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.

Sam’s Bay Area fans cheered on the 26-year-old Grandmaster.

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.

Who do you think will prevail tomorrow?

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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