Jennifer R. Yu ’25 captures US Women’s Chess Championship | The news | So Good News


College sophomore Jennifer R. Yu ’25 won the 2022 US Women’s Chess Championship title after a 17-day tournament in St. Louis late last month.

After winning eight of the first 13 rounds in the tournament, Yu defeated Grandmaster, eight-time US chess champion Irina B. After winning the final round, Yu won the $40,000 prize.

Yu competed in his first US championship at the age of 13. He played in the tournament every year until he won his first championship in 2019. Her win this year made her one of only 16 women to win multiple times in the tournament’s 85-year history. history.

According to Wesley Wang ’26, a member of the Harvard Chess Club, Yu’s victory was a rare “winner-takes-all” game in chess tournaments after being tied in the first two playoff matches with Krusih. Armageddon is a time-controlled game guaranteed to produce a winner.

Christopher Y. Shen ’26, another member of the Harvard Chess Club, described this high-stakes final game as “stomach-turning.”

During the game, Yu made what he called a “really simple mistake.” He moved the bishop to a place where the Crush could have taken it, a mistake that risked his victory.

“They thought it was over now,” said Shen, who was watching the game.

Despite Yu’s blunders, Krush’s multiple mistakes—along with what Harvard Chess Club President James Toliver ’23 described as a “deliberate and well-planned” recovery—led to Yu’s eventual victory.

“He was able to win,” Toliver said. “It was crazy.”

“I’m surprised we haven’t had any complaints about the noise,” he added of the club’s viewing party.

The tournament marked Yu’s first US Women’s Chess Championship since entering college. While he said it was “good” to take a break from chess, he said chess “was a big part” of his identity growing up and he wanted to come back.

Yu said he couldn’t memorize the sequence of opening moves, especially after a break.

“Anyone who watches my game knows that I’m very weak there. “So when I play tournaments like this, I’m usually worse at bat,” he said.

Yu said his style of play relies on making his opponent’s game difficult and trying to fill their weaknesses.

“I really don’t give up,” he said.

Although he has been balancing schoolwork and chess since he started playing in elementary school, Yu said, “it’s a lot harder now.”

Currently a female grandmaster, her next goal is to become an international master, the second most difficult title in chess. Having secured a place with his recent victory, Yu will also participate in the World Chess Championship in 2023.

She also plans to return to the US Women’s Chess Championship in 2023.

“I hope to defend my title next year,” said Yu.


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