2021 U.S. & U.S. Women's Chess Championships - Day 2 Recap

It was another hectic day at the U.S. Championships as only WGM Katerina Nemcova remained on a perfect score in either section, defeating 2018 U.S. Women’s Champion, WGM Sabina Foisor to reach 2/2. In the open, Dominguez pressed top-seed Caruana for 108 moves, but missed his winning chances along the way. Meanwhile, the 2020 U.S. Champion, GM Wesley So picked up his first win of the event after defeating Swiercz, propelling him into a tie for first place with Robson and Burke.

Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. The time control for the event is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an additional 30 second increment per move starting from move one.

U.S. Championship - Standings after Round 2

U.S. Women’s Championship - Standings after Round 2

2021 U.S. Championship

Yesterday’s winners GM Ray Robson and GM John Burke were both held to draws today, as GM Alex Lenderman held solidly against Burke while GM Sam Sevian survived a lost position against Robson. Getting very close to victory was GM Leinier Dominguez, who seized a massive advantage against GM Fabiano Caruana in a middlegame with opposite colored bishops:

27.e6! secured a strong initiative for White - 27...Qxd4 would leave Black with a difficult endgame after 28.exf7+ and 29.Bxd4, and if 27...fxe6 then 28.Qe5! is winning for White, with ideas of Bd4 and Ra7. Instead Caruana chose 27...f6, but was in big trouble after 28.Qa7! | ½-½, 108 moves

Despite pressing for over 100 moves, Dominguez missed his chances to win the game, and instead had to settle for a draw. 

Dominguez was incredibly close to beating Caruana, but couldn’t find a precise path to victory. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

Picking up his first win was GM Daniel Naroditsky, who played an excellent game to defeat GM Jeffery Xiong. Also winning his first game was So, who reached a slightly better endgame out of the opening against GM Dariusz Swiercz and gradually increased his advantage until his position was simply decisive.

25.Nf2! (intending Ne4) allowed So to put maximum pressure on Black’s position. | 1-0, 32 moves

GM Wesley So played a textbook endgame today. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

2021 U.S. Women’s Championship

WGM Katerina Nemcova continued her perfect streak with a win over Foisor, outplaying the former champion on the Black side of a Semi-Slav. The 2020 U.S. Women’s champion, GM Irina Krush came extremely close to defeating WGM Anna Sharevich, but just wasn’t able to finish it off against solid defense from the opponent. 

35...Rd3! seized a large advantage for Black, with White having too many weaknesses to hold on to. | 0-1, 56 moves

WGM Katerina Nemcova has had a flawless event so far. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Crystal Fuller

Scoring their first wins were tournament newcomer WIM Megan Lee, who ground down WGM Begim Tokhirjonova in a long heavy-piece endgame, as well as #2 seed IM Carissa Yip, who defeated WGM Tatev Abrahamyan in a sharp Advanced French, showing some precise attacking play.

20.Bh7! was a killer blow, with idea to play Ne4 next, hitting both the queen and the f6-pawn. | 1-0, 33 moves

Carissa showed some fine attacking play in today’s game. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

Round 3 of the 2021 U.S. & U.S. Women's Chess Championships will take place tomorrow, October 8 starting at 12:50 PM CT. Catch all the action live with grandmaster commentators Yasser Seirawan, Maurice Ashley and Cristian Chirila on uschesschamps.com and on the Saint Louis Chess Club’s YouTube and Twitch.tv channels.