2020 U.S. Women's Championship - Day 1 Recap

IM Annie Wang grabbed the early lead in the 2020 U.S. Women’s Championship, scoring 2.5/3 points on the first day of play. Defending champion WGM Jennifer Yu earned 2.0/3, tied for second with top seed GM Irina Krush, WGM Tatev Abrahamyan, and WIM Emily Nguyen, with eight more rounds to go in this 12-player round-robin event. 

Check out all the games from the first day of action here, and you can watch a video replay of the event’s live coverage featuring WGM Jennifer Shahade, GM Yasser Seirawan, and GM Maurice Ashley here.

Standings after Day 1

Round 1

The first round started off with four decisive games, including IM Annie Wang’s win over WIM Emily Nguyen, where the U.S. #4 launched a devastating kingside attack using her h-pawn: 

After 25...h5!?, which allowed Wang to damage White’s kingside.

Meanwhile top seed GM Irina Krush was able to defend against WIM Ashritha Eswaran’s dangerous kingside attack, who was close to pulling off a big upset:

WIM Ashritha Eswaran missed a powerful chance here with Qh6!

Round 2

In the next round Wang won an early exchange against Eswaran and cruised to her second point of the day. Keeping pace, Abrahamyan took advantage of an early opening error by the 2018 U.S. Women’s Champion WGM Sabina Foisor to win a clean extra pawn that she was able to turn into a full point.

WGM Tatev Abrahamyan started off with a clean 2-0, but later expressed her mind was focused on the current events in Armenia.

Perennial favorites GM Irina Krush and IM Anna Zatonskih also faced off in this round, with their game ending in a draw after a complicated middlegame struggle.

Round 3

In the final round of the day Nguyen defeated Abrahamyan, after the latter blundered a pawn in a complex endgame. This allowed Wang to take the sole lead with a draw against Zatonskih, but all eyes were on the game between the top two ranked female players in the country, IM Carissa Yip and GM Irina Krush, who engaged in a sharp Sicilian battle:

A complete mess took place in Yip - Krush, where the players traded advantages back and forth.

Although Yip’s position looked quite promising at the outset, she wasn’t able to capitalize on her initiative and soon it was Krush who was in control, with the game eventually ending in a draw by perpetual check. 

Rounds 4-6 of the 2020 U.S. Women’s Championship will take place tomorrow, October 22, with live coverage from WGM Jennifer Shahade, GM Yasser Seirawan, and GM Maurice Ashley starting at 12:50 PM CDT on USChessChamps.com, YouTube, and Twitch.

The 2020 U.S. Championships features a series of five national title events, all taking place online from Oct 8-29, starting with the 2020 U.S. Girls Junior Championship. For full details, pairings, and results of the events, make sure to check out USChessChamps.com.