U.S. Championship: Six draws in round 6, duel in the women's tournament

by André Schulz
10/12/2023 – After a thrilling fifth round on Tuesday, the sixth round on Wednesday saw just six draws. Leinier Dominguez had good chances to win, but spoiled a better position in time trouble. In the Women's Championship, things were more exciting. Carissa Yip and Begim Tokhirjonova are battling it out for the title and are winning their games in step. | Photos: Crystal Fuller, Lennart Ootes (Saint Louis Chess Center)

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With three consecutive wins, Fabiano Caruana had moved to the top of the field at the U.S. Championships and had to defend his lead in round six against Sam Sevian. In an English Opening, Caruana managed to put some pressure on his opponent, but the 2018 runner-up for the World Championship could not achieve a decisive breakthrough. On move 38, in a position that was still quite lively, Caruana stopped his efforts to win and offered a draw, which Sevian accepted.

Fabiano Caruana | Photo: Crystal Fuller

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Just half a point behind Caruana is Hans Niemann. In round six he played Jeffery Xiong with Black. The theme of the game was the Scottish Four Knights, and after all the minor pieces had been exchanged, an even major piece endgame emerged, in which Xiong silently offered a draw around move 28 by allowing a threefold repetition.

Hans Niemann | Photo: Crystal Fuller

Niemann declined and the game transitioned into a rook endgame, which was also completely even and ended in a draw after the time control.

But Leinier Dominguez had good chances to win against Abhimanyu Mishra. Playing with the black pieces, Dominguez was a pawn up and had the better position, but he squandered his chances in time trouble.

The games between Levon Aronian and Wesley So, Andrew Tang and Ray Robson and Sam Shankland and Dariusz Swiercz also failed to produce a winner.




Women's Championship

In the US Women's Championship, the two leaders Carissa Yip and Begim Tokhirjonova continue to move in step.

Carissa Yip | Photo: Crystal Fuller

Yip won with Black against Eswaran in a sharp variation of the Modern Defence. Tokhirjonova won with the same colour in a rook ending against Pourkashiyan.

Begim Tokhirjonova | Photo: Crystal Fuller

Irina Krush reached a won bishop ending after a colourful middlegame against Yan, but missed the best continuation and had to share the point.

Anna Zatonskih played a fine attacking game and won against Jennifer Yu. 13-year-old Alice Lee showed her endgame skills and won a minor piece endgame against Nazi Paikidze. The game between Cervantes and Abrahamyan ended in a draw.





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