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US Chess Championships: All The Information

US Chess Championships: All The Information

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The 2021 U.S. Chess Championship is a 12-player, 11-round tournament that takes place October 5-19, 2021 in St. Louis to determine the next chess champion of the United States.

The 2021 U.S. Women's Championship is being held concurrently with the same format as the open championship.

The U.S. Chess Championship was first held in 1845. Since 1936 it has been held in a tournament format, with the inaugural women's event in 1937. Since 2009 the tournaments have been held in St. Louis, Missouri, except for an online version during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, won by GM Wesley So and GM Irina Krush.


Broadcast

You can watch the live broadcast on Chess.com/TV or on our Twitch and YouTube channels. Tune in to enjoy expert commentary by IM David Pruess and NM James Canty. Also joining the commentary team will be GMs Benjamin Bok, Denes Boros, and Magesh Panchanathan.

US Chess Championship 2021 Hosts

Results

Open

2021 US Chess Championship Crosstable

Women's

2021 Women's US Championship Crosstable

Schedule

The opening ceremony is on October 5, with Chess.com coverage beginning with the first games on October 6. There are two rest days and the tournament concludes on October 18, unless there are tiebreaks. Any tiebreak as well as the closing ceremony are on October 19.

Date Time Round
Tuesday, October 5 7:15 p.m. PT/04:15 CEST (Oct 6) Opening Ceremony
Wednesday, October 6 11 a.m. PT/20:00 CEST Round 1
Thursday, October 7 11 a.m. PT/20:00 CEST Round 2
Friday, October 8 11 a.m. PT/20:00 CEST Round 3
Saturday, October 9 11 a.m. PT/20:00 CEST Round 4
Sunday, October 10 - Rest Day
Monday, October 11 11 a.m. PT/20:00 CEST Round 5
Tuesday, October 12 11 a.m. PT/20:00 CEST Round 6
Wednesday, October 13 11 a.m. PT/20:00 CEST Round 7
Thursday, October 14 11 a.m. PT/20:00 CEST Round 8
Friday, October 15 - Rest Day
Saturday, October 16 11 a.m. PT/20:00 CEST Round 9
Sunday, October 17 11 a.m. PT/20:00 CEST Round 10
Monday, October 18 11 a.m. PT/20:00 CEST Round 11
Tuesday, October 19 11 a.m. PT/20:00 CEST Playoff (if necessary)
Closing Ceremony

Location

The tournament is held at the Saint Louis Chess Club in St. Louis, MO. 

Sinquefield Cup Grand Chess Tour Saint Louis Gateway Arch
St. Louis skyline, Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse. Photo: Bev Sykes/Wikimedia, CC.

Format

The 2021 U.S. Chess Championship and U.S. Women's Championship are each a single round-robin at a classical time control. Players each have 90 minutes for the first 40 moves. After 40 moves, players have 30 minutes and a 30-second increment for the rest of the game.

Draws by agreement are not allowed. The claim of draw, by repetition or the 50-move rule, will be verified by the arbiter.

Tiebreakers

If the tournament ends with a tie for first place, the tiebreak depends on the number of players.

2 Players Tied

A tie between two players will be broken with a two-game rapid match, at a time control of 10 minutes for the game with a 2-second delay. If the contest is still undecided, the match will be decided by an armageddon game (the standard 5 minutes for White and 4 minutes with draw odds for Black).

3-4 Players Tied

A tie between three or four players will be broken by a rapid round-robin, at a time control of 10 minutes for the game with a 2-second delay. If no clear winner is produced, the remaining ties are broken by blitz games of 3 minutes for the game with a 2 second delay (another round-robin if 3+ players are tied, or a two-game match if two players are tied). If the contest is still undecided, the match will be decided by armageddon games.

5+ Players Tied

In the unlikely event that more than four players are tied for first place, a combination of math tiebreaks and playoffs will be used to determine the winner, in a format to be determined by the arbiter and the Saint Louis Chess Club.

Other Tiebreakers

Any tie for a position outside of first will be broken in the following order: head-to-head record; most games played with Black; the Koya system (score against players on 50% or better); Sonneborn-Berger; and games won.

Players

The 12-player U.S. Championship field is sorted below by classical FIDE rating as of September 1, 2021.

The 12-player U.S. Women's Championship field is:

Prize Fund

The prize fund in the open event is a total of $194,000, with $50,000 going to the first place finisher.

Place Prize Place Prize
1st $50,000 7th $9,000
2nd $35,000 8th $8,000
3rd $25,000 9th $7,000
4th $20,000 10th $6,000
5th $15,000 11th $5,000
6th $10,000 12th $4,000

The prize fund in the Women's Championship is a total of $100,000, with $25,000 going to the winner.

Place Prize Place Prize
1st $25,000 7th $5,000
2nd $18,000 8th $4,000
3rd $13,000 9th $3,500
4th $10,000 10th $3,000
5th $8,000 11th $2,500
6th $6,000 12th $2,000

Regulations

The complete regulations for the 2021 U.S. Chess Championships can be found uschesschamps.com.

Recent Champions

Year Open Champion Women's Champion
2020 Wesley So Irina Krush
2019 Hikaru Nakamura Jennifer Yu
2018 Sam Shankland Nazi Paikidze
2017 Wesley So Sabina Foisor
2016 Fabiano Caruana Nazi Paikidze
2015 Hikaru Nakamura Irina Krush
2014 Gata Kamsky Irina Krush
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