2017 U.S. Junior Championships - Round 2 Recap

Round one seemed to have an impact on the players and the players dramatically changed their game in round two.

2017 U.S. Junior Championships - Round 1 Recap

A day after the opening ceremony, where players were given presents and some good advice from Tony Rich, the tournament director, the players were ready for the first round of the 2017 Junior Championships!

Wesley So is the new U.S. Champion!

Another U.S. Championship has ended today, and we couldn’t have asked for a more exciting finish! Yesterday, Sabina Foisor wrote history with her emotional victory. Today, Wesley So added another chapter to his legacy when he defeated Alexander Onischuk in a highly disputed tiebreak match.

One championship down, one still to go!

One tournament ended and the other one continues tomorrow! The U.S. Women’s Championship declared its winner, and it is none other than the sensation of the tournament, Sabina Foisor! Sabina played a brilliant game and finished Virkud in style, while Nazi started well but failed to keep the pace and got slowly outplayed by the legend slayer, Jennifer Yu (she beat Nazi, Irina, and Anna). In the open section, it was a fairly quiet day, with Wesley So making a pragmatic decision and repeating moves in the opening. 

Ties in both sections as we are heading for the grand finale

If the Open section gave us the biggest surprises in round nine, the show in round ten was stolen by the women, who produced two decisive results in the biggest clashes of the round. Nazi Paikidze dodged a huge bullet when she defeated Tatev Abrahamyan after being completely lost once the opening ended. In the other important clash, Sabina Foisor managed to climb her way back up in a worse middle game and outplay Zatonskih after the latter once again fell into a challenging time trouble situation.

Drama In Saint Louis, Caruana and Nakamura stunned


If the previous rounds have not kept you on the edge of your seat, round 9 surely did. Today’s round will live in history as arguably the bloodiest round, with both Nakamura and Caruana crumbling under pressure in vivid fashion. In the women’s section, the leaders failed to produce any fireworks, but it was the experienced Zatonskih who amazed the crowd with her fearless and knowledgeable chess game. Let’s delve into today’s recap!

Akobian and Caruana offer masterclass performances, Foisor catches Paikidze at the top

The 2017 U.S. Championships are heading into their last rounds, and the battle for top position is heating up more each day. In the open division, Wesley So is still leading, but another competitor has emerged on the horizon. Var Akobian dropped the hammer on yesterday’s hero, Yaro Zherebukh, and leap frogged him after a sound strategic victory. He is now joint leader alongside So and will go into the championship rounds as one of the favorites to win it all. Caruana was quick to recover after his painful loss and blew Daniel Naroditsky off the board after a powerful show of dynamic chess. In the women’s section, Nazi drew the wildcard Maggie Feng and allowed Sabina Foisor to catch her at the top of the table. Let’s get into the recap!

Fabiano stunned, Nazi escapes after shaky opening

Round 7 of the U.S. Championships was a shocker! How else can you call a round in which the number three in the world and reigning champion gets defeated by the wildcard? Yaroslav Zherebukh produces the surprise of the tournament after a majestic performance against Caruana. In the women’s section, Nazi uses her unbeatable charisma to get away with a draw in a very shaky position. 

So dodges bullet, Nazi wins the battle of the leaders

Today was the day after the free day, the day for which players have the most time to prepare for, the day where the biggest volume of opening novelties get released. That was what everybody expected going into round 6 of the 2017 U.S. Championships, and that was the product that was delivered! Wesley So fell under severe pressure after Akobian unleashed a deep and dynamic opening idea; in the women’s section, Nazi mastered the endgame and outplayed her biggest rival, Irina Krush, in the battle of the leaders.

Record of decisive results before the free day

It is a well-known fact in the chess world, every player wants to go into the free day on a high note. This usually translates into sharp games that lead to decisive results. That was my prediction at the beginning of the round and the players did not disappoint.