Instructive attacking chess, dazzling tactics, and a 10-move disaster game all came to the fore during the seventh round of the 2022 U.S. Chess Championships on Tuesday. GM Fabiano Caruana won his fourth game and remains ahead of his newest challenger GM Ray Robson, who won his second in a row over GM Wesley So.
GM Dariusz Swiercz catapulted himself into third with a dominant win while the news of the day is almost certainly the brain explosion by GM Elshan Moradiabadi who resigned in just ten moves after a blunder!
The women’s event saw four decisive results including WIM Megan Lee‘s win over FM Jennifer Yu which pushed her into equal first alongside GM Irina Krush.
Round eight of the event will start on October 13 at 11 a.m. PT/20:00 Central European.
A lot of doubt surrounded Caruana’s classical form heading into this event after a turbulent year in the game’s longest time control. His performance in St. Louis however has been marked by consistent high-level chess that reminds fans of how he posted the third-highest rating of all time (2851 in 2014). After defeating GM Alex Lenderman in another endgame masterclass, Caruana has a +4 score and is gaining a whopping ten rating points so far.
Robson is another player who has performed exceptionally in this year’s championship and his 13-point gain means that he has crossed 2700 for the first time! A win against the 2021 champion So was a fitting game to celebrate the milestone and the textbook play from Robson had all the hallmarks of a super GM game.
GM Rafael Leitao has given his expert analysis of the game below and described it as “the best game from the tournament so far”.
Farcical scenes played out in the game between GM Leinier Dominguez and Moradiabadi with only ten moves being played in a game that took only twenty minutes to reach its bizarre conclusion. Playing the Petrov Defense, an opening generally known for its reliability, Moradiabadi made the heinous mistake of playing 9.Qxd5, immediately losing a bishop. Before the line could play out, the struggling GM resigned.
GM @chessleinier defeats Moradiabadi in 10 moves at the #USChessChamps in what will go down as one of the shortest grandmaster games ever in chess. 😳 pic.twitter.com/uyClkxJzl0
— ChesscomLive (@ChesscomLive) October 12, 2022
Interestingly, the opening trap has been fallen for twice at master level and Caruana pointed out that GM Alexander Grischuk tricked GM Danil Dubov with the exact same line in the Chess.com Speed Chess Championships back in 2018.
GM Robert Hess quickly pointed out the fact that the game was not the only short, decisive game to transpire during the U.S. championships in recent years. Exactly one decade ago, GM Alexander Stripunsky made a howler of a move that saw him put his own bishop en prise on the 11th move against GM Alexander Onischuk.
GMs Hans Niemann‘s tournament went from bad to worse in round seven after he was defeated by Swiercz. A timely intermezzo was the move of the day for the Polish-born GM who capped off the game with a beautiful knight sacrifice that allowed his passed d-pawn to parade to promotion.
U.S. Championship | All Games Round 6
Round 6 Open Standings
The women’s championship had five decisive results in round seven with the crucial matchup between Lee and Yu going the way of Lee. The WIM was able to grind down her opponent in 63 turns to move to 5/7.
FM Alice Lee looked sure to maintain her podium positioning and was heading towards a draw against FM Rochelle Wu but blundered away the game, resulting in her first loss of the event.
WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova played the game of the round in the women’s event, downing WGM Tatev Abrahamyan in an unusual game where the former offered to sacrifice two different minor pieces on the same square! The result thrust Tokhirjonova to within one point of the leaders.
Yesterday in the news we covered a potential comeback story for FM Ashritha Eswaran and in round seven she won yet again. Eswaran’s trio of wins still keeps her a point and a half away from the lead but if momentum keeps on rolling, Eswaran could be a dark horse yet.
U.S. Women’s Championship | All Games Round 6
Round 6 Women’s Standings
The 2022 U.S. Chess Championships take place October 4-20, 2022 in St. Louis to determine the next chess champions of the United States. The 2022 U.S. Women’s Championship is being held concurrently. Both events have the same format: 14 players, 13-round tournament with a $250,500 prize fund for the U.S. Championship, and $154,000 for the U.S. Women’s Championship.