October of 2020 will mark an extraordinary chapter in American chess history, as due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Saint Louis Chess Club will host the 2020 U.S. Chess Championships online for the first time. The 2020 U.S. Chess Championships will consist of five national tournaments played in rapid format: U.S. Championship, U.S. Women’s Championship, U.S. Junior Championship, U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, and U.S. Senior Championship.
Carol Meyer, the Executive Director of US Chess, says, “The exceptional players who will be competing in our premier events during these extraordinary times speaks to the depth and breadth of chess talent in the United States. We’re proud to partner with our friends at the Saint Louis Chess Club who always make these events special for players and fans alike.”
This unique combination of the five top national tournaments will showcase competitors that best represent the past, present, and future of American Chess. Some notable players include 2019 U.S. Champion Hikaru Nakamura, 2019 U.S. Women’s Champion Jennifer Yu, 2019 U.S. Junior Champion Awonder Liang, 2019 U.S. Girls’ Junior Champion Carissa Yip, and 2019 U.S. Senior Champion Alex Shabalov.
“While this year’s over the board events have been either canceled or postponed, online chess has experienced a surge in popularity,” says Saint Louis Chess Club’s Executive Director, Tony Rich. “We are excited to showcase the expansive amount of chess talent that exists across the United States.”
The U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship will be 12-player Round Robins, while the U.S. Junior, U.S. Girls’ Junior, and U.S. Senior Championships will each be 10-player Round Robins. Tournaments will be played back-to-back, with players competing in 3 rounds per day starting at 1:00pm CDT, with playoffs to follow the final round.
There will be an online Opening Ceremony held on October 8th at 6:00pm CDT and an online Closing Ceremony held on October 29th at 5:00pm CDT both events will be livestreamed for fans to watch on uscheschamps.com.
In addition to awarding 2020 national titles, the U.S. Chess Championships will also provide $330,900 in total prizes, with each tournament having its own individual prize fund.
Daily rounds will be streamed at 1:00pm CDT on uschesschamps.com from October 9th to October 29th with expert commentary featuring GM Yasser Seirawan, GM Maurice Ashley, and WGM Jennifer Shahade.
About the Saint Louis Chess Club
The Saint Louis Chess Club is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons, and special lectures.
Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Saint Louis Chess Club is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit saintlouischessclub.org.