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California GMs Fight in Day 3 of 2018 US Championships (with Analysis)

Posted: 1 year, 10 months ago

By IM Vignesh Panchanatham

The US Championships continued to showcase fighting spirit with an additional three decisive games in the third round. In fact, two of the wins came from black’s side! In a complicated game that featured wide-open kings for both sides, GM Nakamura held the draw against GM Onischuk. Both tournament leaders GM Akobian and GM So drew their games.

GM Akobian maintained a solid position in the Queen’s Gambit Declined with the black pieces against GM Lenderman, and Lenderman was unable to make progress in the resulting 4 v. 4 with bishop against knight endgame. Also with black, GM So utilized my personal favorite French Defense to build an initiative for the cost of a pawn, before trading into another drawish endgame. GM Caruana joined the tournament lead with his victory over GM Xiong, taking some pawns and then converting the resulting position. GM Zherebukh won his first game of the tournament, gradually outplaying GM Robson in the Exchange Slav.

In the battle of the California representatives, a draw seemed likely, but another late mistake by GM Izoria tipped the battle in favor of GM Shankland.

Here is analysis of day 2 and day 1.