2022 U.S. Chess & Women’s Chess Championship - Day 5 Recap

 by NM Vanessa West

After five rounds, Fabiano Caruana continues to lead the field by half a point. In the U.S. Women’s Championship, Jennifer has taken the sole lead with a fourth victory. 

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 5

U.S. Women’s Championship - Standings after Round 5

2022 U.S. Championship

GM Awonder Liang vs. GM Levon Aronian 1-0

GM Awonder Liang went for glory today, playing the risky Scotch Gambit vs. GM Levon Aronian. 

According to Liang, he chose to play a gambit because of the recommendation of one of his professors: "I'm not playing for rating or money. I'm just playing to enjoy myself, and a gambit just sounds like the perfect way to do that."

Liang’s fearless choice paid off, eventually gaining a checkmating attack against Aronian’s weakened king. 

With 6.Nxf7!? Nxf7 7.Bxf7 Kxf7 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Qxc5 Liang loosened Black’s kingside and launched into a wild attacking game where he eventually created a mating attack. | 1-0, 32 moves

Wild card Liang is tied for second with GM Sam Sevian. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

GM Sam Shankland vs. GM Elshan Moradiabadi 1-0

GM Sam Shankland won his first game in an endgame battle vs. GM Elshan Moradiabadi. Though both sides were able to promote, Shankland’s greater activity prevailed. 

After both sides promoted their passed pawns into queens, Shankland played 49.Qc7+ and after 49…Kg8 50.Ke6, White soon advanced his f-pawn down the board, making a second promotion unstoppable. | 1-0, 59 moves

2018 U.S. Champion Shankland won his first game today. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Crystal Fuller

GM Fabiano Caruana vs. GM Wesley So 1/2-1/2

GM Fabiano Caruana, GM Christopher Yoo, and GM Ray Robson made great efforts for the win, each with an extra pawn in their own endgames. After long struggles, they all ultimately drew in 75 moves, 115 moves, and 116 moves respectively. The other games also ended in draws. 

2022 U.S. Women’s Championship

WGM Sabina Foisor vs. WGM Jennifer Yu 0-1

WGM Jennifer Yu continues to have all decisive games, defeating WGM Sabina Foisor in a 71-move struggle to convert an extra pawn in the endgame. 

Yu tied down Foisor’s rook with 54…Bc5 (due to the mating threat of Rf2) and after 55.Rf1 advanced her passed pawn with 55…b3 56.Bd3 b2, further tying down the white pieces to defense. Eventually Yu forced a trade of rooks and won the g3-pawn. | 0-1, 71 moves

With a fourth win out of five games, Yu now leads the tournament by half a point. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Bryan Adams

WGM Begim Tokhirjonova vs. GM Irina Krush 0-1

GM Irina Krush won a second game in a row today, defeating WGM Begim Tokhirjonova in a double-edged Richter-Rauzer Classical Sicilian. The players castled to opposite sides, and threw their pawns up the board towards each other’s kings, leading to fierce attacking duel.

Both sides are pushing their pawns to break through to each other’s kings, but with 16…b4, Krush’s attack is faster. The a-file soon opened, which became a key pathway for Black’s attack.  | 0-1, 37 moves

With today’s victory, Krush joins the tie for second. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Crystal Fuller

FM Ashritha Eswaran vs. IM Anna Zatonskih 1-0

FM Ashritha Eswaran won her first game of the event in style, defeating four-time U.S. Women’s Champion IM Anna Zatonskih in an attacking miniature. 

Instead of recapturing on g4, Eswaran cracks open the position with 16.f5! Zatonskih responded with 16…0-0-0 and after 17.Nf4 exf5 18.Nxf5, White has powerfully-placed knights and a grip on the d6- and g6-outposts on Black’s side of the board. | 1-0, 25 moves

Eswaran has bounced back from her tough early rounds with this attacking victory. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

FM Ruiyang Yan vs. FM Rochelle Wu 0-1

FM Rochelle Wu also gained a victory as black in the Richter-Rauzer Classical Sicilian, cracking open the center for her bishop pair and discovering a winning tactical combination. 

Instead of playing 48…Bxc2, Wu went for more with 48…Rxc4 49.bxc4 b3. After 50.axb3 Qxb3+ 51.Qxb3 axb3 Black will soon be ahead a decisive amount of material. | 0-1, 51 moves

This is Wu’s second victory of the event. All but one of her games have been decisive so far. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

The remaining three games finished with peaceful results. 

Round 6 of the 2022 U.S. & U.S. Women's Chess Championships will take place on Tuesday, October 11 after tomorrow’s rest day. 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.