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2018 U.S. Championships

Round 3

Fabiano won again in round 3, this time taking it on the younger talent Jeffery Xiong.

Fabiano Caruana, sporting an enviable afro, after his win.

Alexander Onischuk was able to hold Nakamura to a draw, quite comfortably. At a point in the game, it looked like Onischuk had the upper hand, but Nakamura is not only extremely strong a player, he is also gifted with an incredible resilience, which allowed him to stay in the game and draw in a problematic position.

Onischuk and Nakamura in full concentration mode

Ray Robson lost an exciting endgame with Zherebukh, who allowed his opponent to queen a pawn, but at that point, the isolated and cut-off Majesty wasn't able to help the cause, with Ray's King in muddy waters, unable to save itself.

Shankland won his first game against Izoria.
Akobian, after an up-and-down game against Lenderman, had to settle for a draw, when Lenderman stalemated Var's King.

Lenderman looks worried in this pic, but he was able to keep the co-leader at bay

Wesley So, the co-leader after round 2, drew the 15-year-old GM Awonder Liang, who showed an incredible confidence for such a young player.

A smiling and confident-looking Awonder Liang, interviewed by Ashely

Round 2

Not a good day for our friend Aleksandr Lenderman, who didn't seem the usual strong and solid player today at the board, losing to Fabiano Caruana in 23 moves, after a couple of big mistakes that the Candidate didn't let go unpunished.

Lenderman gave up at move 23, in a desperate position

Wesley So and Var Akobian won again today, now leading with 2.0/2, followed by Fabiano Caruana and Ray Robson, who today won a long struggle.

GM Varuzhan Akobian, leading with 2.0/2

GM Ray Robson today won a very tough game

Round 1

The clash between Varuzhan Akobian and Alexander Onischuk, two players who have known each other for years, finished in favor of the former, with a brilliant tactic.

A still from the official website broadcast (GM Akobian)

GM Wesley So, after a rather long and somewhat wild game, won with GM Zherebukh.

GM Wesley So

GM Nakamura is a 4-time winner at the
US Championship (2004-2009-2012-2015)

The three top guys are in, along with young guns and old glories.
Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura 
and Wesley So give the tournament importance and relevance, but players like Awonder Liang and Jeffrey Xiong, who represent the next generation of strong Americans, contribute to make this year Championship a must-follow tournament.

Awonder Liang (14) is the youngest in the field

Not to talk about solid players, who have played tons of Championships, such as Onischuk and Var Akobian, and then Alex Lenderman, Sam Shankland, Ray Robson, Yaroslav Zherebukh,  Zviad Izoria.

GM Wesley So is the defending Champion 

Everything is ready for a great U.S. championship,  which is going to start April the 18th, at the splendid St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center.

Here is the schedule, from the official website:

Prize wise, the U.S: Championship is like a Master 1000 in tennis:  $50,000 to the first and $35,000 to the second, for a total of $194,000 in prize fund is quite impressive for a National Championship.
The Women's Championship sports a $100,000 prize fund, and lists among the possible protagonists IM Anna Zatonskih, GM Irina Krush, IM Nazi Paikidze, and WGM Tatev Abrahamyan.

ICC will broadcast the games LIVE, and GM Alex Yermolinsky will provide a warm-up show - an hour before start time - at rounds 4 and 9, with a final recap after the last round.