Swiercz, Bok and Yoo share the lead at Spring Chess Classic

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
4/11/2023 – The Saint Louis Chess Club continues to organize seasonal, closed events aimed at creating competitive opportunities for up-and-coming players. The Spring Chess Classic is taking place on April 5-13 as a 10-player single round-robin event. After six rounds, Dariusz Swiercz, Benjamin Bok (pictured) and Christopher Yoo are sharing the lead with 3½ points. In round 2, Yoo and Abhimanyu Mishra played a remarkable game, featuring no fewer than five promotions. | Photo: Crystal Fuller

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2600+ rated grandmasters

Ten players from seven different countries, many of which reside in the United States, are battling it out in Group A of the Spring Chess Classic. The single round-robin event is taking place at the Saint Louis Chess Club, the capital of chess in the United States and one of the most important tournament venues in the world.

Nine out of the ten participants are rated 2600 or above, with Abhimanyu Mishra being the one exception — Abhimanyu, however, won the B group last year and holds the record for becoming the youngest-ever player to get the GM title. Samuel Sevian (USA), Benjamin Gledura (Hungary) and Illya Nyzhnyk (Ukraine) are the top seeds in the field.

After six rounds, three players are sharing first place on +1 scores: Dariusz Swiercz, Benjamin Bok and Christopher Yoo. In a very close competition, no player has scored less than 2½ points so far, meaning that all participants stand, at the most, at a 1-point distance from the leaders.

Standings after round 6


Christopher Yoo

Christopher Yoo | Photo: Crystal Fuller

Two teenagers, five promotions

A curious game from round 2 saw the two youngest participants playing a double-edged game that featured five promotions — certainly not a common occurrence. Christopher Yoo (aged 16) had the white pieces against Abhimanyu Mishra (14).


White has an extra bishop and now played 44.a8Q, temporarily getting an extra queen, one that would cost Black his rook. However, he has to deal with the pawn avalanche rolling down the board in the central files!

The tactical struggle never quite got out of hand by either player, although according to the engines, it was Yoo who missed the biggest chances to collect a full point. 

Fittingly, the game was agreed drawn following three (almost) consecutive promotions!


66.b8Q f1Q 67.Bxf1 gxf1Q and the ensuing queen endgame is drawn. The prodigies, two of the biggest young talents in the US, decided to call it a day. ½/½

(Find the full game in the dynamic replayer below)

Abhimanyu Mishra

Abhimanyu Mishra | Photo: Crystal Fuller

All games



Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.