US Seniors and Juniors: Khachiyan and Lee secure titles with a round to spare

by André Schulz
7/24/2023 – Melikset Khachiyan and Alice Lee secured victories at the US Seniors Championship and the US Girls Championship respectively. In the Junior Championship, five players still have a chance to win the title. On July 20, the Saint Louis Chess Club celebrated its 15th anniversary with a big party. | Pictured: Alice Lee at the anniversary celebration | Photo: Crystal Fuller

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Khachiyan dominates Seniors’ field

Melikset Khachiyan went into the penultimate round of the US Seniors Championship at the Saint Louis Chess Center with a big lead of 1½ points. Khachiyan was content with a quick draw against Patrick Wolff and was thus only theoretically catchable by Alexander Shabalov in the fight for first place.

For that to happen, however, Shabalov had to win his game against Dmitry Gurevich. Shabalov got a good position but failed to generate a full point out of it.

Melikset Kachiyan | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Alexander Shabalov | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Given Shabalov’s draw, Khachyan became the early winner with one round to go. Apart from the title, Khachiyan will take home 20,000 USD in prize money.

Douglas Root got the only win of the day, against Gregory Kajdanov. Before the final round, Shabalov remains in clear second place, half a point ahead of Vladimir Akopian.

Standings - Round 8

All games

Lee wins Girls’ Championship, two co-leaders in the Juniors

In the Juniors Championship, Arthur Guo led the field of young, ambitious US talents after seven rounds following his victory over Andrew Hong. Abhimanyu Mishra and Brandon Jacobson were the closest pursuers as they stood half a point behind.

In round 8, Abhimanyu played for a win with white against Arthur Xu. A Hungarian Defence appeared on the board. Later in the game, Abhimanyu gained a strong initiative on the kingside, gaining a strong initiative here, which he was able to convert into a full point.

Since Arthur Guo could not get more than a draw against Jason Liang, he was caught up by Abhimanyu in the lead. Andrew Hong and Balaji Dagupati also scored full points.

Behind the two co-leaders, Abhimanyu and Guo, three players in the chasing group — Dagupati, Hong and Jacobson — still have a shot at the title.

Alice Lee | Photo: Lennart Ootes

In the Girls’ Championship, on the other hand, a winner has already been crowned.

Here, too, a draw against Iris Mou was enough for Alice Lee to win the title, as her closest rival Zoey Tang lost her game against Carissa Yip. Before the final round, Alice Lee had an unassailable 1½-lead relative to Ruiyang Yan and Zoey Tang. Yip, with her victory, climbed to fourth place.

In addition to the title, Lee gained 6,000 USD and a 10,000 USD scholarship for University education.

Standings - Round 8 (Juniors)

All games - Juniors

Standings - Round 8 (Girls)

All games - Girls


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