U.S. Senior, U.S. Junior & Junior Girls Fields Announced, July 10-20 in Saint Louis

SAINT LOUIS (June 10, 2019) –  This summer marks a hallmark first for Saint Louis, America’s Chess Capital, as the Saint Louis Chess Club will host national championships showcasing the best of American junior and senior chess. For the first time-ever, the U.S. Senior Championship – an invitation-only tournament for the top 10 players in the United States over 50 years old – will run simultaneously with the U.S. Junior and U.S. Girls’ Junior Championships from July 10-20, 2019.

“One of the best aspects of chess is that it’s truly a game for life,” said Tony Rich, Executive Director of the Saint Louis Chess Club. “There is no better example of this than the incredible chess that will be witnessed from July 10-20 at the U.S. Junior, U.S. Girls’ Junior and U.S. Senior Championship. We’ve been proud to host the future of chess annually with the U.S. Junior and U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship for the past 10 years, but the addition of the U.S. Senior Championship makes this year even more special.”

The three 10-player fields in the coming championships will tie together chess past and future for a celebration of the best of chess. Please see below for notable storylines on the U.S. Junior Championship and U.S. Girls’ Junior Championships, as well as the U.S. Senior Championship:

 U.S. Junior & U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship

All eyes will be on 17-year-old Woman Grandmaster Jennifer Yu, who made history as the first teenager to win the U.S. Women’s Championship in nearly 20 years this March with a dominating 10/11 score. Yu will be competing for her share of the $20,000 prize fund against all male opponents in the U.S. Junior Championship, as well as the coveted qualifier spot to the 2019 U.S. Chess Championship. Alongside her in the field will be other talented juniors, including previous U.S. Junior Champion Awonder Liang.

GM Awonder Liang

U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship

The future of women’s chess in America is bright and will be on full display during the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. Headlining players include WIM Maggie Feng, WIM Emily Nguyen, and defending champion WIM Carissa Yip, whose electric strategies and tactics put them among the brightest young minds in the game. Along with winning the title, players will be up for the chance to win a piece of the more than $10,000 prize fund.

Alexander Shabalov at the 2016 US Championships. Photo: Spectrum Studios

U.S. Senior Championship

The first-ever U.S. Chess-backed invitational championship for players over 50 years old, the annual U.S. Senior Championship will be aptly hosted by the Saint Louis Chess Club alongside the country’s other national chess championships. The inaugural field will boast legendary chess players, including five U.S. Chess Hall of Fame inductees: Alex Shabalov, Larry Christiansen, Joel Benjamin, Gregory Kaidanov and Alex Yermolinsky.

Covering all the action will be the expert commentary team of WGM Tatev Abrahamyan, GM Robert Hess, and GM Jesse Kraai. The team will be providing game analysis daily via an online broadcast stream starting at 1 p.m. To tune in for the broadcast or for more information, visit www.uschesschamps.com.

U.S. Junior Championship Field

Name

Invitational Rating*

Qualification

Hometown

GM Awonder Liang

2683

2018 U.S. Junior Champion

Madison, WI

GM John Michael Burke

2649

Rating

Brick, NJ

GM Nicolas Checa

2617

Rating

Dobbs Ferry, NY

GM Andrew Tang

2601

Rating

Plymouth, MN

IM Brandon Jacobson

2578

Rating

Westfield, NJ

IM Joshua Sheng

2577

Rating

Santa Monica, CA

IM Hans Niemann

2549

Rating

Weston, CT

IM Craig Hilby

2527

Rating

Irvine, CA

WGM Jennifer Yu

2405

Wildcard

Ashburn, VA

NM Atulya Vaidya

2299

2018 U.S. Junior Open Champion

Plano, TX

 

U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship Field

Name

Invitational Rating*

Qualification

Hometown

WIM Carissa Yip

2389

2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior Champion

Andover, MA

WIM Maggie Feng

2339

Rating

Dublin, OH

WIM Emily Nguyen

2334

Rating

Austin, TX

WCM Rochelle Wu

2278

Rating

Davis, CA

WIM Thalia Cervantes

2275

Rating

St. Louis, MO

WFM Martha Samadashvili

2226

Rating

Albany, NY

WIM Agata Bykovtsev

2215

Rating

Goleta, CA

Rui Yang Yan

2201

Rating

Mountain View, CA

Rachael Li

2122

Wildcard

Plano, TX

Veronika Zilajeva

2072

2018 Girls TOC

Los Angeles, CA

 

U.S. Senior Championship Field

Name

Invitational Rating*

Qualification

Hometown

GM Alex Shabalov**

2582

Rating

Pittsburgh, PA

GM Larry Christiansen**

2578

Rating

Cambridge, MA

GM Joel Benjamin**

2572

Rating

Waldwick, NJ

GM Igor Novikov

2568

Rating

Lexington, KY

GM Gregory Kaidanov**

2566

Rating

Lexington, KY

GM Alex Goldin

2554

Rating

Barrington, IL

GM Alex Yermolinsky**

2550

Rating

Sioux Falls, SD

GM Jaan Ehlvest

2544

Rating

Nashville, TN

GM Maxim Dlugy

2538

Wildcard

New York, NY

GM Alexander Fishbein

2525

2018 Senior TOC Champion

Summit, NJ

* Invitational ratings are calculated and certified by the USCF.
** Denotes U.S. Chess Hall of Fame members playing in inaugural U.S. Senior Championship at the Saint Louis Chess Club.

About the Saint Louis Chess Club

The Saint Louis Chess Club is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.

Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Saint Louis Chess Club is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit www.saintlouischessclub.org.

Comments

  1. Unfortunately, as of now on the USChessChamps.com website, for “Spectators” info it’s “More information coming soon!”. I’m hoping that will updated shortly.

  2. What a terrible pick for wildcard. I want to see the best junior players in the US Junior, male or female. It’s a shame the wildcard wasn’t used to reward another 2500+ Junior.

    • We, the family of a 2500+ junior boy who was under serious consideration for the wildcard, think Ms. Yu was a brilliant choice. Her performance in the US Women’s Championship was spectacular and we hope this will help encourage other American girls to take up chess and keep at it.

  3. Wonderful to see Jennifer Yu chosen as the Junior wildcard. Like wildcard choices in most sporting events, she adds a special quality to this championship. She has smashed barriers, winning brilliantly at the highest levels of women’s chess and in high-level open competition. Her achievements inspire female chessplayers everywhere and delight all true chess fans.

  4. Certainly notable absentees include Sam Sevian, Jeffrey Xiong, Annie Wang, Akshita Gorti, I wish there was a way to squeeze in All Former US Champions for US Senior like Ivanov, (I guess guys like Seirawan, Gulko, deFirmian, Wolff, Dzindi, Kavalek, Alburt are all inactive.)

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