U.S. Junior and U.S. Senior: Yip, Liang and Shabalov are the winners

by ChessBase
7/20/2019 – The U.S. Senior Championship and the U.S. Junior Championships (Open and Girls) concluded this Saturday at the Saint Louis Chess Club. Carissa Yip (Girls), Awonder Liang (Juniors) and Alexander Shabalov (Seniors) were crowned champions of the ten-player single round robin events, with Liang the only one needing tiebreaks to get the triumph. | Photos: Austin Fuller / Saint Louis Chess Club

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Triple celebration

The Saint Louis Chess Club hosted the annual national championships for junior players, and a newly formed championship for seniors, both held concurrently from July 11th to 20th.

Each tournament was a classical 10-player round-robin invitational. Players received 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game plus a 30-second bonus per move starting from move one.

U.S. Junior Championship

The U.S. Junior Championship is hosted in St. Louis for the tenth consecutive year in 2019 and features a prize fund of over $20,000 plus a $10,000 college scholarship to the winner, funded by the Dewain Barber Foundation and US Chess.

Top seed Awonder Liang and third seed Nicolas Checa drew their final round games to finish the event on 7 out of 9, which meant rapid tiebreaks would decide the 2019 Junior Championship. Liang won both encounters after getting great position out of the opening with both colours. This was Liang's third straight victory in the top national tournament for players under the age of 21 — the youngster from Madison, Wisconsin is still 16 years old.

Final standings


All games


Awonder Liang

Awonder Liang | Photo: Austin Fuller / CCSCSL 

U.S. Senior Championship

This is the first edition of the invitational U.S. Senior Championship, and follows on the heels of the longer running U.S. Senior Open which was won by GM Dmitry Gurevich at the end of June. Gurevich is not in the field at the U.S. Senior Championship, but there are many familiar names from U.S. Championships in the recent past, such as Larry Christiansen, Alex Yermolinsky, Gregory Kaidanov, Joel Benjamin and Alexander Shabalov. 

Four-time US Champion Shabalov (51 years old) finished clear first after having an undefeated 'plus three' performance, beating Dlugy, Novikov and Fishbein and drawing the rest of his games. Gregory Kaidanov and Alexander Goldin shared second place on 5 out of 9.

Final standings


All games


Alexander Shabalov

Alexander Shabalov | Photo: Crystal Fuller / CCSCSL

U.S. Junior Girls Championship

The Girls Championship features top young female players from 19 to as young as nine years old! 

Rating favourite and defending champion Carissa Yip impressed with a 7½ score, but such astounding performance did not mean she had it easy, as she was on the worse side of a draw in her final round encounter against Emily Nguyen and second-placed Rochelle Wu got a win with Black to finish just a half point behind. Ruiyang Yan got third place on 6 out of 9. 

Final standings


All games


Carissa Yip

Carissa Yip | Photo: Austin Fuller / CCSCSL

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fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 7/23/2019 03:36
Would have been interesting to mix all 3 events into 1. While the results would not be as accurate, it would produce a lot of interesting match-ups.
wb_munchausen wb_munchausen 7/21/2019 04:04
I was favorably impressed by Jesse Kraai's commentary.
Chris Holmes Chris Holmes 7/21/2019 05:00
Why is there no comment on the missing Woman Seniors Championship ?
Keshava Keshava 7/21/2019 12:52
Rating is the only thing that matters. Judit Polgar was stronger than most male Grandmasters and Hou Yifan perhaps could be if she wanted to (she bested a 2700 in a short match) but Yifan currently thinks that attaining advanced degrees from elite universities is more important. When there are as many women as men serious about the game then comparisons can be made since genius is always a subset of a much larger set.
Leavenfish Leavenfish 7/20/2019 05:58
Dare I say anything about this and not be slammed? It is simply an observation...an elephant in the room, and we all can draw our own conclusions if indeed we feel the need to.

Jennifer Yu...WON the most recent US Women's Championship - convincingly! And yet with one round remaining she has but to muster .5/8 against Junior males - pretty strong ones, yes...but would one dare to think that they would be as a field stronger than the reigning US Women's Champion? Things happen though.

I certainly understand her wanting too play against the boys - you always want to test yourself and you would prepare accordingly as you essentially set your self up as a role model for young women with your current title. I am sure she would have thought things would turn out a little different. I would have like to see that as well. I am certain the result will find its way in future articles/books/essays regarding the relative strength of female vs male players and be fodder for that debate.

I rather doubt however that we will see a Chessbase article specifically about this result from Alexi Root.