2022 U.S. WOMEN’S CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP - PLAYOFF RECAP
With the U.S. Women’s Championship hanging in the balance, the playoff between WGM Jennifer Yu and GM Irina Krush was a thrilling fight between these fierce competitors from start to finish. In the end, Yu won the playoff in an armageddon tiebreak, gaining her second title, and becoming the 2022 U.S. Women’s Champion.
Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. The time control for the playoff is 10 minutes with a 2-second increment starting from move 1.
Jennifer Yu, our 2022 U.S. Women’s Champion | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes
U.S. Women’s Championship - Final Standings
U.S. Women’s Championship
Playoff Game 1: Jennifer Yu vs. Irina Krush 1-0
In an incredibly close game with both clocks down to mere seconds, the players repeated the position twice. Jennifer Yu paused. Her 13 seconds began to tick away when she declined the repetition draw offer and found the key checkmating idea.
Yu played 45.Qf7!, and there’s no way for Black to escape the checkmate threats on g8 and h7. The game finished with 45…Qxf8 46.Qxh7# | 1-0, 46 moves
Yu wins the first game to gain the match lead. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes
Playoff Game 2: Irina Krush vs. Jennifer Yu 1-0
In a must-win position, Irina Krush countered with her own attacking victory, sending the match into an armageddon tiebreak.
Krush played 37.Bh8! showing her dominance of the dark squares and creating a checkmate threat on g7. Yu had to give up a pawn to prevent mate: 37…f6 38.Qxf6 Qf7. The game continued 39.Qc3 Bb5 40.Rd1 and soon won material with her king attack. | 1-0, 48 moves
Krush makes a comeback in game 2. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes
Armageddon Game: Irina Krush vs. Jennifer Yu 0-1
Krush had the white pieces with five minutes while Yu had the black pieces with four minutes and draw odds. The time control had no increment unless the game lasted past the 60th move.
Shockingly, Yu blundered a bishop. Despite this, the players fought on, and Yu defended against Krush’s extra material. In the final position, with two bishops and a rook vs. a queen and two pawns, Krush ran out of time.
With 47…h4, Yu had nearly equalized on the board and Krush’s flag fell. | 0-1, 47 moves
The moment that Yu became the 2022 U.S. Women’s Champion. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes