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So & Yip the big winners of 2021 US Chess Championships

Wesley So won the tiebreaks against Caruana and Sevian to grab for the third time the title of the US Champion, while Carissa Yip finished clear first with the last round to spare, winning the 2021 US Women’s Championship triumphantly!

Photo: Lennart Ootes

Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, and Sam Sevian finished the 2021 US Championship, on Monday the 18th of October, sharing first place on 6½/11 points. A rapid round-robin tournament (10 minutes plus 2-second increments) decided the winner and brought So to first place.

What’s remarkable is that the Philippine-born American GM, has also won the 2017 U.S. Championship by defeating Alexander Onischuk in a rapid playoff tiebreak, and the 2020 U.S. Championship with a score of 9/11 and an unbeaten performance, compared by some commentators to the dominant performances of Bobby Fischer in the 1960s.

While commenting on his victory in the interview with GM Maurice Ashley, So acted very humble, and said: “I thought the tournament was pretty much over by yesterday, Fabiano almost won three games in a row. It just gave me a new breath of life that the tournament was not yet over, that I might still have some chances. I just wanted to play fast today and make some good moves. Fabi plays for a win with both colors, soon I found myself in a very difficult position. Probably, in the endgame, he missed a win somewhere. I was playing with no pressure: I did not expect this playoff, so I was just playing chess: if chances come, good, if I lose, that’s fine.”

On the other hand, the U.S Women’s Championship had less tension, but still thrilling games by IM Carissa Yip, who eventually won the tournament.

Photo: Lennart Ootes

With a remarkable 8½/11 score, the Bostonian IM, amazed everyone with her performance a bit over a month after she turned 18 years old. Yip is the highest-rated U20 woman player in the world, in the TOP50 of the live women’s rating list, and with an outstanding career so far.

In 2014 at the New England Open, Yip became the youngest female player (10 years old) to beat a grandmaster, and only two years later, in 2016, Yip participated in the US Women’s Championship for the first time. Also, in February 2020 she became the youngest American woman in history to earn the title of International Master.

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