Steady On at 2021 U.S. Juniors, Senior

It’s steady on with two rounds to play at the U.S. Junior, Girls’ Junior, and Senior Championships.

Friday’s seventh round saw the three leaders maintain their place at the top of the tables by full points. GMs Gregory Kaidanov and Hans Niemann drew their games in the Senior and Junior Championships, while IM Anne Wang won against WFM Sanjana Vittal in the Girls’ Junior.

Senior Championship

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Results for 2021 Senior Ch, Rd 7
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courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios

 

All eyes in the Senior were on the matchup between GM Larry Christiansen and Kaidanov — with Christiansen a point behind Kaidanov in second place, this was a must-win for Larry C, and a ‘must hold’ for the Kentuckian. Kaidanov showed good preparation in neutralizing Christiansen’s Bishop’s Opening, with the result being a fairly easy draw for Black.

 

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Christiansen vs Kaidanov
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courtesy SLCC / Crystal Fuller

 

[pgn][Event "U.S. Senior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Christiansen, Larry"] [Black "Kaidanov, Gregory"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C28"] [WhiteElo "2567"] [BlackElo "2547"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 Nc6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Nge2 d5 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. O-O Be6 8. Bxd5 Bxd5 9. f4 f6 10. fxe5 Nxe5 11. Nxd5 Qxd5 12. c3 Bd6 13. Nf4 Qf7 14. d4 O-O-O 15. Qa4 a6 16. dxe5 (16. Qb3 Qxb3 17. axb3 Ng6 18. Nxg6 hxg6 19. Bf4 Bxf4 20. Rxf4 Rde8 21. h3 g5 22. Rf5 Re2 23. Rf2 Rhe8 24. Raf1 Kd7 25. Rxe2 Rxe2 26. Rf2 Re1+ 27. Rf1 Re2 28. Rf2 Re1+ 29. Rf1 Rxf1+ 30. Kxf1 Ke6 31. Ke2 Kf5 32. Kf3 a5 33. c4 b6 34. Ke3 Ke6 {1/2-1/2 (34) Adhiban,B (2653)-Giri,A (2773) Wijk aan Zee 2017}) 16... Bc5+ 17. Kh1 fxe5 18. Re1 (18. Qe4 Bd6 19. Rf3 exf4 20. Bxf4 Bxf4 21. Rxf4 Qd5 22. Qxd5 Rxd5 {1/2-1/2 (79) Mons,L (2554)-Ragger,M (2701) Austria 2019}) 18... exf4 (18... Rhf8 $1 {[%cal Gf8f1]}) 19. Bxf4 Rhf8 20. Be5 g6 (20... h5 $5 {wti ...g7-g5 and attack on the king}) 21. Qg4+ Qd7 22. Qc4 Qd5 23. Qg4+ Qd7 24. Qc4 Qd5 25. Qg4+ 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

Three of the four remaining games were decisive: GM Joel Benjamin defeated IM Leonid Sokolin, GM Igor Novikov won after an unfortunate blunder by GM Alex Shabalov, and the oldest player in the field, 69-year-old GM Jim Tarjan, got his first win of the event with a win over GM Melik Khachiyan. This puts Tarjan squarely in the middle of the table at 3½/7 with two rounds to play.

 

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Standings after Round 7
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courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios

 

[pgn][Event "U.S. Senior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Novikov, Igor"] [Black "Shabalov, Alexander"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A88"] [WhiteElo "2554"] [BlackElo "2521"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "141"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. c4 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. Nc3 c6 8. Rb1 a5 9. b3 Na6 10. Bb2 Rb8 11. d5 e5 12. dxe6 Bxe6 13. Qd2 Qe7 14. Ng5 Bc8 15. Rbd1 Rd8 16. Ba3 Nb4 17. Nh3 Be6 18. Ng5 Bd7 19. Rfe1 h6 20. Nh3 g5 21. f4 Ng4 22. e4 Qf6 23. Bb2 fxe4 24. Bxe4 d5 25. cxd5 cxd5 26. Bxd5+ Kh8 27. Na4 Qf8 28. Bxg7+ Qxg7 29. Bg2 Bf5 30. Qxd8+ Rxd8 31. Rxd8+ Kh7 32. fxg5 b5 33. g6+ Bxg6 34. Nc5 Qc3 35. Re7+ Bf7 36. Rxf7+ Kg6 37. Ne4 Qe3+ 38. Rf2 Nxf2 39. Nexf2 Nxa2 40. Rd3 Qe1+ 41. Bf1 Nc3 42. Nf4+ Kf7 43. Kg2 a4 44. bxa4 bxa4 45. Rd7+ Ke8 46. Ra7 Qe3 47. Rxa4 Nxa4 48. Bb5+ Kf8 49. Bxa4 Qd2 50. Bc6 Qb2 51. Bd5 Kg7 52. h4 Qd2 53. Kf3 Qc3+ 54. Kg4 Qc8+ 55. Be6 Qc2 56. N2d3 Kf6 57. Kh3 Qd2 58. Bd5 Qd1 59. Bg2 Qc2 60. Bf3 Qc8+ 61. Bg4 Qc6 62. Nf2 Kg7 63. Be2 Qb7 64. Kh2 Qc6 65. Ng4 Qc2 66. Kg2 Qb2 67. Ne3 Kf6 68. Kh3 Qc1 69. Bd3 Qh1+ 70. Kg4 {It's still not clear that White can win this, but a moment of madness costs Shabba the half-point.} Qd1+ $4 71. Nxd1 1-0 [Event "U.S. Senior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Tarjan, James"] [Black "Khachiyan, Melikset"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A11"] [WhiteElo "2381"] [BlackElo "2474"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. c4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. e3 Nf6 4. Nc3 g6 5. d4 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4 Bg4 9. h3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Nbd7 11. Rd1 e5 12. a4 exd4 13. exd4 Nb6 14. Bb3 a5 ( 14... Nbd5 15. a5 Qd6 16. Bg5 Nxc3 17. bxc3 Nd5 18. Rab1 b6 19. c4 Nb4 20. c5 bxc5 21. Bf4 Qf6 22. dxc5 Qc3 23. Rd7 Qxf3 24. gxf3 Rad8 {1-0 (24) Shen,Y (2459)-Ren,X (2211) China 2015}) 15. Bg5 h6 16. Bh4 g5 $6 {Weakening instead of active.} 17. Bg3 Nfd5 18. Rac1 Re8 19. Ne4 $1 Re6 20. Nc5 Rf6 21. Qe4 Nf4 22. Nxb7 Qb8 23. Nc5 Nbd5 24. Re1 Ra7 25. Bc2 (25. Bxd5 $5 cxd5 26. Qxd5) 25... Kf8 26. Qh7 Qd8 27. Re4 Re7 28. Rce1 Rxe4 29. Qxe4 Qc8 30. Bb3 Rd6 31. Bxf4 gxf4 32. Bxd5 Rxd5 33. Qxf4 Kg8 34. Re7 Qf5 35. Qxf5 Rxf5 36. Nb3 Rd5 37. Re4 Rd7 38. Nxa5 Bxd4 39. b4 Bb6 40. Nxc6 Rd1+ 41. Kh2 Bxf2 42. g4 Rd2 43. a5 h5 44. Kg2 h4 45. Kf3 Bg1 {One last trick, hoping for 46...Rf2+ 47.Ke3 Rc2+ 48. Ksomewhere Rxc6.} 46. Re1 Rd3+ 47. Ke4 1-0 [Event "U.S. Senior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Christiansen, Larry"] [Black "Kaidanov, Gregory"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C28"] [WhiteElo "2567"] [BlackElo "2547"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 Nc6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Nge2 d5 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. O-O Be6 8. Bxd5 Bxd5 9. f4 f6 10. fxe5 Nxe5 11. Nxd5 Qxd5 12. c3 Bd6 13. Nf4 Qf7 14. d4 O-O-O 15. Qa4 a6 16. dxe5 (16. Qb3 Qxb3 17. axb3 Ng6 18. Nxg6 hxg6 19. Bf4 Bxf4 20. Rxf4 Rde8 21. h3 g5 22. Rf5 Re2 23. Rf2 Rhe8 24. Raf1 Kd7 25. Rxe2 Rxe2 26. Rf2 Re1+ 27. Rf1 Re2 28. Rf2 Re1+ 29. Rf1 Rxf1+ 30. Kxf1 Ke6 31. Ke2 Kf5 32. Kf3 a5 33. c4 b6 34. Ke3 Ke6 {1/2-1/2 (34) Adhiban,B (2653)-Giri,A (2773) Wijk aan Zee 2017}) 16... Bc5+ 17. Kh1 fxe5 18. Re1 (18. Qe4 Bd6 19. Rf3 exf4 20. Bxf4 Bxf4 21. Rxf4 Qd5 22. Qxd5 Rxd5 {1/2-1/2 (79) Mons,L (2554)-Ragger,M (2701) Austria 2019}) 18... exf4 (18... Rhf8 $1 {[%cal Gf8f1]}) 19. Bxf4 Rhf8 20. Be5 g6 (20... h5 $5 {wti ...g7-g5 and attack on the king}) 21. Qg4+ Qd7 22. Qc4 Qd5 23. Qg4+ Qd7 24. Qc4 Qd5 25. Qg4+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "U.S. Senior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.4"] [White "Fishbein, Alexander"] [Black "Yermolinsky, Alex"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "2417"] [BlackElo "2478"] [PlyCount "111"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Qd3 Be6 10. Bd2 a5 11. a4 Nc6 12. Nd5 Bxd5 13. exd5 Nb4 14. Bxb4 axb4 15. Qb5 Qd7 16. Na5 Ra7 17. Nc4 Qxb5 18. axb5 Rfa8 19. Rad1 Rc8 20. Ra1 Rca8 21. Rac1 Rb8 22. Rfd1 g6 23. c3 bxc3 24. Rxc3 Ne4 25. Re3 f5 26. f3 Nf6 27. Ra3 Rxa3 28. bxa3 Ra8 29. Rd3 Nd7 30. Rc3 Kf8 31. Kf1 Rc8 32. a4 Nb6 33. a5 Nxd5 34. Rc2 e4 35. fxe4 fxe4 36. Rd2 Nc3 37. Nxd6 Rd8 38. Nc4 Nxb5 39. Rb2 Nd4 40. Rxb7 Ra8 41. Kf2 Nc6 42. Rb5 Bd8 43. Rd5 Ke7 44. Ke3 Nxa5 45. Ne5 Bc7 46. Rd7+ Ke6 47. Rxc7 Kxe5 48. Re7+ Kd5 49. Rxe4 Nc6 50. Bf3 Kd6 51. Rh4 Ra7 52. Bxc6 Kxc6 53. Rd4 Rd7 54. Re4 Kd6 55. Kf4 Rf7+ 56. Kg3 1/2-1/2 [Event "U.S. Senior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.5"] [White "Benjamin, Joel"] [Black "Sokolin, Leonid"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B31"] [WhiteElo "2506"] [BlackElo "2497"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. c3 e5 5. d4 cxd4 6. cxd4 exd4 7. Nxd4 Bg7 8. Be3 Nge7 9. Nc3 O-O 10. Nde2 a6 11. Bxc6 dxc6 12. Bc5 Qc7 13. Qd6 Qxd6 14. Bxd6 Re8 15. O-O-O Be6 16. Nd4 Bg4 17. f3 Rad8 {[#]} 18. Nb3 Be6 (18... Bc8 19. Bxe7 $1 Rxd1+ 20. Rxd1) 19. Nc5 b5 20. Nxa6 Rxd6 21. Rxd6 Be5 22. Rdd1 Ra8 23. Nc5 b4 24. N3a4 Bxa2 25. Rd7 Bf6 26. Rhd1 Kg7 27. Rb7 Bc4 28. Rdd7 Bb5 29. b3 Kf8 30. f4 Bxa4 31. bxa4 Ng8 32. Rxf7+ Ke8 33. Ne6 Rxa4 34. Rf8# 1-0 [/pgn]

 

Junior Championship

 

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Results for 2021 Junior Ch, Rd 7
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courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios

 

Leader GM Hans Niemann tried to press IM Justin Wang, battling until there were bare kings on the board, but in the end Wang held the rampaging New Yorker to a draw.

[pgn][Event "U.S. Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Niemann, Hans Moke"] [Black "Wang, Justin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A13"] [WhiteElo "2571"] [BlackElo "2467"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "104"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 dxc4 5. Qa4+ Nbd7 6. Qxc4 c5 7. O-O b6 8. Nc3 Bb7 9. e4 Rc8 10. Qe2 c4 11. b3 cxb3 12. axb3 a5 13. e5 Nd5 14. Nd4 Nxc3 15. dxc3 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Rc5 17. f4 Rxc3 18. f5 Nc5 19. Bb2 Qxd4 20. Bxc3 Qxc3 21. Qb5+ Nd7 22. Rad1 Qc7 23. Rd3 Bb4 24. f6 g5 25. Kh3 Bc5 26. Rfd1 O-O 27. Rxd7 Qxe5 28. Qf1 h5 29. Re1 g4+ 30. Kh4 Be3 31. Rxe3 Qxe3 32. Qb5 Qh6 33. Qg5+ Qxg5+ 34. Kxg5 Re8 35. Kxh5 e5 36. Kxg4 e4 37. Re7 Rc8 38. Rxe4 (38. Kg5 $1 Rc3 39. Kh6 Kf8 40. Rxe4 Rf3 41. Kg5 Rxb3 42. Rc4 Ke8 43. g4 $18) 38... Kh7 39. h4 Kg6 40. Rf4 Rc5 41. b4 Rb5 42. bxa5 bxa5 43. Kf3 Rf5 44. Rxf5 Kxf5 45. Ke3 Kxf6 46. Kd4 Kf5 47. h5 Kg5 48. g4 a4 49. Kc3 f5 50. gxf5 Kxf5 51. Kb4 Kg5 52. Kxa4 Kxh5 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

IM David Brodsky won one of FM Robert Shlyakhtenko’s Games of the Day, defeating IM Christopher Yoo in a grinding, paralyzing victory.

 

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IM David Brodsky
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courtesy SLCC / Bryan Adams

 

[pgn][Event "US Junior champs"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7"] [White "Brodsky, David"] [Black "Yoo, Christopher"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B12"] [Annotator "Shlyakhtenko,Robert"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2021.07.17"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 c5 6. Be3 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Ne7 8. O-O Nbc6 9. Bb5 a6 10. Bxc6+ Nxc6 11. Nxf5 exf5 {Black has accepted a worse structure for the time being, but hopes to solve his problems with a timely ... f6.} 12. c3 Be7 (12... Nxe5 $2 13. Re1 Be7 14. Bd4 {is suicidal.}) 13. f4 ({ Many games in this position continued} 13. Nd2 Nxe5 (13... O-O $2 14. Nf3 $16 { white has managed to make do without the weakening move f2-f4.}) 14. Bd4 f6 { and white has compensation for the pawn.}) 13... O-O 14. Qd3 ({Black had no problems after} 14. Nd2 d4 15. cxd4 Nxd4 16. Nc4 Rc8 17. Rc1 b5 $1 18. Qxd4 bxc4 19. Rxc4 Qxd4 20. Rxd4 Bc5 21. Rd3 Bxe3+ 22. Rxe3 Rc2 $11 {1/2-1/2 (25) Oparin,G (2616)-Dreev,A (2652) Moscow 2016}) 14... f6 $1 {Not giving white time to consolidate.} 15. exf6 Bxf6 16. Na3 (16. Qxf5 d4 17. Bf2 Kh8 $5 { also gives black more than sufficient counterplay. The purpose of his last move was to avoid Qe6+ in many lines.}) 16... d4 17. cxd4 Bxd4 {At this point I briefly checked the games online and was sure that this game would soon end in a draw. However, Brodsky managed to find the fine line between creating many problems for his opponent and not taking too many risks himself.} 18. Rad1 Bxe3+ 19. Qxe3 Qf6 20. Rd7 {The first point. White does not have to defend the b2-pawn.} b5 {Not a mistake, but creating some small weaknesses.} (20... Qxb2 $2 21. Rb1 Qxa2 22. Rbxb7) ({It was possible to sacrifice a pawn with} 20... h6 $5 {, giving a flight square to black's king.} 21. Rxb7 Rae8 22. Qc5 Nd4 { and I think white is in as much danger as black.}) 21. Rfd1 $5 {Rolling the dice.} Rad8 $6 {Yoo spent 8 minutes on this inaccuracy. Perhaps he underestimated white's chances to press and did not force himself to calculate 21...Qxb2 accurately.} ({This time, black could and should have taken on b2:} 21... Qxb2 22. Qe6+ (22. R7d2 Qb4 $1 23. Nc2 Qc4) 22... Kh8 23. Qxc6 Qxa3 24. Qxa8 Rxa8 25. Rd8+ Qf8 26. Rxf8+ Rxf8 {and white has at best draw.}) 22. Nc2 h6 23. Qc5 $14 {White has a nagging edge due to his more active pieces, which make it easier for him to target black's weaknesses.} Rxd7 ({Not} 23... Qxb2 $2 24. Qxc6 Rc8 25. Qd5+ $1) ({So maybe} 23... Kh8 $5 {was possible, to get out of further checks. For example:} 24. R7d6 Qxb2 25. Qxc6 Rc8 $11) 24. Rxd7 Rd8 25. Qd5+ Kh8 $2 ({Black should have played} 25... Kf8 $1 26. Rxd8+ Nxd8 27. Nd4 g6 {and with the more active king there should be few problems holding a draw. The most obvious difference compared to the game is that after} 28. h4 Qxh4 { 29. Qe5 would not come with check.}) 26. Rxd8+ Nxd8 27. Nd4 g6 28. h4 $5 { Again Brodsky tries to put as much pressure on his opponent.} ({More natural is } 28. Kf1 {, simply activating the king.}) 28... Nf7 $1 {The correct defense.} (28... Qxh4 29. Qe5+ Kg8 30. Nf3 {was white's idea.}) 29. Ne6 ({Yoo had probably calculated} 29. h5 Qd6 $1 30. Qxd6 Nxd6 31. hxg6 Kg7 $11) 29... h5 $2 {The losing mistake. Black was already under immense practical pressure.} ( 29... Qxb2 $1 30. h5 ({or} 30. Qa8+ Kh7 31. Qf8 Qf6) 30... gxh5 31. Qxf5 { white seems to be completely winning, but black needs to find two only moves:} Qc3 $1 32. Kh2 h4 $1 {and white has no serious winning try in view of the threatened perpetual check.}) 30. Qd7 Kg8 31. Qe8+ Kh7 {Now black's pieces are completely passive.} 32. Kf1 $1 {Calmly bringing the king to the queenside.} Nh8 (32... Nh6 $2 {drops the knight to} 33. Ng5+ Kg7 34. Qd7+ Kg8 (34... Kf8 35. Nh7+) 35. Qh7+) 33. g3 b4 34. Ke1 a5 35. Kd1 a4 36. Kc2 a3 ({After} 36... Nf7 {white would transpose into a winning pawn ending with} 37. Qxf7+ Qxf7 38. Ng5+) 37. Ng5+ $1 ({After} 37. bxa3 {black can draw with} Qc3+ {. So Brodsky eliminates the problem.}) 37... Kg7 38. Qd7+ Kg8 39. Qc8+ Kg7 40. Qc7+ Kg8 41. bxa3 Qa1 42. Qd8+ Kg7 43. Qe7+ Kg8 44. Qe8+ Kg7 45. Ne6+ {Winning at least a queen. Black resigned.} 1-0 [/pgn]

GM Brandon Jacobson defeated IM Praveen Balakrishnan in a long endgame, while the Checa-Li and Hong-Burke pairings were drawn.

 

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Standings after Round 7
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courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios

 

[pgn][Event "U.S. Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Hong, Andrew"] [Black "Burke, John M"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2474"] [BlackElo "2538"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 Bb7 9. d3 d6 10. Bd2 Qd7 11. Na3 Nd4 12. Nxd4 exd4 13. c3 dxc3 14. bxc3 c5 15. Bc2 Rfe8 16. f3 Bd8 17. Rb1 Bc6 18. d4 cxd4 19. cxd4 bxa4 20. Bd3 Qe7 21. Qc2 Bd7 22. Rb7 d5 23. e5 Qxa3 24. exf6 Rxe1+ 25. Bxe1 Qa1 26. Kf1 Bxf6 27. Rxd7 Re8 28. Qb1 Qxd4 29. Bxh7+ Kh8 30. Be4 Qc4+ 31. Bd3 Qf4 32. Bg3 Qd4 33. Bf2 Qf4 34. Rxf7 a3 35. Kg1 Qd2 36. Rxf6 gxf6 37. Bf1 a2 38. Qg6 Re6 39. Qf7 a1=Q 40. Qf8+ Kh7 41. Qf7+ Kh8 42. Qf8+ Kh7 43. Qf7+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "U.S. Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Brodsky, David"] [Black "Yoo, Christopher Woojin"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B12"] [WhiteElo "2455"] [BlackElo "2474"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 c5 6. Be3 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Ne7 8. O-O Nbc6 9. Bb5 a6 10. Bxc6+ Nxc6 11. Nxf5 exf5 12. c3 Be7 13. f4 O-O 14. Qd3 f6 15. exf6 Bxf6 16. Na3 d4 17. cxd4 Bxd4 18. Rad1 Bxe3+ 19. Qxe3 Qf6 20. Rd7 b5 21. Rfd1 Rad8 22. Nc2 h6 23. Qc5 Rxd7 24. Rxd7 Rd8 25. Qd5+ Kh8 26. Rxd8+ Nxd8 27. Nd4 g6 28. h4 Nf7 29. Ne6 h5 30. Qd7 Kg8 31. Qe8+ Kh7 32. Kf1 Nh8 33. g3 b4 34. Ke1 a5 35. Kd1 a4 36. Kc2 a3 37. Ng5+ Kg7 38. Qd7+ Kg8 39. Qc8+ Kg7 40. Qc7+ Kg8 41. bxa3 Qa1 42. Qd8+ Kg7 43. Qe7+ Kg8 44. Qe8+ Kg7 45. Ne6+ 1-0 [Event "U.S. Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Niemann, Hans Moke"] [Black "Wang, Justin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A13"] [WhiteElo "2571"] [BlackElo "2467"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "104"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 dxc4 5. Qa4+ Nbd7 6. Qxc4 c5 7. O-O b6 8. Nc3 Bb7 9. e4 Rc8 10. Qe2 c4 11. b3 cxb3 12. axb3 a5 13. e5 Nd5 14. Nd4 Nxc3 15. dxc3 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Rc5 17. f4 Rxc3 18. f5 Nc5 19. Bb2 Qxd4 20. Bxc3 Qxc3 21. Qb5+ Nd7 22. Rad1 Qc7 23. Rd3 Bb4 24. f6 g5 25. Kh3 Bc5 26. Rfd1 O-O 27. Rxd7 Qxe5 28. Qf1 h5 29. Re1 g4+ 30. Kh4 Be3 31. Rxe3 Qxe3 32. Qb5 Qh6 33. Qg5+ Qxg5+ 34. Kxg5 Re8 35. Kxh5 e5 36. Kxg4 e4 37. Re7 Rc8 38. Rxe4 (38. Kg5 $1 Rc3 39. Kh6 Kf8 40. Rxe4 Rf3 41. Kg5 Rxb3 42. Rc4 Ke8 43. g4 $18) 38... Kh7 39. h4 Kg6 40. Rf4 Rc5 41. b4 Rb5 42. bxa5 bxa5 43. Kf3 Rf5 44. Rxf5 Kxf5 45. Ke3 Kxf6 46. Kd4 Kf5 47. h5 Kg5 48. g4 a4 49. Kc3 f5 50. gxf5 Kxf5 51. Kb4 Kg5 52. Kxa4 Kxh5 1/2-1/2 [Event "U.S. Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.4"] [White "Jacobson, Brandon"] [Black "Balakrishnan, Praveen"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D12"] [WhiteElo "2504"] [BlackElo "2507"] [PlyCount "157"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 a6 6. Ne5 Nbd7 7. Qb3 Qc7 8. cxd5 Nxe5 9. dxe5 Nxd5 10. Bc4 e6 11. e4 Nxc3 12. exf5 Nd5 13. Bxd5 Qxe5+ 14. Be3 Qxd5 15. Qxb7 c5 16. Qb6 exf5 17. O-O Be7 18. Rfd1 Qe6 19. Bxc5 Qxb6 20. Bxb6 Rb8 21. Rac1 O-O 22. Rc6 Rfc8 23. Rdc1 Rxc6 24. Rxc6 h5 25. Kf1 a5 26. Ke2 a4 27. Bd4 Ra8 28. Kd3 f6 29. Kc4 Kf7 30. a3 Bd8 31. Bc3 Ke7 32. Kb5 Kd7 33. Rc4 Bc7 34. h3 Be5 35. Rxa4 Rb8+ 36. Kc4 Rc8+ 37. Kd5 Bxc3 38. Ra7+ Ke8 39. bxc3 Rxc3 40. Rxg7 Rxa3 41. Ke6 Ra6+ 42. Kxf5 Ra2 43. Kxf6 Rxf2+ 44. Ke6 Re2+ 45. Kf5 Rf2+ 46. Ke4 Kf8 47. Rg5 Ke7 48. h4 Kf6 49. g3 Re2+ 50. Kd4 Re1 51. Rxh5 Rg1 52. Rg5 Re1 53. g4 Rh1 54. Rf5+ Kg6 55. h5+ Kh6 56. Ke3 Re1+ 57. Kf2 Ra1 58. Kg3 Rg1+ 59. Kh3 Rh1+ 60. Kg2 Ra1 61. Rf6+ Kg7 62. Rg6+ Kf7 63. Kg3 Ra4 64. Rg5 Ra1 65. Rf5+ Kg7 66. Kh4 Ra6 67. Kg5 Rb6 68. Rc5 Ra6 69. Rc7+ Kg8 70. h6 Ra5+ 71. Kg6 Ra6+ 72. Kh5 Kh8 73. g5 Ra8 74. Rc5 Rb8 75. g6 Ra8 76. Rf5 Rb8 77. h7 Kg7 78. Rf7+ Kh8 79. Kh6 1-0 [Event "U.S. Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.5"] [White "Checa, Nicolas"] [Black "Li, Ben"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D31"] [WhiteElo "2552"] [BlackElo "2376"] [PlyCount "150"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. e3 c5 8. Bd3 Qa5 9. Qc2 c4 10. Bf5 O-O 11. O-O Re8 12. Nd2 g6 13. Bh3 Kg7 14. a3 Bxc3 15. Qxc3 Qxc3 16. bxc3 h6 17. Bxf6+ Nxf6 18. Bxc8 Raxc8 19. Rfb1 Rc7 20. a4 Re6 21. Rb4 b6 22. Kf1 g5 23. Ke2 h5 24. h4 g4 25. f3 Rce7 26. Nf1 Ne8 27. a5 Nd6 28. axb6 axb6 29. Rxb6 Nf5 30. Rxe6 fxe6 31. fxg4 hxg4 32. e4 dxe4 33. Ne3 Nxh4 34. Ra5 Rb7 35. Rg5+ Kf6 36. Rxg4 Rb2+ 37. Kd1 Nf5 38. Nxc4 Rf2 39. Rxe4 Rxg2 40. Re2 Rg4 41. Ne5 Rg3 42. Kd2 Ke7 43. Nc4 Rg4 44. Kd3 Rg3+ 45. Kc2 Kd7 46. Re4 Rh3 47. Kb3 Nd6 48. Ne5+ Kc7 49. Rf4 Nb5 50. Rf7+ Kb6 51. Rf3 Rxf3 52. Nxf3 Kc6 53. Kc4 Nd6+ 54. Kd3 Kd5 55. Ne5 Nf5 56. Ng6 Kd6 57. c4 Kc6 58. Nf4 Kd6 59. c5+ Kd7 60. Ke4 Ne7 61. Nd3 Kc7 62. Ne5 Kd8 63. Nf7+ Ke8 64. Ng5 Kd7 65. Nf3 Kc7 66. Ke5 Kd7 67. Kf6 Nd5+ 68. Kf7 Nf4 69. Ne5+ Kc7 70. Ke7 Ne2 71. Nf3 Kc6 72. Ne5+ Kc7 73. Nf3 Kc6 74. Kxe6 Nxd4+ 75. Nxd4+ Kxc5 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

 

Girls’ Junior Championship

IM Annie Wang was one of four victors in the seventh round of the Girls’ Junior Championship, defeating WFM Sanjana Vittal after Vittal misjudged a pawn push.

 

Image
IM Annie Wang
Image Caption
courtesy SLCC / Crystal Fuller

 

[pgn][Event "U.S. Girls Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Wang, Annie"] [Black "Vittal, Sanjana"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E32"] [WhiteElo "2384"] [BlackElo "1938"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 d5 7. Nf3 dxc4 8. Qxc4 b6 9. Bg5 Ba6 10. Qc2 Nbd7 11. e4 Bxf1 12. Rxf1 h6 13. Bh4 Qc8 14. Qc6 Rb8 15. Nd2 Qb7 16. Rc1 Nc5 17. Qxb7 Nd3+ 18. Kd1 Rxb7 19. Rc6 Rd8 20. Kc2 Rxd4 21. Bg3 Nc5 22. f3 Rd7 23. b4 Na6 24. Nb3 Nh5 25. Be5 g5 $2 (25... f6 26. Bg3 Nxg3 27. hxg3 Nb8 28. Rc3 $17) 26. Rd1 Rxd1 27. Kxd1 Nf4 28. b5 Nc5 $2 (28... Nb8 29. Rxc7 Rxc7 30. Bxc7 Nd7 {and White is much better, but not 'winning' yet.}) 29. Nxc5 bxc5 30. a4 Nd3 31. Rxc7 Rb6 ({No better is} 31... Rxc7 32. Bxc7 Nb2+ 33. Kc2 Nxa4 34. Bb8) 32. Bc3 a6 33. Rc8+ Kh7 34. Ba5 Rb7 35. Rc7 Rxc7 36. Bxc7 axb5 37. axb5 c4 38. b6 Nc5 {Black temporarily stops the pawn from advancing, but now White's king marches up and the win is never in doubt.} 39. Kc2 Kg6 40. Kc3 h5 41. Kxc4 Nb7 42. Be5 f5 43. Kb5 g4 44. Kc6 Na5+ 45. Kc7 h4 46. exf5+ exf5 47. fxg4 fxg4 48. Bc3 Nb3 49. Kc6 1-0 [/pgn]

Sheena Zeng showed outstanding preparation in her win over Susanna Ulrich. This is the second of FM Shlyakhtenko's Games of the Day.

 

Image
Sheena Zeng
Image Caption
courtesy SLCC / Lennart Ootes

 

[pgn][Event "US Girls champs"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7"] [White "Urlich, Susanna"] [Black "Zeng, Sheena"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D36"] [Annotator "Shlyakhtenko,Robert"] [PlyCount "62"] [EventDate "2021.07.17"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. e3 O-O 8. Bd3 h6 9. Bh4 Re8 10. Nge2 a5 11. h3 Na6 $5 {This creative plan was introduced by IM Kassa Korley.} 12. a3 Nc7 13. O-O Ne6 14. f3 Ng5 15. e4 $2 {Falling for Korley's trap.} ({Amazingly, only one game continued with the move considered best by theory:} 15. f4) 15... Nfxe4 $1 16. fxe4 Nxh3+ $1 17. gxh3 Qxh4 { Black has opened up white's king, but at the cost of a piece. But what happens after the natural e4-e5?} 18. e5 ({In the stem game, Moiseenko played} 18. Rf2 {but lost after the same motif:} Bxh3 19. Rd1 Re5 $3 20. dxe5 Bc5 21. Nd4 Bxd4 22. Rdd2 Qg3+ 23. Kh1 Bg4 24. Bf1 Bf3+ 25. Bg2 Qh3+ {0-1 (25) Moiseenko,A (2628)-Korley,K (2437) Helsingor 2019}) 18... Rxe5 $1 {This is the real point of black's combination. White is just lost.} 19. Bh7+ {Technically a novelty.} (19. Bf5 Qg5+ 20. Kh1 Bxf5 21. Qc1 Re3 {0-1 (26) Kashlinskaya,A (2494)-Rosen,E (2353) Chess.com INT 2020}) 19... Kh8 20. dxe5 Bc5+ 21. Nd4 {The only move to avoid immediate mate.} Bxd4+ 22. Kh1 Bxh3 ({Simpler, but less flashy, was the transition into an endgame with} 22... Qxh3+ 23. Qh2 Qxh2+ 24. Kxh2 Bxe5+ 25. Kg2 Kxh7) 23. Qh2 Bxe5 24. Qxe5 Bxf1+ 25. Kg1 ({White would have had more chances of resistance after} 25. Qh2 {, though of course it's lost.}) 25... Bh3 26. Bd3 Qg4+ 27. Kf2 Qg2+ 28. Ke3 Bd7 $1 {Preparing ...Re8, bringing in the final piece.} 29. Qf4 Re8+ 30. Kd4 Qxb2 31. Rc1 {Allowing a pretty checkmate with the king in the middle of the board.} Qb6# 0-1 [/pgn]

In other results, WIM Rochelle Wu defeated WIM Thalia Cervantes, and the youngest player in the field, Alice Lee, took down WFM Martha Samadashvili. The game between Ruiyang Yan and WFM Sophie Morris-Suzuki was drawn.

 

Image
Standings after Round 7
Image Caption
courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios

 

[pgn][Event "U.S. Girls Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Samadashvili, Martha"] [Black "Lee, Alice"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B13"] [WhiteElo "2215"] [BlackElo "1972"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "54"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 6. Bf4 Bg4 7. Qb3 Qd7 8. Nd2 e6 9. Ngf3 Bd6 10. Bxd6 Qxd6 11. O-O O-O 12. Rfe1 Ne7 13. Ne5 Bf5 14. Bxf5 Nxf5 15. Qd1 b5 16. Nb3 b4 17. Nc5 bxc3 18. bxc3 Rab8 19. Qa4 Ra8 20. Rab1 Rfb8 21. g4 Nh4 22. Rxb8+ Qxb8 {[#]} 23. Qb3 $2 {Allowing Black a tricky tactical shot.} ({After} 23. g5 Ng4 (23... Ne8 24. Qd7 Nd6) 24. Nxg4 Nf3+ 25. Kf1 Nxe1 26. Kxe1 {the position is unclear.}) (23. h3 $11) 23... Nxg4 $1 24. Nxg4 (24. Qxb8+ Rxb8 {doesn't help:} 25. Nxg4 Nf3+ 26. Kf1 Nxe1 27. Kxe1 Rb1+ 28. Ke2 Rb2+ 29. Ke1 Rxa2) 24... Nf3+ 25. Kh1 ({Here we see the key difference: now there's a fork with} 25. Kf1 $2 Nd2+) 25... Nxe1 26. Qd1 Qf4 27. Qxe1 Qf3+ 0-1 [Event "U.S. Girls Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Yan, Ruiyang"] [Black "Morris-Suzuki, Sophie"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B47"] [WhiteElo "2111"] [BlackElo "2043"] [PlyCount "111"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. g3 a6 7. Bg2 h5 8. h3 h4 9. g4 Nge7 10. Nde2 Ng6 11. O-O Bc5 12. Kh1 b5 13. a3 Bb7 14. f4 Rc8 15. Qd3 O-O 16. Be3 d6 17. Bg1 b4 18. axb4 Nxb4 19. Qd2 f5 20. Bxc5 dxc5 21. gxf5 Rcd8 22. Qe3 Nxc2 23. Qf2 exf5 24. Rac1 Nb4 25. Rcd1 Rxd1 26. Rxd1 fxe4 27. Nxe4 Nxf4 28. Nxf4 Rxf4 29. Qxc5 Qxc5 30. Nxc5 Bxg2+ 31. Kxg2 Rc4 32. Ne6 Rc2+ 33. Kf3 Kf7 34. Ng5+ Kg6 35. Kf4 Rxb2 36. Rd6+ Kh5 37. Ne6 Rf2+ 38. Ke3 Rf7 39. Ke4 g5 40. Rb6 a5 41. Rb5 Re7 42. Kf5 Nd3 43. Kf6 Rxe6+ 44. Kxe6 Nf4+ 45. Kf5 Nxh3 46. Rxa5 Nf2 47. Ra7 Ng4 48. Rg7 Ne3+ 49. Kf6 Nd5+ 50. Kf5 Ne3+ 51. Kf6 Ng4+ 52. Kf5 Nh6+ 53. Kf6 h3 54. Rxg5+ Kh4 55. Kg6 Ng4 56. Rh5+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "U.S. Girls Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Wang, Annie"] [Black "Vittal, Sanjana"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E32"] [WhiteElo "2384"] [BlackElo "1938"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 d5 7. Nf3 dxc4 8. Qxc4 b6 9. Bg5 Ba6 10. Qc2 Nbd7 11. e4 Bxf1 12. Rxf1 h6 13. Bh4 Qc8 14. Qc6 Rb8 15. Nd2 Qb7 16. Rc1 Nc5 17. Qxb7 Nd3+ 18. Kd1 Rxb7 19. Rc6 Rd8 20. Kc2 Rxd4 21. Bg3 Nc5 22. f3 Rd7 23. b4 Na6 24. Nb3 Nh5 25. Be5 g5 $2 (25... f6 26. Bg3 Nxg3 27. hxg3 Nb8 28. Rc3 $17) 26. Rd1 Rxd1 27. Kxd1 Nf4 28. b5 Nc5 $2 (28... Nb8 29. Rxc7 Rxc7 30. Bxc7 Nd7 {and White is much better, but not 'winning' yet.}) 29. Nxc5 bxc5 30. a4 Nd3 31. Rxc7 Rb6 ({No better is} 31... Rxc7 32. Bxc7 Nb2+ 33. Kc2 Nxa4 34. Bb8) 32. Bc3 a6 33. Rc8+ Kh7 34. Ba5 Rb7 35. Rc7 Rxc7 36. Bxc7 axb5 37. axb5 c4 38. b6 Nc5 {Black temporarily stops the pawn from advancing, but now White's king marches up and the win is never in doubt.} 39. Kc2 Kg6 40. Kc3 h5 41. Kxc4 Nb7 42. Be5 f5 43. Kb5 g4 44. Kc6 Na5+ 45. Kc7 h4 46. exf5+ exf5 47. fxg4 fxg4 48. Bc3 Nb3 49. Kc6 1-0 [Event "U.S. Girls Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.4"] [White "Ulrich, Susanna"] [Black "Zeng, Sheena"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D36"] [WhiteElo "1974"] [BlackElo "2013"] [PlyCount "62"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. e3 O-O 8. Bd3 h6 9. Bh4 Re8 10. Nge2 a5 11. h3 Na6 12. a3 Nc7 13. O-O Ne6 14. f3 Ng5 15. e4 Nfxe4 16. fxe4 Nxh3+ 17. gxh3 Qxh4 18. e5 Rxe5 19. Bh7+ Kh8 20. dxe5 Bc5+ 21. Nd4 Bxd4+ 22. Kh1 Bxh3 23. Qh2 Bxe5 24. Qxe5 Bxf1+ 25. Kg1 Bh3 26. Bd3 Qg4+ 27. Kf2 Qg2+ 28. Ke3 Bd7 29. Qf4 Re8+ 30. Kd4 Qxb2 31. Rc1 Qb6# 0-1 [Event "U.S. Girls Junior Championship"] [Site "Saint Louis, United States"] [Date "2021.07.23"] [Round "7.5"] [White "Wu, Rochelle"] [Black "Cervantes Landeiro, Thalia"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D83"] [WhiteElo "2138"] [BlackElo "2226"] [Annotator "Hartmann,John"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bf4 Bg7 5. e3 O-O 6. Rc1 Be6 7. c5 c6 8. h3 Nbd7 9. Bd3 Ne8 10. Nge2 f6 11. h4 Bf7 12. g4 e5 13. Bh2 Nc7 14. Qd2 Ne6 15. Bb1 Re8 (15... f5 $5) 16. O-O e4 17. f4 f5 18. g5 b6 19. b4 bxc5 20. bxc5 Qa5 $6 21. Nxe4 $1 {Snatching a pawn. The idea may have been that the backward pawn on e3 presents a target, but White can defend it easily enough.} Qxd2 22. Nxd2 Rab8 23. Nb3 Rb4 24. Bg3 Nc7 25. Be1 Rxb3 $5 {Desperation.} 26. axb3 Rxe3 27. Kf2 Rxb3 28. Bc2 Ra3 29. Bb4 Ra2 30. Ke3 Nb5 31. Bd3 a5 32. Bc3 Nxc3 33. Rxc3 Nf8 34. Rb1 Be6 35. Bc2 Kf7 36. Nc1 $1 {Black resigns as the rook is trapped.} 1-0 [/pgn]

Looking ahead...

Key Round 8 pairings include Kaidanov versus Yermolinsky in the Senior, Yoo taking White against Niemann in the Junior, and Wang with Black against Lee in the Girls’ Junior.

Tune in to the live coverage at 3pm Central with live commentary from GMs Yasser Seirawan and Cristian Chirila, and host Sharon Carpenter on www.uschesschamps.com or the Saint Louis Chess Club’s YouTube and Twitch channels. 

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