2023 U.S. Chess Championships - Day 10 Recap

by IM Kostya Kavutskiy

Top seed GM Fabiano Caruana clinched victory in the 2023 U.S. Championship after his win today over GM Abhimanyu Mishra, securing his second straight national title.

In the U.S. Women’s Championship, the standings at the top were flipped as sole leader WGM Begim Tokhirjonova lost a crucial game to GM Irina Krush, allowing IM Carissa Yip to steal the lead with a win over IM Anna Zatonskih.

Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. Both events feature a 12-player round-robin format, with a time control of 90 minutes for 40 moves, followed by an additional 30 minutes with a 30-second increment starting from move one.

2023 U.S. Championship

With Mishra, So, and Dominguez all a full point behind Caruana, the top seed took matters into his own hands and clinched the event with a victory over one of his key rivals, Mishra. A Moscow Sicilian did not give Caruana much out of the opening, but a fantastic strategic decision to double his own pawns gave the reigning champion a sharp middlegame initiative. Mishra managed to survive into the endgame, but only at the cost of an exchange, giving White a technically winning position. It took a bit of work but eventually Caruana was able to convert, clinching the title with a round to spare.

Caruana-Mishra: After 17.c5!, Black was under huge pressure, with Nb6 and Rfd1 coming next.

The current U.S. Junior Champion put up stiff resistance, but it was not enough to hold off Caruana. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

Only So and Dominguez would be able to keep within reach of Caruana with a win today, but both were held to draws playing Black against Niemann and Robson, with neither able to generate any serious chances. Winning their first games of the event were Aronian and Tang, with Levon snagging a pawn against Shankland early on and nursing it to victory, while Tang managed to create a deadly attack in a major-piece endgame, ending with a brilliant combination:

Tang-Swiercz: Here 49.Rc6!! was the only winning move, leading to a mating attack after 49...Qxc6 50.Qe8+ Kg5 51.f4+!

Aronian has had a tough event, but got back to even with a win today. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

U.S. Championship - Round 11 Pairings

2023 U.S. Women’s Championship

After taking the clear lead for the first time in the event yesterday, Tokhirjonova fell today against Krush, allowing Yip to overtake the lead thanks to a win over Zatonskih. Krush had a large advantage out of the opening, only to let Begim escape into a tenable endgame before finding a nice tactic to win a pawn and achieve a decisive advantage. From there, Krush’s technique was good enough to convert the full point.

Krush-Tokhirjonova: After 50…Nb5, 51.Rxc2! won a crucial pawn for White, in view of the line 51…Rxc2 52.Rd8++-

The 8-time champion played spoiler today. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

In the meantime, Yip was able to outplay four-time champion IM Anna Zatonskih on the Black side of a Pirc Defense, after launching a vicious kingside attack that soon left White mated.

Zatonskih-Yip: 34…Nd1+! forced resignation, with mate soon to come.

A blistering 8.5/10 for Yip, who's now leading the tournament with just one round to go. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

Also winning their games were IM-elect Alice Lee, who defeated WGM Jennifer Yu to stay tied with Krush in third place, as well as WGM Tatev Abrahamyan, who scored against FM Ruiyang Yan to stay within a half point of third. Tomorrow's final round will see both Tokhirjonova and Yip with White, as it all comes down to the last day.

U.S. Women’s Championship - Round 11 Pairings

The 2023 U.S. Chess Championships continue tomorrow, October 17th, starting at 1:20 PM CDT. Catch all the action live with grandmaster commentators Yasser Seirawan, Cristian Chirila, and Katerina Nemcova on uschesschamps.com and on the Saint Louis Chess Club’s YouTube and Twitch.tv channels.