Liang and Yip Lead Heading to US Junior Money Rounds

Awonder Liang, Photo Austin Fuller

Grandmaster Awonder Liang broke through as the clear leader in the US Junior Championship (Saint Louis, July 11-21), despite a massive six way logjam at the start of round seven.

Liang defeated Alex Bian in round seven, while the other leaders drew or lost.

Awonder looks to repeat as US Junior Champion, while his rivals have two rounds to stop him and earn the coveted spot into the 2019 US Championship.

Photo: Austin Fuller

Meanwhile, Carissa Yip maintained a half point lead in the US Junior Girls Championship. Yip was leading by even more at the halfway point, but she lost to Sophie Morris-Suzuki in round six, blasting the chances wide open in the Girls.

Carissa is now half a point ahead of Jennifer Yu and Emily Nguyen, with a US Women’s Championship spot at stake.

Follow round 8 at 1 p.m. CDT on July 20, and round 9 at 11 AM CT (to make time for a potential playoff) 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


  1. This chap Awonder doesn’t seem to understand much about the goals of the opening, as shown by his loss. He needs to stop moving his queen early and grabbing pawns. Instead, he should develop his pieces and aim to get castled!

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