Sharvesh Deviprasath from the Denker and Brewington Hardaway from the Barber. 

GM Alexander Shabalov lit up the board with a blazing attack that was easily the highlight of the six-day schedule:



Live games in the six-day resume at noon EDT and 7 p.m. EDT for the traditional, and will be broadcast on, LiChess, and




Live commentary with WGM Sabina Foisor and GM Kayden Troff on Twitch will resume with the "merge" for round seven at 7 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 4. But before that, check in tomorrow for a chance to play our co-hosts in blitz at noon EDT tomorrow, August 3.

An additional 11 quads took place on Tuesday, with full results available here. Today's Wednesday quads are played at a slower time control and offer higher prizes, as well.

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