Saint Louis: Fireworks in round five

by André Schulz
4/19/2016 – Tournament leader Fabiano Caruana drew in round five of the US Championship in St. Louis and this allowed Wesley So, who won a smooth and powerful attacking game against Varuzhan Akobian, to regain the shared lead. Hikaru Nakamura showed tactical acumen against Sam Shankland while Gata Kamsky boldly attacked Jeffrey Xiong but blundered in the end.

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Follow the games live on (rounds start at 1 pm local time)

After the fourth round of the US Championship in St. Louis Fabiano Caruana led the field by half a point but in round five he had to concede a draw against Alexander Shabalov, which allowed Wesley So to catch up to Caruana.

So played a textbook attacking game against Varuzhan Akobian and quickly smashed Black's position in a Rubinstein French.


Hikaru Nakamura ppeared to be well recovered from his loss against Fabiano Caruana and played a fine game against Sam Shankland. The game started as a Caro-Kann but then entered French structures, in which Nakamura showed powerful chess and demolished Black's position with the typical f4-f5 break.


The 15-year old Jefferey Xiong, the youngest player in the field, started with four draws but in round five scored his first win - and against elo-heavyweight Gata Kamsky to boot. The young talent profited from a blackout of his opponent. Kamsky, who was playing with Black, opted for Alekhine's Defense and sacrificed a piece early on. This investment gave him lots of compensation and a long-term attack. However, Xiong defended stubbornly and in the end Kamsky fell victim to a blunder.

Kamsky played courageously but was not rewarded (Photo: Austin Fuller)



Results of round five

Br. Tit Name Coun ELO Ergebnis Titel Name Coun ELO
1 GM Alexander Shabalov
2520 ½ - ½ GM Fabiano Caruana
2 GM Wesley So
2773 1 - 0 GM Varuzhan Akobian
3 GM Ray Robson
2663 ½ - ½ GM Aleksandr Lenderman
4 GM Hikaru Nakamura
2790 1 - 0 GM Samuel L Shankland
5 GM Jeffery Xiong
2588 1 - 0 GM Gata Kamsky
6 GM Alexander Onischuk
2664 1 - 0 IM Akshat Chandra


Alexander Onischuk won against Akshat Chandra (Photo: Spectrum Studios)

Alexander Shabalov drew against Caruana (Photo: Lennart Ootes)

Games of rounds 1 to 5



Standings after five rounds

Women's Tournament

The Women's tournament (Photo: Austin Fuller)

Tatev Abrahamyan has a lot of fans (Photo: Lennart Ootes)

Irina Krush and... (Photo: Spectrum Studios)

... Anna Zatonskih drew (Photo: Lennart Ootes)

In the women's tournament Irina Krush played against Anna Zatonskih - and these two players have been dominating the US Women's Championship for the last ten years. But after they drew a long game Nazi Paikidze took the sole lead. She won against Jennifer Yu and is the only player with 4.0/5.

Results of round five

Br. Tit Name Coun ELO Ergebnis Titel Name Coun ELO
1 GM Irina Krush
2458 ½ - ½ IM Anna Zatonskih
2 IM Nazi Paikidze
2346 1 - 0 WFM Jennifer R Yu
3 WGM Katerina Nemcova
2367 ½ - ½ WGM Tatev Abrahamyan
4   Carissa Yip
2109 0 - 1 WIM Agata Bykovtsev
5 WGM Sabina Francesca Foisor
2258 ½ - ½ WIM Ashritha Eswaran
6 FM Alisa Melekhina
2205 0 - 1 FM Akshita Gorti

Games of rounds 1 to 5


Standings after five rounds


Maurice Ashley with students and fans (Photo: Austin Fuller)

Jennifer Shahade and Yasser Seirawan in the chess studio (Photo: Austin Fuller)

Photos: Tournament page..

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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