Wesley So and Alexander Onischuk Headed to the Playoff for the US Chess Championship 2017 Title

Wesley So settled for draw after a three-fold repetition against Daniel Naroditsky in the final Round 11 of US Chess Championship 2017 after just 14 moves. Wesley was so disappointed he was forced by Naroditsky to a draw, he hurriedly went out of the playing building and refused to give interviews.

Wesley later commented on Chessgames.com and explained:

I did not force the draw, Daniel did. I was set for a long fight today knowing he needs a full point to get into World Cup. Shocked me that he forced the draw.. In this interview he explains his decision (needs to write his terms papers for submission Monday morning and does not like Berlin).

Very upsetting but God will take care of me.

Watch Naroditsky’s post-game interview starting on the 35-minute mark below:

Meanwhile, Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura won their respective games in Round 11, but they were not enough to even put them in contention for the title. Nakamura won against Varuzhan Akobian, the latter being one of the 3 co-leaders before the final round.

Alexander Onischuk drew his game as well against Gata Kamsky, and thus shared the first place with Wesley So.

US Chess Championship 2017 Round 11 Results

1Nakamura, Hikaru1-0Akobian, Varuzhan
2Naroditsky, Daniel½-½So, Wesley
3Kamsky, Gata½-½Onischuk, Alexander
4Robson, Ray0-1Caruana, Fabiano
5Xiong, Jeffery½-½Zherebukh, Yaroslav
6Shabalov, Alexander½-½Shankland, Samuel L

Replay all Round 11 games below:Replay »

US Chess Championship 2017 Ranking after Round 11

1GM So, Wesley28227
2GM Onischuk, Alexander26677
3GM Caruana, Fabiano28176.5
4GM Nakamura, Hikaru27936.5
5GM Akobian, Varuzhan26456.5
6GM Zherebukh, Yaroslav26055.5
7GM Shankland, Samuel L26665
8GM Kamsky, Gata26595
9GM Naroditsky, Daniel26465
10GM Robson, Ray26684.5
11GM Xiong, Jeffery26744
12GM Shabalov, Alexander25563.5

Replay all games played in US Chess Championship 2017.


Having two players tied in first place at the end of 11 rounds, there needs to be a playoff round to break the tie and determine who brings home the US Chess Championship 2017 title.

By US Chess Championship standard, the tie will be broken with a two-game rapid match (G/25+5). If the contest is still undecided, the match will be decided by an Armageddon Game.

An Armageddon Game is defined as a game with base time of 45 minutes for each Player. Black will have draw odds. Each Player shall bid an amount of time (minutes and seconds, a number equal to or less than 45:00) with which they are willing to play in order to choose their color. The Player who bids the lowest amount of time chooses his color and begins with that amount of time; the other Player receives 45:00. If both Players bid exactly the same amount of time, the Chief Arbiter will flip a coin to determine who shall choose their color.

Playoff games begin 10 April 2017 at 13:00 UTC -5.

Photo credit: US Chess Champs


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