US Championship: So, Robson and Caruana with 2.0/2

by Johannes Fischer
4/16/2016 – After two rounds three players lead the US Championship 2016 with 2.0/2: Fabiano Caruana, who won convincingly against Sam Shankland, Wesley So, who won less convincingly against Akshat Chandra, and Ray Robson, who profited from Alexander Onishuk's errors. Hikaru Nakamura drew against Gata Kamsky. In the Women's tournament Tatev Abrahamyan and Carissa Yip keep a perfect score.

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Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So are clear favorites to win the US Championship 2016. After all, Caruana is the world's number three (2795), Nakamura is the world's number five (2787), and Wesley So is currently number ten in the world. With a rating of 2773 So is also 95 points ahead of Gata Kamsky (2678), number four in the US and number 63 in the world. All three favorites started well into the tournament. Caruana and So with two wins and Nakamura with a convincing win against Alex Lenderman in the first round and an easy draw with Black against Gata Kamsky in round two.

Round two begins

Kamsky and Nakamura repeated the line of the game they had played in the US Championship 2015 against each other. One year ago they drew after a long and protracted fight, this year Nakamura accepted Kamsky's proposal of early peace talks by quickly liquidating into a very drawn position.

 

Gata Kamsky vs  Hikaru Nakamura, energetic...

... and thoughtful

Fabiano Caruana had no objection to play a sharp line of the French against Sam Shankland. This led to an interesting fight and brought Caruana his second win.

 

2.0/2: another good start for Fabiano Caruana in St. Louis

Wesley So started the game convincingly and got a better position but then needed a bit (or a lot) of luck to win:

 

Alexander Onishuk suffered a bitter defeat against Ray Robson:

 

Results of round two:

1 GM Akobian, Varuzhan 0.0 2615 GM Xiong, Jeffery 0.5 2618 ½-½
2 GM Robson, Ray 1.0 2663 GM Onischuk, Alexander 0.5 2664 1-0
3 GM Lenderman, Aleksandr 0.0 2618 GM Shabalov, Alexander 0.0 2528 ½-½
4 GM Kamsky, Gata 0.0 2678 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 1.0 2787 ½-½
5 IM Chandra, Akshat 0.0 2477 GM So, Wesley 1.0 2773 0-1
6 GM Caruana, Fabiano 1.0 2795 GM Shankland, Samuel L 1.0 2656 1-0

Standings after round two:

Games:

 

Women's tournament

In the women's tournament the favorites Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih did not have such a smooth start. Irina Krush drew her first game and won her second, Anna Zatonskih drew both games.

Results of round two

1 WIM Bykovtsev, Agata 0.0 2219 FM Melekhina, Alisa 0.5 2205 1-0
2 GM Krush, Irina 0.5 2465 WGM Foisor, Sabina-Francesca 0.5 2258 1-0
3 IM Zatonskih, Anna 0.5 2470 WGM Nemcova, Katerina 0.5 2367 ½-½
4 FM Gorti, Akshita 0.0 2184 IM Paikidze, Nazi 0.5 2346 0-1
5 WIM Eswaran, Ashritha 0.5 2225 Yip, Carissa 1.0 2164 0-1
6 WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev 1.0 2342 WFM Yu, Jennifer R 0.5 2157 1-0

Standings:

Games:

 

All's well...

Spring helps to enjoy chess even more...

Pictures: Lennart Ootes for the tournament page

Tournament page...



Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".
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Rfield Rfield 4/17/2016 04:12
Kamsky a caliber of world champion challenger couldn't crack So's playing style. He won the previous World Cup then one of the candidates challenger to Anand. Since So switches federation in favor of the US some three years back the task for Kamsky has been uphill. In 2015 US Championship Kamsky has given up the fight against So. There is a psychological issue haunting Kamsky when playing So?

Carjuana and NK are world class players ahead of the other entrants. Kamsky has passed its peak. Shankland to reach 2nd or 3rd spot is an incredible feat for him. Akobian should not rely on technicalities to score more. So's reputation that he still maintains no. 10 in the world rating.
nokia x nokia x 4/17/2016 03:01
please woman picture too....
Nostalgiac1972 Nostalgiac1972 4/16/2016 07:00
Hope Fabi is gonna put up a great fight and get the title!
firestorm firestorm 4/16/2016 03:19
I suspect a typo- it is of course "hoovering" the pieces off the board, but that term was around before Anand- don't think he coined it.
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