US Championship Begins with Big Wins for So, Nakamura & Yu

Jennifer Yu pulled off the biggest upset of the round, swindling defending Champion Anna Zatonskih, Photo Eric Rosen 
The US Championship began on March 29 in Saint Louis with three of the top six players in the World competing in the Open section. The first blood of the round saw a stunning victory from Wesley So, the #2 player in the World, facing four-time Champion Alexander Shabalov:
[pgn]

[Event "2017 U.S. Championship"]
[Site "Saint Louis, Mo"]
[Date "2017.03.29"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A11"]
[WhiteElo "2822"]
[BlackElo "2556"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:19:15"]
[BlackClock "0:03:51"]

1. c4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. e3 Nf6 4. d4 Bg4 5. h3 Bf5 6. Nc3 e6 7. g4 Bg6 8. Ne5
Nbd7 9. Nxg6 hxg6 10. g5 Ng8 11. h4 Ne7 12. Bd2 Nf5 13. Qg4 a6 14. O-O-O dxc4
15. Bxc4 c5 16. dxc5 Bxc5 17. Be2 Be7 18. Kb1 Qb6 19. Na4 Qc7 20. Rc1 Qd6 21.
Ba5 Ne5 22. Qe4 Nc6 23. Rhd1 Rxh4 24. f4 Qb8 25. Nb6 Nd6 26. Qa4 Ra7 27. Bf3
Nb5 28. Qc2 Qc7 29. Rd7 1-0

[/pgn]
Also keeping pace was World #6 Hikaru Nakamura, who defeated his Olympic gold team-mate Ray Robson. Robson, fresh off a Final Four victory for Webster University, got into his trademark time pressure. Nakamura's energetic play and technique, highlighted by the exchange sacrifice 44....Rxg3 gave Hikaru the W.
[pgn]

[Event "2017 U.S. Championship"]
[Site "Saint Louis, Mo"]
[Date "2017.03.29"]
[White "Robson, Ray"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2668"]
[BlackElo "2793"]
[PlyCount "130"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:00:50"]
[BlackClock "0:33:56"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 Be6 7. O-O Bd6 8.
d4 Nd7 9. dxe5 Nxe5 10. Nxe5 Bxe5 11. f4 Bd4+ 12. Kh1 f5 13. Qe2 O-O 14. Rd1
Qe7 15. Nf3 Bc5 16. Re1 Rae8 17. exf5 Bd5 18. Ne5 Rxf5 19. c4 Be6 20. Bd2 Bd6
21. Rf1 Ref8 22. b3 Bxe5 23. fxe5 Qc5 24. Bc3 b5 25. Rxf5 Rxf5 26. Rd1 Qf2 27.
Qd3 bxc4 28. bxc4 h6 29. Bd4 Qxa2 30. Ra1 Qxc4 31. Qxc4 Bxc4 32. Bxa7 Rxe5 33.
Kg1 Bd5 34. Rc1 Re2 35. Bf2 Kf7 36. h3 Ra2 37. Rc3 g5 38. Rc1 h5 39. Rc3 Kg6
40. Rc1 Kf5 41. Rc3 g4 42. hxg4+ hxg4 43. Bg3 Rxg2+ 44. Kf1 Rxg3 45. Rxg3 c5
46. Kf2 Kf4 47. Rd3 c6 48. Ra3 c4 49. Rc3 Be6 50. Ra3 Bf5 51. Rg3 Bd3 52. Re3
Be4 53. Ra3 Bd3 54. Ra5 g3+ 55. Kg1 Be4 56. Ra3 Bd5 57. Kf1 g2+ 58. Kf2 Ke5 59.
Rg3 Kd4 60. Ke2 c3 61. Kd1 Be4 62. Ke2 c2 63. Kd2 Ke5 64. Rg4 Kf5 65. Rg8 Kf4
0-1

[/pgn]
Tatev Abrahamyan is always a favorite in the US Women's Championship, and today she was the only one in the top four to draw blood, in her beloved Open Sicilian:
[pgn]

[Event "2017 U.S. Women's Championship"]
[Site "Saint Louis, Mo"]
[Date "2017.03.29"]
[White "Abrahamyan, Tatev"]
[Black "Virkud, Apurva"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2364"]
[BlackElo "2262"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:20:09"]
[BlackClock "0:07:16"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f3 e6 7. Be3 b5 8. Qd2
Nbd7 9. g4 Nb6 10. a4 Nc4 11. Bxc4 bxc4 12. a5 Bb7 13. Na4 Qc7 14. Nb6 Rb8 15.
Ra4 d5 16. g5 Nd7 17. exd5 Nxb6 18. axb6 Qd7 19. Rxc4 Qxd5 20. Rc7 Bd6 21. c4
Qe5 22. Rxb7 Rxb7 23. Nc6 Qf5 24. Qxd6 f6 25. O-O Rf8 26. Nd4 Qd3 27. Qxe6+ Re7
28. Qc6+ Kf7 29. Qd5+ Kg6 30. Bf4 Rff7 31. gxf6 gxf6 32. Nc6 Rd7 33. Qxd3+ Rxd3
34. Na5 1-0

[/pgn]
Jennifer Yu pulled off the upset of the round when she swindled four-time US Women's Champion Anna Zatonskih, who resigned immediately after 58.Kc2! a threatening the rook on d1 and checkmate.
[pgn]

[Event "2017 U.S. Women's Championship"]
[Site "Saint Louis, Mo"]
[Date "2017.03.29"]
[White "Yu, Jennifer R"]
[Black "Zatonskih, Anna"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D35"]
[WhiteElo "2196"]
[BlackElo "2451"]
[PlyCount "115"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:02:00"]
[BlackClock "0:05:54"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. e3 h6 7. Bh4 Be6 8. Bd3
Nbd7 9. Nge2 g5 10. Bg3 Nh5 11. Qc2 Nxg3 12. Nxg3 h5 13. a3 h4 14. Nf5 Qf6 15.
h3 Nb6 16. Ne2 O-O-O 17. g4 hxg3 18. Nexg3 Kb8 19. b4 Nc8 20. O-O-O Bd6 21. Kb2
Bxg3 22. fxg3 Bxf5 23. Bxf5 Nd6 24. Bd3 Qe6 25. Qf2 Rde8 26. Rde1 Rh6 27. h4
Rf6 28. Qe2 gxh4 29. gxh4 Rh6 30. Qf2 Reh8 31. Qg3 a6 32. Rh3 Ka7 33. Reh1 Rh5
34. R1h2 Qf6 35. Rf2 Qe7 36. Rf4 f5 37. Qf2 R5h6 38. Kb3 Rh5 39. Bxf5 Nxf5 40.
Rxf5 Rxh4 41. Rxh4 Rxh4 42. Re5 Qh7 43. Qc2 Qxc2+ 44. Kxc2 Kb6 45. Kb3 a5 46.
a4 Rh1 47. bxa5+ Kxa5 48. e4 Rh3+ 49. Kc2 Kxa4 50. exd5 cxd5 51. Rxd5 b5 52.
Rd8 Rh2+ 53. Kd3 b4 54. Ra8+ Kb3 55. d5 Rh1 56. Rb8 Ka3 57. d6 Rd1+ 58. Kc2 1-0

[/pgn]
Sabina Foisor also scored in a game that could have gone either way, against the youngest player in the event, 13-year-old Carissa Yip.
[pgn]

[Event "2017 U.S. Women's Championship"]
[Site "Saint Louis, Mo"]
[Date "2017.03.29"]
[Round "1.6"]
[White "Foisor, Sabina-Francesca"]
[Black "Yip, Carissa"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A48"]
[WhiteElo "2272"]
[BlackElo "2234"]
[PlyCount "127"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:01:16"]
[BlackClock "0:03:12"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. e3 O-O 5. Be2 d5 6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. e4 Nb6 8. O-O
Bg4 9. Nbd2 e6 10. h3 Bxf3 11. Nxf3 Nc6 12. Be3 Qd7 13. a4 a5 14. Bb5 Qd6 15.
Rc1 Nb4 16. Qb3 c6 17. Be2 Nd7 18. Rfd1 Rfc8 19. Bd2 Bf8 20. Ng5 Nb6 21. Be3 h6
22. Nf3 Bg7 23. Ne5 Nd7 24. Nc4 Qc7 25. g3 g5 26. Bf3 Nf6 27. Bg2 Re8 28. d5
exd5 29. Nb6 dxe4 30. Nxa8 Rxa8 31. Bd4 Re8 32. Bf1 Nbd5 33. Bc4 Qe7 34. Re1 h5
35. Bxd5 Nxd5 36. Bxg7 Kxg7 37. Qd1 h4 38. Qd4+ Kh7 39. Rc4 f5 40. g4 fxg4 41.
hxg4 Nf6 42. Qe3 Qe6 43. Qxg5 Qxc4 44. Qxf6 Qd5 45. Qxh4+ Kg7 46. Re3 Qd1+ 47.
Kg2 Qd5 48. b3 b5 49. axb5 cxb5 50. Qg3 Re7 51. Qf4 a4 52. bxa4 bxa4 53. Kg3
Qd1 54. Kg2 Qd5 55. Kg3 Qd1 56. Qg5+ Kf7 57. Kg2 Qd6 58. Rh3 Qg6 59. Qf4+ Kg7
60. Rh5 Rf7 61. Qe5+ Qf6 62. Rg5+ Kh8 63. Qb8+ Rf8 64. Qh2+ 1-0[/pgn]
Today US Chess's twitter was taken over by IM and photographer Eric Rosen. Check out some of his most popular tweets and photos below, and go through the whole archive @USChess. Eric will be joining @USChess again on Sunday, April 2, while @GregShahade will take over our twitter a couple times in the second half of the event.
[pgn]

[Event "2017 U.S. Championship"]
[Site "Saint Louis, Mo"]
[Date "2017.03.29"]
[White "Shankland, Samuel L"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E32"]
[WhiteElo "2666"]
[BlackElo "2817"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:05:14"]
[BlackClock "0:11:33"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. Nf3 d6 6. g3 b6 7. Bg2 Bb7 8. O-O
Nbd7 9. b3 Qe7 10. Bb2 Bxc3 11. Qxc3 Ne4 12. Qc2 f5 13. Rad1 Rae8 14. d5 exd5
15. cxd5 Ndf6 16. Bxf6 Rxf6 17. Rd4 Rf7 18. e3 a5 19. a3 Ba6 20. Rc1 g5 21.
Rdd1 Bb7 22. Rd4 h5 23. Rc4 Bxd5 24. Rxc7 Qxc7 25. Qxc7 Rxc7 26. Rxc7 Bxb3 27.
Nd4 Be6 28. Bf1 Kf8 29. Rb7 f4 30. exf4 gxf4 31. f3 Nd2 32. Bb5 Bd5 33. Rxb6
Re3 34. Rxd6 Nxf3+ 35. Kf2 Nxd4 36. Rxd5 Nxb5 37. Rxb5 1/2-1/2

[/pgn]
https://twitter.com/USChess/status/847202000936816640   https://twitter.com/USChess/status/847157721333948417 https://twitter.com/USChess/status/847196228085526529 https://twitter.com/USChess/status/847167831628238848 Follow live action with commentary by GMs Yasser Seirawan, Maurice Ashley and WGM Jennifer Shahade starting at 12:50 CST/1:50 EST on uschesschamps.com. You can also follow Spanish language commentary here.   

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Your picture caption is incorrect when it refers to Anna Zatonskih as the defending women's champion. She last held the title in 2011.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Pic #3 of WGM Anna Sharevich: She appears to be studying the R+B vs. R endgame! A foreshadowing of the dramatic 129-move Round 4 ending of Nazi Paikidze - Anna Zatonskih.

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