“When the Boards Become Blades” — Round 4 at the Senior and Juniors

No prisoners were taken in the fourth round of the 2022 U.S. Senior, Junior, and Girls’ Junior Championships, with 12 (out of 15!) decisive games across all three sections! GM Larry Christiansen, WFM Sophie Morris-Suzuki, and GM Christopher Yoo all ended the day with well-earned victories to keep them at the top of their sections. However, equally impressive is the fighting spirit the rest of the players are showing as they strive to jump back in the race.


U.S. Juniors


2022 Jr Rd4 Standings
Image Caption
courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios


2021 U.S. Women’s Champion IM Carissa Yip has had a slow start in the Junior Championship with two draws and a loss heading into Sunday’s fourth round, but she threw the dice with a King’s Indian Defense against GM Awonder Liang.


Liang versus Yip
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Liang versus Yip (courtesy SLCC / C. Fuller)


Before Yip could generate a stable position, Liang’s early 6.h4 casted a shadow she did not have time to escape. The youngest GM in the world, Abhimanyu Mishra, defeated to Pedro Espinosa to take second place in the standings while IM Balaji Daggupati exhibited tempered maneuvering in the middlegame, breaking IM Justin Wang’s defenses.


GM Christopher Yoo
Image Caption
GM Christopher Yoo (courtesy SLCC / C. Fuller)


GM Christopher Yoo essayed the French Defense against GM Andrew Hong, a former co-leader, and did all Francophiles proud with this effort:



Brodsky versus Jacobson
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Watching Brodsky vs. Jacobson (courtesy SLCC / C. Fuller)


It was the play of GM Brandon Jacobson was most impressive in this round, sifting through the dissonant nuances of the Giuoco Piano better than his opposition, IM David Brodsky:  



U.S. Girls Juniors


2022 Girls Jr Rd4 standings
Image Caption
courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios


FM Rochelle Wu had an up and down game with FM Thalia Cervantes Landeiro, first with a difficult opening, then fighting back to attain a huge advantage that unfortunately slipped in the endgame. Wu couldn’t find the “only-move” that was far from obvious during the pressure both sides faced.

WFM Gracy Prasanna scored her first win in this tournament against WFM Anne-Marie Velea, and FM Jennifer Yu brought home the full point after WFM Zoey Tang couldn’t maintain the initiative. FM Ruiyang Yan and WIM Ellen Wang ended in a draw with both players keeping close distance to the leaders.


WFM Sophie Morris-Suzuki
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WFM Sophie Morris-Suzuki (courtesy SLCC / C. Fuller)


But the story of the day is WFM Sophie Morris-Suzuki, who just can’t be stopped with an incredible four points from four rounds thus far!! On Sunday they faced FM Alice Lee in a Grünfeld. Morris-Suzuki did not overreach in the position, but when they saw their chance, they took it:



U.S. Seniors


2022 Senior Rd4 Standings
Image Caption
courtesy SLCC / Spectrum Studios


GM and Chess Life columnist Joel Benjamin started well after the first three rounds, and in round four he faced the player at the bottom of the standings, IM Igor Khmelnitsky.


IM Igor Khmelnitsky
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IM Igor Khemelnitsky (courtesy SLCC / C. Fuller)


But the 2021 Irwin winner could NOT be counted out. He defeated Benjamin, and in doing so, set the whole group settling in the tension of a point and a half between first and last place!

GM Gregory Kaidanov and Vladimir Akopian were the only players that ended their game in peace. GM Dmitry Gurevich won convincingly against GM Igor Novikov, while GM Nick de Firmian could not hold against GM Alexander Shabalov, who’s slowly trying to get up the Shaba-ranks!

GM Maxim Dlugy was a co-leader heading into Sunday’s games, but GM Larry Christiansen is sustaining the class of consistency and gained a win after Dlugy made a small inaccuracy that grew into something more nefarious:



We’re just at the halfway point of these events, with the leaders refusing to be caught, but the players near the middle/bottom looking like they’re gaining a second wind. Is this a test of endurance or ferocity? Tune in today to begin to find out!

Quick Links:

Complete, round-by-round event coverage on uschess.org

Event info (pairings, standings, and scholarship information) at uschesschamps.com
St. Louis Chess Club YouTube – daily stream at 1 p.m. Central
St. Louis Chess Club Twitch – daily stream at 1 p.m. Central

Live games at lichess.org:

Annotated games from US Chess (lichess study)


Fantastic coverage...The NEW US CHESS FEDERATION NOW ROLLS BIGTIME .... with the huge mega monster plus.... THAT EDITOR MAN HARTMANN BE ROCKIN AND ROLLIN /JIVIN AND JAMIN...AT THE HELM. How dey do dat magic?
" All chessplayers matter, all chess players contribute somehow and don't dare ever forget it Jude"- LAST INTERVIEW , Portland Oregon Grandmaster Arthur W. Dake / 1935 FIDE Warsaw TEAM USA gold medalist /world #1 team...
13 wins, 5 draws and no losses. At your service. Jude Acers/ New Orleans

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