Yermolinsky & Bian Win US Senior and Junior Open

Two Alexes reigned in Northfield, Minnesota, the site of the US Junior Open and US Senior Open from July 21-23. Our new US Senior Open Champion, Alex Yermolinsky, and our new US Junior Open Champion, Alex Bian, both followed similar paths to victory in the prestigious pair of tournaments. Alex Yermolinsky won with 5.5/6 after notching a critical penultimate round victory over fellow Grandmaster Dmitry Gurevich and following it up with a final round win over NM Mark Dejmek. See full standings on  In the US Junior Open, Alex Bian (IL) won his favorite game of the tournament in round five, a quick victory that brought him to 4.5/5.

[Event "2017 Junior Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.07.23"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Bian, Alex"]
[Black "Karp, Eli"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C06"]
[WhiteElo "2329"]
[BlackElo "2150"]
[PlyCount "49"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. Bd3 c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. Ne2 Qb6 8. Nf3
cxd4 9. cxd4 f6 10. exf6 Nxf6 11. O-O Bd6 12. Bf4 Bxf4 13. Nxf4 Qxb2 14. Re1
O-O 15. g3 Kh8 16. Ng5 Nxd4 17. Bxh7 Nxh7 18. Qh5 Qc2 19. Rac1 Qf5 20. Re5 Nf3+
21. Qxf3 Qxe5 22. Ng6+ Kg8 23. Ne7+ Kh8 24. Nf7+ Rxf7 25. Qxf7 1-0

In round six, Bian was still facing an uphill battle against Grant Xu, who entered the round with a perfect 5-0. Bian needed the win. "Going into the final round, I spent around two hours preparing. The time still didn't feel like it was enough, and I went into the round not completely sure of my preparation. As it turns out, he played into a completely different opening altogether, one that I knew very little theory in."

[Event "2017 Junior Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.07.24"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Bian, Alex"]
[Black "Xu, Grant"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]
[WhiteElo "2329"]
[BlackElo "2356"]
[PlyCount "79"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qd8 4. d4 Nf6 5. Bc4 Bg4 6. Nge2 Bxe2 7. Qxe2 c6
8. Ne4 Nxe4 9. Qxe4 e6 10. c3 Nd7 11. Bd2 Nf6 12. Qf3 Nd5 13. O-O-O Be7 14. Kb1
b5 15. Bd3 Bf6 16. Qe4 g6 17. g4 h5 18. h3 Qb6 19. Ka1 Kd7 20. Rc1 Rab8 21. f4
Rbe8 22. Qf3 b4 23. c4 Qxd4 24. Rc2 hxg4 25. Qe2 Nxf4 26. Bxf4 Qxf4 27. Rf1 Qe5
28. Qxg4 Ke7 29. Rcf2 Rh4 30. Qg2 Rd8 31. Rxf6 Rxd3 32. Rxf7+ Kd6 33. c5+ Kxc5
34. Qc2+ Rc3 35. bxc3 Rxh3 36. Qf2+ Re3 37. Kb1 bxc3 38. Re1 c2+ 39. Qxc2+ Kb6
40. Rxe3 1-0

Bian explains that Xu was surprised by the move c5 after Kd6, and lost hope in his position, which is why he missed Qb8 despite being up 45 minutes to 2. "How I feel now is sort of surreal; qualifying for the Junior Closed is a huge honor. (But) I can't afford to keep celebrating, since I have two more upcoming tournaments coming up, the Potomac Open and the 118th US Open in Norfolk, VA. " Check full results on the US Junior Open here. 

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