Wins For White Pieces In Day 3 Of U.S Championship Online Qualifier
Aleksandr Lenderman needed 23 moves to find checkmate. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Wins For White Pieces In Day 3 Of U.S Championship Online Qualifier

| 24 | Chess Event Coverage

An exciting third round of the U.S. Championship Online Qualifier featured four decisive games, all ending in favor of the players playing white. GM Daniel Naroditsky lost his game in a tough endgame to IM Christopher Yoo, who has taken this event by storm. 

GM Aleksandr Lenderman launched a vicious attack on GM Andrew Tang's king and eventually checkmated him, while GM Elshan Moradiabadi won his game against GM Robert Hess with a positional squeeze. The game of GMs Timur Gareyev and Dariusz Swiercz ended in favor of Gareyev after he took control in the middlegame.

How to watch?
Every round will be streamed live at starting at 2 p.m. Pacific time, December 11-18. The games can also be found here as part of our live games platform.

The live broadcast of the third round.

Lenderman vs. Tang (1-0)

Lenderman made quick work of Tang in this game that ended on move 23 with a checkmate. 

White started out quite aggressively in a Queen's Gambit, pushing 7.g4 and 8.h4 to gain a significant space advantage right off the bat. The fact that he played these double-edged moves so quickly showed how prepared he was in this game. This preparation paid off and Tang found himself in quite a scary position, as the possibility of a crushing attack was looming over his king.

Tang, who was being smothered on the board by White's pieces, eventually slipped up with 16...Re8?! and exposed himself further to Lenderman's attack. The game ended stylishly, with Lenderman sacrificing his queen to deliver checkmate. 

Moradiabadi vs. Hess (1-0)

One mistake by Hess was all it took for Moradiabadi to take the reins and ride to victory with an impressive display of skill.

In a Grunfeld that resembled Yoo and Tang's game in the first round, Hess initially achieved a pleasant-looking position. His rooks had the use of several files on the queenside and both of his bishops were on the long diagonals. However, as he pondered the answer to the eternal question of which rook to move first, he erred by playing 13...Rfc8 and locked in his other rook on a8. 

It all went downhill for Hess after that, who found himself in a cramped position with no clear plan. Moradiabadi's positional squeeze ended up netting him the win in this pristine demonstration of restrictive chess. This game is a must-see for players looking to improve their ability to convert dominant positions.

Elshan Moradiabadi
Elshan Moradiabadi. Photo: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 2.0.

Yoo vs. Naroditsky (1-0)

The two leaders of the tournament were tied in points before this game, but after it finished Yoo emerged as the clear first.

The young IM continued to impress and secured a healthy advantage out of the opening, namely a Closed Sicilian where he went for a fianchetto setup. He also continued his pattern of playing quite fast in the early stages of the game.

Naroditsky did not go quietly into the night as he put up impressive resistance. Even in the subsequent endgame grind, he was able to hold his own with under a minute of time left on his clock. In fact, he was able to achieve an equal position for a while.

The time pressure proved too much, however, as the position eventually turned in Yoo's favor. After getting caught in an aesthetic mating net, Naroditsky resigned and the 13-year-old IM gained another point.

Gareyev vs. Swiercz (1-0)

Contrary to previous rounds, Gareyev did not play unusual moves in the opening and we saw a Grunfeld on the board. 

Still, though, his creative concept 15.Ng5 caught Swiercz off guard. From then on, the position became tough to play for Black, whose remaining pieces had all returned to the eighth rank on move 28. The advantage for White was overwhelming at that point, and Swiercz resigned after going down a minor piece in the resulting endgame.


# Fed Name Username Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts SB
1 Christopher Yoo @ChristopherYoo 2803 2990 1 ½ 1 2.5/3
2 Elshan Moradiabadi @Elshan1985 2810 2757 ½ ½ 1 2.0/3 2.5
3 Timur Gareyev @TimurGareyev 2452 2893 ½ 1 ½ 2.0/3 2.25
4 Aleksandr Lenderman @AlexanderL 2793 2894 ½ 1 ½ 2.0/3 1.75
5 Daniel Naroditsky @DanielNaroditsky 2626 2708 0 ½ 1 1.5/3
6 Dariusz Swiercz @daro94 2659 2507 ½ 0 ½ 1.0/3
7 Andrew Tang @penguingm1 2849 2404 0 ½ 0 0.5/3 1
8 Robert Hess @GMHess 2664 2464 0 ½ 0 0.5/3 1

The U.S. Championship Online Qualifier is an eight-player round robin played Dec. 11-18 on, with a rest day on Dec. 15. The time control is 90 minutes for the whole game with a 30-second increment from move one. The total prize fund is $10,000. The winner will secure a spot in the 2021 U.S. Chess Championship. 

Witness the excitement of the fourth round live at Play will begin at 2 p.m. Pacific time on Monday, December 14.

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