2021 U.S. & U.S. Women's Chess Championships Day 3 Recap

Top-seed GM Fabiano Caruana scored his first win of the U.S. Championship, defeating GM John Burke to propel himself into shared first place along with GM Wesley So, GM Ray Robson, and GM Sam Sevian. In the U.S. Women’s Championship, tournament leader WGM Katerina Nemcova was held to a draw by WIM Ashritha Eswaran, but managed to keep a half-point lead ahead of the field.

Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. The time control for the event is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an additional 30 second increment per move starting from move one.

U.S. Championship - Standings after Round 3

U.S. Women’s Championship - Standings after Round 3

2021 U.S. Championship

After two tough draws GM Fabiano Caruana finally got on track today, winning a sharp struggle against GM John Burke in a 5.d3 Ruy Lopez. Burke took on a lot of risk in the opening, weakening his position on both sides of the board in order to generate an attack against White’s king. Caruana came armed with deep preparation and was able to stir up serious counterplay in the center, overtaking the initiative. Burke tried to resist, but his position was too full of weaknesses to survive.

27.Ra6! was a killer shot in an already excellent position for White, threatening the devastating Qf6+ as well as Rfa1. | 1-0, 30 moves

Caruana was simply firing on all cylinders today. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Crystal Fuller

Also winning their first games were GM Sam Sevian, who outplayed GM Jeffery Xiong on the Black side of a Catalan, as well as GM Dariusz Swiercz, who displayed excellent technique to convert a long bishops of opposite color endgame against GM Daniel Naroditsky.

Sevian’s 33...f6! followed by e6-e5 fully restricted White’s pieces, giving Black a large advantage in the endgame. | 0-1, 45 moves

The three other games were drawn, with Dominguez and So not experiencing any difficulties as Black while Robson - Shankland went the full distance, a fighting game where Shankland had to generate just enough counterplay to hold the balance throughout.

Xiong & Sevian discuss their game postmortem. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

2021 U.S. Women’s Championship

Tournament leader WGM Katerina Nemcova was finally held to a draw after WIM Ashritha Eswaran defended precisely against Nemcova’s kingside attack.

Jumping into a tie for second place was WGM Thalia Cervantes, who played excellent positional chess to develop a decisive advantage against WGM Sabina Foisor.

28.Nxe6! secured a huge plus for White, as Cervantes was able to invade with Rd7 next. | 1-0, 83 moves

In the meantime top seed GM Irina Krush was fortunate to save a worse endgame against WGM Begim Tokhirjonova, while Paikidze - Sharevich and Lee - Yip were tough battles that ended in a draw as well.

After three rounds Cervantes is just a half-point out of first place. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Bryan Adams

Bouncing back from two losses was WGM Tatev Abrahamyan, who managed to get the best of IM Anna Zatonskih in a mutual time-scramble.

40.d7! was a nice intermezzo by Abrahamyan, winning the exchange for White. | 1-0, 47 moves

Despite a rocky start, Abrahamyan took down four-time U.S. Women’s Champion IM Anna Zatonskih. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Bryan Adams

Round 4 of the 2021 U.S. & U.S. Women's Chess Championships will take place tomorrow, October 9 starting at 12:50 PM CT. Catch all the action live with grandmaster commentators Yasser Seirawan, Maurice Ashley and Cristian Chirila on uschesschamps.com and on the Saint Louis Chess Club’s YouTube and Twitch.tv channels.