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Fabiano Caruana remains in sole lead; US Chess Championship 2022 Round 10 recap

GM Hans Niemann entered the round determined to have a decisive result and was the only player to score a victory today. GM Fabiano Caruana maintains his lead with Ray Robson trailing by half a point, heading into the rest day.

In the U.S. Women’s Championship, WGM Jennifer Yu held a topsy-turvy game vs. IM Paikidze to maintain her lead. GM Irina Krush continues to chase her within half a point. WGM Begim Tokhirjonova and WGM Thalia Cervantes each won to join the tie for third. Refreshingly, every victory in either section was won with the black pieces. 

Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. The time control for the event is 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game; with a 30-second increment starting from move 1.

U.S. Championship – Standings after Round 10
U.S. Women’s Championship – Standings after Round 10

2022 U.S. Championship

GM Elshan Moradiabadi vs. GM Hans Niemann 0-1

Niemann came into the game today ready for a fight, sharing with the commentators: “I decided either I’m going to lose or I’m going to win. There’s no in between!” He won an attacking game vs. Moradiabadi. 

Interview: Hans Niemann: I think the comeback is certainly coming and I’ve definitely been humbled a lot in this tournament

Niemann sealed the win with 38…e5!, winning the pinned knight. | 0-1, 38 moves
Niemann was eager to prove himself this round, scoring his second win of the event. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

GM Christopher Yoo vs. GM Fabiano Caruana ½-½ 

GM Christopher Yoo and GM Fabiano Caruana fought a close struggle for 68 moves before drawing. 

After trading into an early ending and pressing with white, Yoo played 34.Rf6+, leading to many exchanges: 34…Kxg5 35.Rxe6 Rd4+ 36.Kf3 c4 37.Nxc4 Nxc4 38.bxc4 Rcxc4 39.Rxc4 Rxc4, and the players soon drew.  | ½-½, 67 moves
Yoo came ready to press with the white pieces vs. Caruana | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Austin Fuller

The rest of the games ended in draws. 

2022 U.S. Women’s Championship

FM Ashritha Eswaran vs. WGM Begim Tokhirjonova 0-1

In a double knight and double rook ending, WGM Begim Tokhirjonova’s knight pair danced through her opponent’s position, sinking into critical outposts and eventually winning material. 

After winning the exchange, Tokhirjonova maintained her material advantage with the clever and picturesque 48…Nf2! The game continued 49.Rxd6 (if 49.Nxf2 Rxe3 or if 49.Kxf2 Rxe4) 49…Rxd6 50.Nxd6 Rd7, and Tokhirjonova went on to convert.  | 0-1, 67 moves
Tokhirjonova has turned her tournament around with two wins in a row. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

WIM Megan Lee vs. WGM Thalia Cervantes 0-1

WGM Thalia Cervantes defeated WIM Megan Lee in bishop pair vs. bishop pair ending. 

With 41…Bb7, Cervantes forced the trade of light-squared bishops and then soon won her opponent’s passed b-pawn after 42.Bxb7 Kxb7 43.Ba5 Bb6 44.Bb4 Bc7 45.Kf1 Kb6. | 0-1, 57 moves
Cervantes is on a three-game winning streak. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

WGM Jennifer Yu vs. IM Paikidze ½-½ 

WGM Yu vs. IM Paikidze was a topsy-turvy game with the advantage swinging between the two players several times. Yu won a pawn, but Paikidze gained a powerful attack. Yu defended actively and created a counterattack, leading to an explosive perpetual check finish. 

Who’s attacking who? Yu played 44.f5!? when Paikidze countered with 44…Qa1+ 45.Kh2 Qf1 preparing to set up a checkmate threat on the first rank. Yu pressed her own attack with 46.fxe6+ Kg8 47.Nf4. When Paikidze played 47…Rc1 to threaten mate, Yu sacrificed her queen with 48.Qxc1 Qxc1 49.Nxd5. After 49…Qg5 50.e7, this wild game soon ended in a draw as the black queen perpetual checked White’s king. | ½-½, 55 moves
Yu vs. Paikidze was an incredibly hard-fought attacking draw. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

The remaining games finished with peaceful results. 

Round 11 of the 2022 U.S. & U.S. Women’s Chess Championships will take place on Monday, October 17, after the rest day. Watch the action live at 1:20pm CT with commentators GM Yasser Seirawan, WGM Anastasiya Karlovich, and GM Cristian Chirila.

Text by NM Vanessa West

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