Yoo shocked the US champion with Black | So Good News
Day two of the 2022 US Chess Championship was a frustrating day as GM Christopher Yu stunned 2021 champion GM Wesley So in an incredibly aggressive battle with the black pieces. A few results went the way of the points in the women’s competition, also involving three players; WIM Megan Lee, FM Jennifer Yu and FM Alice Lee maintained excellent scores.
The third round of the event begins October 7th at 11am PT/8pm Central Europe.
The 15-year-old Yu became his highest-ever victory in classical chess. Thus, the young GM halted the white side play of the Petroff Defense before making 26 mistakes and turning the initiative in Yoo’s favor. GM Rafael Leitao revealed the game of the day below.
In his post-match interview, Yeo made it clear that there was anger in his game today, fueled by Niemann’s interview after his first-round match. Yu said he felt “disrespected on every level” and added, “I felt like I channeled some of my anger into playing aggressive chess today.”
“I feel disrespected on every level…I think I channeled a little bit of my anger into playing aggressive chess today.”
-GM Christopher Yu shares his feelings @HansMokeNiemannyesterday’s interview#USChessChamps pic.twitter.com/BmxIYTcB50
— St. Louis Chess Club (@STLCessClub) October 6, 2022
It should be noted that Tony Rich, executive director of the St.Louis Chess Club, issued a statement on Wednesday explaining the updated security measures for this year’s championship in light of recent events.
“This year, we’ve implemented additional security measures. We’ve always had metal detectors. We’ve added radio frequency scanners to check for signals going on in the room. We’ve added additional scanners to check for silicon devices. It’s all electronics near a person, whether they’re on or off, they’re whether it is signaling or not”
Meanwhile, Elshan Moradiabadi, another first-time winner at GM, was crowned in a less emotional encounter. Moradiabadi suffered a rough loss to GM Sam Sevian on day one, but bounced back on Thursday with a win over GM Avonder Liang. Moradiabadi described himself as “happy” after the victory and admitted that he “misplayed” the opener. Fortunately, the engines smiled on the position Moradabadi had stumbled into and he slowly converted the victory.
GM Hans Niemann looked like he was on his way to another win against GM Jeffery Xiong, but missed several opportunities to get the win. After Xiong repaired the ship, he suddenly seemed to have some chance due to a pesky passing e-pawn. After some thought, Xiong and Niemann decided to retrace the steps, as progress was impossible.
The rest of the games were evenly matched, with none of the other tournament favorites winning. GM Levon Aronian had reasonable chances to win against GM Leinier Dominguez, but was held by some determined defense during the middle game.
USA Championship | All games are 2nd round
Round 2 Open standings
The Women’s Championship continued to impress on Thursday as three more winners from day one claimed victory.
12-year-old Lee defeated WGM Gulrukhbegim Tohirjonova in a late-game masterclass, the talk of the event. The runner-up for the 2022 America’s Cup has been on a remarkable rise this year and has established himself as an early front-runner for the event after back-to-back victories.
This is a teenager who needs to talk about the world of chess.
Oh, Alice is only 12. #USChessChamps https://t.co/J5XTTGHerv
— Mike Klein (@ChessMike) October 6, 2022
It’s a well-known strategy in chess circles that the best way to beat a talented young player is to go to the end game and beat them there, but Lee proved exactly why this is a terrible philosophy.
Not to be confused with Alice (who shares the same last name but is not related), WIM Megan Lee also went 2/2, destroying her opponent with black pieces in 28 moves. With WGM staring at Naci Paikidze’s jammed king, Lee found all the right moves to crack the center and break the fourth straight of the tournament.
Yu and FM Rochelle Wu were the other winners of the second round, and both had to squeeze out slightly better bishop and rook ends. It was a relief for Wu to get the first point after a tough loss to Lee on Wednesday.
Behind the leaders sits eight-time champion GM Irina Krush, who will be looking for her chance at promotion in the next few rounds, which promises plenty of entertainment for the game’s many chess fans new to popular culture.
US Women’s Championship | All games are 2nd round
Round 2 Women’s standings
The 2022 US Chess Championship will be held October 4-20, 2022 in St. Louis to determine the next US Chess Champions. The 2022 US Women’s Championship is being held at the same time. Both events have the same format: a 14-player, 13-round tournament with a prize pool of $250,500 for the US Championship and $154,000 for the US Women’s Championship.