Carissa Yip has been in incredible form since losing to Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova in Round 5, with five wins in a row leaving her uncatchable going into the final round. Her penultimate round clash with 2-time US Women’s Champion Nazi Paikidze looked like a potential stumbling block, with Carissa herself commenting afterwards: ” I guess it still hasn’t really sunk in, but I’m so happy I can’t stop smiling! I was really surprised to win this game, because I was mostly thinking Nazi is really solid with White, I’ll just probably have to fight it out for a draw, and then tomorrow just try not to lose, so this was really a surprise.”
Until move 21 it looked as though Carissa might be in trouble, with her Modern opening leaving her a shaky position, but a very healthy lead on the clock. That factor may have been decisive when she played the double-edged 21…h5!?, relying on the resource 22.Bxg5 h4! 23.g4 Bxg4! That continuation would have been good for Black, but Carissa realised that if her opponent essentially did nothing the position would still be tough to play.
Instead 22.f4? left White dead in the water.
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- All the US Championship games with computer analysis: Open | Women