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On Chess: America’s top players return to St. Louis to fight for national crown

Eight-time U.S. Women's Champion GM Irina Krush.
Lennart Ootes
/
St. Louis Chess Club
Eight-time U.S. Women's Champion Irina Krush

The 2021 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship, two of the most prestigious tournaments of the year, are set to kick off next week, as 24 of America’s strongest players will battle it out over a combined prize fund of nearly $300,000 and the chance at a national title.

Looking to retain their crown will be reigning champions grandmasters Wesley So and Irina Krush, who each won the 2020 edition of this elite event.

Also taking part in the U.S. Championship is top seed and World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana, as well as a number of members of the U.S. Olympic team, including World No. 14 Leinier Dominguez, World No. 29 and 2018 U.S. Champion Sam Shankland, World No. 39 GM Jeffery Xiong and World No. 60 Ray Robson.

In the U.S. Women’s Championship, defending champion Irina Krush will be up against longtime rivals/Olympic teammates Anna Zatonskih, Nazi Paikidze and Tatev Abrahamyan, as well as 18-year-old Carissa Yip, who is currently the No. 2 female in the U.S.

With a number of top stars in each field, these national championships promise to be as exciting and competitive as ever. Fans should tune in to watch from Oct. 5-19 to catch all of the action, standings, and coverage of the events on uschesschamps.com.

Kostya Kavutskiy is a professional chess player, writer and streamer currently residing in Mountain View, California. You can follow Kostya at twitter.com/hellokostya.