2020 U.S. Women's Championship - Day 2 Recap

After an exciting second day of the 2020 U.S. Women’s Championship GM Irina Krush managed to overtake the lead in the standings, scoring 2.5/3 today to finish with 4.5/6 points. Trailing Krush by just a half-point are IM Carissa Yip, WIM Emily Nguyen, and IM Dorsa Derakhshani, who impressed online spectators with her fantastic attacking play. Previous leader, IM Annie Wang had a difficult day, losing all three games to drop out among the top places. 

Check out all the games from the second 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 2

Round 4

The first round of the second day saw some important results for the overall tournament standings. In a rematch from the recently concluded 2020 U.S. Girls’ Junior, Day 1 leader IM Annie Wang faced IM Carissa Yip, who won their previous game en route to becoming this year’s Girls’ Junior Champion. In a repeat of events, Yip won again in a complicated King’s Indian.

Once again IM Carissa Yip defeated IM Annie Wang in a critical game for the standings.

Annie’s loss allowed GM Irina Krush to grab the lead after also defeating a key rival in defending U.S. Women’s Champion, WGM Jennifer Yu. Krush showed good technique playing against Black’s hanging pawns, and was able to quickly increase the pressure to a decisive breaking point.

7-time champion GM Irina Krush played with precision to convert her positional advantage.

But the highlight of the round was IM Dorsa Derakhshani’s sparkling exchange sacrifice against IM Anna Zatonskih, which gave her powerful compensation on the dark-squares:

The first of two fantastic attacking games by IM Dorsa Derakhshani.

Round 5

The second round of the day saw little change to the standings, as Krush drew with WFM Martha Samadashvili, as did Yip against IM Dorsa Derakhshani. The most interesting game of the round was between WIM Emily Nguyen and WIM Thalia Cervantes, which ended in a nice tactical find by Nguyen:

After 22.Bh7+! in Nguyen - Cervantes, winning Black’s queen after 22...Kh8 23.Nxf7+

Round 6

The final round of the day saw both leaders continue to win, as Krush was able to defeat to WIM Thalia Cervantes, while IM Carissa Yip took down WGM Tatev Abrahamyan. While Krush’s game was mostly another smooth positional victory, she survived a scare deep into the endgame:

Both players were in heavy time trouble when they missed 57.Nc2+!

The final round ended up being the most combative of the event, with all six games ending in decisive results. In addition to Krush and Yip, Nguyen also won her second game of the day against WIM Ashritha Eswaran, tying her for 2nd place. 

But once again the game of the round went to IM Dorsa Derakhshani, who sacrificed a piece to launch a dangerous attack against WGM Jennifer Yu. After the round, Dorsa shared that she had prepared the idea before the game, and was following her prep for 13 moves.

After sacrificing her knight on g5, Derakhshani continued with h4-h5 and f2-f4, building up a powerful attack on the kingside.

With five games left to go, anything can still happen with multiple players still in contention for the 2020 U.S. Women’s Championship title.

Rounds 7-9 of the 2020 U.S. Women’s Championship will take place tomorrow, October 23, 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.