Halftime at US Juniors: Carissa Yip and Advait Patel Lead

At the halfway point, two clear leaders have emerged at the U.S. Girls’ Junior and the U.S. Junior Championships, Carissa Yip and Advait Patel.

Photo: Austin Fuller

Carissa Yip won a critical game in round 5 to maintain her lead over the field.

Puzzle #1

Nastassja Matus vs. Carissa Yip

Black to move.

Photo: Austin Fuller

A sheer heartbreaker occurred for Jennifer Yu, who was fighting to stay in 2nd place when she blundered against Thalia Cervantes.

At the end of a hard-fought and very long game, Yu had a two pawn advantage in a queen ending, but both players were in time trouble, and the game seemed likely to finish in a draw by perpetual check. Then, Yu blundered with 94…Kg3??, allowing Cervantes an opportunity to win the game.

Puzzle #2

Thalia Cervantes vs. Jennifer Yu

White to move and win.

Yip’s victory and Yu’s loss extends Yips lead a full point with 4 rounds to go.


Junior Section

Photo: Austin Fuller

Advait Patel has been leading from the start and is currently the sole leader by a half point. His key victory was in round 4 when he defeated his closest rival, Alex Bian.

Puzzle #3

Alex Bian vs. Advait Patel

Black to move.

In round 5, Defending Champion Awonder Liang won against Mika Brattain as black to decrease Patel’s lead to only half a point. Brattain tried an ambitious knight sacrifice to open up Liang’s kingside and had his king under considerable pressure for a while. Liang defended precisely, even rushing his king to the center to evade the attack.

Don’t miss round 6 at 1 p.m. CDT today! Watch games and commentary by GM Robert Hess and Tatev Abrahamyan. 

In addition, follow the Saint Louis Chess Club Twitter account (@STLChessClub) for live updates by Vanessa West on-site from Saint Louis. Ask questions, make predictions, and share opinions using the official U.S. Junior Championship hashtag: #USJuniorsChess


Vanessa West is a regular writer and digital assistant for US Chess News. She won the 2017 Chess Journalist of the Year award.

You can follow her on Twitter: @Vanessa__West



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