R5 American Chess Championships: Naroditsky beats Caruana, Lenderman shares first


In the fifth round of the 2021 US Chess Championship, GM Alexander Lenderman beat GM Sam Sevian while seeded GM Fabiano Caruana lost to GM Daniel Naroditsky. As a result, Lenderman and GM Ray Robson lead the tournament with 3.5 / 5 and are followed by GMs Wesley So and Leinier Dominguez.

In the US Women’s Championship, four decisive matches were played in the fifth round. WGM Katerina Nemcova is again the only leader with 3.5 / 5. Five players follow closely behind with 3/5: IM Nazi Paikidze, WIM Ashritha Eswaran, IM Carissa Yip, GM Irina Krush and WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova.

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Caruana has had a pretty tough tournament so far: he’s only won one game and tied three, but lost one position at some point in his three draws. Yet he managed to save them all. As the seed himself pointed out in an interview, he felt he had extracted as many points as possible from these circumstances.

Tonight he had the Whites against Naroditsky, who had lost three games in the first four rounds. Obviously, it was a very important game for Caruana to win.

However, things turned out completely unexpectedly. He had a slight advantage in the Ruy Lopez, then Black managed to equalize, then he pressed again. During this process, the seed burned all his time: after 25 moves he had 32 minutes, while at move 29 there were only seven minutes left on Caruana’s clock.

He must have miscalculated due to timing issues, found himself in a very difficult endgame and couldn’t save her as Naroditsky showed very impressive technique.

Here’s what Naroditsky said about the day: “Obviously it’s an incredible euphoric feeling … paid off this time.”

… My resolution this tournament was to keep creaking, to play every game with passion, with heart and it paid off this time
– DG Daniel Naroditsky

This is not only a huge victory for Black, but also a big relief for the other leaders, as the seed is now in the middle of the tournament standings with a score of 50%.

In another huge match of the round, Lenderman quickly secured a very nice position against Sevian after Black made an inaccuracy on move 11. With a series of accurate moves he won a pawn and it looked like the end of game would be an easy win for White. . However, Sevian managed to withstand 140 (!) Moves, and at times came very close to saving the game. But eventually, the Whites found a way to make decisive progress and scored the full point.

Alexander Lenderman won back-to-back wins to share first place with Ray Robson with 3.5 / 5. Photo: Crystal Fuller / Saint Louis Chess Club.

In the final game of the round, GM Jeffery Xiong, who had 0.5 / 4 before this round, managed to turn the tide and defeat GM Sam Shankland. He played the opening in a rather unambitious way as a White, but was flawless mid-game and scored a well-deserved full point.

Jeffery Xiong started with 0.5 / 4 but turned things around and scored his first tournament win in the fifth round. Photo: Lennart Ootes / Saint Louis Chess Club.

Four-round leader Ray Robson defended a slightly inferior position against GM Dariusz Swiercz throughout the game and did very well to secure a half point with the black pieces.

Finally, the other two draws went relatively uneventfully: GM John M. Burke showed very extensive knowledge of the Marshall Counterattack to draw Black against Dominguez, while GM Lazaro Bruzon Batista played. a very solid line against So’s Petroff and the players quickly shared the point. .

United States Championship All Games Round 5

Ranking of the 5th round

2021 U.S. Chess Championships Round 5 Ranking

There were four decisive matches in the fifth round of the US Women’s Chess Championship.

Tokhirjonova played a wonderful positional game against one of the leaders, Carissa Yip. She got a great strategic advantage with the white pieces and converted it perfectly to catch up with Yip and share second place with 3/5.

Paikidze, who drew his first four games, scored the first victory by beating WGM Thalia Landeiro Cervantes with the black pieces in the Dutch defense. It was a murky match, the two players sometimes had a big advantage, but in the end Paikidze won.

After drawing the first four rounds, Nazi Paikidze claimed their first victory against WGM Thalia Cervantes. Photo: Lennart Ootes / Saint Louis Chess Club.

Krush had a nice technical victory with Whites against IM Anna Zatonskih in the Semi-Tarrasch branch which is often used at the highest level to shoot from a slightly inferior final. In the final deciding match of the round, WGM Sabina-Francesca Foisor, who won their first game in the previous round, continued the streak by beating WIM Megan Lee in the Ruy Lopez.

Another leader, Nemcova, lobbied with White against WGM Anna Sharevich throughout the match, but was unable to improve her position decisively and shared the point with Sharevich.

Katerina Nemcova failed to overcome her opponent’s resistance, but a draw was enough to regain the lead with 3.5 / 5. Photo: Lennart Ootes / Saint Louis Chess Club.

Ultimately, WGM Tatev Abrahamyan, who has seen all of his previous games come to a decisive end, got his first draw against Eswaran. She was noticeably better most of the time, but Black defended well and saved a half point.

United States Women’s Championship All Games Round 5

Ranking of the 5th round

Ranking of the 5th round of the 2021 United States Women's Chess Championship

The 2021 US Chess Championships will be held October 5-19, 2021 in St. Louis to determine the next US Chess Champions. The 2021 United States Women’s Championship is running concurrently. Both events have the same format: 12 players, 11 round tournament with a prize fund of $ 194,000 for the US Championship and $ 100,000 for the US Women’s. Championship.

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