GM Fabiano Caruana claimed clear 1st place in the inaugural 2022 American Cup, after defeating GM Levon Aronian in today’s decisive classical game.
In the Women’s Field, GM Irina Krush completed her campaign for the title as well, securing the victory after drawing the second game in her match against FM Alice Lee.
Open Field - Final Standings
Women's Field - Final Standings
CARUANA - ARONIAN 1-0
A quiet line of the English Opening saw the players reach a dynamically balanced middlegame, with the pair of bishops for Caruana in exchange for a more harmonious position for Aronian. But a practical mistake by Levon to trade queens left him in a surprisingly awkward endgame to defend. Aronian then attempted to fix his problems with a pawn sacrifice in order to build a blockade, but he simply wasn’t in time as Caruana’s king, rook and bishop had plenty of room to infiltrate. With an extra pawn and the more active pieces, Caruana showed flawless technique to win the game and the match without needing a playoff.
After 34.Bd4, White’s extra pawn, better king, and stronger minor piece secured a decisive advantage. | 1-0, 53 moves
The final handshake. | Photo Courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes
LEE - KRUSH ½-½
Utilizing a solid variation of the Slav Defense, Krush gave up a tempo in the opening in order to saddle Lee with an isolated queen pawn. Needing a win to force a playoff, the up-and-coming prodigy tried various piece maneuvers but just couldn’t make headway against Krush’s defenses. As more pieces came off the board the position became more and more drawish, until eventually the players found themselves in a dead drawn king and pawn endgame.
A stellar event for GM Irina Krush, who won every match without going to a playoff. | Photo Courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes
The 2022 American Cup concludes with a star-studded blitz event Friday, April 29 starting at 12:50 PM CT. Catch all the action live with grandmaster commentators Yasser Seirawan, Cristian Chirila, and Alejandro Ramirez on uschesschamps.com and on the Saint Louis Chess Club’s YouTube and Twitch.tv channels.
Watch all the action LIVE at USChessChamps.com
Text: IM Kostya Kavutskiy
Photo credit: Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes
Dates & Location:
April 20 - 29, 2022, Saint Louis Chess Club
Photos and appropriate credits available on Flickr
Rebecca Buffington firstname.lastname@example.org
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