Stage Set for Thrilling Championship Sunday

GM Sam Shankland, Photo IM Eric Rosen
The stage is set or a thrilling Championship Sunday in Saint Louis as two players vie for the crown in each competition. In the Open division, Sam Shankland maintains his half a point ahead of Fabiano Caruana. Both players won their penultimate games to keep pace with each other, and eliminate everyone else from contention.
[pgn]

[Event "U.S. Championship"]
[White "Onischuk, Alexander"]
[Black "Shankland, Samuel"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2672"]
[BlackElo "2671"]
[PlyCount "98"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 O-O 8. e3
Bf5 9. a3 Bxc3+ 10. bxc3 Nbd7 11. Be2 c5 12. O-O g5 13. Bg3 Ne4 14. c4 dxc4 15.
Bxc4 Rc8 16. Rc1 Qe7 17. Bd3 Rfd8 18. Qe2 Nb6 19. Bxe4 Bxe4 20. Ne5 cxd4 21.
Rxc8 Rxc8 22. exd4 Bf5 23. Qh5 f6 24. Ng4 Bxg4 25. Qxg4 Qd7 26. Qf3 Nd5 27. Qh5
Kg7 28. f4 Qe8 29. Qf3 Qe3+ 30. Qxe3 Nxe3 31. Rf3 Nd5 32. fxg5 hxg5 33. h4 gxh4
34. Bxh4 Kf7 35. Be1 b6 36. Bd2 Rc2 37. Rd3 Ke6 38. g4 Kd6 39. Kf1 Kc6 40. Ke1
Kb5 41. g5 fxg5 42. Bxg5 Kc4 43. Rg3 Nc3 44. d5 Nxd5 45. Kd1 Rc3 46. Rg4+ Kb3
47. Rd4 Ne3+ 48. Bxe3 Rxe3 49. Kd2 Rh3 0-1

[/pgn]
[pgn]

[Event "U.S. Championship"]
[Date "2018.04.28"]
[White "Zherebukh, Yaroslav"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2640"]
[BlackElo "2804"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 a6 4. g3 b5 5. Bg2 Bb7 6. d3 Nc6 7. O-O d6 8. Ng5 h6
9. Nh3 Nf6 10. f4 Be7 11. f5 b4 12. Ne2 exf5 13. Rxf5 O-O 14. c4 bxc3 15. bxc3
Ne5 16. c4 Bc8 17. Rf1 Rb8 18. Nhf4 g5 19. Nd5 Nxd5 20. cxd5 Bf6 21. d4 cxd4
22. Nxd4 Bg4 23. Qa4 Nd3 24. Qc4 Rb4 25. Qxd3 Bxd4+ 26. Be3 Bxa1 27. Rxa1 Qf6
28. Re1 Rc8 29. h3 Bd7 30. Qxa6 Rc2 31. Rf1 0-1

[/pgn]
Sam's Bay Area fans cheered on the 26-year-old Grandmaster. https://twitter.com/bayareachess/status/990064301661569024 Meanwhile, at the High School Championships in Columbus, Ohio, 1500 young players rooted on Fabiano in his World Championship quest. Didn't hurt him today at the US Chess Champs either. https://twitter.com/USChess/status/990310856025149440 Who do you think will prevail tomorrow? https://twitter.com/USChess/status/990377444669607938 An unusual feature of the round was that three players earned their first victories of the event: Super Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, and teenage GMs Jeffery Xiong and Awonder Liang. https://twitter.com/USChess/status/990327370124087296
[pgn] [Event "U.S. Championship"]
[Date "2018.04.28"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Akobian, Varuzhan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2787"]
[BlackElo "2647"]
[PlyCount "99"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Ba5 6. b4 cxd4 7. Nb5 Bc7 8. f4 Bd7
9. Nf3 Bxb5 10. Bxb5+ Nc6 11. Bd3 Nge7 12. O-O Bb6 13. Kh1 Qd7 14. Rb1 Nf5 15.
a4 a6 16. a5 Ba7 17. Bxf5 exf5 18. Ba3 Rc8 19. b5 axb5 20. Rxb5 Nd8 21. Qb1 Rc3
22. e6 fxe6 23. Ne5 Qc7 24. Qb4 g5 25. Qa4 Rxa3 26. Qxa3 gxf4 27. Re1 Qc3 28.
Qc1 Rg8 29. Nd3 Kd7 30. Qxf4 Kc8 31. a6 bxa6 32. Rb3 Qc7 33. Qxc7+ Kxc7 34. Ra3
Bb6 35. Rxa6 Kb7 36. Ra3 Rg7 37. Rb3 Rc7 38. Reb1 Rc6 39. Ne5 Rd6 40. Rh3 Nc6
41. Rxh7+ Ka6 42. Rd7 Rxd7 43. Nxd7 Ba7 44. h4 e5 45. h5 e4 46. h6 d3 47. cxd3
Bd4 48. dxe4 fxe4 49. h7 Ne7 50. Nc5+ 1-0

[/pgn]
[pgn]
[Event "U.S. Championship"]
[Date "2018.04.28"]
[White "Lenderman, Aleksandr"]
[Black "Xiong, Jeffery"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2599"]
[BlackElo "2665"]
[PlyCount "110"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]

1. c4 e5 2. g3 c6 3. d4 e4 4. d5 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 e3 6. fxe3 Bxd2+ 7. Qxd2 cxd5 8.
cxd5 Nf6 9. Nc3 d6 10. Bg2 O-O 11. Nf3 Bf5 12. Qd4 Re8 13. Nd2 Nbd7 14. e4 Bg6
15. O-O a6 16. a4 Rc8 17. a5 Ne5 18. b4 h5 19. h3 Re7 20. Rac1 Rec7 21. Na2 Rc2
22. Rxc2 Rxc2 23. Nc1 Qd7 24. Ncb3 Qb5 25. Re1 Ra2 26. Nc1 Rc2 27. Ncb3 Kh7 28.
Bf1 Nc4 29. e3 Nxd2 30. Nxd2 Qe8 31. Bg2 Kg8 32. Rf1 Qb5 33. Rf2 Qa4 34. Nc4
Rxf2 35. Kxf2 Qc2+ 36. Nd2 Bxe4 37. Bxe4 Qxd2+ 38. Qxd2 Nxe4+ 39. Ke2 Nxd2 40.
Kxd2 f5 41. Kd3 Kf7 42. Kd4 Kf6 43. b5 Kg5 44. e4 fxe4 45. bxa6 bxa6 46. Kxe4
g6 47. Ke3 Kf5 48. Kd4 g5 49. h4 g4 50. Kd3 Ke5 51. Ke3 Kxd5 52. Kd3 Ke5 53.
Kc3 d5 54. Kd3 d4 55. Kc4 Ke4 0-1[/pgn]
[pgn]

[Event "U.S. Championship"]
[Date "2018.04.28"]
[White "Liang, Awonder"]
[Black "Izoria, Zviad"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2552"]
[BlackElo "2599"]
[PlyCount "133"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Qe2 Qe7 7. Nbd2 Bg4 8.
h3 Bh5 9. a3 a5 10. Nf1 Nd7 11. Ne3 Bxe3 12. Bxe3 c5 13. Qd2 Bxf3 14. gxf3 f5
15. Qc3 f4 16. Bd2 Qe6 17. b4 b6 18. bxc5 bxc5 19. Ke2 a4 20. Rab1 Kf7 21. h4
g6 22. Rb7 Rhc8 23. Rhb1 Ra6 24. R1b5 Ke7 25. Qb2 Qc6 26. Ba5 Kd6 27. Qc3 Ke7
28. Rb1 h6 29. R7b5 Rca8 30. Rxc5 Nxc5 31. Bb4 Kf7 32. Bxc5 Ra5 33. Qc4+ Qe6
34. Rb7 Qxc4 35. Rxc7+ Ke8 36. dxc4 R5a6 37. Re7+ Kd8 38. Rxe5 Rc6 39. c3 Rb8
40. Bb4 Rb7 41. Rd5+ Rd7 42. Kd3 h5 43. e5 g5 44. hxg5 Rxd5+ 45. cxd5 Rg6 46.
Ke4 h4 47. Kxf4 h3 48. Kg3 Rxg5+ 49. Kxh3 Rxe5 50. d6 Re2 51. Kg2 Kd7 52. f4
Ke6 53. Kg3 Re1 54. Kf3 Rc1 55. Ke2 Rc2+ 56. Ke3 Rc1 57. Kd2 Rh1 58. f5+ Kd7
59. Ke3 Rh4 60. f3 Kd8 61. f4 Rh1 62. Kd4 Kd7 63. f6 Ke6 64. Kc5 Kd7 65. Kd5
Rh5+ 66. Ke4 Ke6 67. f7 1-0[/pgn]
GMs Awonder Liang and Jeffery Xiong both won today, Photo Eric Rosen
In the Women's Championship, Annie Wang drew against Anna Zatonskih, and Annie seemed in amazing shape to capture the crown until a shocking turn around in the game between Nazi Paikidze and Tatev Abrahamyan. In time trouble, Tatev made two mistakes in a row, unfortunately timed for moves 38 and 40. 38. Qe2 was good for White, and 40.Kh1! would at least avoid immediate disaster.
[pgn]

[Event "U.S. Women's Championship"]
[White "Abrahamyan, Tatev"]
[Black "Paikidze, Nazi"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2366"]
[BlackElo "2352"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 b5 4. Bd3 b4 5. Nce2 dxe4 6. Bxe4 Nf6 7. Bf3 e6 8. Nh3
Bd6 9. Nhf4 Qc7 10. Nd3 Nbd7 11. Bf4 Bxf4 12. Nexf4 Rb8 13. O-O O-O 14. a3 a5
15. axb4 axb4 16. Qd2 Qd6 17. Qe3 Nd5 18. Bxd5 cxd5 19. b3 Ba6 20. Ra4 Rfc8 21.
Rc1 Rb6 22. Qd2 Rcb8 23. Rca1 Bxd3 24. Nxd3 h6 25. Ra7 Re8 26. h3 Reb8 27. R1a4
Nf6 28. Nc5 e5 29. dxe5 Qxe5 30. Na6 Ne4 31. Qe3 d4 32. Qe1 Re8 33. Nxb4 Rg6
34. Ra8 Rxa8 35. Rxa8+ Kh7 36. Ra6 f6 37. Nd3 Qf5 38. Ra5 Qf3 39. Qf1 Nd2 40.
Ne1 Qd1 0-1

[/pgn]
Annie is still half a point ahead of Nazi Paikidize, with everything to play for tomorrow- $25,000, a spot on the US Women's Olympic team, and the prestigious National title. https://twitter.com/USChess/status/990377676497211392 Vanessa West took over our twitter feed for this tenth round of the event, and Eric will take it over with additional tweets from Vanessa tomorrow. See some of the highlights below and join in the conversation using #USChessChamps.  https://twitter.com/USChess/status/990303169031868416 https://twitter.com/USChess/status/990324254951596039 https://twitter.com/USChess/status/990325106865033217 https://twitter.com/USChess/status/990344940654858240 Watch live commentary of the final round and possible playoffs with GMs Maurice Ashley, Yasser Seirawan and WGM Jennifer Shahade starting at 2 PM EDT from April 29-30.  For more information, visit uschesschamps.com.

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