2022 U.S. Chess & Women’s Chess Championship - Day 4 Recap


by NM Vanessa West

GM Fabiano Caruana took over the sole lead of the U.S. Championship by defeating co-leader GM Hans Niemann. In the U.S. Women’s Championship, WGM Tatev Abrahamyan and WGM Jennifer Yu won to join FM Alice Lee for the lead. 

Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. The time control for the event is 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game; with a 30-second increment starting from move 1.

U.S. Championship - Standings after Round 4

U.S. Women’s Championship - Standings after Round 4

2022 U.S. Championship

GM Hans Niemann vs. GM Fabiano Caruana 0-1

GM Fabiano Caruana won a second game in a row today against fellow tournament leader, GM Hans Niemann. Caruana carefully converted an extra pawn in a rook ending. 

Continuing to press with his extra pawn, Caruana played 60…Rb3+ 61.Kh2 gxf4 62.Rxf4 Ke5, eliminated the e4-pawn, and eventually reached a Lucena position to win the ending. | 0-1, 48 moves

With this win, Caruana is the sole leader of the U.S. Championship after four rounds. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

GM Wesley So vs. GM Sam Shankland 1-0

GM Wesley So vs. GM Sam Shankland was a face off between the reigning U.S. Champion and the 2018 U.S. Champion. So sacrificed the exchange to wreck Shankland’s kingside structure, established a knight on the f5-outpost, and create a mating attack. 

So played the exchange sacrifice 36.Rxf6!, ripping apart Black’s kingside structure. After 36…gxf6 37.Ng4 Kg7 38.Qd2 Rh8 39.exd5, the white knight soon found its way to the potent f5-outpost, creating a checkmating attack with the aid of the queen. | 1-0, 46 moves

This was the reigning champion’s first win of the tournament. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

GM Aleksandr Lenderman vs. GM Christopher Yoo 1-0

GM Aleksandr Lenderman also scored his first victory in round four, defeating GM Christopher Yoo in 70 moves. Yoo created pressure on the kingside while Lenderman focused on mopping up pawns on the queenside and then trading into a winning ending. 

Lenderman captured his opponent’s last queenside pawn with 44.Qxa5. In response, Yoo focused on the kingside with 44…Bf3 45.Kg1 g4, and Lenderman counterattacked with 46.Rd5 Re8 (if 46…Qh6 to threaten checkmate, White plays 47.Rd8+ when it’s Black’s king that gets in trouble first. | 1-0, 70 moves

With this victory, Lenderman joins the 9-player tie for third. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

The remaining four games finished in draws. 

2022 U.S. Women’s Championship

GM Irina Krush vs. FM Ashritha Eswaran 1-0

Eight-time U.S. Women’s Champion, GM Irina Krush, scored her first victory of the tournament against FM Ashritha Eswaran. With insightful maneuvering, Krush blockaded and then hunted down her opponent’s central passed pawns. 

After 30.Rc1, Krush’s pieces are ideally placed. The c4-pawn will pawn and with it d4. | 1-0, 50 moves

With this win, Krush trails the leaders by half a point. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

WGM Jennifer Yu vs. WFM Sophie Morris-Suzuki 1-0

WGM Jennifer Yu built up a powerful kingside attack against WFM Sophie Morris-Suzuki, ending with a stunning checkmating combination. 

Yu finished the game with an explosive five-move checkmate: 32.Nxg6+! fxg6 33.Rxh7+! Kxg8 34.Rxg7+ Kxg7 35.Qxg6+ Kh8 36.Qh7# | 1-0, 36 moves

Yu has had all decisive games so far, bouncing back from her loss yesterday to score her third victory today. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

WGM Tatev Abrahamyan vs. WGM Sabina Foisor

WGM Tatev Abrahamyan defeated WGM Sabina Foisor, gradually grinding down the former U.S. Women’s champion with an extra pawn in a rook and bishop ending. 

With 44.Rb6+ Kf7 45.g5 Bxc3 g6+, Abrahamyan’s advanced passed g-pawn soon decided the game. | 1-0, 59 moves

Abrahamyan has scored two victories in a row to join the tie for first. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

IM Anna Zatonskih vs. WIM Megan Lee 1-0

Four-time U.S. Women’s Champion IM Anna Zatonskih gained her first victory this round against one of the tournament leaders, IM Megan Lee, in a positional duel. 

With 39.Qf5 Zatonskih has gained a grip over the key outposts on c5 and f5, crippling Black’s position on both sides of the board. | 1-0, 66 moves

Zatonskih won the U.S. Women’s Championship in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2011. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

The rest of the games ended in draws. 

Round 5 of the 2022 U.S. & U.S. Women's Chess Championships will take place tomorrow, October 9. Watch the action live at 1:20pm CT with commentators GM Yasser Seirawan, WGM Anastasiya Karlovich, and GM Cristian Chirila on uschesschamps.com and on the Saint Louis Chess Club’s YouTube and Twitch.tv channels.