2019 U.S. Junior, Girls' Junior and Senior Championship Recap – Round 2
by Josh Friedel
round one had a lot of blunders and quick victories, the players seemed
to settle down for round two. There were several long, tough battles,
and the players in all sections showed they were willing to fight it out
to the very end. Let’s take a look at what happened.
U.S. Junior Championship
Hans Niemann had laptop issues before his game against WGM Jennifer Yu,
but that didn’t stop him from winning a nice game. Once again, Jennifer
took a lot of risks early in the game. While it might very well have
been sound with best play, she lost the thread and couldn’t hold her
position together. GM John Burke seemed to have chances on the white
side of an Exchange Ruy structure against GM Andrew Tang, but after
Black sacrificed a piece, John didn’t find anything better than allow a
Joshua Sheng had a crushing position and huge time advantage against IM
Craig Hilby. Craig held tough, however, and Joshua was unable to
finish him off. They eventually agreed to a draw in a bishop endgame. GM
Nicolas Checa found himself on the worse side of a Carlsbad structure
against IM Brandon Jacobson, and was certainly worse for much of the
game, but managed to hold the draw in the end.
Vaidya was holding his own against top seed GM Awonder Liang for a long
time in a rook and knight endgame. Unfortunately for the bottom seed,
he went astray at the last minute, and Awonder took full advantage to
convert the win and move to 2-0.
GM Awonder Liang beat Atulya Vaidya in a lengthy endgame battle
U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship
WIM Rochelle Wu said in the confessional booth that she was happy with
her prep and position, and she used this confidence as Black against
Veronika Zilajeva. With this win, Rochelle is off to a flyer with a
quick 2-0 start.
Carissa Yip, on the other hand, got a highly suspicious opening as
Black against WIM Agata Bykovtsev. Last year’s champion showed her class
and turned the tables, however, to eventually win the game and join
Rochelle in the lead.
Emily Nguyen finally won Martha WFM Martha Samadashvili’s isolated
pawn, then converted her endgame advantage with authority. FM Maggie
Feng played a nice game, and won a complex struggle against WIM Thalia
Cervantes. She gained a central pawn advantage in the middlegame, and
eventually ran those pawns to victory.
the battle of the two youngest participants, Ruiyang Yan nicely
outplayed Rachael Li in a bishop endgame. Black certainly had drawing
chances at some stage, but in the end a couple slips was all it took for
Yan to take home the point.
Ruiyang Yan won the battle of the youngsters against Rachael Li
U.S. Senior Championship
Novikov seemed to be pressing against Alex Fishbein, but went astray by
allowing Black to advance his pawn on d4. Had he captured on d5 Igor
would have preserved his advantage, but as it happened the players
agreed to a draw as soon as the knights traded.
Ehlvest seemed to have the better side of an opposite bishop endgame
against Gregory Kaidanov, but was unable to make anything of the
position, and the game petered out into a draw. Joel Benjamin won a
crazy game against Alex Yermolinsky. His e6 pawn push early in the
opening led to an exchange up endgame, but not a simple one, and in the
end it took some errors from Yermo’s side for Joel to wrap up the game
in his favor.
Shabalov outplayed Maxim Dlugy with the Black pieces. As he did
yesterday, Max fought on in a lost position for a long time, but in the
end Shabba was able to navigate the complications and reel in the
point. Finally, Larry Christiansen put a lot of pressure on Alex Goldin
in the battle between the leaders, and in mutual time trouble he was
able to win a pawn.
Larry Christiansen put a lot of pressure on Alex Goldin, eventually prevailing in a long game
Round three starts today at 1pm. Tune in at
12:50pm central time for live commentary by GMs Robert Hess, Jesse
Kraai, and WGM Tatev Abrahamyan.
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