Nakamura and Krush Cruise to Champion's Final in American Cup

As the American Cup progresses, it is becoming clear who is in their best form. The semifinals of the champion's bracket saw GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So progress to the first final. The two have already clashed in finals matches, namely in the Speed Chess Championship. Nakamura has had much success in these encounters, but expect So to be up for a challenge.


Dominguez Nakamura
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Dominguez and Nakamura prepare for battle (courtesy SLCC)


So far the "no draw offers" rule has led to a choice selection of combative games and Dominguez-Nakamura was no exception.


Nakamura will go on to face GM Wesley So in the champion's final after the latter sent off the defending champion, GM Fabiano Caruana, in their semifinal matchup.


Shankland Robson
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Shankland ran Robson through the ringer in their elimination match (courtesy SLCC)


In the elimination bracket, GM Sam Shankland prevailed against GM Ray Robson in an instructive endgame, and GM Levon Aronian beat GM Samuel Sevian to see another day.


In the women’s section, the 13-year-old FM Alice Lee reached her new peak FIDE rating of 2386 and became the second-highest-rated female player in the United States.


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Lee was all smiles before (and after) her semi-final win against Paikidze (courtesy SLCC)


With the black pieces, she dispatched IM Nazi Paikidze to reach the winners’ final.


She will be joined by GM Irina Krush who was able to outlast Tokhirjonova in a positional masterclass.



The champion's final will be a repeat of last year's finals where Krush took the trophy. Expect a hotly contested match between the top two women in the United States.


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Krush (R) shakes hands against Tokhirjonova (courtesy SLCC)


In the elimination bracket, Abrahamyan is looking to repeat her standout performance from last year after triumphing over WGM Katerina Nemcova, and WGM Atousa Pourkashiyan bounced back with a match victory over IM Anna Zatonskih.

Stay tuned for more great fights in the upcoming champion’s finals!