US Championship: So, Robson and Caruana with 2.0/2

by Johannes Fischer
4/16/2016 – After two rounds three players lead the US Championship 2016 with 2.0/2: Fabiano Caruana, who won convincingly against Sam Shankland, Wesley So, who won less convincingly against Akshat Chandra, and Ray Robson, who profited from Alexander Onishuk's errors. Hikaru Nakamura drew against Gata Kamsky. In the Women's tournament Tatev Abrahamyan and Carissa Yip keep a perfect score.

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Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So are clear favorites to win the US Championship 2016. After all, Caruana is the world's number three (2795), Nakamura is the world's number five (2787), and Wesley So is currently number ten in the world. With a rating of 2773 So is also 95 points ahead of Gata Kamsky (2678), number four in the US and number 63 in the world. All three favorites started well into the tournament. Caruana and So with two wins and Nakamura with a convincing win against Alex Lenderman in the first round and an easy draw with Black against Gata Kamsky in round two.

Round two begins

Kamsky and Nakamura repeated the line of the game they had played in the US Championship 2015 against each other. One year ago they drew after a long and protracted fight, this year Nakamura accepted Kamsky's proposal of early peace talks by quickly liquidating into a very drawn position.

 

Gata Kamsky vs  Hikaru Nakamura, energetic...

... and thoughtful

Fabiano Caruana had no objection to play a sharp line of the French against Sam Shankland. This led to an interesting fight and brought Caruana his second win.

 

2.0/2: another good start for Fabiano Caruana in St. Louis

Wesley So started the game convincingly and got a better position but then needed a bit (or a lot) of luck to win:

 

Alexander Onishuk suffered a bitter defeat against Ray Robson:

 

Results of round two:

1 GM Akobian, Varuzhan 0.0 2615 GM Xiong, Jeffery 0.5 2618 ½-½
2 GM Robson, Ray 1.0 2663 GM Onischuk, Alexander 0.5 2664 1-0
3 GM Lenderman, Aleksandr 0.0 2618 GM Shabalov, Alexander 0.0 2528 ½-½
4 GM Kamsky, Gata 0.0 2678 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 1.0 2787 ½-½
5 IM Chandra, Akshat 0.0 2477 GM So, Wesley 1.0 2773 0-1
6 GM Caruana, Fabiano 1.0 2795 GM Shankland, Samuel L 1.0 2656 1-0

Standings after round two:

Games:

 

Women's tournament

In the women's tournament the favorites Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih did not have such a smooth start. Irina Krush drew her first game and won her second, Anna Zatonskih drew both games.

Results of round two

1 WIM Bykovtsev, Agata 0.0 2219 FM Melekhina, Alisa 0.5 2205 1-0
2 GM Krush, Irina 0.5 2465 WGM Foisor, Sabina-Francesca 0.5 2258 1-0
3 IM Zatonskih, Anna 0.5 2470 WGM Nemcova, Katerina 0.5 2367 ½-½
4 FM Gorti, Akshita 0.0 2184 IM Paikidze, Nazi 0.5 2346 0-1
5 WIM Eswaran, Ashritha 0.5 2225 Yip, Carissa 1.0 2164 0-1
6 WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev 1.0 2342 WFM Yu, Jennifer R 0.5 2157 1-0

Standings:

Games:

 

All's well...

Spring helps to enjoy chess even more...

Pictures: Lennart Ootes for the tournament page

Tournament page...



Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".

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