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:

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.


Follow live action with commentary by GMs Yasser Seirawan, Maurice Ashley and WGM Jennifer Shahade starting at 12:50 CST/1:50 EST on You can also follow Spanish language commentary here. 



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

  2. 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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