Start of the U.S. Championships in Saint Louis

by ChessBase
10/4/2023 – On Thursday, 5 October, the US National Championships and the US Women's National Championships will begin in Saint Louis, each with 12 participants. Everyone with a name and a place in US top chess will be there. Only Hikaru Nakamura is missing.

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From 5 to 17 October, the Saint Louis Chess Club will host the 2023 U.S. National Championships and the 2023 U.S. Women's National Championships. Twelve male and twelve female players will compete for the title and the largest share of the prize fund. This year's prize money is also impressive. USD 250,000 will be up for grabs in the Open Championship. In the women's championship, the prize money is USD 152,000. The winners will receive 60,000 USD and 40,000 USD respectively. If a player wins all games (Fischer result), he or she will receive an additional 40,000 USD.

The US Hall of Fame will also honour the new inductees into the US Hall of Fame and the World Hall of Fame during the tournament's Opening Ceremony on the evening of 4 October (from 17:30 local time, 0:30 CEST on 5 October).

The Open National Championship field is headed by Fabiano Caruana. Caruana is the defending champion and also won the US Championship in 2016. Caruana played for Italy from 2005 to 2015, during which time he also won the Italian National Championship four times. Second on the seeded list is Wesley So, who has won the US National Championship three times to date.

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Third seed is Levon Aronian, who moved to the US Federation in 2021. Leinier Dominguez, Sam Shankland and Sam Sevian follow.

Another representative of the younger generation is Hans Niemann. At last year's Sinquefield Cup at the Saint Louis Centre he and Magnus Carlsen caused a scandal when Carlsen withdrew from the tournament after losing to Niemann and indirectly accused Niemann of cheating. The Saint Louis Chess Centre now broadcasts all tournaments with a 30 minute delay.

The other participants are Ray Robson, Dariusz Swiercz, Jeffery Xiong, Abhimanyu Mishra and Andrew Tang.

Hikaru Nakamura does not play in this championship.

The Women's Championship

Eight-time national champion Irina Krush is the favourite in the Women's Championship. Her greatest rival is 19-year-old Carissa Yip, who is coming fresh from the U20 Women's World Championship in Mexico City, where she was the highest-rated player, but did not win the title. With 8.5/11 Yip shared first place with Candela Francisco and Beloslava Krasteva, but on tiebreak finished second behind Francisco. In 2021 Yip became become the youngest player ever to win the US Women's title.

Alice Lee will be in the spotlight. The 13-year-old has won the U20 US Junior Women's Championships for the past three years.

Anna Zatonskih has been Irina Krush's closest rival for the title at some championships. She was born in Ukraine, lives in Germany and plays for the USA. She is seeded fourth.

Also in contention for the title are Uzbek-born Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova, two-time US champion Nazi Paikidze, defending champion Jennifer Yu, Hikaru Nakamura's wife Atousa Pourkashiyan, Ashritha Eswaran, Tatev Abrahamyan, 20-year-old Cuban-born Thalia Cervantes and 16-year-old Ruiyang Yan.

Rounds in both tournaments will begin at 13.00 local time, which is 20.00 CEST.

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